The Brandon News
Cheryl Kuck, Columnist
July 27, 2005
Most folks don't attend art exhibits as frequently as someone who makes the arts her business. Wren the average person visits
an art museum, she may enjoy the visit or even become awestruck by the beauty on display. But when a professional arts writer becomes awestruck,
that is news indeed.|
The visual impact of Hillsborough County artist Taylor Ikin's "Fragile Florida", a one person exhibit at the Leepa-Rattner
Museum of Art in Palm Harbor, is impressive. With its theme of environmentally sensitive locations and clear, brilliant jewel tones, this
exhibit sends the awestruck-o-meter through the roof.
Each of the county's Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program sites featured in the paintings create a special invitation
for the viewer to follow or view the artist's revealed destination. Ikin takes you to a secret garden, a quiet resting place, and a sparkling
pool hidden beneath dense foliage. It is the embarkation of a mysterious voyage that tells a story of pristine nature in all its unindustrialized
glory and bow it must continue to be protected from encroachment.
While this environmental story is about Hillsborough County, it is a unilaterally embracing message. Hillsborough County public art
coordinator Jan Stein, speaking about Ikin's body of work represented at the Leepa-Ratner, said, "These paintings and their message were born
in our county, are growing up in Pinellas, with the maturity of this cross-cultural message occurring throughout Florida and, inevitably,
in other states."
Ikin has just returned form the Santee State Park in South Carolina where she was awarded an Artist In Residence grant and will begin a
new series of environmental paintings.
At the Leepa-Rattner, Ikin is also showing paintings such as "Red, Ripe and Robust" tomatoes from Ruskin and strawberries to
illustrate the value of our "shrinking cultivatable land".