Photography as a tool for preserving Florida History

Conversations at The Crocker is back for a new season, starting October 8 with a photography show, sale and in-depth conversation about preserving disappearing parts of Florida through photographic documentation.

If you’re interested in historic preservation, nature, the culture of Florida or you just want to learn about beautiful and forgotten parts of the state, you want to be in the audience for the first of this season’s series, Conversations at the Crocker, organized and presented by the Historical Society of Sarasota and sponsored by SARASOTA Magazine.

The new season starts off with “Florida in Context,” an art photography show, sale and in-depth conversation among award-winning photographers Virginia Hoffman and Matt Allison and historian and naturalist, John McCarthy.

Local gifts for every occasion, from Halloween to Christmas and more!

Also on Tues Oct 8, we will be celebrating the seasonal opening of the Gift Shop with new artists and authors. Join us for wine and cheese, starting at 5:30, and get your gift-shopping done with local crafts and art!

All Conversations at The Crocker begin at 7 p.m. and are held in the historic Crocker Memorial Church, 1260 12th Street (Pioneer Park). HSOSC members, free; guests $10.

Photography will be for sale at this Conversation and will be exhibited in the Crocker Memorial Church.

Virginia Hoffman has worked as a sculptor, furniture designer and expert in architectural glass works. But, photography is nothing new for Virginia as she set up her first dark room in the family bathroom when she was 14. Virginia employs various methods in her photography, which range from classic black and white to alternative processing techniques and mixed media using mostly the process of encaustic (painting with wax).  A lover of nature, hiking and camping, Virginia began to explore hidden places in Florida a few years ago and started documenting buildings, landscapes, even deserted communities. She realized she was documenting a history that was fast disappearing. “With these photographs which I call Florida in Context, I hope to advance the legacy of the classic photographers by recapturing the heart of the ignored or rejected,” she says. “Perhaps I can stimulate an interest in preserving Florida places that now sit quietly in the dust by revealing their essential beauty.”
Matt Allison is a life-long lover of photography, beginning with his boyhood Fisher Price toy camera. He is devoted to the art of photography and now enjoys sharing his knowledge with others. Matt is the founder of f8 Photo and Design and the cofounder of f8 Photography Workshops. As a professional fine art photographer, photographic art instructor, and curator, Matt has mastered High Dynamic Range, Infra Red, and both digital and analog photography. His work, much like his personality, is understated but profound.
From his first official with Sarasota County in Historical Archives, to managing the Parks and Recreation Department, to overseeing county initiatives in sports tourism and ecotourism, John McCarthy is a man who understands all the ins and outs of southwest Florida. A native of Fort Myers, he moved to Sarasota with his family when he was seven and he began working for the county after he graduated from high school. His first position, through a federally funded job-training program, was at the Historical Archives (now the History Center). In subsequent years, he served in the Natural Resource Department, then in Parks and Recreation. For several years John has been the immensely popular tour guide of the Historical Society’s annual history boat cruise. He will be performing that duty again next month for the HSOSC Le Barge Cruise floating history lesson that happens on November 3. John is currently the interim director of SCOPE.

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Organized and presented by the Historical Society of Sarasota County (HSOSC), Conversations at The Crocker is a series of monthly inter-active panel discussions that highlight aspects of Sarasota’s history and looks at past events and  at the people who have influenced today’s Sarasota. Conversationists are invited to participate because of their expertise and personal experiences.

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