These days, it seems we are all in a hurry. Everyone is busy and our digital devices are never far from reach. In this modern era, you can connect to anyone, anywhere. But celebrated local artist, William H. McKeown feels the need to depict a slower way of life in his paintings. The gadgets that so many of us depend on aren’t necessary for McKeown to feel connected. He is connected to the clay hills, the salt marshes and the rapidly vanishing traditions of this area.
As a fifth generation Gadsden County resident, McKeown lives on the farm that has been home to his family for more than 100 years.
“From an early age, I was taught to preserve, respect, and enjoy the land and its beauty. It is my hope that others will be inspired to appreciate these surroundings and the people of the region through my works.”
Well rooted in tradition, his acclaimed light filled watercolors and oils capture friendly faces at work and at play, shimmering coastal waterways and defiant structures that are slowly being recaptured by time.
Through this exhibition, you get a sense of the artist and the community he lives in. You can imagine yourself pulling up a chair for a game of checkers or quietly watching a heron wade in the shallows. You can feel the weight of the burlap sack filled with freshly harvested oysters and laugh at an old joke among friends. McKeown’s artwork invites us to slow down, step back, visit with a neighbor and reflect on the beauty that surrounds us all.
The Artport Gallery itself is located in the Tallahassee Regional Airport, 3300 Capital Circle SW, and is open daily from 8:00 am until 11:30 pm. All exhibits in this space are free and open to the public.
This exhibit is one of over a dozen annual exhibitions curated by the Council on Culture & Arts. The exhibit is part of the City of Tallahassee’s Art in Public Places program. For more information about this exhibition, upcoming exhibitions, or the Art in Public Places program, contact Amanda Karioth Thompson at COCA, (850) 224-2500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.