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The SFSC Museum of Florida Art and Culture (MOFAC) presents “Little Slices of Heaven on U.S. 27,” May 16 through June 15, on the SFSC Highlands Campus in Avon Park. A Third Thursday Reception, featuring the exhibition and participating artists, will be held on Thursday, May 17, 1 p.m., at MOFAC. This exhibition is funded in part by a grant through the Endowment for the Arts.
“Little Slices of Heaven on U.S. 27” features destinations and attractions which existed from 1934 to 1970. It is a visual road trip through bygone Florida via photos, videos, memorabilia, artifacts, and fine art on loan by Florida artists as well as art and historical institutions.
This traveling exhibition focuses on the unique tourist attractions that developed following the construction of U.S. Highway 27. The highway runs almost 500 miles down the middle of the state from Tallahassee to Miami. Nicknamed the “Backbone of Florida,” U.S. Highway 27 served as the state’s principal highway before the construction of Interstates 4 and 75 and brought new visitors to Florida’s less traveled areas. This led not only to an increased appreciation and ultimate preservation of Florida’s natural wonders, but it also spurred the development of several creative, educational, and witty delights up and down the stretch. The exhibition also covers the Tin Can Travelers, visitors who traveled throughout Florida during the 1920s, prior to the construction of U.S. Highway 27.
“Florida has held a creative and quirky appeal, bringing visitors into our state for decades,” said Megan Stepe, MOFAC curator. “This exhibition celebrates many of the parks and roadside attractions which delighted visitors and helped shape our state’s tourist identity. It honors, as well, the road which helped to make it all possible.”
Some of the destinations and attractions included in the exhibition are Wakulla Springs State Park, Silver Springs, Cypress Gardens, Highlands Hammock State Park, Bok Tower Gardens, Sebring International Raceway, Tom Gaskins Cypress Knee Museum, Pirate’s World, Monkey Jungle, as well as hotels, motor lodges, diners, and welcome stations along the way.
Artists participating in this exhibition have contributed work which either refers to the attractions specifically or emphasizes them indirectly. They are Richard Reep, Shannon Cummings, Johanna O’Donnell, Carl Knickerbocker, Curtis Nelson, and Cindy Rose Eaton.
MOFAC is located in the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at SFSC, 600 W. College Dr., Avon Park. The museum is open to the public on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, 12:30 – 4:30 p.m., or by appointment for group tours.
For more information about MOFAC and its programs or to request a museum tour, contact Stepe at 863-784-7240, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the MOFAC website at mofac.org.