Noted Cross Creek artist and former Alachua County Commissioner Kate Barnes has created the poster image for the 46th annual Santa Fe College Spring Arts Festival that will be held Saturday-Sunday, April 11-12, 2015, on Northeast First Street and the grounds of the Thomas Center in downtown Gainesville’s historic district. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.The poster will be unveiled in a ceremony with the artist at 2 p.m. today (Tuesday, March 24) in the President’s Lobby at the Northwest Campus of Santa Fe College, 3000 NW 83 Street, Gainesville. Barnes’ exhibit will be on display until April 13, 2015.The poster image—titled “Spring Morning, Cross Creek”—portrays the pink light of dawn reflecting on the creek as a man and woman fish amid a watery landscape laced with cypress trees.
“Kate’s image for this year’s festival dovetails with the play ‘Invasion of Privacy’ that Santa Fe will be producing in June about Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Cross Creek’s most famous resident,” said Cultural Programs Coordinator Kathryn Lehman. “We’re thrilled that Kate agreed to work with us because she herself is a cultural icon of Alachua County who has lived across the street from the Rawlings House for many years.”
“When I was asked to do a poster image, I wanted to do an image of the creek itself,” Barnes explained, “especially since I’ve spent almost 44 years here and painted Cross Creek 200 or 300 times. Each time, the light is different.”
Barnes trained in painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and at the Cleveland Institute of Art. After graduation, she spent four years in Japan where she immersed herself in the country’s aesthetics and homemaking arts including brush painting, flower arranging, scroll painting and woodblock prints. She developed a painting style that incorporated Asian composition and the crystallization of forms into different brush strokes. She cites Claude Monet, John Singer Sargent, and Winslow Homer as artistic influences, as well as “the group of people who went to Giverny to study with the French masters. This is the milieu in which I still work, American Impressionism.”
According to Barnes, both the festival posters and t-shirts for 2015 will be limited edition works of art because of how they are being printed by Gainesville’s Dragonfly Graphics. “These days, t-shirts are created by digitizing images and printing them as photocopies,” she explained. “What we are doing this year is harking back to the original silkscreen process, in which the artist creates not only the image but also the separations of each color—so each t-shirt is printed six times. This technique produces a handcrafted product, a limited edition. The poster image is printed by the same silkscreen technique on paper, so the posters will be limited editions of an original print.”