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Florida Atlantic University Announce Surfing Florida. A Photographic History A Traveling Exhibition and Book Project

Florida Atlantic University present Surfing Florida: A Photographic History A Traveling Exhibition and Book Project on view in the Schmidt Center Gallery March 17 – May 12, 2012. Opening Reception: March 16, 2012.

Surfing Florida is an exhibition and book project that will present the history of Florida surfing and surf culture including its international dimensions. Florida surfers know that despite consistently marginal surf, the Sunshine State has produced an amazing talent pool that successfully competes globally and that the state has also contributed to the innovation and growth of the equally world-wide surf industry. Its time Florida got its props, including a book on the shelf next to the many California/Hawaii centered publications.

While it is important for the Surfing Florida project to credibly represent the state’s core surfing community, the project also seeks to communicate to less informed audiences about core values and accomplishments of the state’s many surfing communities. The project also coincides with and contributes to preservation and academic efforts that are emerging in America and overseas as modern surfing history approaches it’s 100th year. For instance students at FAU and UCF are receiving academic credit to assist in project research.

Surfing Florida has been in development for well over a year and to date over 25 professional surf photographers have agreed to contribute their images for the exhibition. A modest grant from the Florida Humanities Council has brought scholars from four universities to assist in weaving surfing’s larger themes – nature/religion, environmental activism, surf music, maritime history – into the specifics of Florida’s surfing chronology. Public lectures and film programs will be presented along with the exhibition.

The project is still in a content development stage and welcomes your information about and contributions of photographs, memorabilia and high quality surfboard collections. A statewide effort via “Got FL Surf History ??” post cards are aiding this effort.

We are interested in the community angle, grom shots, epic swells, memorial events, paddle-out ceremonies, benefit events, contests and clubs. We are also considering an impossible listing of every Floridian who has played a significant role in the sport, either in or from the state, whether surfer, shaper, manufacturer, shop owner, activist, politician, etc. To provide materials for consideration, suggest a collection, or nominate a related individual or organization, contact Rod Faulds, Director University Galleries at [email protected] or 561-297-2661.

Surfing Florida: A Photographic History is organized by the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Paul Aho, a lifelong Florida surfer and shaper who actively competed as a teenager is the project’s editor and curator. Aho is an artist and a world-traveled surfer. To achieve the initial research and gathering of materials Aho has divided Florida into seven geographic regions.

As a traveling exhibition, Surfing Florida: A Photographic History will combine a thematically organized historical panel style exhibition combining digital reproductions of vintage photographs and interpretive texts along with many original photographic portfolios of the state’s best known surf photographers and most significant historic photo collections. Selected vintage photographs and media stations will round out the traveling portion of the exhibition. While the traveling exhibition will not include surfboards and other surfing related artifacts, each exhibition venue will be encouraged to work with surfboard collectors in their region to showcase surfboards and other materials appropriate to the size and resources of their exhibition facility. –

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