AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs exhibition continues at Thomas Center Galleries

Joy in the Sun and Spring by Mark Long.

Joy in the Sun and Spring by Mark Long.

AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs, on display until January 6 at the Thomas Center Galleries, offers visitors a chance to experience amazing art and learn about protecting North Florida’s springs.

The exhibition, curated by Margaret Ross Tolbert, is based on her award-winning book of the same title. A multi-media art experience in the truest sense, the exhibition juxtaposes Tolbert’s dramatic, large-scale springs paintings and eloquent poetry with contributing artists’ and scientists’ photographs, videos, cartography and writings. Featured is the underwater photography by Jill Heinerth, Mark Long and Tom Morris, and springs maps by Eric Hutcheson, Georgia Shemitz and Jhwum-Ki-ak.

Among the most remarkable natural wonders of the Sunshine State is the seldom-seen, underground Floridan aquifer system, a 100,000 square mile life force that reaches into neighboring states and feeds more than 1,000 freshwater springs throughout Florida. AQUIFERious: Enter the Springs is intended to give the audience a greater understanding and appreciation of Florida’s subterranean water system, while celebrating its extraordinary beauty and that of the fragile springs that arise from the system’s depths.

To accompany the exhibition, Thomas Center Galleries also presents programs and opportunities for discussion about the springs, and how they serve as a rich platform to connect art and science.

Upcoming companion events include:
Immersed: An Evening of Springs Films
Thursday, Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. (Galleries open at 6 p.m.

Noted directors take the stage to screen segments from their films including: Jill Heinerth’s “We are Water,” Bill Belleville and Bob Giguere’s new “Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs,” “Eric Flagg’s Ichetucknee Springs,” Lesley Gamble’s otherworldly films, the creators of the Sirena film shorts and others.

Wet Talks: Springs Lovers’ Show and Tell
Tuesday, Jan. 5 at 7 p.m. (Galleries open at 6 p.m.)

Adding their voice to AQUIFERious, enthusiasts will be given three minutes to share their springs passion, efforts or expertise in photography, poetry, writing, or simply the spoken word. To participate, call 352-393-8185, bring a flash drive and/or sign up at the event to take your turn at the podium.

The Thomas Center Galleries are located at 302 NE Sixth Ave., Gainesville, FL 32601. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The galleries are closed for observed holidays. For additional gallery information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at 352-393-8532 or visit

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