by Lisa Farese
It was a blending of expressions - all ages, all levels of expertise and all mediums imaginable came together as one. The result? Vibrant works that hung adjacent to one another, depicting a woven tapestry of St. Augustine created by none other than the very residents who call this historic city home.
It was Ancient City Mosaic, and the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration team is bringing it back as part of the Tapestry: The Cultural Threads of First America exhibition. Celebrating the three cultures that formed the foundation of the American culture—Hispanic, African and Native American cultures—this exhibition has three main prongs.
There will be a signature, 4,000-square-foot exhibition, a community-wide passport program and, of course, Ancient City Mosaic. The main exhibition will have a strong archeological component to it. Additionally, there will be a council hut built to scale, a model of the San Pelayo ship on which Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés traveled to St. Augustine in 1565 donated by Avilés, Spain, early maps and documents, and even interactive touch screens.
“It’s a contemporary cultural expression of who we are,” said Dana Ste.Claire, director of the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration. Addition-ally, the passport program will take the exhibition even further with a citywide guide to exhibitions and locations that relate and continue to tell the story of these cultures. “It will connect visitors, school students and residents to 30 plus historic sites,” Ste. Claire said.
Finally, residents of all ages and abilities are invited to take part in the final component—Ancient City Mosaic. Canvases will be available at various locations throughout St. Augustine for pickup during the call to artists next month. The inspiration for which is “St. Augustine through their eyes.”
“We want the community to help us build the exhibition,” Ste.Claire said. “It is like a giant birthday card to St. Augustine and an expression of St. Augustine culture.”
The community pieces will be displayed in the Visitor Information Center in downtown St. Augustine alongside the main exhibition starting in early April.
“This is a celebration of who we are, our culture and our special history,” said Ste.Claire. “We want to embrace it as a community.” For more information, visit www.staugustine-450.com or like the St. Augustine 450th Commemoration Facebook page for reminders on the upcoming call to artists at https://www.facebook.com/450th.
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