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Seahorse Key artist-in-residence chosen

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By Samantha Grenrock

UF/IFAS

The Cedar Key Artist-in-Residence Program has selected painter Daniel Gottsegen as artist in residence for 2017. Known for his meditative renderings of the natural world, Gottsegen will live and work at the University of Florida Seahorse Key facilities Feb. 12 to 18.

Sponsored by the Cedar Key Arts Center, UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Friends of the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges, the artist-in-residence program gives artists the opportunity to draw inspiration from the natural beauty of the Nature Coast, said Mendy Allen, program coordinator for the UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, Florida.

For the last four years, artists in residence have stayed at the Seahorse Key Lighthouse, a pre-Civil War structure that offers excellent views of the key and the Gulf of Mexico. Seahorse Key is also the site of the UF/IFAS Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory, which provides lodging and other resources for researchers studying local wildlife and coastal systems.

“We hope the meeting of art and science in a place such as Seahorse Key will be a fruitful one,” Allen said.

The island’s isolation is a plus for the artist looking to get away from it all, Allen added. “This is a chance for artists to focus on their work in a tranquil environment free of modern distractions or interruptions,” she said. “For example, there is no internet connection on the island.”

Gottsegen was chosen from 50 applicants from across the country, making this year’s residency the most competitive to date. The selection committee was comprised of faculty from the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, local artists and others from the Cedar Key community.

Gottsegen, who lives and works in rural Vermont, often paints in uninhabited wilderness settings that may be miles off marked trails or at high elevations, Allen said. Seahorse Key, a small island three miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico, seems an ideal place to continue his work, she said.

A gallery showing of Gottsegen’s Seahorse Key paintings is set for April 2017 at the Cedar Key Arts Center’s Members Gallery.