St. Pete, FL
Fairgrounds St. Pete Project
Skunk Ape Shares Lima Beans with Martian, ceramic, Florida-salvaged wood, preserved mosses, paint
For FLORIDARAMA, Calan created a diorama rooted in folklore and inspired by friendship and diversity. The setting is the Florida Everglades forest where a juvenile Florida skunk ape shares a bowl of lima beans with a martian. Cryptozoologists claim that lima beans are the skunk ape’s favorite food and use them to lure the Bigfoot-like cryptid. The Everglades are home to both skunk apes as well as some very well known claims of alien encounters and UFO sightings. For Skunk Ape Shares Lima Beans with Martian, Calan creates a narrative where these two creatures, whose very existence is questionable, could be in the same place at the same time, with no humans to bear witness. What would happen? Would they battle? Run from each other? What if, despite their vast differences, they forged a friendship? What if the simple act of sharing a plate of beans was all it took to see past the ‘otherness’ and turn strangers into friends?
Originally from NY, Calan Ree has called St. Pete, FL home for 20 years. Her ceramic and mixed media figurative sculptures have been shown in group exhibitions and solo shows and can be found in the homes of collectors in the US and abroad. Her work can be described as haunting and sweet, macabre yet humorous. Ree uses dichotomy to reach the viewer on a subconscious level. Says Calan, “I am always striving to create work that will gently tug at the viewer’s heart strings. By creating work that moves me in some way, I can often create a similar experience in others. Whether it brings to mind a personal memory, a deep emotion or a simple smile, the art’s ability to stir something in the viewer is evidence of a human connection we all share; a connection that is undeniably beautiful.”
7 Questions with FLORIDARAMA artist Calan Ree on Fairground St. Pete’s blog