Fairgrounds St. Pete Project
Poseidon Estates: A Retirement Community For Merpeople, digital painting, acrylic, clay, found objects, wood, metal, fabric and resin
In Eileen’s world there is a secret gated retirement community somewhere in north Tampa for a tribe of Merpeople who originated off the coast of the Florida Keys. Known as The Kailani, they are sometimes called “the halfway people” because they had acquired the ability to breathe in and out of water due to living in and around the oxygen rich coral reef waters. In the 1980’s, due to global warming, the ocean water started to become devoid of its life-giving oxygen and they worried that it would soon be inhospitable to their survival. Thus, the Kailani developed technology that allowed them to hear international broadcasts in order to monitor the situation. Several years ago, when they heard that climate change deniers were becoming more prevalent and the US had left the Paris Accord, they started working on an escape plan. Emigrating through the Atlantic, making their way to the Gulf of Mexico, they came upon a sunken vessel off the coast of Miami. They used the windfall to build a luxurious community in which they employ humans to help them get around and act as servants. These expatriates have many of the same characteristics as our own species, and though we may think of them as a homogenous group, they differ enormously from each other just as we humans do. One of the residents, an elderly Merwoman named Nonmo is turning 130, and has thrown a big party. Eileen’s diorama depicts the celebration around her lavish pool.
Eileen Goldenberg is a painter, sculptor and writer who enjoys mixed media, assemblage and mosaics. She has exhibited at the Tampa International Airport, St. Pancras Station in London, Gallery 221, Scarfone Gallery, Mize Gallery and Florida Craft Art and participated in group shows in NYC, New Jersey, LA and other locations. Eileen also writes and illustrate children’s books. She belongs to a woman’s art collective, Creatives Exchange, and serves on various art boards and committees, including the Outdoor Arts Foundation and Artspace. A recent project is the interactive Get out the Vote mural in Seminole Heights, honoring her shero, the late Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Of Fairgrounds St. Pete, Eileen says, “I am excited to be a participant for this very innovative addition to Tampa Bay’s cultural landscape!”
7 Questions with FLORIDARAMA artist Eileen Goldenberg on the Fairgrounds St. Pete Blog