FORT LAUDERDALE — The Visual Arts Series, featuring Seminole artists Elgin Jumper, Jimmy Osceola and the debut of Stephanie Hall, opened Nov. 16 at the New River Inn in Fort Lauderdale. In celebration of November as Native American History Month, the Seminole artists worked with the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society on the exhibit, which will run until Jan. 15.
The exhibit includes a new offering of paintings from Jimmy Osceola that feature a mixture of scenes from the Big Cypress and Brighton reservations.
“Most of my paintings in my collection are acrylics but I’ve been trying to get away from it and been trying oils,” he said. “It’s called pioneer, going on site for two and a half hours and painting. Since they’re done in two and a half hours you have to scale it down, then later touch them up in my studio. These paintings have been done in the last year.”
Osceola also had a series of Seminole portraits using the same pioneer techniques used for his landscape paintings.
In her debut, Stephanie Hall, an aspiring artist and poet, recited her poem “Drive-thru” and an untitled piece during the reception. The poems reflect her life experiences while living on the reservation.
During the reception, Hall discussed what inspired her to write and paint.
“When I had a desire to learn to paint, I went to my uncle Elgin (Jumper) and it was open doors,” she said. “He let me use his supplies and showed me what to do. It’s a really supported Seminole artists community, really encouraging. We are always looking for new artists. I just want people to reach out to Elgin and me if they want help getting started painting or writing or whatever.”
Elgin Jumper gave the reception’s closing remarks. He thanked everyone for attending the opening and supporting the artists and the event.
He said he looks forward to working with the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society and the New River Inn on a program to help showcase up-and-coming Seminole artists.
“It’s a long-term program over the next seven years that has to do with the next Seminole artist – the Seminole artist on the rise,” he said. The Seminole writers, poets, the painters [will] have a place to exhibit.”
Also on exhibit is the William D. and Edith M. Boehmer collection of photographs of Seminoles from 1938 until the 1960s. The collection captures the daily life of the Seminole people.