By Kathy L. Collins
The May art exhibit at the Bruton Memorial Library in Plant City is a collection of six photographs by Matthew Croxton, a long time resident of Plant City. The photographs are images Croxton took in early 2014 to document a few of the many scenes at the Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve.
The Lower Green Swamp Nature Preserve is a 12,809 acre tract owned and managed by the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. It is a biologically diverse tract of land with cypress swamps, freshwater marshes, pine flatwoods and hardwood hammocks. The southeastern area of the tract is accessible to the public for hiking and equestrian activities.
Croxton’s favorite areas to visit “are the cypress stands that are dotted across the large preserve; each dome has a unique architecture and the glades that surround some of them are very special places in which to observe the changing light.”
Croxton said in his artist’s statement, “My approach to photography brings together a passion for making images with a zeal for educating others about the natural beauty and biology of Florida landscape. For me, this enables the process of education to escape the pages of a textbook or reference work, and take on a life that engages learners and viewers at an emotional level.”
Each of the 16 by 20 in. prints were captured in a RAW format by Croxton’s camera, and then processed using several tools via computer. However, Croxton goes to great lengths to make sure that no major elements of the scene were manipulated. He uses this process to express the colors, tones and feelings experienced at the moment the shutter is opened.
The public can purchase signed and assembled matted originals of Croxton’s work at Southern Hospitality located at 1709 James L. Redman Pkwy in Plant City. Croxton’s photographs will be on display at the library located at 302 W. McLendon St. in Plant City through the end of May during normal operating hours. For more information on the preserve located at 3536 Knights Griffin Rd. E. in Plant City, visit www.Hillsborough County.org/parks.