Thursday, February 12, 2015

Ernest Lee Paints from the Heart

During the month of February, The Apalachicola Center for History Culture and Art is featuring the art work of Gainesville, Florida’s folk artist, Ernest M Lee and  10 of his local Art Academy students. On three different occasions, Mr. Lee instructed 2 day workshops with the children and grandchildren of Franklin’s Promise Coalition’s Circles Initiative.  The students, 10 to 15 years old, were given hands-on experience with drawing, composition and brushwork.  Mr Lee shared his unique painting techniques offering individual painting time, discussions and critiques.  Each child painted scenes that depicted special memories, honoring their home and a fun and favorite activity.

The exhibit opened today Thur, Feb. 12, and can be viewed Fri, Feb. 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Sat, Feb. 14 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The show will close on Feb. 28.

Join us for our meet and greet reception, honoring Ernest M Lee and the student artists from Franklin County at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art on Fri, Feb. 20 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  

Ernest Lee, 52, grew up in North Carolina, where he learned to love painting during art class as a high school student.  Ernest’s art teacher spent time nurturing his natural abilities then introduced him to Dr. Howard Burchette, the Dean of the Art Department at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina, where Ernest attended college for two years.  When the grant program ended, Ernest had to take a job and became employed by a large Florida lighting company.  Ernest’s love for art never subsided and about ten years ago he started painting every day.   
He has been honored for his work not only at art shows in Cedar Key and Longwood, but also by organizations who recognize his contributions to preserving Florida’s cultural heritage. In 2013, at the Matheson Museum, the Stetson Kennedy Foundation presented Lee with its coveted Fellow Man & Mother Earth Award for thoughtfully depicting the African-American experience during the mid-20th century.

Ernest will be accompanied by his lovely wife, Gloria, who served as his studio assistant throughout the project, at the 12th Annual African-American History Festival on Feb. 20th. He will display a large selection of his work and will be available to talk about the time he has spent with the local children in the Art Academy.

The Art Academy is a collaborative project between the Apalachicola School of Art and Franklin’s Promise Coalition which is possible through the support of the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and the Forgotten Coast Cultural Coalition. You may visit Ernest Lee’s website at

For additional exhibit information contact; Paulette Moss, Director, Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art, 86 Water Street, Apalachicola, Florida 32320, 1-855-APALACH (855-272-5224).

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