Florida Artists Hall of Fame nature photographer Clyde Butcher  is the focus of a new exhibit, Myakka River: A Florida Treasure, opening Feb. 7 at The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature. The exhibit will feature 30 mural-sized photographs of Myakka's terrain and wildlife, with the goal of increasing preservation efforts for the park and its fresh water. "In this day and age, it's hard for people to find a place that has not been destroyed by man," Butcher told us. "But [Myakka] feels like it has always been there."

A Sarasota County resident, Butcher has been photographing the Florida wilderness for 20 years, capturing scenes of the Everglades, Venice and Myakka in his signature black and white style. When he was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 1998, he was described as "the Ansel Adams of Florida." His work is displayed in three local galleries where visitors are welcome weekly. "Myakka has become my new backyard," says Butcher. "People have no idea how gorgeous this place is."

Florida may be different from when the photographer began his career, but that has not stopped him from developing a special connection to the land and finding new ways to photograph it, even if that means wading through the water to get the perfect shot. 

Butcher will join a panel of judges to determine the winners of Sarasota Magazine's Earth Day Photo Contest. The other judges are Ringling College of Art and Design professor Sally Pettibon, photographer and author of The Lure of Sarasota and Her Islands Mary Lou Johnson, and Sarasota Magazine creative director Gigi Scott Ortwein. Winners' photographs will be published in the April issue of Sarasota Magazine.

Myakka River: A Florida Treasure will be open at the Bishop Museum of Science and Nature from Feb. 7 to Sept. 6. More information can be found here

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