The Appleton Museum of Art, College of Central Florida, presents “Water’s Margins: Paintings of Florida’s Springs by Margaret Ross Tolbert,” on view Jan. 27-June 2, 2024.
Over the last four decades, Gainesville-based multimedia artist Margaret Ross Tolbert has traveled extensively throughout areas of Florida and many international destinations that boast exceptional springs, waterways and caves. “Water’s Margins” brings together a selection of Tolbert’s paintings created following visits and plunges into these waters, including some in Marion, Levy and Citrus counties. The idea of the margins between humans and water reflects the interactive fluidity of the crystal-clear waters that flow from the Floridan aquifer.
From large-scale paintings to more intimate works created underwater on pieces of slate, Tolbert uses an array of kaleidoscopic blues and earth tones to express her passion for and understanding of these unique subaquatic environments.
Tolbert earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in painting at the University of Florida and shortly thereafter began exploring the springs. She said, “The paradisiacal Springs of North Florida are my paintings’ subject and metaphor. The springs paintings begin onsite at the water’s edge and often in the water. I swim in the springs; I sketch underwater; I am inspired to write when I am beside them.”
Since the 1980s, Tolbert’s springs paintings have been featured in exhibits and collections in the U.S., Europe and Turkey. Appleton Director Jason Steuber, a longtime appreciator of Tolbert’s work, said, “Water is key to our existence and inspires awe and wonder. Margaret literally submerges herself in her work and her paintings offer us a new appreciation of Florida’s natural resources available at parks and springs that bubble up across the Sunshine State.”
Regular admission fees apply to visit. Admission is free on the first Saturday of each month as part of the Free First Saturday program.
Events with the Artist
Director’s Circle Reception
Saturday, Jan. 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Appleton Director’s Circle members are invited to celebrate the opening of “Water’s Margins” with hors d’oeuvres and wine in the café, and a meet-and-greet with artist Margaret Ross Tolbert. RSVP is required to Colleen Harper, email@example.com, or 352-291-4455, ext. 1831.
Gallery Tours with Margaret Ross Tolbert
Saturday, Feb. 3, 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Take a tour of “Water’s Margins” with artist Margaret Ross Tolbert. Learn more about the work directly from the artist with opportunity to ask questions. Tours will meet in the first-floor Edith-Marie gallery and are free as part of Free First Saturday. Free First Saturdays are sponsored in part by Marion Cultural Alliance, National Endowment for the Arts and CAMPUS USA Credit Union.
The Appleton Museum, Artspace and Store are open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. A campus of the College of Central Florida, the Appleton Museum of Art is located at 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala, east of downtown on SR 40 (exit 352 east off I-75 or exit 268 west off I-95). Parking is free. For more information, call 352-291-4455 or visit AppletonMuseum.org.