January 10 - 12, 2013
Click here to visit their website.
Pensacola Museum of Art
May 24 - September 1, 2012
Click here to visit the exhibition's page
Schmidt Center Gallery
Boca Raton, FL
March 17 - May 12, 2012
Image credits: Lee Sutherland
Surfing Florida: A Photographic History comes at a time when surfers throughout the world are beginning to seriously document this vital sport and lifestyle through books,museums and surfing history organizations. While Florida is part of this movement, it is also challenged by its reputation for lackluster surf. Yet, because of the inconsistent surf, surfers from Florida share an insatiable hunger for waves and an aggressive approach to the sport that has resulted in an incredible number of world titles for Florida’s competitive surfers and a deep cultural history. Surfing Florida seeks to foster the movement to archive and document Florida surf history through collaboration, association and contributions from all corners of Florida’s statewide surfing community.This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Konica Minolta is providing technical and production support for a Surfing Florida book.
Surfing Florida is an exhibition and book project that will present the history of Florida surfing and surf culture including its international dimensions. Florida surfers know that despite consistently marginal surf, the Sunshine State has produced an amazing talent pool that successfully competes globally and that the state has also contributed to the innovation and growth of the equally world-wide surf industry. It's time Florida got its props, including a book on the shelf next to the many California/Hawaii centered publications.
While it is important for the Surfing Florida project to credibly represent the state’s core surfing community, the project also seeked to communicate to less informed audiences about core values and accomplishments of the state’s many surfing communities. The project also coincided with and contributed to preservation and academic efforts that are emerging in America and overseas as modern surfing history approaches it’s 100th year. For instance, students at FAU and UCF were receiving academic credit to assist in project research.
Surfing Florida: A Photographic History was organized by the University Galleries at Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton. Paul Aho, a lifelong Florida surfer and shaper who actively competed as a teenager was the project’s editor and curator. Aho is an artist and a world-traveled surfer. To achieve the initial research and gathering of materials, Aho divided Florida into seven geographic regions.
As a traveling exhibition, Surfing Florida: A Photographic History will combine a thematically organized historical panel style exhibition combining digital reproductions of vintage photographs and interpretive texts along with many original photographic portfolios of the state’s best known surf photographers and most significant historic photo collections. Selected vintage photographs and media stations will round out the traveling portion of the exhibition. While the traveling exhibition will not include surfboards and other surfing related artifacts, each exhibition venue will be encouraged to work with surfboard collectors in their region to showcase surfboards and other materials appropriate to the size and resources of their exhibition facility.
Daytona Beach, 1939. This early photo, shot during the first East Coast Surfing Championship includes Dudley and Bill Whitman, considered the State’s first surfers and board builders along with Gaulden Reed. Photo: courtesy Patti Light for the Gaulden Reed Archive.
Florida has certainly produced a lion’s share of world class talent, including multiple world title holders Kelly Slater, Frieda Zamba and Lisa Andersen. Centered here is a young Slater, now nine-time world champ, with (l to r) Todd Holland, Scott McCranels, Rich Rudolph, Matt Kechle and Charlie Kuhn. Photo: Tony Aruzza, all rights reserved.
The Smyrna Surfari Club, 1960s. Likely the oldest club in the state, New Smyrna’s Surfari Club remains vital by putting purpose into practice – providing scholarship support for local youth, mentoring its own and positioning Smyrna as a player in surfing’s hierarchy. Photo: courtesy, Smyrna Surfari Surf Club.
Surfing Florida project is supported by many community volunteers. The oral history component of the project, an effort to develop deep first hand content and preserve history, is a collaborative effort of the University Galleries, FAU; the FAU Department of History; the University of Central Florida History Department’s RICHES Program; and the Cocoa Beach Surf Museum. Other academic departments at FAU that are contributing to the program include the Department of Music and the School of Communication and Multi-Media Studies, Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters.
Thank you to the Surfers Journal for a complete set of bound volumes of their acclaimed publication for the project’s research efforts and the FAU Libraries collection. Special Thanks to BigBuddhaBaba, Los Angeles and Crispin Porter + Bogusky, miami and Boulder for project development support.
Funding for the Surfing Florida project was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication, program, exhibition, and/or website do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Images in grid (starting from top left):
Row one : A day in the water is still a day in the water. Miami Beach shows its mid 1960s lets go surfin’ enthusiasm. Photo courtesy: Bill Whiddon.
Row three : Mimi Munro, age 14, winning 3rd place in the 1966 San Diego World Contest. Mimi remains an advocate of the art of noseriding and runs a surf camp mentoring the next generation in her hometown of Ormond Beach. Right photo: Leroy Grannis, both photos courtesy Mimi Munro.