Visual activist with an emphasis on children and the environment since 1996.
Studio hours by appointment during the festival:
Saturday March 6: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday March 7: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Carolina Cleere was born in Pensacola, Florida. She spent her youth exploring Bayou Texar and the Gulf of Mexico near her home. When not outdoors, she entertained herself reading or drawing from nature books.
When summer came, her family would visit the Everglades, Silver Springs, Homosassa Springs, Sunken Gardens, Vizcaya in Miami or The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota.
These early experiences define her to this day and continue to influence her artwork.
She left her beloved Florida to study at the University of Minnesota where she discovered her passion for photojournalism. Newspaper work came naturally to Cleere since politics and social issues had been everyday topics at the family dinner table in her youth. In 1990, Pulitzer prize- winning photographer Eddie Adams chose her as a one of the top one-hundred photojournalism students in the country.
Cleere enjoyed a successful journalism career that took her across the U.S. working for newspapers and wire services in Minneapolis, Seattle, New York and Tampa. Her photography has been published in Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, People, Sports Illustrated, New York Times, and the Washington Post, among others. She won hundreds of journalism awards, including 1995 Georgia photographer of the year and is a five-time winner in the Best of Photojournalism International Pictures of the Year.
Despite her dedication to journalism, she always felt driven to explore her own personal work and the tropical landscape that shaped her identity. Starting in the early eighties, she developed a unique art method that painstakingly blends four different mediums.
Being a self–taught artist allowed her to develop in her own style and on her own time techniques that she continues to expand upon with each piece.
In response to a family tragedy, she began her Icon of Innocence series in 1996, focusing on early childhood development. Cleere creates surreal psychological portraits of defining moments, filled with narrative symbolism. This body of work has been featured in several solo shows and given numerous best of show awards.
Beginning in 1999, Cleere’s personal work has been published in various international art magazines. Today, her work is included in the Cornell Museum of Fine Arts permanent collection, the Museum of Art-DeLand permanent collection, and in many private homes throughout North America and Europe.