Calusa Deer

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This vibrant painting, titled "Calusa with Deer," captures a significant aspect of Sarasota County's rich historical tapestry. The piece is a tribute to the Calusa, who were a powerful and sophisticated Native American tribe that inhabited the coastal areas of southwest Florida, including what is now Sarasota County. The image of the deer, depicted in black, yellow, and red against a bold blue background, symbolizes the deep connection the Calusa had with their natural environment. Deer were not only a source of sustenance for the tribe but also held spiritual significance, representing the harmonious relationship between the Calusa people and the wildlife that surrounded them. The use of distinct colors in the deer figures reflects the tribe's use of natural dyes and their artistic expression.

The inclusion of the word "Calusa" prominently on the canvas serves as a reminder of the tribe's influential presence in the region. The Calusa were known for their complex society, which included highly organized fishing and trading networks, advanced tool-making skills, and impressive wooden structures. This painting by Mandy Fulton commemorates the heritage and contributions of the Calusa to Sarasota County's early history, serving as a visual homage to their enduring legacy. By highlighting these emblematic elements, the artwork not only honors the Calusa's past but also educates viewers about the importance of preserving and acknowledging the cultural history of Sarasota County.



Mandy Fulton

Mandy Fulton is completing her final year at Ringling College of Art and Design, studying fine arts. In Sarasota, she runs a local tie dye business where you can find her on Instagram @thetiedyeria. Her art work is primarily experimental. She uses mediums such as mold that allow room for chance to come into play, while incorporating elements of control herself. Mandy is currently interested in the art of abstraction through nature, but she used to work more figurative-based.

I wanted to be a part of this experience to bring art to the community, and do so with fellow friends. I think sidewalk art is such an exciting way to view art, getting to walk up directly on what you are looking at is a fun way to experience seeing art work. The variety of different artist's styles is something else that I love about this experience. Each piece is so diverse in style, and as you walk from square to square you can recall seeing an artist's hand you have already become familiar with. This project also brought a lot of people together in a positive way. Families gathering on a hot sunny day to paint together was very heart warming.

First, a clown. Then, Sarasota's Citrus Growers Association. An old drive-in movie theatre. Then, a map of the state, surrounded by native plants. I even had the pleasure of painting Elvis! I completed an alligator in Myakka State Park. And finally, an illustration-based piece of an old railroad.

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