Our “Celebrate & Explore Our Wilderness Parks” Exhibition at the Beaches Museum has about a month left in its current location. It will remain in the Dickinson Gallery at the Beaches Museum through November 7. That gives you time to visit the display which showcases Northeast Florida’s parks and preserves and includes information on our history, our partner focuses, and through beautiful art and photography by local artists Kathy Stark, Tom Schifanella, and Will Dickey.
We wanted to give you insight into these artists so for the next few weeks, we will be posting these blogs where we ask each artist three questions. First up is award-winning photographer Will Dickey.
Will has a passion for capturing images of the landscapes, seascapes, and wildlife that are found throughout the region. He developed an interest in photography while in high school and college in Alabama. His work has been displayed in local art galleries and exhibited at area outdoor art festivals. Will served as a staff photographer for the Florida Times-Union for 37 years where he won regional and national awards for his photographs. He retired from the paper last year and continues to capture the natural beauty of Northeast Florida especially in the Timucuan Preserve and around the St. Johns River.
What inspires you?
I’ve always loved nature, growing up in the piney woods of south Alabama and spending many days hunting, fishing and just being outside. So when I got my first camera as a teenager, it was natural for me to aim it at what was around me, what I loved. Fortunately, I moved to Jacksonville 37 years ago, a place surrounded by nature. Being out there inspires me to celebrate the natural beauty of this world the best way I know how, my photography.
What is your creative process?
My creative process is pretty simple. I first pick out a place I want to visit, get up early, and get there before sunrise. As each day is different, I react to the conditions and choose the best composition I can find. I tend to return to certain good locations many times, as each visit is different. There are a few locations that are better late in the afternoon, but morning is usually better for most locations.
Why do you feel it’s important to protect and celebrate the nature found in our parks?
We are blessed to have the Timucuan Parks so near and available to everyone. My love for the Timucuan began when I first moved here, and it grows as I spend more time in these special places. Future generations will judge us by how we protect and preserve our natural areas, so we need to be mindful of this every time we visit, to tread lightly and leave the park as we found it.
Timucuan Parks Foundation’s 20th Anniversary “Celebrate & Explore Our Wilderness Parks” Exhibition is at the Beaches Museum at 381 Beach Blvd. in Jacksonville Beach. Admission to the museum is free thanks to the generous donation of Maxwell and Edna Dickinson. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase TPF’s “Special Places” coffee table book which features Will Dickey’s photographs. If purchased through the TPF website, a portion of the proceeds of the “Special Places” book directly supports the wilderness parks. For more information, visit beachesmuseum.org or call (904) 241-5657.