“Juras invites the viewer to inhabit without distractions of human presence, activity, or metaphor, a singular place of ecological significance. His Little St. Simons portrait preserves in paint an environment that will inevitably alter over time but one hopes will maintain, through careful stewardship, its essential ecological integrity.”
—Janice Simon, from the book
“A full portrait of the island is collectively created when the images are assembled and viewed together. The Wild Treasury of Nature is presented in an order both artistically and ecologically informed, intentionally working its way from the heart of the maritime live oak forest, through the marshes and out to the shoreline. The landscapes gradually become more open as the terrain evolves from dense, intricately tangled greenery to rolling dunes, calm waters and sun-kissed horizons.”
“[Juras] presents us with compelling glimpses of what are called ‘remnant’ landscapes—landscapes filled with native flora and fauna that existed before humans settled the area. . . . Clearly, [he] has done more than just visit these places as a temporary guest. He has roamed their shadowy nooks and crannies, immersing himself in details of the native grasses and palmettos while taking in the grandeur of the blue skies over the Atlantic.”
—Melissa Tufts, Northeast Georgia Living
The fifty-two paintings gathered here reveal as never before the wild beauty of Little St. Simons, an undeveloped barrier island on the Georgia coast. In showing us the island’s marshes and tidal creeks, shrub lands and forests, and dunes and beaches, artist Philip Juras helps us understand the natural and historical forces continually at work on this unique place.
The Wild Treasury of Nature continues Juras’s exploration of the presettlement wilderness of the American South as the earliest naturalists would have encountered it. Strikingly composed and executed, Juras’s island paintings are based on extensive research and many hours spent at the sites he documents. From the contours of a pristine landscape down to the shape and color of its smallest plant, each scene is a historically and ecologically credible rendering of a place that has remained miraculously unspoiled.
The writings that accompany Juras’s paintings describe the natural history and unique cultural past of Little St. Simons in particular and the southern barrier islands in general, place the artwork within the American landscape painting tradition, and underscore the importance of vigilant stewardship for the island and the few remaining American places like it.
Read more about St. Simons Island at the New Georgia Encyclopedia.
List price: $32.95
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