Beyond the Icons: America’s Lesser-Known National Parks, the newest exhibit in Biscayne National Park’s Dante Fascell Visitor Center Gallery, features 25 prints with corresponding stories by Sandra Ramos. She wants the images to educate and engage audiences with the importance of these public lands, while highlighting National Park Service sites that are often overlooked in favor of much larger parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon. The exhibit is open daily from 9-5 from August 23 to November 19, 2019. There will be an opening reception with an opportunity to meet the artist on Sunday, August 25, from 1-3 pm. That day is also the 103rd birthday of the National Park Service, and everyone is invited to enjoy birthday cake on the front porch. Additionally, the Biscayne National Park Institute is offering a boat trip/photography workshop with Ramos at Stiltsville, including the rare opportunity to get into one of the buildings on Saturday, August 24 from 9-3. Details on the workshop can be found at www.BiscayneNationalParkInstitute.org.
Ramos, who uses the moniker “National Park Patch Lady” on social media platforms, has visited 185 of the 419 national parks, having serendipitously discovered a new passion six years ago on a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania. That visit “ignited my passion for history, obscure trivia and the search for joy and groundedness,” says Ramos. “National Parks offered everything I didn’t know I was looking for.”
Beyond the Icons is part of the park’s Community Artists Program, started in 1997 as an outlet for artists who are inspired by the beauty of Biscayne National Park. The gallery has featured photography, paintings and drawings in a variety of media, fiber, clay, printmaking and sculpture. The program is supported by the South Florida National Parks Trust, with additional support from the Biscayne National Park Institute and The Stiltsville Trust.