‘SOMETHING FISHY’: Everett’s exhibit at JCA is ‘just plain fun’

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 2, 2019

Russell Everett stroked his chin, narrowed his eyes and gave his artwork a slow nod.

Everett will be a featured artist in the Johnson Center for the Art’s Summer Show that will open on Wednesday, August 7. His work will be featured in the JCA’s lower gallery and will include 35 large pieces that are different from what might be expected of the Troy University artist.

“I usually draw figures and I can do landscapes and still life but, yeah, these are different,” Everett said of the graphic pen and watercolor artwork that will be feature in the Summer Show. After a thought, he said, “Mixed media. I guess I would say it is.”

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What Wiley White, JCA exhibition coordinator, would say of Everett’s exhibit is “amazing…and just plain fun.”
Everett’s exhibition is titled “Something Fishy” and it is, “fishy.” There are big fish and little fish, round fish and flat fish that look as if, maybe, Dr. Seuss had an influence on Everett’s work.

It’s as if Everett dreamed about fish and put together an exhibit that was both realistic and surreal.

But, scratch through “Something Fishy” and title Russell Everett’s show “Lower Alabama/Northern Florida Billboards” and that brings his artwork into sharp focus and clear understanding.

Everett admitted he considered the alternate title for the exhibition because his inspiration came from the “old, ugly billboards” that once lined the highways from LA into FLA.

He thought the marine life deserved better than they had gotten on those “old, ugly billboards” so he gave the sea creatures and a few Florida four-footed beings their just dues.

Everett’s subjects include sailfish, grouper, crabs, flounder, swordfish and manatees and armadillos, panthers, black bears and flamingos.

And, the artist’s critters and creatures have personality.

“You can’t help but fall in love with them,” White said. “Russell’s exhibit is different and it’s one that is not to be missed.
What might be considered the centerpiece of the “Something Fishy” exhibition is actually titled “LA/North FLA Billboards” and showcases a sailfish and oranges from FLA and peaches from LA and four suns because the Seminoles referred to Florida as The Land of Four Suns.

White said, whether the exhibit is title “Something Fishy” or “LA/North FLA Billboard,” it is testimony to the incredible talent of Russell Everett and his amazing imagination.