Thomas Center Galleries Announce Opening of CROSS CREEK RISING The Consciousness of Land and Water


The Thomas Center Galleries are proud to announce the new exhibition CROSS CREEK RISING The Consciousness of Land and Water. Presented in conjunction with the Friends of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Farm, the exhibition is part of the “Year of Cross Creek” celebration, which commemorates the 75th anniversary of the publication of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ “Cross Creek” and “Cross Creek Cookery.” An opening reception is Friday, Sept. 29 from 7-10 p.m. as part of Artwalk Gainesville.

This expansive juried exhibition of painting, drawing, sculpture and photography will fill the Historic Thomas Center’s Main and Mezzanine Galleries Friday, Sept. 29 through Saturday, Jan. 6. Chosen from almost 300 submitted pieces, the 90 works of art by 70 artists pay tribute to the wilderness, land and water that inspired the artistic voice of Rawlings.

Images from the exhibition may be viewed online at

In 1928, a little-known northern journalist named Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings used a small inheritance to purchase, sight unseen, an orange grove and derelict house on a strait of land between two lakes in southeast Alachua County - the hamlet called Cross Creek. Rawlings abandoned city life to take up residence in those mysterious and challenging palm, pine and live oak hammocks of north Florida, and, in doing, so she discovered her artistic voice.

The natural surroundings of Cross Creek on Rawlings were seminal to her life and her work. Rawlings won the 1939 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for “The Yearling,” and is recognized as one of America’s great writers.

The year 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of the 1942 publication of “Cross Creek,” an autobiographical account of Rawling’s life at “the creek.” In it, Rawlings wrote, “...the consciousness of land and water must lie deeper in the core of us than any knowledge of our fellow beings. We were bred of earth before we were born of our mothers. Once born, we can live without mother or father, or any kin, or any friend, or any human love. We cannot live without the earth or apart from it, and something is shriveled in a man’s heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of man.”

CROSS CREEK RISING The Consciousness of Land and Water is made possible with the support ofthe Friends of Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Farm, VisitGainesville and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

The Thomas Center Galleries are located at 302 NE Sixth Ave. in Gainesville. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 1-4 p.m. The galleries are closed for observed holidays. For additional gallery information, please contact Russell Etling, cultural affairs manager, at 352-393-8532 or visit

For additional information about this exhibit, please contact Anne E. Gilroy, Thomas Center Galleries curator, at