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Artist Talk by Photographer Donna Oglesby
Artist Talk by Photographer Donna Oglesby

Sat, May 18


White Building @ Five Deuces Galleria

Artist Talk by Photographer Donna Oglesby

Join us for a special artist talk by featured photographer Donna Oglesby presenting her BLUE: ALWAYS FOR WATER work in our main gallery.

Time + Location

May 18, 2024, 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

White Building @ Five Deuces Galleria, 2101 3rd Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712, USA

About the Event

Join us for a special artist talk by featured photographer Donna Oglesby presenting her BLUE: ALWAYS FOR WATER work in our main gallery.  

Donna is one of the 50+ guest artists with artwork on display in the gallery this month and is our St Pete Month of Photography featured artist.  She  is excited to tell you about how she uses various materials and processes to create and present such amazing work. 

Free entry to see the show, meet the guest artists, meet our resident artists, and see inside their working art studios.  

Big white building near the back of the 3 Daughters Brewing parking lot.  


Our family gathered at the Chassahowitzka River over Thanksgiving weekend in 2021, with gratitude for having survived the Covid pandemic. We celebrated the arrival of a new baby among us and relished the uptempo beat of our shared dance of life: moving from lamentation to hope once again. I felt, in the words of poet Maggie Smith from her poem Lacrimae: … tears — blue always for water, blue running through and under everything.

Carrying these complex emotions along with my Hasselblad 907X 50C onto the river, I knew that the camera lens would point both ways. I made poetic images to bear witness to loss by showing the ecological pain beneath the still beautiful Chassahowitzka River Wildlife Refuge. Nourished by a spring fed, fresh water river, this refuge just north of us, was lush and bursting with richly varied plant, bird and fish life, sustained by healthy hardwood forest and tidal marsh, when we first came to know it. For decades our family has watched in wonder as manatee winter in the warm sheltered fresh water of the spring fed basin.

Now, the vegetation on which they feed is dying, both from saltwater intrusion and large algae blooms. Rising sea levels, increasingly powerful storms, and diversion of fresh water to feed rapid development inland, is laying waste to the Chassahowitzka. Ghost trees and topless palms dot the landscape increasingly flattening into a monoculture marsh. We must bear witness to the transformation; and know that we cannot heal ourselves if the environment that sustains us dies.

Donna Oglesby makes visual commentary about intangible ideas. Her photography is influenced by her experiences as a student in Japan and as an American diplomat in cultural landscapes across four continents. Leaving Saint Petersburg, she served as an American Foreign Service Officer abroad for nearly three decades. She then returned, as Diplomat in Residence at Eckerd College, to teach international relations for twenty years. In 2017, she picked up Leica and Hasselblad cameras and began exploring photographic art. She seeks through her work to widen the repertoire of ways we can feel and communicate passion to others in order to care for our community and the planet we share.

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