Dawning of a New Day. Angola Community, Florida, 2018, photo by Jeanine Michna-Bales

The Four Moments of the Sun: Hidden Lands of Florida’s Maroon Communities

Jeanine Michna-Bales


Date + Time
February 12, 2020—
November 1, 2020
Reception: March 1, 2020 1:00 pm
Free and open to the public.
AIRIE Nest Gallery
Ernest F. Coe Visitor Center
Everglades National Park
40001 State Hwy 9336
Homestead, FL 33034
Get directions to visit.

The Four Moments of the Sun: Hidden Lands of Florida’s Maroon Communities

During the late 1700s and early 1800s, enslaved Africans escaped into the American wilderness and formed their own communities, sometimes in isolation, and other times near indigenous populations. They became known as “cimarrón” or maroon communities. One such southern haven was the area of land that was to become the state of Florida, and the wilderness of the Everglades.

Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) presents  The Four Moments of the Sun: Hidden Lands of Florida’s Maroon Communities, an exhibition featuring the work of AIRIE Fellow Jeanine Michna-Bales. Bringing together contemporary photography, oral and written histories and extensive historical research, Michna-Bales weaves together the forgotten stories of Florida’s Maroon communities, groups of former slaves who established their own societies in the wilderness of 18th and 19th century Florida.

Michna-Bales narrates this history of escaped slaves through a visual timeline that spans the circumference of the gallery walls, annotated by historical notes and photographs by the artist shot on site at historical locations. Audio excerpts from government records, period texts, newspapers, letters and oral histories will play on loop throughout the gallery, along with ambient noises found in the forests and swamps used for refuge.

Florida’s Maroon Communities were bands of former slaves who had in established societies of their own in different areas of Florida including remote locations such as the Everglades, places where they could not easily be surprised by soldiers or slave catchers.

Curated by Deborah Mitchell.



Exhibition Intro and Image List

Reading List

The State of Florida Map, 1846, noting migration flow

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For the safety and well-being of our artists, community and collaborators, AIRIE has postponed all residency activity and programming in the Everglades. The AIRIE Nest Gallery inside the Ernest F. Coe Visitors Center is closed, as is the main entrance to Everglades National Park, until further notice.

The AIRIE Application for 2021 residencies has been postponed. The application window and new deadline will be announced shortly.

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