Amanda Walters is a visual artist and writer originally from tropical Florida and obsessed with feathers. She is a dual degree candidate at CCA pursuing her MFA in Studio Practice and an MA in Visual & Critical Studies. She earned her BFA with emphasis in Fiber and Material Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. Before relocating to the Bay Area, Amanda lived and worked in Chicago for some time, where she made art, worked as an archivist, and collected plants. After moving to the Bay Area and even further from Florida, she became acutely aware of how bizarre her home state is, and has not stopped thinking about it since.
Visit her website www.amandawalters.org to learn a little more.
About Amanda Walters’ Thesis Project
Constructing Tropical Paradise: The South Florida Narrative That Stuck
At the turn of the twentieth century, south Florida’s landscape was transformed from pine and oak forest to the pan-tropic paradise familiar today. Borrowing from depictions of tropical landscapes by naturalists in the 18th and 19th centuries and hearkening back to searches for and “re-creations” of the Garden of Eden that inspired European explorers of the 15th century, American developers in the 1920s and thirties combined botanical specimens from around the world to construct a domesticated, heterotopic tropics on western soil. These leisure-industry developments are studied via the tropical-Mediterranean revivalist Miami Biltmore Hotel, the south Florida backyard, and advertisements created for those landscapes.