Guardians of the Everglades®

To introduce the public to the fragile beauty of the Everglades and its unique ecosystem; to honor today’s leadership in conservation and restoration through great art and compelling human stories; and to encourage the public and policy makers to participate in the protection of the Everglades.

Goals & Objectives


  • Great Art - Portraits, Sheer Banners, Landscape Photos
  • Compelling Stories of Ten Heros of Conservation
  • Awesome Natural Beauty and Fragility
  • Incalculable Value to Humans
  • Online Education


  • Presenting great art, storytelling, honoring conservation heros, entertaining, educating, supporting and influencing policy via multi-media exhibition of powerful classical portraits, evocative endangered species panels, giant landscape photographs, short video loops of interviews with each Guardian, original music and situational projections, all as part of the installation, and an accompanying one hour documentary film to be shown in conjunction with the exhibition and independently.

    A Webinar geared to Florida middle school standards, and a virtual museum tour are in production in order to reach schools and more remote areas of the US and beyond US borders.
  • Producing a one hour nationally broadcast television documentary of the Guardians’ message, Nicholas, Connie and Clyde’s art and why the Everglades ecosystem is critical. (PBS, National Geographic, Discovery, and/or others including the networks and foreign outlets.)

    The film will be submitted to major film festivals including the Washington, DC, Environmental Film Festival, Wildscreen in England, Miami International Film Festival, International Wildlife Film Festival in Montana, The Hamptons International Film Festival as well as Sundance, Telluride and others.

    Veteran environmental filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown in association with Distinguished Film Producer Chris Palmer has released the Trailer, and the full length film is in production.
  • Independently available documentary film on DVD and digital download via Netflix, Comcast, etc., and the Guardians of the Everglades web site, plus an app for iPad and smart phones and continued use of social media including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vimeo.

  • Producing a coffee-table type book with the portraits, documentary photographs and text about the work of each Guardian as well as the creation of the project and additional material on Connie’s conservation photography and unique presentation and Clyde’s black and white landscape photography.  The book would also have a DVD of the show.  

Great art:

  • Great art, especially and maybe uniquely classical portraiture, and especially in partnership with still and moving photographic art, can move mountains -- or stop juggernauts.

    Nicholas, Connie, Clyde and film Director, Sandy Cannon-Brown, are each highly regarded in their art disciplines. Each has won numerous awards, and their art is in museums, galleries and corporate and private homes in the US and abroad.

    The visual art presented will draw the attention and awe of visitors, especially the central art presentation of ten life-size oil portraits. The totality of the exhibition -- portraits, landscapes, diaphanous endangered species banners, and the depth of understanding portrayed in the documentary film -- will have a dynamic, emotional impact that will honor the Guardians and their work, educate the public and stimulate renewed conservation of the Everglades ecosystem.


  • Telling a compelling story about the heroes who have dedicated their lives to conservation of the Everglades ecosystem is essential.  Each Guardian is a story in him or herself, and each represents a different aspect of Everglades conservation.

    We will interview each Guardian with Nicholas, the portrait artist, discussing with him or her the nature of their involvement and dedication, then adding documentary photographs of what they do and how the project was created.  We will also interview each of the artists -- Nicholas, Connie, Clyde and Sandy -- and people associated with the Guardians and with the artists to talk about what motivated them to put so much time, talent and attention into Everglades conservation.

    This is a great story, a compelling exhibition, modern in presentation, and a documentary film to watch for its own sake, upbeat in pacing to keep viewers’ interest in these stories. Note: there is no other similar exhibition/project to be found with people, conservation, portraiture, photography, video, projected images, and educational materials. There is no record of any portrait artist producing a series of this quality dedicated to a single cause.

Honoring conservation heroes:

  • Each of the ten Guardians deserves our thanks and appreciation for all they have done, and are doing, to preserve the integrity of the Everglades. Perhaps one may be offered as a CNN Hero of the Planet, but in any case, they are each examples to young people of what dedication and persistence can achieve and how each can offer his or her own talents to contribute to the whole effort.

    The Guardians themselves range in age from Chief Buffalo Tiger of the Miccosukee at age 93 to the Jones twins, Marshall and Keith in their early 30s, and their five year old sons, taking Everglades conservation into the 21st Century.


  • Unless you can engage the awe and imagination of visitors, exhibition art is a failure.  Guardians of the Everglades communicates in 21st Century mode -- a multi-media installation.

    The portraits are full size and powerful, each one engaging and confronting the viewer directly. The looped video uses words and moving images absent from the intense stillness of the portraits. The diaphanous banners suggest that each of the endangered species featured is already on the edge, swaying, vulnerable, giving way, maybe forever. They can even be pushed aside. The enveloping landscapes capture the magical light in minute detail, creating an understanding of the hugeness of the Everglades. Additional features give the feel of the Everglades; water projected onto the floor; music evoking the sounds; explanatory labels to read and ponder.  Opening lectures featuring Nicholas, Connie and Clyde will enhance the experience.


  • Many people, even those living near the Everglades, know little about its value and importance to all life in south Florida, and know even less about the often quiet but dedicated people standing in the way of destruction of the Everglades.

    As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the portion of the ecosystem designated as the Everglades National Park, is known worldwide and hosts visitors from around the world, so education can and should extend to the world beyond the US borders. A Webinar geared to Florida middle school standards, and a virtual museum tour are in production in order to reach well beyond the US borders.


  • Public support can be channeled through existing charities supported by each of the Guardians as well as each of the artists. The web site as well as a printed brochure accompanying the exhibition will direct public contributions to each selected charity so individuals can contribute in the name of their favorite Guardian or artist.

Everglades Restoration:

  • Without state and national commitment to restoration of that part of the ecosystem that has suffered in previous years, and conservation of that part of the ecosystem that has remained relatively healthy, deterioration of environmental quality will continue until even human habitation in south Florida may be tenuous.

    Understanding on the grass roots level is essential to support representatives in Tallahassee and in Washington to continue to commit adequate expertise and funds to restoration.  The entire exhibition should travel to Tallahassee, to the US Capitol, and key legislators should have copies of the DVD delivered personally by the artists and/or any Guardians willing or able to participate.


The full exhibition and documentary film are scheduled to be released in the Fall of 2013.  Film Festivals in the US and in Europe, and Museum Exhibitions will follow. Portraits, banners, landscapes, projections, film clips, full documentary film and on-line educational component will then begin a three year multi-state tour, with the possibility of a European tour to follow. The book may be published then or shortly after.

Preview exhibition have been successfully mounted at

  • Museum of Florida Art and Culture, Avon Park, December 2011 - January 2012;
  • Museum of the Everglades, Everglades City, February 2012;
  • Everglades National Park Coe Visitors’ Center, March 2012;
  • Deering Estate at Cutler, Miami, November 2012 - January 2013.

Other venues are under consideration in Florida and throughout the country. Landau Traveling Exhibitions has agreed to tour the exhibition.


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