provided to The Santiva Chronicle
The J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island will host Niki Butcher’s “Daydreaming” exhibition in the Visitor & Education Center Auditorium Dec. 21, 2023, through February 25, 2024, with free admission Saturday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Butcher specializes in hand-painted black-and-white photography glorifying nature’s beauty. Spouse of world-renowned wildlife photographer Clyde Butcher, Niki Butcher has made a name for herself capturing the splendor and authenticity of special places and people. She finds beauty not only in nature but also in the historical buildings and interesting people who inhabit the landscapes.
Inspired by the hand-painted postcards of the 1930s, Butcher first started painting her black-and-white photographs in the 1980s. Using her own photos, oil paints, Q-tips, and cotton balls, she turned landscapes into dreamscapes and reality into fantasy. Today, Niki uses a similar technique to paint digitally. She first photographs with a digital camera and then paints her images using Photoshop.
“This is Niki’s first traveling exhibit, and we are the second showing of it,” said Ann-Marie Wildman, executive director of the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society, which supports refuge exhibitions. “It is a unique opportunity to view this exhibition before it begins its touring exhibition schedule.”
Butcher will mount about 50 of her original works and prints at “Ding” Darling. Prints are available for sale through the Refuge Nature Store, whose profits benefit education and conservation at the refuge.