Born a fourth generation Floridian, Sam Kates continues to search for subjects that harken back to “old Florida”. His paintings of ancient sand dunes and rust stained shrimp boats depict what he discovers in coastal state parks and in the few remaining old Florida communities like Cedar Key, Carrabelle, East Point and Apalachicola. He fondly remembers the miles of deserted beaches in New Smyrna during the 1940-50’s where his grandparents lived. The huge dunes were a playground for him and his brother and his “granny” would buy their fresh seafood directly from the dozens of shrimp boats that lined the local docks.
Kates has been an exhibiting artist at Butterfield Gallery for the past ten years. He retired in 2002 after three decades as a director of museums and natural science institutions in Florida, Tennessee and Alabama. He and his wife of sixty years, Jackie, moved to St. Augustine in 2008 from St. Joe Beach, Florida to be closer to their children and grand-daughter. The historic city and beaches have also been a source of inspiration for his paintings. He admits that his style of painting reflects his “curatorial background”. A “traditional realism” technique visually documents his landscapes and subjects. He employs bright light and dark shadows to create works with sharp clarity and depth. He was born in Orlando and raised in Gainesville where he attended the University of Florida’s P.K. Yonge High School. He is an alumnus of Florida State University.
Sam Kates will be at the gallery from 5-7 p.m. on December 3rd, and the artist talk will be at 6 p.m. (First Friday). Kates will also be at the gallery all day December 7th from 11-5 p.m.