Carolina Cleere spent her childhood in Florida's Panhandle on the bayou, exploring the verdant outdoors. She entertained herself with nature books or whiling away sleepy hours in the garden or by the warm Gulf waters. Summers were spent on family travels to natural springs, the Everglades or to more formal gardens like Vizcaya. The seeds of her muse were planted early in these travels.
Her career in journalism took her across the country to newspapers and wire services in Seattle, New York and Tampa where she became an editorial illustrator. But it soon seemed that art and journalism weren't necessarily the right mix for Cleere. "Other peoples' ideas weren't satisfying my creativity, so I began making photo collages again for myself after work," she says now.
In response to the military actions of George W. Bush, in March 2003, a frustrated Cleere began expressing herself in an anti-war triptych. "A sense of powerlessness led me to share this work, and it was the beginning of my public art career," she says.
Today, the artist lives on the top floor of a century-old Port of Tampa cigar factory loft. In her studio, Cleere implements her own unique process of blending images through photography and painting. She assembles her creations from a vast collection of vintage doll heads, weathered animal bones, frozen birds and other eclectica gathered from her travels.