The Morean Arts Center is offering two exhibitions focusing on the beauty and fragility of nature.

In “Leslie Neumann: Manna From Heaven -- and Earth” you can see the beautiful seascapes of our Tampa Bay area. “Water over the Bridge: Contemporary Seascapes,” meanwhile, spotlights the importance of being stewards to our land.

"We all know about climate change. Whether you agree with it or not it is irrelevant -- we all know that there is an issue out there,” said Amanda Cooper, the Center’s Curator of Exhibitions. “And the Leslie Neumann Exhibition is kind of the sweet side of it."

That “sweet side” is an ethereal reflection of Nuemann's home, Aripeka, a fishing village in Hernando County.

"So the idea is you kind of look at these paintings and get lost in their beauty," said Cooper.

Photo: Virginia Johnson

And then guests walk into a jarring art installation:  a small, white, wooden, faded boat on the floor of the gallery, surrounded by plastic water bottles, milk jugs and plastic to-go containers.

In the boat are what look like the brown, stuffed bodies of small four-legged animals hanging over the sides. There is a kind of ladder made of the same brown material that comes out from the boat, as well.

The boat’s name: “The Last Sea.”

Cooper describes this group exhibition is “the salty side” contrasting Nuemann’s solo show.

"[The pieces] all have something to say about climate change and our rising tides," said Cooper.

Included is a sculpture from local artist and scientist Kate Helms.

"Her big thing is what's gonna happen when the sea rises," said Cooper.

Helms juxtaposes the man-made opulence of Victorian era furniture with its surrender to nature and creatures of the sea. Her chaise lounge is completely covered in barnacle-like organisms. 

"It's called Colony," said Cooper.

Photo: Virginia Johnson

Can our human colony help to keep places like Nuemann’s landscapes protected?

The idea is the viewer will come in here and be inspired to make a difference, whatever that looks like for them," said Cooper.

You can enjoy these exhibitions at the Morean Arts Center through June 29. 

The Morean Arts Center is open Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.