Best Visual Artist - 2012
Artists don't come much more quintessentially Floridian than Bonnie Shapiro. Born and raised in South Florida and educated at the University of Florida, Shapiro has lived here all her life. More to the point, her art is infused with a sense of what it's like to live in the Sunshine State. Her canvases often capture that dusky, indefinable moment when day transitions into evening, the twilit in-between time when hints of Old Florida creep into our consciousness. Her work leaves us with a vague yearning for something we can't quite pinpoint but we know is probably on the verge of disappearing. A trailer park at the edge of the Everglades, an old-fashioned diner nestled in a shopping center, a pull-off along some less-traveled back road — these are the things Shapiro typically trains her meticulous eye on. Yes, she regularly appears in all the right group shows around town (and frequently wins awards), and she's invariably there when a fellow artist needs a show of support or a word of encouragement. But it's her work itself that speaks so eloquently for her, and she's smart enough not to interrupt.