Downtown Crowd


Pensacola Museum of Art’s 70th Annual Members Show

From 1908 to 1940, the Spanish Revival-style building now situated at 407 S. Jefferson St. in downtown Pensacola served as the Pensacola City Jail. After sitting empty for more than a decade, a group of local women determined the space could be used in a better way to serve their city. In 1954, members of the local chapter of the American Association of University Women envisioned a venue to exhibit traveling art exhibitions, offer art classes for both children and adults, and provide a community space for public meetings, lectures, films and other cultural presentations. Joining with others in the community who shared this vision, they formed the Pensacola Art Association. After leasing the building from the city, the group purchased the building in 1988 and established the Pensacola Museum of Art (PMA).

This year, marks the 70th anniversary of the PMA becoming an established art center in Pensacola. In the first year of the center, founders of the American Association of University Women established the annual Members Show to honor and celebrate the relationship between local artists and the center.

Seventy years later, artists remain a vital part of the museum community and this annual exhibition highlights their talent and creativity. The 2024 exhibition showcases close to ninety local and regional artists working in a diverse range of media.

Over the years, The Members Show has grown exponentially. “Last year, we had fifty artists displayed at our annual members show. This year, almost ninety artists are represented in the galleries on the museum’s second floor,” PMA Director Nicholas Croghan said. “This is a testament to the growth of our museum as well as the expanding arts community in Northwest Florida. We are delighted and honored to showcase these talented individuals and are thankful for their museum membership and support.”

2014 Members Show Winners:

Best in Show: Lisa S. Qualls, Playing Ghostbusters in the Woods, oil on canvas, 2024

Second Place: Jason Pinckard, And I Know I am Deathless, video, 2023

Third Place: Racheal J. Homack, Strands Intertwined, mixed media, 2023

People’s Choice: Alison Walden, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, acrylic, 2023

Honorable Mentions: Cara Kearns, Hydra: To All the Cats I’ve Loved Before, natural and synthetic fiber, 2022; Mara Viksnins, Reclining, collage, 2020; Yvonne Christine, Bloodlines, cotton thread, porcelain, glass and crochet hooks, 2019

Love Letters to Ursa Major : A Multimedia Meditation on Environmental Reciprocity

In 2023, Kelly Anne Mueller was awarded Best of Show in the PMA’s 69th Annual Members Show for her mixed-media work Nest. She was offered the opportunity to display a site-specific, solo exhibition this year in tandem with the 70th Annual Members Show.

Mueller is an artist, collaborator and educator whose focus on the interrelationship between organism and environment, science and art, positions her as a visual ecologist. Deeply interested in the patterning relationships of the natural and man-made, Kelly’s multidisciplinary projects explore the tenuous space between natural laws of reciprocity and interconnectedness, the systems and cycles of nature and the artificial, imposed order of human experience.

Her solo exhibition, Love Letters to Ursa Major, is a reflection on our relationship with the living earth and its inhabitants as we evolve as a species. Like any relationship, for it to thrive necessitates a delicate balance.

You can see the connection to the environment in Kelly’s work from the materials she uses, to the processes she employs. The centerpiece of the exhibition room is a 12-foot-tall bear titled Mother made from Louisiana blue tarps and recycled fabric scraps reminiscent of Cajun Courir costume fringe.

“ Mother represents the earth as both a nurturing provider and a fearsome entity worthy of respect and care,” Mueller says in her artist statement. This large sculpture is also a nod to the famous sculptor Louise Bourgeois’s notable larger-than-life spider, titled Maman.

An additional series of mixed-media works entitled Mutualisms are featured in the show. These pieces, mounted on wood panels, are encaustic-coated cyanotypes that are created by utilizing UV rays from the sun and iron salt solutions. The photosensitive paper first turns white when reacting to the sunlight, and then blue with exposure to water. The imagery on these panels depict unexpected trans-species cooperations, such as that of the badger and the coyote.

Kelly Anne Mueller’s solo exhibition, Love Letters to Ursa Major: A Multimedia Meditation on Environmental Reciprocity and the 70th Annual Members Show are both on view at the Pensacola Museum of Art through May 28. For more information on current and upcoming exhibits at the PMA, visit