Bethany Souza’s series Sunshine State takes a look at the icons that populate the beachside landscape of Florida. Palm trees, sharks, birds, sea oats, citrus, and sunsets—these are what make up an ideal Florida experience. This simplified language of weather, fruit, and creatures is what many hotels, subdivisions, and tourist shops use to represent a landscape that is in reality a much more complex place. An interesting example of Florida’s odd place in American culture can be found in the state motto, “In God We Trust.” What happened to “The Land of Good Living” or, as Souza reminds us, “The Sunshine State?"
Bethany Souza is a fine art photographer currently living and working in Hammond, LA. She received a BA in studio art from the University of South Florida and an MFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago. Selections from Sunshine State have been exhibited at the Houston Center for Photography, The Museum of Fine Arts at Florida State University, the Naomi Silva Gallery in Atlanta and the Foosaner Art Museum in Melbourne, FL. Her work has also been featured in Humble Arts Foundation's Group Show, Fraction Magazine, and the Oxford American. More of her work can be seen here.