The Education Committee each year nominates a writer and artist to receive the Florida House Distinguished Author and the Florida House Distinguished Artist award. For authors, the Committee examines the nominees' published work of fiction or non-fiction, and determines who best represents the diverse culture and history of the Sunshine State.
For artist, the Committee examines themes relating to Florida in a variety of mediums.
Known for his life-like portraits of marine sport fish, Guy Harvey’s canvases fit on an artist easel or are as big as an airport lobby or outdoor mural. Dr. Harvey began drawing pictures of fish when he was a child fishing and diving with his father. He earned scientific degrees in marine biology and fisheries management, but his depiction of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man & The Sea” in 44 pen and ink drawings in 1985 catapulted him to recognition as an artist. Traveling the world, Dr. Harvey became even more interested in conservation and protecting global fisheries. In 1999, Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale created the Guy Harvey Research Institute for effective conservation of the world’s wild fishes. Guy is the author of several books and avidly paints. His murals can be seen in Ft. Lauderdale at Nova Southeastern University, the airport and the Las Olas bridge. Exhibitions of his paintings can be seen at a variety of museums in Florida and the Caribbean.
Harvey Oyer III receiving his 2013 award from Senator Bill Nelson in Washington, D.C.
Harvey E. Oyer III is a fifth-generation Floridian and is descended from one of the earliest pioneer families in South Florida. He is the great-great grandson of Captain Hannibal Dillinaham Pierce and his wife Margretta Moore Pierce, who in 1872 became one of the first non-Native American families to settle in Southeast Florida. Oyer is the great-grand nephew of Charlie Pierce, the title character in his book series, "The Adventures of Charlie Pierce - True Life Stories About a Young Explorer." Many stories in the book series have been passed down through five generations of his family. The series includes "The American Jungle, " "The Last Egret," and the newest book, "The Last Calusa." Charlie Pierce Days for children is an adventure program in Florida state parks and his books are also being used to teach Florida history in several school districts in South Florida. Oyer graduated from the University of Florida, is an attorney in West Plam Beach with Shutts and Bowen, is a Cambridge Universityu-educated archaeologist and an avid historian. He served for many years as the Chairman of the HIstorical Society of Palm Beach County and has written or contributed to numerous books and articles about Florida history.
Gary R. Mormino, Ph.D., Author
A. E. 'Beanie' Backus, Artist *Deceased
Niki and Clyde Butcher, Artists
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Author *Deceased
Christopher M. Still, Artist
Carlton W. Ward, Jr., Author
Jackson Walker, Artist
Bob Beatty, Author
The Highwaymen, Artists