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Peter Schreyer

Peter Schreyer
Senior Faculty, Photography

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Born and educated in Switzerland, Peter Schreyer immigrated to the United States in 1978. Executive Director of Crealdé since 1995, he previously served as the school's Director of Photography. His extensive teaching experience includes award-winning outreach programs in under-served communities. He is a past member of the summer teaching faculty at Penland School for Arts and Crafts in North Carolina and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Tennessee.

Since 1980 his black-and-white landscape and documentary photography has been included in more than 100 one-person, juried and invitational exhibitions across the United States and Switzerland. Schreyer has received a wide range of public art commissions, research grants and recognition awards for his black-and-white documentary photography on Florida communities. In 1993-94 he was one of three Central Floridians to receive a Visual Arts Fellowship Grant from the State of Florida.

Peter is the founder of the Hannibal Square Heritage Center, a cultural facility that celebrates community heritage through documentary photography, oral history and public art. In 2009 he was named Arts Educator of the Year by United Arts of Central Florida. Peter has served on review panels locally as well as for the state of Florida, evaluating grant applications from individual artists and arts organizations.

He is a frequent lecturer, juror and conductor of photographic tours throughout America and Europe.
To see this year's tours, click here.

Artist's Statement

"As a young person growing up in Switzerland, I rebelled against the lack of changes in my home country; I found the age-old traditions stifling and limiting. In America, everything seemed possible! There were fewer restrictions on one's dreams. I was taken by the differences between my home and this new place; the American people’s pioneering spirit, willingness to adapt and to embrace the new. While I am still fascinated by the constantly changing character of America’s culture, I also have come to learn its price tag: uprooted communities, environmental destruction, out of control development and sprawl, and a lack of respect for the past—all resulting in a feeling of disconnect in many of its communities. As an American photographer with Swiss roots, I am interested in places, people and communities that convey a sense of cultural identity, history and heritage. I never tire of exploring rural Florida, the historic African-American neighborhoods, the continually forming immigrant communities, the wide-open spaces of the West and small towns all across America. I hope that my work will establish more than a photographic record, but will motivate others to become more aware of, to respect and to explore their own community’s history and heritage."

Peter Schreyer
Winter Park, Florida


Pounds Tractor Dealership, Winter Garden, Florida, 2003

Mr. Jim Wright, owner and restorer of historic commercial buildings on Wright's Corner, DeLand, Florida, 2001

Passenger Train Station, Lake City, Florida, 2000

Current Exhibition

"Peter Schreyer: Returning Home"
Solo Exhibition
January 17 to April 5, 2015
Cornell Fine Arts Museum
Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida

Link to Cornell Fine Arts Museum information.

Link to Orlando Weekly feature, January 28, 2015.

Returning Home front cover

Selected Exhibitions

"Peter Schreyer: Three Decades of Documenting Florida," solo exhibition, the Casa Feliz Historic Home Museum, Winter Park, Florida, 2013

"The Lost Decades: Winter Garden in the 1980s and 1990s," Inaugural Solo Exhibition commissioned for purchase by the Art in Public Places Program of the City of Winter Garden, City Hall Gallery, 2010

"Where Two Roads Meet" Two-artist exhibition with Rick Lang. The Museum of Florida Art & Culture at the South Florida Community College, Avon Park, FL, 2008

"Symbiotic Relationships," An exploration of the personal stories of seven foreign-born artists who make Central Florida their home.
Terrace Gallery, City Hall, Orlando, FL, 2007

"Where Two Roads Meet"
Two-artist exhibition with Rick Lang.
The Art Center, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2005

"A Shared Legacy: Documentary Photography of Florida from the 1930s and Today" A state-wide traveling exhibition 2004 to 2006

"Beneath the Surface: Sixth Annual Photo Competition" Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, 2001

"The 2000 National Photography Competition"
Soho Photo Gallery, New York, N.Y., 2001

"Florida's Lingering Past: A Change of Character" Solo Show, Harris House, Atlantic Center of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, 1993

Photo-Forum Gallery, Solo Show, Biel-Bienne, Switzerland, 1985

Catskill Center for Photography, Solo Show,  Woodstock, N.Y.,

Trailer City:
Portrait of a Community

The body of documentary work on the 70-year old community of trailer homes situated on public land in Winter Garden explores disappearing Florida. It is a tribute to the heritage and history of rural communities and diverse neighborhoods; a visual and narrative exploration of the real Florida. After an inaugural showing at the Orange County Regional History Museum in Orlando, Florida, the exhibition is now available for travel.
Please contact Peter Schreyer, 407-797-5168.

Dusk on Lake Apopka, Trailer City
Winter Garden, Florida, 2006

Retired park manager Bob De Weese making his rounds
Trailer City, Winter Garden, Florida, 2005


We the People... of Orange County, Public art project of environmental portraits and oral histories, co-author with Rick Lang, 1999

Small Town Orange County, A public art project, co-author
with Rick Lang, 1998

A Sense of Place: Winter Park, Florida, A collection of 65 photographs
with text by Bernadine Clark, 1992

Grants and Awards Highlights

Bank of America Neighborhood Hero Award 2010

Arts Educator of the Year 2009, United Arts of Central Florida

United Arts Professional Development Grant, 2003 and 2005

Visual Arts Fellowship Grant Award, State of Florida, 1993/94

Rhea Marsh and Dorothy Lockhart Smith, Winter Park History Research Grant, Winter Park Public Library, 1995

Public Collections

"Art in Public Places"program, permanent display of environmental portraits of local residents, Volusia County Courthouse, Deland, Florida

"Winter Park's West Side: A Living History of Places and People," Winter Park Public Library, The Peter Schreyer Collection.

City of Orlando Public Art Collection, Orlando, Florida

Orange County Regional History Museum, Orlando, Florida

City of Biel, Biel, Switzerland

City of Winter Garden

Swiss Camera Museum, Vevey, Switzerland

"Small Stories from A Big Country"
A Retrospective Exhibition of 85 American Photographs
Swiss Camera Museum, Vevey, Switzerland

Between November 13, 2004 and  March 6, 2005,
over 5,000 visitors viewed Small Stories from a Big
The exhibition was reviewed in newspapers
and art publications in four European countries.

The Sage Project - Hannibal Square Elders Tell Their Stories
Permanent Collection

Mrs. Katherine Polk Ford
Mrs. Katherine Polk Ford, age 106, has lived in the same home since 1962, Winter Park, Florida, 2012

Recollections of a special group of senior residents, ages 85 to 106,
of one of the nation’s oldest African-American communities are featured
in a permanent collection of photographs and oral histories at the Hannibal Square Heritage Center. The documentary portraits by Peter Schreyer
were created in the homes, or in churches or other places in Winter Park that held special meaning for the participant.

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