OCHOPEE POST OFFICE | Niki ButcherBig Cypress National Preserve © 1993
Photographic Story Our Big Cypress Gallery is located in Ochopee, a small town of 133 people who are spread out over nearly a million acres of wilderness. The downtown consists of Joanie’s Café and the Ochopee Post Office. The original post office opened in 1932 and was located in a general store until the store burned down in 1953. The present structure, measuring about seven by eight feet, had been the tool shed behind the general store. After the fire, the shed was pulled closer to the road and used as a makeshift Post Office. The Ochopee Post Office has gained national notoriety as the smallest Post Office in the United States. It remains a local landmark on Tamiami Trail (Highway 41) in Big Cypress National Preserve, Florida. The Art of Hand Painting Black and White Photographs Niki prints her images on fiber-base black and white mat surface paper in the darkroom, then using Q-tips and cotton balls, she applies a thin coat of oil paint over the surface allowing the image to gently be seen through the oil paint. Archival Print Making Niki’s open edition gicleé artwork is printed on Sunset Bright Velvet Rag matte finish paper using eight archival inks. A state-of-the-art Epson Stylus Pro printer creates deep, rich dark values that hold subtle detail in the shadows as well as bright vivid colors that are truly tropical.