Juried Competition Launches 18th Annual Evening of Excellence Student Art Program

Free exhibit of exceptional works by area high school students opens to public.

January 12 – 15, 2013
Ringling College of Art and Design

The Education Foundation of Sarasota County launches the 18th annual Evening of Excellence with its Juried Art Show this month. An arts competition as well as a favorite on the local social scene, Evening of Excellence showcases outstanding works of fine art created by students from every public high school in Sarasota County.

More than 200 student works – paintings, photographs, sculpture and more – will be on display at the Ringling College of Art and Design at its Diane Roskamp Exhibition Hall in the Ulla Searing Student Center. Select works in the exhibit will be available for purchase by sealed bid. Minimum bid is $125 and the first $100 of each bid will be awarded to the student artist.

Venice High School’s Holly Mastay with her painting, Blue Child, winner of the 2012 Caldwell Trust Art Award and inspiration for the 2013 Evening of Excellence theme, “My Blue Heaven.”
Venice High School’s Holly Mastay with her painting, Blue Child, winner of the 2012 Caldwell Trust Art Award and inspiration for the 2013 Evening of Excellence theme, “My Blue Heaven.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public on Saturday and Sunday, January 12-13 from noon to 4:00 p.m. and on Monday and Tuesday, January 14-15 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m.

Free campus parking is available on either side of the Selby Gallery, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Sarasota.

Each year, high school art instructors submit their students’ most accomplished original art for consideration at the Evening of Excellence Juried Art Show. A panel of art professionals reviews the entries and selects twenty-five original pieces as the Best of the Best. The top twenty-five will be announced at a reception on Wednesday, January 16, at Ringling College’s Diane Roskamp Exhibition Hall.

The winning student artists donate their artwork to the Education Foundation. The art is then framed by local galleries and framers, who donate all materials and services. Finally, each piece is put up for auction at a gala dinner on the last Friday in February. In return, students receive recognition for their talent and generosity and well as monetary awards. Benefactors are invited to present Student Art Awards of $500 or more that are named for themselves or to honor loved ones.

Evening of Excellence is both an arts competition and a successful fundraiser, grossing over $250,000 every year. Proceeds benefit the 41,400 students in Sarasota County’s public schools through the work of the Education Foundation. The event combines an elegant dinner with a spirited auction of the Best of the Best pieces, with the student artists on hand to take their bows. This year’s theme is My Blue Heaven, inspired by the student whose award-winning work was adapted for the gala invitation.

Rachael Tuffland, then a Phoenix Academy freshman, with her electronic media piece, Chicken Comb-Over, winner of the 2012 Advanced  Network & Services Best of Show Award.
Rachael Tuffland, then a Phoenix Academy freshman, with her electronic media piece, Chicken Comb-Over, winner of the 2012 Advanced Network & Services Best of Show Award.

Taylor Tollerton Collins is leading this year’s event committee. Honorary co-chairs are her parents, James and Susan Tollerton. James Tollerton was the first chairman of the Education Foundation’s board of directors in 1988. The year 2013 will mark the organization’s 25th anniversary.

The annual dinner and student art auction will be held on February 22, 2013 at Michael’s on East. Festivities begin at with a cocktail hour at 6:00 p.m. Sponsor tables are available at $2,500 and up. Premium patron pairs, including two seats and a named art award, start at $1,000. Individual tickets are $200, $250 for patrons. To request an invitation or for more information, call 941-927-0965 or see the Education Foundation’s web site at www.EdFoundation.net.

Sponsors as of December 31 include Masterpiece Sponsors Bank of America and Herald-Tribune Media Group. Maestro Sponsor is Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP.

Connoisseur Sponsors are Jon F. Swift, Inc. and the Swift Family Foundation, McIntyre Elwell & Strammer General Contractors, Inc., Tandem Construction and Willis A. Smith Construction. Virtuoso Sponsors include Fawley|Bryant, Jeff and Cindy Kaiser, Mills Gilbane, Internet Essentials by Comcast, Norton Hammersley Lopez & Skokos, P.A. and Ringling College of Art and Design. Artiste Sponsors are Advanced Masonry Systems, Cavanaugh & Co., LLP, Florida Power & Light, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Matthews Eastmoore, Sabal Trust Company, SCENE Magazine, Stantec and Williams Parker. Invitation Sponsor is IDS Interior Design Society, Sarasota Chapter.

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About the Education Foundation. Dedicated to quality education for all children, the Education Foundation of Sarasota County was founded in 1988 as an independent, not-for-profit organization working in partnership with Sarasota County Schools and the community. With the support of individuals, families, businesses, civic groups and foundations, the Education Foundation awards more than a million dollars each year to initiatives that elevate our public schools to the top of Florida’s education system: teacher classroom grants, fine arts programs, scholarships and mentorships, Literacy for Life, the Texcellence Home Computer Donation Program, Teacher of the Year, Academic Olympics and the Regional Science, Engineering and Technology Fair. For more information visit www.EdFoundation.net or call 941-927-0965.