Featured Artist: Robert Farber

Artist Statement
In my current work, I attempt to communicate the artist’s source of inspiration and fascination with the discovery and exploration of a “new” environment. The work is a response to the unique and mysterious encounter that occurs between person and place. The journey is often a confusing and complicated reflection of the artist’s own search to find his bearings in the labyrinth of the contemporary world.

Hibiscus St. Studio, 2011

1. What sort of art critic are you? Or, asked differently, who is your favorite art critic?
I suppose that I love to hate Jerry Saltz. He is such the little “taste maker”.

2. What role does history play in your work?
History has informed my work in many ways I source inspiration from a variety of sources that include explorers like Lewis and Clark and mannerist painters like Pontormo.

Captian Tom Chums For Museum Snook, 2011

3. Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?
I would not consider features in my work to be discomforting, but I do intentionally juxtapose disparate elements in attempt to create an implied narrative for the viewer.

4. What aspects of contemporary art would you change, if you could?
I suppose I would change the current aspect that implies your passe after age 25.

Conneaut Lake Park, Crown Jewel, 2011

5. How did you arrive at the structure of your work?
The Tuesday after 9/11/01, I was on my way to London and on to Florence to source inspiration for a new series of work..

The work continues to reflect a “sense of place” that can only be experienced through real-time travel, research and exploration. My current body of work sources inspiration and structure from a recent trip to China during the Spring of 2011. I was selected as one of two Sarasota artists to be a Cultural Ambassador to our sister city in located in Xiamen, China by the Sarasota Sister Cities Organization.

6. What does it mean to you to be an artist living and working in Sarasota, FL?
What it really means is that you must be comfortable living and working in a regional art community while exploring national exhibition opportunities.

Professional exhibition venues to exhibit work are scarce.

7. How do you see the societal role of the artist evolving?
Social networking, Twitter, Intelligent Phones and the net have changed the way we interact with each other on a global basis. Artists will continue to exploit, manipulate and examine the relevancy of new technology in relationship to their work.

Whats the cost?

Perhaps an understanding of materials and tactile processes that inform the work through physical manipulation and interaction.

8. How important do you think the discourse of contemporary art is?
Discourse keeps the critical dialogue vital and current. It has the ability to provide insights and layers of meaning for the audience that would otherwise be unattainable.

Two works created upon return from Xiamen, China 2011

9. One of the most complicated aspects of being an art maker is the “Life Work” balance: making important decisions on when to start and when to stop and where to separate things. Do you have any advice for other artists, based on your own methodology, on how to balance a life’s work?
I try and stay focused on the things that are most important; family, professional work and teaching, in that order. Its a delicate balance.

10. How important do you think authority is in contemporary art now?
I think being authentic trumps innovation and the “new”.

Work taken to Xiamen China for exhibition at Xiamen University, Fujian, China 2011
Work taken to Xiamen China for exhibition at Xiamen University, Fujian, China 2011

Website: http://rfarber.com/home.html

Divas Go Pop!

Oct 29 – Nov 26, 2011
Art Uptown presents a solo exhibit of digital pop art paintings by Bradenton artist Janine Hoffman

Oct 29 – Nov 26, 2011
Art Uptown, 1367 Main Street

“Divas Go Pop!,” a solo exhibit of digital pop art paintings by Bradenton artist Janine Hoffman, opens Oct. 29 at Art Uptown, 1367 Main Street in Sarasota. An artist’s reception is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4, 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the gallery.

The exhibit features digital paintings of female celebrities done in a pop art style by Janine, who is best known for her colored pencil work. While trained as a painter, earning a bachelor of fine arts degree from C.W. Post at Long Island University, her first love has always been drawing, she related.

“In a way, digital art combines both. The digital paintings in my show were all created on a computer with an electronic pen and tablet. I’m comfortable working digitally, but it requires a very different skill set than putting pencil to paper, so it took a bit of time to develop it,” the artist said.

“The style is an intentional move away from the almost Baroque detail in my pencil work to a very minimal amount of detail,” she continued. “That was major challenge for me. I was trying to capture the essence of a person with three main elements: eyes, mouth and hair.”

Her new digital art is inspired by her work as a comic book illustrator, which she began after graduation. She is also influenced by her love of Manga (Japanese comics) and represents “an ode to Warhol and Lichtenstein,” she noted.

“They are meant to be fun and inviting, with images of women who are recognizable to all and who encompass a certain wit as well as beauty,” observed the artist.

Janine’s work has been exhibited and sold widely in the USA, and it can viewed at the Tom James/Raymond James Financial Art Collection in Clearwater, Florida.

She is also an adjunct instructor at Ringling College of Art, and a long-time artist member of Art Uptown. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Beckett monthly, independent comic books and her self-published “Steele Destinies.”

Art Uptown is open Monday-Friday 11-5 and Saturday 10-4. During the monthly First Friday Gallery Walks on Palm and Main streets, evening hours are 6-9. Telephone: 941-955-5409. www.artuptown.com.

Last month the gallery underwent extensive renovations, which resulted in a fresher, brighter space for displaying local art, related Gallery Manager Ingrid Petri. She invited the public to attend Janine’s reception and meet the artist during the next First Friday gallery walk on Nov. 4.

The Goods: Sarasota Visual Art Weekend News (9.30.11)

Sarasota Visual Arts summary report of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2.

Sarasota Visual Arts summary report of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2.

Friday – September 30
Annual Ringling College Faculty Exhibitions – Selby Galleries I & II and Basch Gallery: Presenting work by faculty in the departments of Advertising Design, Computer Animation, Digital Film, Fine Arts, Game Art and Design, Graphic and Interactive Communication, Interior Design, Illustration, Motion Design, Photography & Digital Imaging, and the Liberal Arts Program.

Annual Ringling College Staff, Continuing Studies & Special Programs, Longboat Key Center for the Arts and Englewood Art Center Instructors Exhibition  – Willis A. Smith Construction, Inc. Galleries: Features paintings, drawings and sculpture from the Ringling College staff and instructors from each of its divisions.

Saturday – October 1
Out-of-Door’s Community Art Gallery and Black Box Theatre Art Show present short films by Frank and Diana Colson and paintings on by Elaine Murphy and Stacey Goes.  Gallery is open at 10am, short films begin at 7:00pm.

Saturday – October 1, 2011 (5:00pm)
GADZOOKS! Starring Alex the Beck – Solo exhibit at Clothesline featuring Alexander Buckley Beck.

Starts Saturday – October 1, 2011
Reflections on Ringling – Art Uptown – Sarasota’s oldest cooperative fine art gallery, is featuring “Reflections on Ringling,” an exhibition of paintings and other works of art showcasing Ringling Museum’s landscape, architecture, art and history, as part of the Festival sARTée.

Looking Back …
Sarasota Visual Art launched our feature of State of the Art Gallery. David Steiner talks to Tim Jaeger about the gallery and Sarasota.

Hugh Davies: Paintings

November 2 – 26, 2011
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery is presenting an exhibit featuring 15 recent works by the renowned artist and Ringling College faculty member.

November 2-26, 2011
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art

The exhibit features 15 recent works by the renowned artist and Ringling College faculty member.

(Sarasota, FL) Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery is presenting an exhibit entitled, ” Hugh Davies: Paintings,” featuring 15 recent paintings by Hugh Davies, November 2-26, 2011. The opening reception with the artist is Friday, November 4, 6-8 p.m. The gallery is at 1288 N. Palm Ave., in Sarasota. For more information about this exhibit, call 941-366-2454 or visit www.allyngallup.com.

Davies, who is a faculty member in the fine arts department at Ringling College of Art and Design, says that these works “deal with an attempt to reconcile abstraction and some forms of realism. While those two positions seem mutually exclusive they share some common ground, particularly in the use of the picture plane.”

The artist notes that he often explores the concepts of time, uncertainty, and paradox in his work. “I’ve dealt with these themes both consecutively and simultaneously, moving back and forth between them and combining them in various ways and in different media,” he says. “Despite the inherent differences between these three basic archetypes, I’ve tried to use each of them as a metaphor for the condition of uncertainty, the passing of time, and the relation between the generic and the particular.”

Davies was born in Wuppertahl, Germany, in 1945, and was brought up in Nigeria and England. He studied fine art at Brighton College of Art (undergraduate), and Chelsea College of Art (post-graduate) in England. Davies has served on the faculties of a number of distinguished art schools, principally Chelsea College of Art (1980-2003), and as a visiting artist/lecturer at many other institutions, including the University of Oxford, Wimbledon School of Art, the University of East London, Brighton University, Bradford College of Art and Design and Camberwell College of Arts.

Davies’ work has been exhibited in more than 60 group and solo exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the U.K., France, Germany, the United States and Australia. The artist has received awards from the Arts Council of Great Britain and the West Midlands Art Association, and was elected to the London Group (1985) and the Royal Society of Arts (2004).

Writing about Davies’ work, William Packer, the distinguished critic of the London Times stated: “Painting was ever a kind of game, one of which the artist is forever, indeed must always, be changing the rules, rules that yet remain always the same. The paint is paint, the surface flat, and to lay the one upon the other is to move into the deep space of the imagination. And Davies, through the games he makes up with each new canvas addresses these eternal ambiguities with a true seriousness and originality.” For more information about Hugh Davies, visit www.hughdaviespaintings.com.

Reflections on Ringling – Art Uptown

October 1, 2011
Art Uptown presents, “Reflections on Ringling,” an exhibition of paintings and other works of art showcasing Ringling Museum’s landscape, architecture, art and history, as part of the Festival sARTée.

October 1-28
Art Uptown Gallery, 1367 Main St., Sarasota

Art Uptown, Sarasota’s oldest cooperative fine art gallery, is featuring “Reflections on Ringling,” an exhibition of paintings and other works of art showcasing Ringling Museum’s landscape, architecture, art and history, as part of the Festival sARTée, Oct. 8 to 23.

Member artists of Art Uptown turned their creative talents toward Ringling for this special show, which will run to Oct. 29. An artists’ reception is scheduled for Oct. 14, 6-9 p.m. at the gallery, located at 1367 Main St., Sarasota, between Palm and Pineapple avenues. The exhibit coincides with the grand reopening of the gallery after renovations.

The Festival sARTée Planning Committee selected Art Uptown as a participant in the annual two-week celebration of the arts and cultural offerings of Sarasota and Manatee counties, which is intended to expand the energy and excitement of the 3rd annual Ringling International Arts Festival.

Artists’ demonstrations, also part of Festival sARTée, will be presented on the sidewalk in front of Art Uptown on Saturday, Oct. 8, in the Artists in Action series. Demonstrations will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Art Uptown has been representing local artists for more than 30 years, offering paintings, photography, fine ceramics and works in colored pencil, digital art, wood and fabric. The works of more than 25 local artists are displayed in the gallery. Regular hours are Monday through Friday 11-5 and Saturday 10-4. Telephone: 941-955-5409. www.artuptown.com.