The Goods: Weekend News (03.02.12)

Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of information, upcoming exhibitions, and events. Gale Fulton Ross, Janet Echelman, Sarasota Museum of Art, Lynn Davison, Aaron Board, Sean Pearson, Kyle Petreycik, Robert Baxter, Beatrice del Perugia, Helen Romeike-Wisniewski

Featured Artist: Gale Fulton Ross
My only challenge is what do I want to paint on what day. I paint because I am free to do so; not to become famous. I am grateful for this blessing; I have the ability to make marks that people want.
Gale Fulton Ross
Red Tide
Taking Imagination Seriously – Janet Echelman visits SMOA
Janet Echelman is an artist who works mainly with commissioned pieces. She approaches her work as a challenge or problem to be solved and only accepts an invitation to create work that betters herself and the community it interacts with.
Janet Echelman at SMOA (Photo Credit: Aleksandr V.Gleyzer, WSLR)
Janet Echelman at SMOA (Photo Credit: Aleksandr V.Gleyzer, WSLR)
“In Your Face” – Figurative paintings by Lynn Davison and Aaron Board
Current – Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery presents an exhibition featuring figurative paintings. The opening reception, with artists in attendance, is March 2, 6-8 p.m.
Lynn Davison
Party Time, Lynn Davison
Beach: Works by Sean Pearson and Kyle Petreycik
Closing March 2 – This exhibition serves as an undergraduate thesis exhibition that reflects each artist’s development in the past months in terms of artistic practice with a focus on sculptural works. Attention to materials, spatial relationships as well as ideas of escape serve as a common conceptual thread between both artists’ work.
Contemporary Contrast: Works by Robert Baxter and Beatrice del Perugia
March 2 – Beatrice del Perugia – “My offbeat way of seeing things makes me laugh. I hope it makes you wonder and smile.”
Dabbert Gallery
"Summer Solsice" by Robert Baxter, oil on canvas 28" x 39"
Hocus – Pocus: Works by Helen Romeike-Wisniewski
March 3 – Helen Romeike-Wisniewski’s roots on Anna Maria Island run deep. Her parents, German immigrants, built the 1950s island home where she currently resides and still spends time creating. Her life, much like her canvas, is rich in experiences.

The Goods: Weekend News (10.21.11)

Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, October 21 through Sunday, October 23.


Interview with Kim Anderson, curator of Material Matters


Going to an art opening this weekend? Email us your pics of art openings at

Friday, October 21:

Towles Court, Third Friday Artwalk. Visit galleries, view demonstrations and listen to music. 6-10 p.m. Adams Lane, west of U.S. 301 (south of Ringling Boulevard) 374-1988

Kim Russo: Family, [Opening Night] a solo exhibition at the Cornell Museum of Fine Arts Cornell Museum of Fine Arts

Family (Kitchen), 2011 / Watercolor and graphite / 23 in. x 28-1/2 in.

Kim Russo, department head of the Fine Art department of the Ringling College of Art + Design opens Family, a solo exhibition at the Cornell Museum of Fine Arts. Family is a series of drawings of Florida families with lesbian parents. By representing these families in situations from their everyday lives, my intent is to question the fear and anger that surrounds debates about gay marriage and adoption in America. The final three works are life size drawings on paper that measure 10 x 6 feet. The exhibition will also include smaller studies. For more information visit:

Silver Springs: The Underwater Photography of Bruce Mozert
Opens Oct. 21 in Temporary Exhibition at South Florida Museum

Bruce Mozert

A traveling exhibition featuring more than 40 black and white photographs depicting Bruce Mozert’s innovative work will be showcased in “Silver Springs: The Underwater Photography of Bruce Mozert” in the South Florida Museum’s East Gallery, Oct. 21, 2011 – Jan. 15, 2012. The exhibition is based on a book of the same title created by Gary Monroe and organized by a former curator of the Appleton Museum, Dr. Leslie Hammond. Access to the exhibition is included with general admission to the South Florida Museum.

The Annual Empty Bowls Event, benefiting the Food Bank of Manatee, is 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on October 21 (Renaissance on 9th in Bradenton) and 22 (Main Street in Lakewood Ranch). Enjoy a variety of delicious soups from local restaurants and take home a unique, handcrafted ceramic bowl made by local potters, all for $20. To purchase tickets, call (941) 749-0100 or visit

I Dream of Paris, paintings of famous Paris landmarks by Sarasota artist Françoise Mandonnaud Stotts, will be on display at The Alliance Française in the Towles Court Pavilion, 200 S. Washington Blvd. in downtown Sarasota, from October 21 to November 15. An artist reception will be held from 6-9 p.m. on October 21.

Crossley Gallery Exhibit: White Out, [Last Day of Exhibit] Crossley Gallery Ringling College of Art and Design 2700 N. Tamiami Trail

Celebrating the Art of Beverly A. Smith, Jini Mount and Moving Ethos 6 – 10pm, The Celery Barn in Towles Court – Celebrating the Art of Beverly A. Smith , Jini Mount and Moving Ethos / Festival sARTee runs currently with Ringling International Arts Festival. The Celery Barn in Towles Court, 266 S. Links Ave., Sarasota, FL 34231

Enviro-Art Competition, 6 p.m. Village of the Arts, Bradenton, FL
A celebration for the artists involved in the 2011 enviro-art competition. Tickets $25/per person and include a glass of wine and an appetizer courtesy of Ortygia Ristorante. Those who are not of drinking age and students can get in for a reduced $10 ticket price. For more information visit:

Monday, October 24

Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County Annual Awards Celebration

13th Annual Awards Celebration on Monday, October 24 at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The Awards Celebration will feature special performances by Sarasota Ballet, Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and Sarasota Youth Opera. We will be announcing the recipients of this year’s Arts Leadership Awards, John Ringling Towers Fund Invidual Artist and Historic Preservation Awards, Tourist Development/Cultural Arts Grants, and Opportunity Grants. Admission is complimentary.


Featured Artist: Aaron Board

I would break down the absurd divide between “commercial” art and “fine” art (as if fine art wasn’t a commercial endeavor). The disdain that critics of prominence have had over the years for illustration is just snooty intellectualism.

1. What sort of art critic are you? Or, asked differently, who is your favorite art critic?

The only critic that I really actually read for “pleasure” is Donald Kuspit. He does a good job giving intellectual justification to the prominence of post-modern figurative art, but I haven’t read anything from him in a long time. I was fortunate to meet him about eight years a go , but he generalized me as an Odd Nerdrum protege based on one painting of mine that he chose for an exhibition – the ONLY painting of mine that is derivative of Odd Nerdrum. Maybe that’s why I stopped reading him!

I’m a lousy critic. I try to keep my mouth shut on judgments outside of the classroom. In the immortal words of Rodney King…. okay, I won’t go there.

2. What role does history play in your work?

History plays a pretty important role. I have researched not only styles and artists’ visions throughout history, but also the history of technical processes – which fascinates me. The fact that Van Eyck’s work is still holding up after almost 600 years and Eva Hesse’s latex works probably won’t make it past 60 years intrigues me. The common thread being that they were both experimenting with new and unqualified mediums at the time.

The Ill Astrayter | Acrylic and oil on canvas | 60" x 72" | 2005

3. Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?

My work certainly has discomforting elements, although it all depends on the POV of the person looking at it. I don’t imagine someone like Joel Peter Witkin would look at my work and find any semblance of discomfort from it. I have heard of (but never witnessed) old ladies literally yelling about my paintings in galleries. Better than being ignored I suppose…

4. What aspects of contemporary art would you change, if you could?

I would break down the absurd divide between “commercial” art and “fine” art (as if fine art wasn’t a commercial endeavor). The disdain that critics of prominence have had over the years for illustration is just snooty intellectualism. The scorn and lack of acceptance that Rockwell endured throughout his career is a good example of this divide. I’m not a fan of Rockwell per se, but he was great artist (empirically speaking) and never really deserved the snobbery that critics dumped upon him.

5. How did you arrive at the structure of your work?

What a novel idea! Structure!

Virago vs. Virago | oil on canvas | 70" x 88" | 2009

6. How do you see the societal role of the artist evolving?

I see it becoming less and less relevant. I’m not trying to be pessimistic, but it’s clear that popular music and cinema now possess the grip on culture that art used to have and there’s no sign of back-pedaling.

7. 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?

Any decision made in life must be understood as a complement to the artist’s work. If you must have a “day job” in order to keep making your art that job should feed your work – no matter how banal or irrelevant it may seem. I learned this nugget of life advice from my friend the artist David Piurek, but the concept has its roots in 2000 year old Buddhist philosophy. Make one thing work for the other and vice versa. Same with having children. Your children should be a reason to make art and never be seen as a hindrance to your work.

I have found over the years from being an instructor that “creative people” often have trouble distinguishing between their wants and their needs, and they make themselves miserable over it. Training yourself to understand what really is causing your misery (your attachments) is a good idea no matter what your course of life.

Will Not Kill The Whippoorwill | oil on canvas | 56" x 95" | 2002

8. How important do you think authority is in contemporary art now?

What a great question! In short – not important at all. If contemporary art actually had an empirical set of standards then authority might matter, but since we’re all just running amok with meat cleavers it’s all but impossible to define who the authority is. Is it the gallery owners? Museum curators? Art collectors? The hot new young artist? Sometimes the hot new artist is the “authority” over night, so how much credence do they really deserve?

Music, dance, and literature all still adhere to some set of empirical standards esoteric to their disciplines, but not art – it’s anything goes…

My Son, Jequirity | oil, acrylic and enamel on canvas panel in artist-built frame | 84" x 56" | 2007