Ringling Underground: September 4, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014
Ringling Museum of Art

“In the season kick-off on September 4, visitors will experience a provoking exhibition within the museum courtyard. Artists Charlotte Chieco, Tina Piracci, and Phillip Baker exhibit artwork that comments on the materiality of traditional art mediums; the sociopolitical issues in modern society; and the environmental repercussions of consumerism. As a conglomeration, they confront Ringling’s audience with a catalyst for embracing local, experimental art that is often considerably underrepresented within the community.”

– Natalya Swanson, Artist Liaison (Fall 2014)

Ringling Underground captivates audiences with contemporary music and art of Sarasota’s up-and-coming Millennials, engaging the community with both the prodigious art of the Ringling museum and the innovativeness of local artists.

Charlotte Chieco
Charlotte Chieco

Charlotte Chieco: As consumerism, technological interest /advancement, and mass production are at an all time high and are continuing to grow, the importance and appreciation of nature seems to have almost been forgotten. As humans we tend to forget about things that are not directly going to affect our lives. We are constantly exposed to devastating news of what is happening around the world which we feel we have no ability to change. A large percentage of our society has become helpless and completely removed to things that should cause passion and sorrow in our hearts. Many ecosystems continue to decline and species are on the road to distinction and much of that decline is due to our actions or lack of action.

The work Charlotte will be exhibiting was influenced by a disease killing millions of starfish worldwide that scientists are calling ‘sea star wasting syndrome’. The disease causes their limbs to walk in opposite directions until they rip themselves apart and are left mangled with large lesions, no longer able to re-grow limbs. It has been one of the largest mass die offs in marine diseases and is expected to have an immense ecological consequence.

Tina Piracci
Tina Piracci

Tina Piracci: Tina Piracci’s creative expressions are fueled by political affairs. From our wars, to our laws, to our broken ideals, politics rule all. Tina’s father and uncle were both draftees of the Vietnam War, needless to say, she had the most colorful story-times. As a child, she did not quite understand the depth of their experience. Tina could not fathom her father killing; he always taught peace. She never questioned why Uncle Felix only had nine fingers; “I just didn’t”. Unfortunately, it was not until his recent passing to cancer that Tina discovered that Felix had originally been drafted back for another year to repeat something he never imagined of doing once, let alone twice. Subsequent to the dreadful news, her uncle contemplated suicide and settled for shooting off his middle finger with his handgun instead; thus, he circumvented the draft. This, is his symbol of Peace.

Phillip Baker
Phillip Baker

Phillip Baker: Phillip believes that creativity stems from the mind’s ability to form loose associations that are then translated through the constructions of one’s mind and social environment. His work is the tangible outcome of such associations, which is then translated through the viewer’s own constructions and associations. Phillip’s objects are made of a multiplicity of different materials including ceramic, wood, canvas, acrylic paint, spackling, balloons, candles, rocks, plants and an assortment of different adhesives.

“Ringling Underground uses music and visual art to engage a younger audience who represent the next generation of Museum members and patrons.”

– Steven High, Executive Director of The Ringing.

Ringling Underground returns to the Courtyard of the Museum of Art from 8-11 p.m. the first Thursday of the month September-November. Admission to Ringling Underground costs $10, but it is free with admission to Art After Five and for college students with a valid ID. Attendees can listen to compelling regional musical acts, view the work of up-and-coming local artists in the Courtyard, and view select galleries or special exhibitions in the Museum of Art’s Searing Wing. Joseph’s Coat, the Skyspace created by one of the world’s leading contemporary artists, James Turrell, will also be accessible.

For a full list of bands and other information, check out the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/512894525510046/

ARTdart: Going, Going, Gone A Bit Crazy by Pamela Beck

What is it about the adrenaline in an auction room that can make even a captain of industry sweat? It can feel like you’re about to miss out on the deal of the century, when forced to make a quick decision while bidding, even if you know better.

ARTdart: There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her new column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.

Pamela Beck

by Pamela Beck

“We’re now at $10,000 for this lovely painting, ladies and gentlemen,” the auctioneer announces. “We’re way beyond its’ pre-sale estimate of $3,000 to 5,000. Do I hear $11,000? It’s at $10,000 to the lady on my left. Do I hear $11,000? Gentleman on the right, you bid earlier, are you going to let this go? This is your last chance, sir. Regret is unpleasant.” (Laughter erupts in the room). “Shall I go a bit more? Ah, the gentleman says yes. $11,000 to the wise gentleman on the right. Madame, it’s against you now. Are we all done? Should he have it? $11,000 then, to the gentleman.

Oh wait, we have some interest on the phone now. $12,000 to the phone bidder. Sir, Madame, there’s someone who wants to take that painting away from you both. Will you let him? It’s $12,000 now against you both. $12,000 to the phone bidder against all of you in the room. Madame, are you bidding? This is your moment. And the lady says yes. It’s the lady’s bid now. It’s the lady’s at $13,000, against you all in the room and on the phone. It seems the phone bidder has just dropped out. What about you, sir? One more try? Outdone by the lady, sir? Alright, at $13,000 to the lady, final offer. Are we all done now? It’s going for $13,000. Do I hear $14,000? Going for $13,000. Sold to the clever lady on my left.” (The gavel descends with a sharp clack.)

And you thought your mother was pushy? What is it about the adrenaline in an auction room that can make even a captain of industry sweat? It can feel like you’re about to miss out on the deal of the century, when forced to make a quick decision while bidding, even if you know better. Customers generally enter the auction room with a top price in mind they’re willing to pay for the art they wish to purchase. Usually they know the artist and have researched him/her and the prices recently brought at auction. But I’ve been in the auction room many times when reason goes out the window and onlookers are left scratching their heads.

It might begin with the auctioneer’s skillful teasing of clients, as above. The audience is watching and people twist in their seats to get a good look at the bidders while this ribbing takes place. Meanwhile, a blown up high def image of the artwork is on a large screen to identify the piece and tempt the audience into bidding. Or the actual piece itself appears on a stand, hit by floodlights on a revolving stage, like a preening supermodel on the catwalk. It will only make one brief, bold appearance before being whisked away. Bidders often get anxious at this moment. You can feel this tension in the air. It’s now or never. The eyes of the auctioneer and all the standing assistants are quickly darting around the room looking for bidders.

Once you start bidding, everyone will know if you didn’t bid high enough to get the piece and everyone will know if you did. Once the piece goes beyond its estimate or what the bidders had intended to pay, it’s easy to imagine a series of rapid-fire questions running through their minds while the auctioneer continues to publicly press them: I really like this work but how can I pay so much more for it than I planned? How much is it really worth? Did I study the market for this artist in enough depth? Am I right in my conclusions? Why is the price going higher? What does the other bidder know that I don’t? Is this work better than I thought it was? How do I feel about the person bidding against me? Have I been in the ring with them before? Did they get the last one? Did they flaunt their victory last time so that now I’m bidding higher to get even? Did they receive good press for that last purchase that I would have liked for myself? When should I stop bidding?

There are other considerations that can keep a bidder’s paddle in the air longer than big love for the art in question. For example, the wish to positively influence the market of a particular artist (maybe you already own work by the artist and your McDonald’s stock can no longer be counted on); or the artwork’s impressive provenance (who doesn’t want to have something in common with the former owner if he happens to have been Sting, for example?)

It’s interesting that art can languish in galleries for years without selling or attracting much interest- even work by the same artists who, in an auction setting, make the bidder’s heart race. Dealers wish they could bottle that buzz and urgency. Successful dealers do know how to create their own momentum to get things sold and grab the spotlight for their galleries.

But only an auction can create the impatient fervor that makes clients commit right away. There are many reasons that someone may want to own a particular work up on the auction block. However once it goes beyond reason or the pre-sale estimate, the rationale moves into complicated territory having to do with pride, reputation and money in real time.

If this seems unsavory and you’re wondering where the heart is in this auction scenario, it’s often not too far away. After all, if you consider how most people react when someone they find of interest plays hard to get, it’s safe to conclude that desire is not exactly reasonable or definable. The same goes for auctions or is at least hoped for by the auction house.

It’s true that sometimes a bidder just wants the piece being auctioned, has the money to buy it and is willing to pay what the desired piece brings. However there are other times, when Cupid’s crazy arrow has hit its’ mark dead center, leaving a once reasonable bidder in the grips of what is known, not coincidentally, as “auction fever.”

The art of the chase is something most people know a thing or two about. At least in the auction room, all you have to do is bid.

ARTdart: The Power of Wow by Pamela Beck

If artists are often inspired by their work, it’s also one of the chief reasons people choose to spend their free time looking at it. Who doesn’t want to briefly put aside ordinary concerns and be entertained, stimulated and, if you’re lucky, inspired?

ARTdart: There are as many ways to think about art as there are to create it. Join Pamela Beck in her new column, ARTdart, as she explores and considers the different perspectives that define the art world.

Pamela Beck

by Pamela Beck

When I was a young child, my mother took painting classes every Wednesday night at the local Y. Most of the time our lives were filled with the usual activities of family life, but when my mother returned from her art class, something in the air was always charged and different.

She would talk animatedly about what she had learned. I remember thinking how much younger she looked at those moments. I was too little to know what that sea change was all about on those nights, but I certainly felt it.

Later on, I realized that those evenings had been my introduction to the idea that art can inspire. And although I didn’t know what to call inspiration back then, I instinctively understood why people would want to seek the glow that I saw in my mother’s eyes.

If artists are often inspired by their work, it’s also one of the chief reasons people choose to spend their free time looking at it. Who doesn’t want to briefly put aside ordinary concerns and be entertained, stimulated and, if you’re lucky, inspired? And inspiration’s not easy to find these days, just check your local news.

When I go to a gallery or museum, I’m hoping for that “wow” moment that inspires me. It’s always a surprise and comes when I feel a rush of exhilaration or heightened awareness in reaction to what I see. Usually this happens when I find the art to be original or when the artist’s technique and talent strikes me. It’s a stop-time moment, when the art has reeled me in through its’ power, appearance and/or message.

I’d be hard pressed to explain the source of inspiration for an artist or an audience. But I do know that art can be a door to the unconscious where inspiration often resides. It can be liberating and moving to witness what’s behind that opened door: the freedom of an artist’s unrestrained ideas spread out across the playing field of art, without concern for the propriety or justification that usually defines our lives.

Of course, people enjoy art for many reasons without necessarily being inspired by it; just as artists don’t necessarily feel inspired each time they make something. Frankly, the arrival of inspiration is unpredictable anyway for both the artist and the viewer.

But sometimes, when you’re looking at a piece or creating it, things start to resonate within you in a personal way that’s difficult to describe. You may feel jazzed, in sync, uplifted and/or understood (and those reactions seep in and linger on afterwards).

At those moments, it’s hard to deny the power and allure of inspiration, as I first learned many years ago with my mother. Even if it only makes a brief appearance, the anticipation of finding inspiration once again, keeps you coming back to the source for more.

For more information on Pamela, visit http://srxq.blogspot.com

Featured Gallery: SCF Fine Art Gallery

Sarasota Visual Art interviews Curator, and Gallery Manager, Joe Loccisano. “My dream exhibition, therefore, would effectively eliminate the perceived barriers between “artist” and “non-artist” and show that art and life are inseparable as they were in ancient culture.”

Sarasota Visual Art interviews Instructor, and Gallery Manager, Joe Loccisano.

Biladeau installation

Tell us about the gallery you curate.

The SCF Fine Art Gallery functions like a museum – which is why we will be applying for museum accreditation through the American Association of Museums (AAM). Located at SCF Bradenton, Neel Performing Arts Center, North, the gallery features exhibitions by national and international artists and serves as a forum for the exchange of ideas. This exceptional facility includes a state-of-the-art exhibition space complete with staging and support areas. The gallery manager oversees the College collection displayed throughout SCF’s three campus locations and available for loan to other institutions.

How was the SCF Gallery founded and how has it evolved?

The original Art Building included a gallery that for many years was the shared responsibility of Art Department faculty members. From the beginning, faculty staged exhibitions for the benefit of the students and community. Exhibitions featured works by contemporary artists and from the collection in the process of development. A full-time position came into existence in the mid-80s. Original gallery manager A. Scheurer was responsible for the gallery’s transformation into a “…center of vitality and innovation…” and included a successful artist series by Syd Solomon. After Scheurer’s departure in the late 80s, I accepted the position and continued the momentum that he and the others had established. In intervening years the gallery would continue to transform and gain further recognition through partnerships with other colleges, community groups and arts organizations. Support from College presidents would prove vital to the success of the gallery and result in numerous enhancements including funding to sustain the art collection, construction of a new gallery in 2009, and reorganization under the Office of the Provost in 2011.

Kidangur1 – by Shaurya Kumar (from Masterworks: Googlepaedic Narrations and the Dysfunction of Damage) Jan 13 – Feb 15, 2012

What is your philosophy behind your curatorial process?

My curatorial philosophy is to select art that is outstanding, innovative (in terms of idea and execution) and of interest to the College and community. This is the same when choosing art for the collection. I select art for its intrinsic value and I find it beneficial to showcase artists from outside the region whose work is inspiring and intellectually challenging. These characteristics add vibrancy to the community and promote dynamic cultural exchange.

What do you think is most misunderstood about the art that has been exhibited at SCF Gallery?

I think what is most misunderstood about the art exhibited at SCF is the same as that which is misunderstood about art in general. Art is not just for artists; it is for everyone. Although we may not immediately comprehend or appreciate a work of art, we can, however, increase our awareness when we take the time to engage art on its own terms.

Have trends in student work from the SCF art program influenced the work exhibited in the gallery?

Some of the most exciting and innovative trends are coming from students – especially those just out of grad school. Students are particularly responsive to experimentation and to the assimilation of traditional media and new technology. We see this trend reflected in the rapidly expanding new media and interdisciplinary programs found at many colleges. However, since the gallery is integral to the College, it is influenced by what is of interest to the students. For example, exhibitions might engage a science student working with fractals or a literature student exploring onomatopoeia. Thus, the gallery is responsive to educational concerns campus-wide.

Biladeau installation

Is the general public your target audience, or do you focus your outreach to just the students?

Our target audience is both students and the general public. Therefore, we focus our outreach on both. The gallery bridges the gap between the College and community. We exist in order to educate and entertain but we delight in offering an experience that is meaningful and, hopefully, transformational.

How does your work as a curator/director inform your practice as an artist and vice versa?

My wide-ranging interests inform my artistic practice as well as my work as a museum professional. In the West we tend to classify and differentiate for the sake of analysis. I take pleasure in art that relates to other disciplines and I delight in making unexpected connections between things that may at first seem dissimilar. My participation in national and international organizations helps me remain current and in touch with a wide variety of artists, academicians, collectors, and museum professionals that informs my practice over all.

JeffHansen – by Jeff Hansen (Student Show) Apr 13 – May 2, 2012

Can you comment on artists in the past that left a lasting impression on you?

Japanese artist Toshiko Takaezu’s Eastern sensibilities influenced the manner in which I display art. In the gallery, I’d created a series of islands made of lava rock to represent the Hawaiian Islands where she lived and worked for much of her life. My intent was to display her ceramic vessels on pedestals (as objects of veneration) positioned on the islands. However, she encouraged me to place them on the lava rocks instead – and this revealed the true nature of her art, which was first and foremost, about everyday life.

Ugandan artist Fred Mutebi created art in celebration of everyday life in Uganda. He printed his colorful and soulful prints on handmade African bark cloth using discarded commercial materials including paneling and offset lithographic inks rescued from the trash. His view toward recycling, a consequence of his need to create, helped expand my conception of sustainability.

Sarasota artist Olympia Zacchini was a true collaborator with each of her exhibitions. Through Olympia, I gained a greater appreciation for the circus and the role of women artists in society.

Finally, Eastern Indian artist Shaurya Kumar, whose exhibition is currently on display in the Fine Art Gallery, left a lasting impression. His work which integrates ancient and contemporary images and art making techniques demonstrates how diverse cultures can embrace uncertainty and thrive in an ever changing world.

Biladeau installation

Does the gallery have a preference of the type of art that it exhibits?

Yes, the gallery prefers art and exhibitions that address universal concerns. The art, because of its universality, offers the community a wide range of topics and viewpoints.

What are the future goals of SCF Gallery?

The SCF Fine Art Gallery is undergoing a process of transformation as it prepares for museum accreditation. Our first step is participation in the MAP (Museum Assessment Program), a rigorous self-study designed to assist organizations in the process of becoming a museum. This designation will help SCF garner support on many levels and provide an even greater range of exhibitions for the community. As a globally recognized and innovative educational organization, SCF is po¬sitioned to create a unique museum devoted to education through a dynamic continuum of academic and cultural exhibitions focused on student success and community responsiveness. The Museum will capitalize on SCF’s role as a cultural destination on Florida’s Suncoast and feature ground-breaking exhibitions that explore art and culture. With several distinct gallery spaces at each of SCF’s three campus locations, the Museum will be recognized for its leadership and responsiveness to the community.

What would be your dream artist to exhibit in the gallery and why?

My dream artist would involve a convergence of both “artists” and “non-artists” (identified as “everyman” or “everywoman” who, if given the opportunity to demonstrate their artistry, might offer something surprising and beautiful). Like Joseph Beuys, who said that “Everyone is an artist,” I don’t mean to suggest that everyone is an artist in the traditional sense, but, is an artist in terms of who they are and what they do in everyday life. My dream exhibition, therefore, would effectively eliminate the perceived barriers between “artist” and “non-artist” and show that art and life are inseparable as they were in ancient culture.

Wujcik – by Theo Wujcik (purchased for the collection in 2011)

State College of Florida
5840 26th Street West
Bradenton, FL 34207

Art Meets Agriculture – Farm City Week

November 19-29th, 2011
Each year in November, Manatee County celebrates its heritage with Farm City Week. Local visual artists will be on exhibit.

November 19-29th, 2011
Palmetto Art Center, 907 5th Street West, Palmetto FL


On Saturday evening, November 19th, from 6-9PM Palmetto Art Center (PAC) will celebrate, through art and music, Manatee County and the City of Palmetto’s association with its agricultural past. Each year in November, Manatee County celebrates its heritage with Farm City Week. PAC wraps up the week long celebration with an enlightening art show entitled ART meets Agriculture. Local visual artists will be on exhibit and members of the Manatee River Bluegrass Band will strum from 7 – 9PM.

The City of Palmetto Proclamation states: “…Farm City Week provides a unique opportunity for those in agricultural enterprises and their city neighbors to become better acquainted and to work together for a better understanding of their interdependence on each other…” PAC strives to better acquaint the county and the City of Palmetto’s community with the work of local artists and their impressions of our agricultural past and future.

Tim Jaeger, a professional contemporary painter of the arts group sARTq, award winning Florida Cowboy photographer, Jimmy Peters, agricultural-inspired canvases, photography, ceramics and milled steel are a sampling of the art on exhibit.

PAC’s ART meets Agriculture show opening reception is open to all who are looking for a social evening of family friendly fun. There is no admission fee. Select artwork, wine and soft drinks will be on sale. For those who cannot attend the opening reception, PAC Gallery is open Monday – Friday 11AM – 2PM, closed on Wednesdays. ART meets Agriculture show will be on show until November 29th, 2011.

PAC is located in historic downtown Palmetto at 907 5th street West – right next door to Growers’ Hardware. For detailed directions and ART meets Agriculture SHOW information visit www.PalmettoArtCenter.com

PAC | Palmetto Art Center
907 5th Street West, Palmetto, FL 34221
(941) 518 – 2109