Artists Who Made Sarasota Famous & The Story of the Sarasota Art Association

JANUARY 19, 2012 – March 10, 2012
Recognizing over 40 artists who established Art Center Sarasota as a dynamic and vital community art center, and chronicling the Art Association’s formative years through photography and unique memorabilia.

JANUARY 19, 2012 – March 10, 2012
Art Center Sarasota

Judy Axe in ACS galleries 1950s

Artists That Made Sarasota Famous exhibition will be on display in the Center’s Gallery One, recognizing over 40 artists who established Art Center Sarasota as a dynamic and vital community art center. These creative pioneers were the artistic force responsible for putting Sarasota on the map as one of Florida’s most vibrant cultural destinations. The exhibition offers a rich sampling of works by artists who settled into Sarasota and were active in the Sarasota Art Association during its early heyday. These works are on loan from the artists, their families, and local collectors. Among the varied subjects are portraits, landscapes, still life, non-representational and circus themes.

LBK Bridge - 1950s plein air classes instructor Robert Chase

The legacy of early Sarasota artists John Armstrong, Jack Cartlidge, Julio De Diego, Jerry Farnsworth, William Hartman, George Kaiser, Robert Larson, Hilton and Dorothy Leech, Frank Rampolla, Guy Saunders, Syd Solomon, Eric von Schmidt, Ben Stahl and others will be honored. Many of the artists on exhibit still reside in the Sarasota area today, including Beth Arthur, Judy Axe, Robert Chase, Fiore Custode, George Fox, Marty Hartman, Roy Nichols, Craig Rubadoux and Jan Silberstein.

Sarasota Art Association -Today' Art Center Sarasota 1964

The Story of the Sarasota Art Association 1926 – 1966 (today’s Art Center Sarasota) exhibition on display in the Center’s Gallery Two chronicles the Art Association’s formative years through photography and unique memorabilia. The focus of the exhibition is to tell the story of the vital connection between Sarasota’s Community Art Center, the artists’ community, the Ringling School of Art (today’s Ringling College of Art and Design), the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art and the Sarasota community, providing insight into the sensibility of the time. This exhibition will feature a series of bold and richly illustrated graphic displays telling Art Center Sarasota’s colorful story from its inception in 1926 through 1966. The exhibition includes an illustrated historical timeline and accompanying photographs. These exhibitions pay tribute to Art Center Sarasota’s success and spirit while celebrating its past achievements.

Sarasota Art Association- today's Art Center Sarasota -Original Building 1950s

This exhibition is curated by Heidi Anderson Connor, and co-curated by Mark Ormond. Connor is a certified archivist and Historical Collections Manager. She is a freelance archivist working with the Sarasota County History Center and the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. She studied at Ringling College of Art & Design in the 70s, and spent 12 years as assistant to the American sculptor John Chamberlain. Connor was the Curator/Archivist for the Museum of Television and Radio exhibition, The Gentleman Giant: Leonard H. Goldenson, and the executor of the estate of artist David Budd. She completed her graduate work at USF and has a BFA from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL.

logo Art Center Sarasota

Mark Ormond is currently the Curator of Exhibitions for Ringling College of Art and Design, has over 30 years of experience in the art world, and has organized, coordinated, designed and installed numerous museum exhibitions. Ormond has also edited, authored and contributed to many brochures, catalogues and publications on artists including Robert Rauschenberg, Francesco Clemente, Robert Thiele and Yayoi Kusama. He has held positions at the Miami Art Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. As an independent curator, author, lecturer and consultant since 1999, Ormond remains engaged in a broad range of contemporary art projects.

Art and Flight

Sarasota Visual Art highlights seven airports where you can catch some art on the way to catching your flight if you are leaving from, or arriving into, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

Rushing to catch your flight is standard airport behavior, but if you are flying with the other 2 million holiday travelers, you may find yourself standing in long lines, waiting for your departure, and experiencing lengthy delays. Although airports are not museums in the traditional sense, many airports display art- really good art, and surprising collections of art at U.S. airports offer a moment for reflection — for those who have the time.

Sarasota Visual Art highlights seven airports where you can catch some art on the way to catching your flight if you are leaving from, or arriving into, Sarasota Bradenton International Airport:

Rara Avis Detail, Ralph Helmick & Stuart Schechter, 2001

1. Sarasota Bradenton International (SRQ)

Four Large acrylic paintings by local artist Frank Hopper are displayed in the TSA security screening area, and four large pastels by local artist Regan Dunnick are displayed on the concourse by gates B7 and B8, as well as on the first floor; both groups of artwork were created specifically for the terminal rendering a distinct Florida and regional ambiance. Other airport artwork and display showcases can be found strategically throughout the terminal.

2. Tampa International (TPA)

Permanent Exhibit, Art of the 60’s and 70’s, contains examples of work by several outstanding Florida artists and craftspersons, including some recognisable established Sarasota artists. Many of the outstanding professional artists represented in this collection were also teachers in Florida’s art schools, colleges and universities. Originally, the collection was purchased for display in the Airport’s administrative offices when the Landside Terminal Building opened on April 15, 1971.

Featured artists in this collection include Beth Arthur, Jack Brewer, Frank Colson, Harrison Covington, Gladys Kashdin, Daisy Koenig, Bruce Marsh, Robert McFarland, Harold Nosti and David Weidman.

3. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International (ATL)

While Hartsfield-Jackson’s Art Program offers numerous permanent and rotating exhibits of art and displays, one long-term exhibit stood out located on International Concourse E. Recycle Runway: Reclaimed Fashions is a collection of 18 couture fashions made from re purposed trash by artist and environmental educator Nancy Judd from Santa Fe, N.M. Judd’s goal is to inspire people in a fun and positive way to consider the possibility that “waste does not exist — only wasted resources.”

Judd’s trashique classic-style clothing is inspired by vintage designs and created from discarded and reclaimed materials. Each garment takes 50 to 400 hours to create and is made to last 100 years.

“The dichotomy of an elegant dress made from garbage is very intriguing,” Judd said. “I love the challenge of transforming trash into glamorous fashions.”

Visit to take the full eco-quiz, perform quick e-activism, find resources, watch a video about this exhibition and share photos with friends.

4. Charlotte-Douglas International (CLT)

Charlotte Douglas International Airport’s Art Program, Just Plane Art, includes over 20 permanent and rotating exhibits. Some of CLT’s permanent collection includes a 1/2 scale replica of the original Wright Flyer flown by Orville and Wilbur Wright on December 17, 1903 was installed on Concourse E, the airport’s regional carrier concourse, on December 12, 2003. In addition, a 15-foot-high bronze sculpture of Queen Charlotte can be found in the airport’s Queen’s Courtyard is located in front of the terminal. The sculpture, dedicated in 1990, is the centerpiece of the large plaza featuring a 40-foot reflecting pool not to be missed.

5. New York – John F. Kennedy (JFK)

Of all the artworks exhibited in New York’s JFK airport, one is not to be missed. Known for his incredible ability to recall landscapes from memory after seeing them only once, and transferring that projection onto the page, artist Stephen Wiltshire sketched the almost picture perfect skyline of New York City which is now displayed at the JFK airport on a 250 billboard. .

6. Chicago Midway International (MDW)

Completed in 2003, the Midway International Airport redevelopment project provided Chicago with a state-of-the-art airport terminal, as well as significant additions to its world-class art collection. Midway International Airport houses artworks by eight internationally renowned artists from Chicago and across the United States.

Of the eight artists, Ralph Helmick and Stuart Schecter’s Rara Avis, a suspended sculpture visible from center of Ticketing Hall and Mezzanine Level, is an epic suspended sculpture poetically linking natural and manmade aviation. Comprising thousands of precisely suspended pewter elements, the artwork employs three-dimensional Pointillism. From a distance, the sculpture is a monumental cardinal, Illinois’ state bird. Upon closer examination, a perceptual shift occurs and the large avian form reveals a composition of over 2,500 small renderings of aircraft. Over 50 different aircraft are represented, ranging from Leonardo da Vinci–inspired designs and 19th-century balloons to classic passenger airliners and 21st-century spacecraft.

Rara Avis Detail, Ralph Helmick & Stuart Schechter, 2001

7. Boston Logan International (BOS)

Displayed in Terminal E Baggage Are for Aer Lingus and Southwest Airlines, is the latest unveiling of the Massachusetts Port Authority public art exhibit with a photographic display of iconic images of Boston and the Bay State.

The exhibit is composed of three separate elements: 10 framed photographs of stops on the Freedom Trail, ranging from the golden dome of the State House to the Bunker Hill Memorial; 12 photo murals of cultural, historical and vacation landmarks in Massachusetts; and four display cases featuring the area’s four major professional sports teams, each of which has won a championship in recent years.