Cheyenne Rudolph at Ringling Underground

In recent years, functional ceramics, a medium often shunted into the category of craft, has been accepted into the vast world of contemporary art. The February Ringling Underground features three artists living in Florida and exploring the medium of clay. Jenn Ryan Miller, Sharon Norwood, and Cheyenne Rudolph use ceramics to explore various themes. Their diversity will provide the Ringling Underground audience with a multi-faceted view of contemporary ceramics being produced in Florida at current.

For the first installment of Ringling Underground on February 4, 2016, Cheyenne Rudolph will be performing Lemon-Aider. Cheyenne, who received her MFA in 2014 from University of Florida, is both a ceramicist and performance artist. Her performances utilize subversive functional ceramics to explore childlike assumptions about domesticity and cultural expectations. Cheyenne graciously agreed to participate in an interview to provide the Ringling Underground audience with context about her performance, Lemon-Aider.

Cheyenne Rudolph performing "Lemon-Aider"
Cheyenne Rudolph performing Lemon-Aider

Please describe the piece you will be performing at Ringling Underground on February 4.

The Lemon-Aider is an interactive mobile beverage cart, designed as a traveling performance piece to challenge the collective assumptions surrounding gender identity for women. A nostalgic lemonade stand, the Lemon-Aider is a operated by a caricatured retro housewife, whose good intentions are peppered with indecorous insinuations brought on by the mechanics of operating the juicing device. This is not your childhood lemonade stand.

Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup
Citrus Juicer Stand and Cup

Why did you choose this piece to perform, and what are you hoping from the Ringling Underground audience in terms of participation?

The Lemon-Aider is a friendly piece, highly approachable, and participants come away with a more intimate encounter. The piece is mobile and flexible in how I perform it, as I make lemonade from scratch for one individual at a time. It is more like a conversation with a character than a timed performance in front of a live studio audience. Participants may watch as I demonstrate, or they may interact with me as I make lemonade.

When did you begin combining your ceramics with performance art?

I have a background in theatre, studying it briefly in high school and undergraduate school. As the art objects I made became increasingly ambiguous and absurd in their functions, it was necessary to explain their use. The element of control is important in how I design the work, so it was natural for me to demonstrate, and to essentially take over the use of the objects, so that now, I am the only user. It has blossomed into an engaging way to design and make work.

Saturday Apron
Saturday Apron

Where does a piece begin, the ceramics or the concept for the performance?

Definitely the concept is primary. As I have learned to design for my own engagement, I am liberated from making pedestrian-friendly functional objects, so I think of them as actors or overstated props in the performance. I think about whether I will be performing live or through video, which helps in how I design the work. I also think about the installation and visual context of the piece; because it will be informed by its surroundings and my own interaction, the object no longer has to carry the full weight of the concept. I can, in a sense, magnify my visual concept to installation proportions, letting the backdrop, the video editing, or my own script, bring in subtext. I then make the object with my preliminary performance idea in mind. After the object is complete, the performance may go through a series of trials and refinements, and at times, I need to remake the object to better suit the performance needs.

Lemon-Aider in action
Lemon-Aider in action

What is the relationship between the ceramics and the performance elements of your art?

The objects instigate, or provide the implications of the performance, yet in their complicated design and retro aesthetic, they draw the viewer in. They are designed to be appealing, as is my own costume, yet while in use, they become a source of absurd subversion. I am picking apart and drawing attention to the expectations placed on me, personally, and on women of a particular type.

What type of influences motivate your art practice?

1950s/1960s kitchen products, Chindogu and infomercials of the 90s/00s, parodies and satire, old SNL skits, calling attention to conventionally accepted, yet unjust paradigms. Lucille Ball, Amy Sedaris, drag performers, theatre scenic design techniques and methods.


Ringling Underground is series of one night only events combining live music and experiential artworks in the Courtyard. The artwork is curated by Natalya Swanson and Shannon Fortner organizes the musical performances.

Ringling Underground is always free for college students with a valid college ID. It is an extension of the Art After 5 program held on Thursdays after 5 p.m. After hours discounted admission is $10 for adults; $5 for children 6-17, children 5 and under and Museum Members are free.

Cash bar provided by Modern Events at The Ringling.

Ringling Underground is a rain or shine event.
Share your Underground experiences on social media using the hashtag:#RinglingUnderground

SARTQ translates GREEN

Opening reception: November 7 (2pm-4pm)

In conjunction with the Englewood Art Center’s 2015-2016 Exhibition season Fifty Shades of Green, members of the Sarasota Contemporary Art Collective, SARTQ, translate the concept of Green. View SARTQ’s multiple interpretations of Green-from environmental to color depictions- in this diverse multimedia small works exhibition located in EAC’s Mitchell Gallery.

SARTQ, Englewood Art Center

Exhibit runs November 3 – December 16, 2015

Englewood Art Center
350 S McCall Rd, Englewood, FL 34223

KEY Influence, Opening Reception – SARTQ

Longboat Key Center for the Arts
Friday, October 9 (5:30-9pm)

Experience the unveiling of the SARTQ collection of contemporary, LBK inspired works including video, material samples of actual vignettes from the artist’s LBKCA workspaces. Light refreshments and music performed by Bill Buchman will make ehis a festive, inspiring and though provoking experience. Nick Reichert, Arts & Culture Editor of the Observer Media Group, will be on hand to introduce the artists.

Key Influence Panel Discussion
Wednesday, October 21 (6:30-8pm)

Engage with SARTQ artists and hear more about the SARTQ non-profit initiative, contemporary arts in the region, and their artistic goals for our community. Christopher Jones, Assistant Curator at The Ringling Museum will be the Moderator for this informative evening.

SARTQ, Sarasota Visual Art Collective, Longboat Key Center for the Arts

View Facebook Events Page here:

To RSVP: Call 941-383-2345 or email

Longboat Key Center for the Arts
6860 Longboat Key Drive South
Longboat Key, FL 34228
Gallery Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm

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:

Start the Conversation by Pamela Beck

Recently I was at a Sarasota party where a group of older art collectors discussed several art events of this past season. Talk included “Beyond Bling,” the Ringling Museum’s show of hip-hop inspired art; street artist MTO’s “Fast Life,” the now whitewashed wall mural that caused a public uproar; S/aRt/Q’s “Voyeur,” an exploration of observation and art through a peephole; and exhibitions at the new Clothesline Gallery.

by Pamela Beck

Recently I was at a Sarasota party where a group of older art collectors discussed several art events of this past season. Talk included “Beyond Bling,” the Ringling Museum’s show of hip-hop inspired art; street artist MTO’s “Fast Life,” the now whitewashed wall mural that caused a public uproar; S/aRt/Q’s “Voyeur,” an exploration of observation and art through a peephole; and exhibitions at the new Clothesline Gallery.

Of course there were fans and foes of each. Some got kudos for talent and originality; others, thumbs down for technique and “attitude.” Attitude? Yes, that was the word used. Predictably, the age divide was at play here.

This “attitude” label sparked a lively conversation. We discussed how artists use their work to respond to and interpret their private lives; but like the rest of us, they can’t help being impacted by the world at large through the unavoidable exposure to an abundance of constant information.

Seen from the perspective that contemporary art is not only personal but also reflects our shared time in history, some people began to reconsider the “them/us” they unknowingly constructed with artists they disliked. Furthering this thought, the concept that today’s art is tomorrow’s artifact is provocative.

Talk drifted to ideas rather than opinions. We considered how you might not like a particular work but your reactions are valuable for what they reveal about yourself, the artist and our culture. This led to a discussion about the importance of looking at all kinds of new work for both personal satisfaction and as a firsthand way to participate in our current evolving world.

All this resulted from a conversation about a couple of artists with “attitude” problems. Good thing; otherwise it might have been a short night.

For more information on Pamela, visit