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.

County to dedicate historical marker at Riverview High School

Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011
Riverview High School

The Sarasota County Historical Commission will recognize Riverview High School with the dedication of a new historical marker at the school at 9 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 4. Riverview High School is located at 1 Ram Way, on the southwest corner of Proctor Road and Lords Avenue, in Sarasota.

The marker will recognize the historical significance of the original Riverview High School, which opened in 1958 and was designed by noted architect Paul Rudolph. The original Riverview High School consisted of modern steel and glass structures set among tall native pines in one of Sarasota’s then developing suburbs. With its distinctive design, the school helped define a sense of community in this neighborhood during its 50 years of existence. Rudolph left Sarasota in 1957, the same year that he designed Riverview High School, to accept an appointment to lead the architecture school at Yale University.

The historical marker for Riverview High School was requested and funded by the Sarasota County School Board and school district administration. The marker text was prepared by architect and Rudolph scholar Joseph King. The original structures that comprised Riverview High School, much altered over time, were demolished in 2009 to make way for a school that could accommodate 21
st Century educational requirements.

“This marker for the original Riverview High School is particularly significant as it is the first historical marker dedicated for a post World War II architectural resource,” said Lorrie Muldowney, historic preservation specialist with the Sarasota County History Center. “Rudolph influenced many of his younger colleagues in Sarasota, a remarkable group of designers that collectively became known as
the Sarasota School of Architecture.”

Members of the Sarasota County Historical Commission will dedicate the marker along with representatives of Sarasota County government and the Sarasota County School Board. The marker dedication is open to the public and light refreshments will be served.
For more information, call the Sarasota County Call Center at 941-861-5000 or visit