BETWEEN HERE & THERE

March 30, 2017 (6-9PM)
3080 N Washington Blvd, Unit #40, Sarasota, FL

BETWEEN HERE & THERE is a collaborative solo exhibition of Sophia Schultz and Ava Zelkowitz, two undergraduate students at New College of Florida. This mixed media installation explores attempts to highlight and dissolve the underlying systems of social understanding of space. This will be an immersive installation piece that, upon entrance, invokes feelings of disorientation and detachment from materiality. We seek to construct a space of dualities, of illusion, of spontaneous reality.
BETWEEN HERE & THERE

Facebook Event Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/568086976734678/

3080 N Washington Blvd, Unit #40, Sarasota, FL

Action in the Manicure; An Interview with upcoming Ringling Underground Artists

For the past seven years Ringling Underground has been bringing a mix of exhibition and live music to Sarasota. This Thursday, March 2nd, Ringling returns with its second Underground of this year, featuring an exhibit in the Ringling Courtyard titled: Action in the Manicure: Works by Nail Pop LLC & Porn Nail$. This exhibit features two regional artists, Rosemarie Romero and Erin Hart.

Romero is the founder of Porn Nail$ Salon, a mobile interactive installation and performance piece that doubles as a queer-feminist nail salon. Born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Miami, Romero’s art incorporates kitschy Latinx Caribbean themes that interlace with a desire to celebrate diversity, sexuality, and the human connection.

Hart is the founder of Nail Pop, a radical nail art company that focuses on community collaboration and working with local artists to make everything from nail decals, to stylish dust masks for the nail artists themselves. They’ve worked with many independent and local brands, their most recent collaboration being with Care Bears, celebrating the brand’s 35th anniversary.

Nail art has exploded in popularity in recent years. While single-color paint jobs and the ever-classic French Tip manicure never really went out of style; bold, bright, and blingy nails of the 80’s and 90’s, primarily birthed out of communities of color seemed to be on their way out in the 2000’s in favor of a more natural style. However, celebrities, and the rise of social media in the past five years have changed all that. Platforms like Instagram, Tumblr, and Youtube have allowed artists to share their work, while sites like Etsy and Kickstarter create spaces for new artists to sell their products and raise money for projects. Suddenly nail art that might have once been considered crazy, or even tacky, is everywhere and for everyone.

Leading up to Action in the Manicure, we sat down with both artists to hear more about the exhibit, their background in nail art, and what this art form- once relegated to the shadows and mystery of the salon- mean to them.

What first got you interested in nail art?

Rose: When I was doing my MFA in Creative Photography at UF (University of Florida) I was doing a lot of collages and paintings that focused on the female nude and femininity. So that sort of technical overlapping and focus on femininity led me to start doing simple nail art designs, very basic stuff. But I found that there was something really intimate and connective about doing nails and the space that is created in a salon between the artist and clients and I decided I really wanted to pursue it.

Erin: I’ve drawn and painted ever since I was little, so I’ve always drawn on everything, including my nails. I’d do them for different holidays and sometimes my mom would pay me to paint hers, too. In 2006, I went to school and got licensed to do nails as a full specialist. I didn’t start really developing my nail art until after I had heart surgery in 2010. I needed an outlet and I needed my friends while I recovered, so I’d invite them over and paint their nails.

Both of you started out with mobile salons, and Rose the mobility of your salon is central to your project. What appeals to you about the idea of a mobile salon?

E: I’m still primarily mobile, but I spend more and more time in my studio experimenting and doing editorial work. I started out working in stick and mortar salons/spas, but I really like having control over my schedule and clients by having a mobile salon.

R: Porn Nail$ is inherently an interventionist project. Part of the idea of it is to invade space and bring the experience and intimacy of being in a salon to people who might not ever walk into one. But it’s definitely a guilty pleasure of mine to think about having a stick and mortar salon. If it ever were to be, I’d love it to be a multi-purpose community space for performance, shows, stuff like that.

Speaking of intimacy Rose, you speak about Porn Nail$ and salons in general being a space where juicy gossip and intimacy emerge over the encounter. Erin, you talk a lot about building community in your work. How do you feel nail art can build intimacy and bring people together?

R: I feel like salons, and in the same way barbershops are a space where people come to share their personal stories and engage in cultural exchange. There is an intimate connection that happens in salons when you are working on someone and they are sharing with you about their lives. And I feel like salons in particular are places where historically women have and still do feel free to engage in conversations that are more raunchy, more free, more sexually explicit and to just, make jokes and have a good time. That’s part of what I’m trying to do with Porn Nail$, to make people feel more comfortable with their sexuality and sex in general.

E: Rose is definitely right about nail salons being a place for guests and artists to experience a closeness that I’ve never experienced doing other services. You’re face to face the entire time, holding their hands and taking care of them. Receiving a nail service can be a very disarming experience, so it’s important to be a good listener. Most of my clients are other artists that I collaborate with in the community here in Tampa. Anytime I find a local artist I like, I’ll offer them work designing decals. I think giving people work and a platform to express themselves is a great way to build community.

How do you see nail art empowering others? What empowers you as the artist about nail art?

R: With Porn Nail$ I feel like so many people have been able to experience this intimate salon setting. Porn Nail$ has been a way to bring people together and show them this [nail art] is for everyone. I’ve had boys come with their fathers to get their nails done, men who have never had their hands touched like this or nails done who were willing to come in and explore something and felt safe to express that with me. Because of the mobility and pop-up nature of the salon, it turns something that is hidden away into something with no walls and no barriers; it demystifies the salon experience. People come and feel like they can play with gender, play with the signifiers, and express themselves in a way they might not feel comfortable elsewhere.

E: For me, nail art allows me to be self employed, I get to choose my hours and my clients, there aren’t many jobs where you get to maintain that kind of control while still being creative and making money. I’m very lucky to be doing this for a living.

Both of you describe your projects as feminist. How do you see nail art as a feminist expression?

E: It’s probably one of the most diverse industries and we’re all here to make a living with our art. Giving that sort of autonomy and agency to people is feminist to me.

R: Outside from what I’ve said before about the salon being a place where people feel free to open up and express themselves, there’s this expression in Miami called Chusmeira, which basically means like radical shamelessness. And it’s this word that’s used when women sort of break traditional gender roles and norms of how they should behave and present themselves. It’s used a lot in the Latinx Caribbean community when, for example, a woman dresses too flamboyantly or acts a certain way. So it’s something that is put onto women from outside them and something stigmatized and with nail art and the space that’s created for women in a salon to express themselves however they’d like…it’s not quite an inversion of the word, but pushing these boundaries is something I keep in mind.

What’s your favorite kind of nail art to do?

R: I am all about glitter and rhinestones. I love sparkle, give it to me! I also like doing more eccentric stuff, nail piercings, things like that. And I really love using this Latinx concept in my work called “Mal de Ojo” and basically it’s like when someone looks at you with jealousy or like maliciousness and so to ward off this evil people wear eye designs called “nazars” and I love using these eye designs in my work.

E: Anything extremely intricate or ornate, the kind of nails few people have the patience to sit for!

Can you describe a little bit of what we can expect from the exhibit at Ringling Underground?

E: This year I’m collaborating with Care Bears, so you’ll see them included throughout the pieces. Each set of nails displayed is it’s own tiny universe to explore. Rose and I will be offering nail art manicures to the guests on a first come first serve basis. It’s going to be really cool.

R: As Erin said, we’ll both be doing nails in the courtyard, first come, first serve. We’ll also both be doing custom nail sets that will be on display and mine will definitely be playing off of the architecture of the building itself. I’ll also be bringing my Porn Nail$ aesthetic with me, rose garlands and Rococo objects decorating the courtyard.

Thanks so much for talking to us! We can’t wait to see the show!

E: Thank you so much!

R: Thanks!

Ringling Underground will be held this Thursday, March 2nd at 8:30PM. For more information visit their website: https://www.ringling.org/events/ringling-underground.

Interview conducted and written by Ashley Phelps

Featured Artist: Karen Arango

Karen Arango is an independent photographer, videographer and black and white gelatin silver printer. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Photography and Digital Imaging from Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL. She also completed the General Studies photography program from the International Center of Photography in NYC.

Shirley by Karen Arango
Shirley, 9, her mother is from Mexico and her father from the United States. Her parents work hard to give her the opportunities they didn’t have at their age. Photo by Karen Arango

Please tell me where you grew up and a bit about your background.

I was born in Colombia, and I moved to the United States when I was 9 years old. My family, parents and two siblings, was in danger because of the war going on in the country, therefore, we immigrated to the United States. When we arrived to this country my parents separated and my mother ended up raising us three alone.

From Abkhazia by Karen Arango
“From Abkhazia” – The mother of an Abkhazian refugee sits in her house in Tbilisi, Georgia while her daughter tell the story of how they immigrated. Photo by Karen Arango

Can you recall the first time you used a camera?

I can’t recall the first time, but I do remember using the old school cameras that my parents had brought with them from Colombia. They were film cameras and I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I got to use them for the first time. All I know is that around 2010 I used a panoramic camera with 110 film, and I took a photo of my brother and his friends while in ROTC in high school, I still have that photo and the cameras with me.

Abkhazian Play by Karen Arango
The Abkhazian refugee mother spends some time with her daughter in the hallway while the other kids of refugees play. Photo by Karen Arango

When did you know that photography was what you wanted to do?

I always loved art, I think almost every child does. I was lucky enough to have an art class at my school in Colombia and my parents had the means to get me art materials. In high school I decided to be an architect, and after doing the AutoCAD program during my junior year of high school I realized that it wasn’t for me. When I decided to study something more unconventional at the time, graphic design some friends and family members would tell me that I would not be able to live out of design or art but I was persistent with it, my mom supported me. I got certified in Digital Design, and after seeing Ringling’s campus and photography program, my boyfriend at the time suggested that I study photography. He would tell me I was very good at it, and I never believed him because he was my boyfriend and I thought he was just saying that. It seems like he knew me well cause since the first day I began studying photography, I fell in love with it.

Xiomara by Karen Arango
Xiomara, 9, her parents are both from Peru. Her mother was deported to Peru when Xiomara was three years old she now only gets to see her mother once or twice a year. Photo by Karen Arango

What are the biggest challenges for you being a photographer?

Self motivation, I think that as an artist I need to keep myself motivated all the time, mostly to do personal work. Then finding a balance between personal and commercial work and keep the spark in my own art. It’s important for me not to let it become an obligation because I’m making money off of it. When your art becomes your means of income it can become dull and you can forget why you started doing it in the first place, but I think that as long as there is a line between commission work and personal work and we stay motivated to do our personal work, then it can be extremely magical.

Helping Brothers by Karen Arango
Brothers help each other get out of the creek in the hills of Dosquebradas, Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

What inspires you?

Life, experiences, family, friends, strangers, light, colors, compositions, music, traveling, love, nature, helping others, making mistakes, taking risks and the unknown.

Melissa by Karen Arango
Melissa, 6, both of her parents are from Colombia. The father left her mother with three kids to raise when Melissa was still a toddler. Photo by Karen Arango

Can you tell me about some of your projects?

I am currently working on a couple of projects. One is the Miss Behave series, which is about young girls born in the US and daughters of Latin American parents. I’m starting to expand on those series.

Another project I am working on is about women who were illegal immigrants and have been abused in the United States, and as a result they were able to get the Visa U. It’s something I just found out about and I think it is extremely important to talk about this. Many women, who have no immigration status, are being abused today and they are scared to say something because they fear deportation.

Water Transport by Karen Arango
A man transports water through the hills of Santa Rosa Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

What is your dream situation? Is this a goal you’re working on, and if so, how’s it going?

Well when I was a child I wanted to be an actress. I’ve always loved performing arts, including dancing. I think everyone who knows me well knows how much I love dancing and every opportunity I have to do it, I take it. Deep inside I still would like to be a performance artist, but in some way I feel that I am connected to it, since I am behind the camera capturing the life performances instead of doing them.

Walk around hen by Karen Arango
A hen walks around a grave in the hills of Dosquebradas, Colombia. Photo by Karen Arango

Where can people find you?

People can find me through my website: karenarango.com, I have a contact page where you can write to me. Instagram: @karenarangor, and facebook: https://www.facebook.com/arangokarenr. I am currently living between Sarasota and NYC, so if I am not in those two cities then I am capturing a story somewhere!

Upholding Tradition – Tattoo Art of Karl Boardman

September 24 – October 15, 2016
Solid, Sarasota

Ancient as time, modern as tomorrow – tattooing is an age old art form that never stops progressing. Karl Boardman is an artist giving the traditional flash style fresh blood. “I like to pay homage to the history of tattooing,” says Boardman, “I honor the classic guidelines and add my touch.”

Karl Boardman

Boardman is an artist born and raised in Florida. He apprenticed at a shop in San Francisco and recently relocated to Sarasota. He is one of the few tattoo artists in Sarasota who draws in the traditional style. He currently works out of Liberty Tattoo Club. Follow Karl Boardman’s work at www.instagram.com/hellsgnaw/

Closing Reception Party for the current exhibit “Upholding Tradition” is coming up next Saturday the 15th from 6-9pm

SOLID
530 south Orange ave, Sarasota, Florida 34236

CITY ISSUES CALL TO ARTISTS

CITY ISSUES CALL TO ARTISTS
FOR PUBLIC ART AT FUTURE ROUNDABOUT

Sarasota, FL:  A Call to Artists is underway for the creation of an original landmark sculpture to be placed at a future roundabout at Orange Avenue and Ringling Boulevard and will become part of the City’s permanent public art collection.

Specific details about the project, including budget, the application process, and selection process are posted atwww.CallForEntry.org

Artists with a proven track record of creating significant outdoor public art commissions, which can withstand the Florida elements, are encouraged to apply.  The deadline for submissions is June 5, 2016.

While there is no central theme or stylistic preference for the sculpture, design criteria will help guide the selection of the piece by the Public Art Committee with final approval by the City Commission.  Included in the overall design criteria:

  • The piece should be high quality and free standing
  • Complement the Orange Avenue/Ringling Boulevard roundabout location
  • Require minimal maintenance (no water features)
  • Must be an original design
  • Can be appreciated from a distance (does not draw people toward it)
  • Must not exceed 20 feet in height
  • Must not display messages or contain signs, flashing lights etc.

The project budget cannot exceed $150,000.

Artists are required to submit qualifications, digital images and a brief description outlining their initial concept for the project.

Images of completed works within the City’s public art collection can be reviewed at:  www.SarasotaGov.com

Three finalists will be invited to present their proposals to the Public Art Committee.  The Public Art Committee will make a recommendation to the City Commission, which will have final approval.

The current timeline for the roundabout sculpture, which is subject to change, is as follows:

  • Submission Deadline:  June 5, 2016
  • Submissions Review by Public Art Committee:  July 2016
  • Finalists’ Presentations to Public Art Committee:  September 2016
  • Recommendation Presented to City Commission:  November 2016
  • Artist Under Contract:  December 2016
  • Installation:  November 2017

Staff members with the Neighborhood and Development Services Department, which oversees the public art program, are coordinating this public art project far in advance of the construction of the Orange Avenue/Ringling Boulevard roundabout, to ensure the sculpture is ready for installation when the roundabout opens. Construction on the roundabout is expected to begin in Summer 2017.

For more information visit the Call for Entry website:  www.CallForEntry.org or contact David Smith, Neighborhood & Development Services General Manager:   941-365-2200 ext. 4175.