Welcome to Paradise

300 words by Regan Stacey – A new resident artist’s observation and quick summary analysis of Sarasota.

300 words by Regan Stacey

I moved to Sarasota about a month ago, a transplant from the shores of
southeastern Connecticut. In all twelve states I have lived, never have I been
greeted with the phrase “Welcome to Paradise.” I politely smiled the first time,
but the second time gave me pause. Looking around, I asked myself: “Did I die
and miss the Pearly Gates on the way in?” Having lived along a rural coastline
for the past seven years, I could not imagine that this dizzying array of stores
and strip malls and bright sunny days was Paradise. I am experiencing an
intoxicating level of sensory overload that often has me longing for a darker
shade of sunglasses.

This observation, of course, comes from an artist who tends to work in minimally
abstract ways, one who is quick to quell her senses with subdued imagery and
forms. Less is more, and Paradise is lush.

“Paradise.” I pulled into Paradise Plaza the other day. How many other
businesses or areas of commerce claim “Paradise”? I checked. A Yellow Pages
search revealed sixty-nine “Sarasota Paradise” results. Apparently, in addition to
sixty-six other things, I can get my nails done, pick up a pizza, and go to therapy,
as if one would need therapy in Paradise.

I noticed my songbirds have largely been replaced with four-foot birds in ten-
foot trees. This is a perspective shift I am working on. The quality of light here is
beautiful and lends itself to a brighter and more vibrant color palette.

If art is observation, then my process here has just begun. If Paradise is truly
a state-of-mind, then I am looking forward to making art inspired by this self-
proclaimed Paradise; I just hope it doesn’t flap its giant wings with over-elated
joy.

The Goods: Sarasota Visual Art Weekend News (9.23.11)

Sarasota Visual Arts summary report of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25.

Sarasota Visual Arts summary report of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, September 23 through Sunday, September 25.

Saturday, September 24th (7pm)
Ringling College of Art’s Illustration majors are putting on a fundraiser for their annual Illest of Illustration show. Hosted downtown at Sarasota’s, Word of Mouth Restaurant with live music. Posters will be available for purchase. Live silk screening by Clothesline.

Tampa Museum of Art (closes Sunday, September 25)
Syntax: Text and Symbols for a New Generation. An exhibition that examines the current generation of artists’ interest in text, symbolism, and means of information transference. Drawn from the Hadley Martin Fisher collection in Miami, this project is the first opportunity to experience the depth of this fascinating new collection of contemporary art.

Englewood Art Center (thru October 12)
Erik Groff is on display, exploring the paradigms of reuse, deification of capital and a society locked into ever deepening cycles of overconsumption, Groff reorients his creativity toward furthering the cause of art, rather than that of finance and the product driven. The result is an art which seeks to bridge the void between ’respectable’ gallery art and art made from discarded materials.

Ringling Museum of Art (thru January 29)
The Amazing American Poster: The Strobridge Lithography Company presents eigthy  “brilliantly colored, boldly bombastic posters” on display through the new year. Originally organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum and The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg (thru November 13)
Four Portfolios of the Twentieth Century showcasing Archipenko, Gropper, Evans and Doisneau. This exhibit brings together two lithographic and two photographic portfolios by four important artists. Robert Doisneau and Alexander Archipenko are European, photographer Walker Evans and artist William Gropper  are Americans.

Siesta Key Crystal Classic

Nov. 10-14, 2011
Siesta Key Public Beach

Siesta Key resident artist Brian Wigelsworth has worked in many mediums but has most recently found his niche in sand.  Through national and international competitions he has become one of only about 75 Master sand sculptors in the U.S.  It didn’t take him long to realize Siesta Key’s fine shell-free sand was ideal for hosting a master sand sculpting competition.  So after three years of planning, last year he created The Siesta Key Crystal Classic Sand Sculpting Competition.  The event was so successful it’s first year his company, Sand Lubbers Sandvertising Agency, was able to partner with the World Championships of Sand Sculpting to have the Crystal Classic host the World Championship’s doubles division.

This year’s event will be even more spectacular than the first, drawing master sculptors from all over the world, including the stars of the Travel Channel show SandMasters.Proceeds from the event will benefit Mote Marine Laboratory’s sea turtle research, rescue, rehabilitation and conservation programs.Competition takes place Thursday through Sunday and features sculptors from Belgium, Canada, Italy, Latvia, The Netherlands, Romania, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States.  These sculptors are all champions of international qualifying contests for the World Championship

Their work will be showcased on Siesta Beach, recently named America’s No. 1 beach in Dr. Beach’s 21st annual Top 10 Beach List. The list is produced by Dr. Beach, also known as Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, Director of Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research. Dr. Beach compiles his top 10 beaches list annually and Siesta Key has consistently placed in the top 10.

This community event is chaired by Bob and Eileen Parkinson, organized and operated by volunteers, and is a partnership between The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Sarasota County, the Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce and Mote Marine Laboratory, Inc.

Highlights of the 2011 Siesta Key Crystal Classic:

  • Quick Sand Speed Sculpting Competitions: Watch your favorite sculptors competing in these fast-paced contests.
  • Flying Colors with John Gowdy: See the Paint and Sand Fly… Watch as the image appears before your eyes… in a matter of minutes! Paintings will be auctioned after the performance.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5SvJ44B0uo
  • Sand Sculpting Lessons: Hour-long sand sculpting demonstrations by Sand Lubbers Sandvertising Agency.
  • Veterans Day Sculpture: A special welcome sculpture carved by Brian Wigelsworth of Sand lubbers  Sandvertising Agency to honor our veterans.
  • Mote Marine Laboratory’s Mote Mobile: On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Mote Marine Laboratory’s Mobile Exhibit will be on site. The mobile features a reef exhibit with live fish and hands-on touch tanks.
  • Amateur Competition: Fun for the whole family. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday. Six divisions, including teams and solos.
  • Photo Opportunity Sand Sculptures: Have your picture taken from inside the sand in these Holiday-themed photo opportunity sculptures.
  • Live Music and Siesta Key Chamber of Commerce Vendor Village: Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

If You Go

  • Siesta Key Crystal Classic
  • Dates: Nov. 10-14. Competition begins on Nov. 10 with winners announced on Nov. 13. Sculptures will remain available for viewing on Nov. 14.
  • Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily Location: Siesta Key Public Beach, 948 Beach Road, Siesta Key
  • Cost: $5 per person, per day. Must have an admission bracelet to enter. Purchase entry bracelets at the gate or at the satellite parking lot at Phillippi Estate Park.
  • Advance Ticket Purchase: Advance three-day bracelets (for admission on Friday, Saturday, Sunday only) will be available for $10 for a limited time online at crystalsand.org. (Lost bracelets will not be replaced.)
  • Parking: Parking and round-trip shuttle available Friday through Sunday for $5 at Phillippi Estate Park, 5500 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, 34231. First bus departs Phillippi Estate Park at 8:30 a.m. (the last departure from Phillippi for the beach will be at 4 p.m.) and last bus leaves Siesta Beach for the return trip to Phillippi at 5:30 p.m. Shuttles will run throughout the day.
  • VIP Parking: VIP Parking is located adjacent to Siesta Key Public Beach. VIP Parking passes must be purchased in advance online at crystalsand.orgCost: $49 for one, three-day parking pass or $59 for one, three day parking pass and two three-day admission bracelets.

To Help
Mote Marine Laboratory is seeking volunteers to help staff the 2nd Annual Siesta Key Crystal Classic. To learn more and to register to volunteer, go to crystalsand.org.

2011 Sarasota Chalk Festival

November 1 – 7, 2011
Celebrating the cultural art form of performance pavement art the Sarasota Chalk Festival is lined up to become the most important contemporary venue in the world as the most renowned local, national and international artists use chalk as their medium and the street pavement as their canvas to turn South Pineapple Avenue into a gallery in motion.

November 1-7, 2011
South Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL

Celebrating the cultural art form of performance pavement art the Sarasota Chalk Festival is lined up to become the most important contemporary venue in the world November 1st – 7th as the most renowned local, national and international artists use chalk as their medium and the street pavement as their canvas to turn South Pineapple Avenue into a gallery in motion. This year’s lineup includes innovator of 3D pavement art Kurt Wenner from Washington, Melanie Stimmell Van Latam from California, Michael Kirby from Maryland, Leon Keer from Netherlands, Eduardo Relero from Spain, Vera Bugatti from Italy and Tomoteru Saito from Japan.

This year’s theme is focused on education features works from the art forms thinly document past all the way into today most current contemporary movements. As part of the timeline the festival will honor the Grazie di Curtatone Madonnari with a recreation of the historic 24-hour Madonnari competition that takes place yearly in Mantua Italy during the Feast of the Assumption. Dozens of Italian artists will travel to Sarasota to perform alongside some ambitious American artists in this 24-hour competition that runs November 4th to 5th from 6pm – 6pm that will depict works of art in their tradition of Christian inspiration.

An Exhibition featuring Kurt Wenner’s amazing work will travel from the San Juan Islands Museum to the Ringling College Diana Roskamp Exhibition Hall for a two-week showing October 26th till November 8th. During the festival Wenner will create a pavement drawing with local students marking his first time performed in a festival since 1995. Wenner is a part of the Chalk Festival Lecture Series that will be held at Ringling College and at the 529 Clothesline Gallery The series includes a private evening with Kurt Wenner “Reawakening the Renaissance”, Classical Drawing, 3D and Illusion Techniques, Street Painting Techniques and an in-depth look at the History of Pavement Art. Tickets are on sale at www.ChalkFestival.com or at their Farmer’s Market booth each Saturday till the event.

Renowned Baltimore pavement artist Michael Kirby has partnered with the Sarasota Opera. Kirby will create an elaborate outdoor opera to be constructed at the festival for one-hour excerpts of the famous Madama Butterfly taking place Sunday, November 6th at 11am, 3pm and 8 pm. The set that takes a month to build will feature other performances such as poetry readings, theater and Canadian opera singer Myriam Herman.

New this season, the Chalk Festival is “Going Vertical” with renowned artists Chor Boggie and John Pugh from California, Eduardo Kobra from Brazil, MTO MTO from Germany, Erni Vales from Miami and more. Working on approve properties the artists will create vertical masterpieces including a public art partnership with the City of Sarasota and Jonathan Parks Architect to install 5 public murals in the Palm Avenue Parking Garage starting Tuesday, November 1st.

The 7-day festival will take place Tuesday, November 1st through Monday, November 7th with events in Burns Square and Ringling College. The Chalk Festival will feature dozens of partnerships with other performers in Music, Dance, Poetry, Film, and Theater who are professionals, students and even the little ones just starting their performance experience.

The Sarasota Chalk Festival is organized and managed by the Avenida de Colores 501c3 volunteer nonprofit and is a family event that is free and accessible to all. www.chalkfestival.com

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SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

NOVEMBER 1 – 7
Illussion, 3D and Persective Artists Performing
400-500 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square over a dozen internationally renowned street artists will create large 3d works of art. The works, which fool your eye and tickle your mind taking several days to complete. The creative development of scale, distor- tion perspective and illusion as the works are created is a performance worth watching.

November 4 – 6
Traditional, 2D and Contemporary Artists Performing
300-600 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square hundreds of artists will transform the pavement into a performance art museum in motion starting on friday morning and completing by sunday.

November 4 – 5
500 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square
Madonnari Competition
over a dozen artists with the help of artists from italy will recreate the Madonnari competition to honor the Grazie that takes place in Mantova italy yearly since 1972. The Grazie is responsible for keeping the cul- tural traditions of street painting alive. artists will fol- low the rules and regulations of the Grazie using dry chalk to create works of art with christian inspiration. artists will work 24-hours straight to complete their works. a blessing of the chalk will take place at 5 pm.

Student Chalk Art Competition
November 5
Whole Foods Market Centre on 1st Street, Downtown
students will turn the sidewalks along whole foods Market centre into an art gallery for this one-day com- petition. little children are also encouraged to chalk.

Little Chalkers – Children at Heart
November 5 & 6, 9 am – 5 pm – Public Participation
Oak Street between S. Pineapple & Palm Avenues in Burns Square
an entire city block is dedicated to children and the young at heart to create their own mini-masterpieces during the event. chalk will be provided and it is free to all to participate. Please come inspire and be in- spired by everyone who wants to give chalk art a try.

Viewing Day – Completed Artwork
November 7, 8 am – 7 pm
300-600 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square
come enjoy the neighborhood, have lunch, catch a movie at Burns court cinema and see the completed artwork before all the artwork is completely removed before the next day.

Kurt Wenner Museum Show
October 26- November 8
Ringling College – Diana Roskamp Exhibition Hall
showcasing the unimaginable skills of a true renais- sance man and master 3-d artist, kurt wenner. The exhibition will feature original oils and pastels, pre- liminary sketched for his pavement art, drawings of historical characters and fantasy worlds, plus memo- rabilia from decades of world travel and sidewalk painting. The show will also include the history of sidewalk art from around the world.

Opera Madama Butterfly
November 6th, Three Shows: 11am, 3pm, 8pm
Dolphin Street in Burns Square
renowned Baltimore artist, Michael kirby has created an outdoor set for the sarasota opera to perform one- hour excerpts of Madama Butterfly live at the sarasota chalk festival. The set is located at the intersection of dolphin street and Pineapple avenue. Throughout the day other performing artists will sing, act, dance and play on the stage between opera sets

Music and Other Performances
November 4 – 6 Burns Square
daily live Performances on our Main stage located on laurel street.

Cellograff Art
November 4 – 6 – Public Can Participate
Burns Square
kanos and astro are traveling from Paris france to wrap Burns square in cellophane and create walls for aerosol artists to create vertical art that will change each day of the festival. This demonstration is highly interactive and a fun way to express yourself without imposing on others personal property. Bring your own aerosol cans and participate.

Going Vertical – Painting Walls
November 1 – 7
Various Locations throughout City
dozens of approved local artists and artists from all over the usa, france, Germany and italy will transform walls that have been pre-approved by property owners into works of art.

Kurt Wenner – A Private Evening
Lecture : Reawakening the Renaissance “Asphalt Renaissance” – A Private Evening with Kurt Wenner
World-renowned artist, architect and innovator of 3D pavement art, as he takes you through his journey that started in Rome and took him around the world. His studies of the European classical tradition found art to be a language of form with ancient roots that is still a valid vehicle for artistic expression. His studies and works include drawings, sculpture, decorative arts, paintings, architecture, as well as innovative contemporary media. Wenner will present a slideshow and lecture of his experience traveling and transforming the folk art of the Italian Madonnari into a lively, contemporary and international sensation.
November 1, 2011 @ 8:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Diana Roskamp Exhibition Hall
$25 adult/$15 student ID
Book signing after lecture

Kurt Wenner – Instruction Demonstration
“Street Painting Techniques”
World renowned 3D artist Kurt Wenner will provide an overview and demonstration of the various techniques used in pavement art in the past and current mediums, styles and cultures. This will be a hands on interactive class.
November 1, 2011 @ 9:00 AM
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Kurt Wenner – Instructional Demonstration
“Perspective, 3D, Illusion Techniques”
One of the great myths of our time is that humans “see like a camera”. Photography is widely believed to be a major force in the demise of academic figurative traditions in the visual arts and in the birth of modernism. Humans do not see like a camera and before the invention of photography, artists never felt responsible for replicating nature. Perspective illusions are the outward projection of human experience and imagination from the back of the eye onto surfaces in the physical world. Wenner will discuss the history of illusion and demonstrate the mathematical solutions to ancient problems in depiction. This will be a hands on interactive class.
November 3, 2011 @ 9:00 AM
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Kurt Wenner – Instructional Demonstration
“Classical Drawing”
Classical drawing is often misunderstood as a style of art. Instead, it is a language of depiction that encompasses many historical and personal styles. The structure of classicism is rooted in ancient principles of sacred geometry and human perception. No other artistic language has surpassed its ability to communicate form and space to the viewer. Wenner will demonstrate that a classical drawing is fundamentally both “abstract” in structure and “pure” in design.
November 5, 2011 @ 9:00 AM
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Kurt Wenner – Lecture
“Architecture and Architecture Detailing”
Classical architecture in the ancient world was based on precise mathematical principles of symmetry. Proportion is a form of symmetry that requires all of the parts of a building to maintain a precise relationship to the whole. Decorative elements of a building must therefore be designed and fabricated in order to make an architectural design into a unified work of art. This lecture will discuss both the design and production of original architectural details.
Book signing reception at JWood Realty following lecture, 330 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square.
November 2, 2011 @ 5:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Academic Center Auditorium
$20 adult/$10 student ID
Book signing reception at JWood Realty following lecture, 330 S. Pineapple Avenue in Burns Square.

Kurt Wenner – Lecture
“History of Pavement Art”
Pavement art has a rich, colorful, and varied history that is often “simplified to the point of being wrong”, by writers who have little personal experience with the various traditions or the protagonists. Wenner will describe the cultural roots and methods of the italian madonnari, the German strassenmaler, and the British screevers. All of these cultural traditions have been used as a foundation for the current emergence of pavement art as a global artistic phenomenon, which still provides opportunities for artists and students. Rare photos and engravings of historical pavement artists will accompany the lecture/slideshow.
November 4, 2011 @ 4:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Academic Center Auditorium
$20 adult/$10 student ID

Jim Prigoff – Lecture
“Fourty Years of Spray Can Art”
Documenting urban murals worldwide since the 1960’s, Prigoff’s personal photography collection of spraycan art (graffiti) is one of the most extensive in the world. He will share with you his collection of not only photographs, but amazing stories on his years documenting this urban art form. He is the co-author of several books on the subject. Book signing follows the lecture.
November 4, 2011 @ 8:00 PM
Ringling College of Art & Design
Academic Center Auditorium
$20 adult/$10 student ID

GADZOOKS! Starring Alex the Beck

Saturday, October 1, 2011
529 Clothesline Gallery, 529 S. Pineapple Avenue

Alexander Buckley Beck, born in Arlington VA 1990, was raised by an artistic east coast family.  At a young age, Alex was introduced to art as a lifestyle and chose to follow the path of an illustrator. This journey first brought him southward to attend the Ringling College of Art and Design. There, Alex gained the enthusiasm to create daring works of art.

Then in 2010, Alex Beck enrolled as a student in the Illustration Masters Class to learn from the likes of James Gurney, Donato Giancolo, and Dan Don Santos. He seized every opportunity to make teachers of his idols. With the help of John English, Alex went on to study under award-winning illustrator Mark English,  as well as Sterling Hundley, Gary Kelly, and Marshall Vandruff.

Most recently, Alex Beck’s work was featured in the 2011 Society of Illustrators group show in New York City. Today, he prepares for to his first solo exhibition in downtown Sarasota, FL.

Opening reception: 5:00pm – 9:00pm