Lisa Hoke is known for transforming discarded, everyday materials into colorful, one-of-a-kind artworks that have been exhibited at major art museums and galleries. The artist will spend three weeks creating one of her innovative installations inside the historic Sarasota High School. SMOA invites the community to participate in creating the installation by gathering colorful cardboard packaging materials that will become part of the art.
(Sarasota, FL) When was the last time you’ve seen a huge work of art made from flattened Cheerios boxes, Harp Lager cartons and Pokemon cards? You’ll be getting a chance soon. And, just think, your throwaways are what the artist will create this color-filled installation with.
It’s all thanks to the fresh and daring ideas that SMOA’S “ARTmuse” program is bringing to Sarasota to inspire children and adults.
Wendy G. Surkis, president of Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA, a division of Ringling College of Art and Design, announced that the acclaimed artist, Lisa Hoke, will participate in SMOA’s 2014 ARTmuse program, from January 15-February 4, 2014. Celebrated for her innovative use of re-purposed colorful cardboard packaging materials, Hoke has created works designed for specific spaces and environments at museums all over the country, including Mass MoCA in Massachusetts, Rice University Art Gallery in Houston and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art in Oregon. The artist uses massive quantities of everyday consumer materials, including cardboard boxes, household, office and food product packaging, to create her epic, color-saturated assemblages. During her Sarasota project, the artist will create a site-specific installation inside the historic Sarasota High School—the future home of the Sarasota Museum of Art/ SMOA. Surkis says the public will have many opportunities to view the artist at work—and watch her creation unfold and evolve. She invites area residents to participate in the project by donating their discarded cereal boxes, paper goods boxes, produce boxes, office supply boxes, shoe boxes, liquor boxes and more. “It’s most important that the boxes be colorful, not ripped or crinkled. No plastic,” says Surkis. Drop-off days are October 19, November 9 and December 14, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the historic Sarasota High School, 1001 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Docents are also sought for this project. To inquire about docent training, call 941-309-7662.
“We’re thrilled to offer our community another artistic transformation using unusual material to stretch their imaginations thanks to this remarkable artist,” says Surkis, adding that last year’s ARTmuse project with Patrick Dougherty was a “triumph.” Surkis says that Hoke’s work—reusing materials that are transformed into works of color and beauty—is “symbolic of the work SMOA is doing to re-purpose the historic Sarasota High School into a dynamic arts destination for innovative, contemporary visual art.”
Hoke, based in New York City, sorts salvaged packages by color, then forms items into roughly four-foot collages and integrates them into huge works that are designed for the particular space and environment. “Castaway treasures become my tools for expression of beauty,” says Hoke. “My room-sized collages are derived from cardboard and paper packaging, reflecting the amazing unappreciated properties of colorful disposable consumer products.” She adds that she enjoys the challenge and stress of working big. “My new installation for SMOA will continue my exploration of color and form in large-scale works.”
Hoke’s work has been shown internationally and at exhibition spaces across the United States. Hoke has created installations at The NC Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC, The McNay Museum, San Antonio, TX, New Britain Museum of American Art, CT., the Brattleboro Museum, VT., the D’Amour Museum, Springfield, Ct. and Mass MoCA, North Adams, MA. Hoke is the recipient of a Joan Mitchell Award and a fellowship from the National Academy Museum, NY. Her work is in the public collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Johnson Museum, Cornell University, New Orleans Museum, LA, Orlando Museum, FL and others.
Surkis observes that serendipity plays an important role for Hoke—and will for the community as they observe the three-week installation process. “You can plan all you want,” says Surkis. “But a work of this nature is never exactly what you envisioned. Hoke’s installations unfold organically. Each completed piece is always a delightful surprise to the artist and the public as well. We invite the community to watch the process.”
Surkis notes that Hoke’s unfolding vision will be realized with help, in part, from corporate partnerships and individual participation. “PNC Wealth Management, again, is this year’s corporate sponsor,” she says. “And area companies are already on board to donate the colorful cardboard they would otherwise discard. These include the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota and the Residences, the Siesta Key branch of Michael Saunders & Company, the PNC Wealth Management staff, New Balance, The Lollicake Queen, Perq Coffee Bar, and Sassy Hair on Siesta Key. It’s an artistic form of recycling and they’re all delighted to be a part of it. We’re inviting everyone in the community to participate as well!”
As Surkis sees it, community engagement is at the heart of SMOA’s mission. “We’re reinventing a historic structure that’s central to the experience Sarasotans have of their community,” she says. “At the same time, we’re connecting Sarasota with the larger arts community around the nation. The ARTmuse program attracts world-renowned artists and is helping to put us on the art world map while we are a museum in the making. It’s very exciting.”
SMOA’s ARTmuse programs are designed to bring renowned artists and museum professionals to our region. Previous visiting artists have included Patrick Dougherty, Lesley Dill, Janet Echelman, Judy Pfaff and Seth Randal. According to Surkis, “They share their creative journey and impart a deep understanding of who they are, what they do and how they do it.” She adds that these featured professionals give the public, “unique and meaningful learning experiences in an up-close-and-personal setting. Our enlightening programs provide Sarasota art enthusiasts a sense of what’s to come once we get SMOA up and running.”
SMOA will be Sarasota’s first art museum devoted to modern and contemporary art. The museum will interweave exhibitions, educational programs and community outreach initiatives to engage a diverse audience and serve as a stimulating hub for creative discovery and discourse. Together, Ringling College and SMOA will transform the former Sarasota High School, a landmark building listed on the National Register of Historic Places, into nearly 60,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 110-seat, multi-purpose auditorium, sculpture court, indoor/outdoor café, classrooms and studios, educational resource and meeting spaces. According to Surkis, this new use is history-making in its own right.
“The reinvented building will regain its stature as one of the area’s most significant and recognizable structures,” she says. “The reinvention of this building, which includes a glass structure, iconic in its modernity, invokes the past, the present and the future. The rebirth of the high school is exhilarating.”
Surkis adds that the SMOA board has already raised $16.5 million of the $22 million needed to bring the museum to a reality. “We’re in the home stretch,” she says.
For more information about Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA, visit www.SarasotaMuseumOfArt.org, or call Wendy G. Surkis at 941-309-7662.
About Sarasota Museum of Art
Sarasota’s first museum of modern and contemporary art will be a dynamic destination for exhibiting innovative and compelling visual art of the 20th and 21st centuries. A vital part of Sarasota’s rich cultural legacy, the museum will interweave exhibitions, educational programs and community outreach initiatives to engage a diverse audience and serve as a stimulating hub for creative discovery and discourse. For more information, visit www.SarasotaMuseumOfArt.org.
About Ringling College
Ringling College of Art and Design is a private, not-for-profit, fully accredited college offering the Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 13 disciplines: Advertising Design, Computer Animation, Digital Film-making, Fine Arts, Game Art & Design, Graphic & Interactive Communication, Illustration, Interior Design, Motion Design, Painting, Photography & Digital Imaging, Printmaking, and Sculpture, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Business of Art & Design. Located in Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the picturesque 48-acre campus now includes more than 110 buildings, and enrolls nearly 1,400 76 students from 42 states and 53 countries. It is recognized as being among the best and most innovative visual arts colleges in the United States as well as a leader in the use of technology in the arts.