Selections from the permanent collection of the Lemur Conservation Foundation
“Black Box Projects: Summation”
An exhibit of work by USF graduate students
An open, all-media juried exhibition
Opening Reception: May 22, 5-7 p.m.
Featuring four exhibits that include kinetic sculpture created in collaboration with area schools and businesses, cutting-edge works by USF MFA candidates, a selection of art from the Lemur Conservation Foundation, and an all-media juried show.
(Sarasota, FL) Art Center Sarasota’s 2013-2014 exhibition season, entitled “Incredible Journey,” continues with four new exhibits which run May 22-June 27. “Unconventional Conventions,” in Gallery 1, features kinetic sculptures created by students from NewGate School and Out-of-Door Academy; Vanishing,” in Gallery 2, curated by Mark Ormand, features selected works from the permanent collection of the Lemur Conservation Foundation, a Myakka-based organization that aids endangered primates; Black Box Projects: Summation,” in Gallery 3, features cutting-edge work in photography, painting, sculpture, installation, video and printmaking by nine MFA candidates from the University of South Florida in Tampa; and “Perspectives,” in Gallery 4, is an open all-media juried exhibition juried by Chris Jones, assistant curator of exhibitions at The Ringling, and Diane Shelly, executive director of the Florida Craftsmen Gallery. An opening reception for all four exhibits is May 22, 5-7 p.m. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. For more information, call 941-365-2032 or visit www. artsarasota.org.
In “Unconventional Inventions,” 24 7th through 12th grade students from NewGate School and 60 fifth graders from The Out-of-Door Academy were challenged to create artistically themed kinetic sculptures, inspired by Rube Goldberg machines, that encompass STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning. The exhibit’s sponsors, Sun Hydraulics and Sarasota Architectural Salvage, contributed funds and materials to help the students create the sculptures.
Emma Thurgood, Art Center Sarasota’s exhibition coordinator, says that the center’s exhibition committee wanted to “create a community project that would involve and challenge students. Artistic talent depends on creative thinking and problem-solving. These same skills are applicable in so many other fields, including science, math and engineering.”
Jessica Dunda, the coordinating art teacher for this initiative at The Out-of-Door Academy, says that the project helped students “expand their critical thinking, creativity, team-building and problem-solving skills.” Robby Schlesinger, coordinator of the art program at NewGate School, agrees. “When we first starting talking about a kinetic art project, I think the students were a little reluctant to believe that something simple, mechanical and built by hand could be imaginative and entertaining,” says Schlesinger. “No computer, no electricity, no LED lights, no flash? Yet, as we got into the actual building of the piece, they were absolutely intrigued by the simplest discoveries and ideas.”
“Vanishing,” curated by Mark Ormand, features selected works from the permanent collection of the Myakka-based Lemur Conservation Foundation (LCF), an organization that is dedicated to the preservation and conservation of the lemurs of Madagascar through captive breeding, scientific research, and education. This exhibit features works by nearly 20 artists, including local artists Jean Blackburn and Craig Rubadoux. LCF founder Penelope Bodry-Sanders hopes this exhibit will help people “understand the awfulness of extinction—without that, there is little hope for the future of lemurs and life itself in its magnificent diversity. Art can’t change the world, but it can change the way we see, think and feel about it.”
The second “Black Box Project” this season is “Summation” and features photography, painting, sculpture, installation, video and printmaking created by nine MFA candidates from USF in Tampa. The students are Michael Bauman, Katina Bitsicas, Christine Comple, Marcus DeSieno, Roberto Jorge, Elizabeth Plakidas, Janett Pulido, Curt Steckel and Jaro Studencki. Black Box Projects are funded by Art Center Sarasota as an opportunity for college students to create or curate an innovative artistic project to help build their professional skills as working artists.
“Perspectives” is an all-media juried exhibition open to all artists. Online submissions can be done on Art Center Sarasota’s website, www.artsarasota.org/callartists, through May 9. Hand-carried submissions will be accepted at Art Center Sarasota on May 13, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The jurors for this exhibition are Chris Jones, assistant curator of exhibitions at The Ringling and Diane Shelly, executive director of the Florida Craftsmen Gallery.
Upcoming at Art Center Sarasota:
The “Second Annual Florida Flavor Exhibition,” an all-media, juried exhibition highlighting the talented artists of the Sunshine State, runs July 10-August 15, 2014, in all four of the center’s galleries. Closing the season, August 28-September 30, 2014, is “Organic Mechanic,” featuring the sculptures of Russ Bellamy in Gallery 1; “Back Roads to Back Homes,” featuring Florida photography in Gallery 2; a Black Box Projects installation in Gallery 3; and “Coming Home,” a members-only, all-media, juried exhibition in Gallery 4.
For more information about Art Center Sarasota, call 941-365-2032 or visit www.artsarasota.org.
About Art Center Sarasota
Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. It was founded in 1926 as the “Sarasota Art Association” by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County schools district. In the early years, the group met monthly and sponsored exhibits in rented facilities. The Association was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. Art Center Sarasota is now a membership-based organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota’s mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities.
Art Center Sarasota
707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone: 941-365-2032 § Fax: 941-366-0585
10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday