The Hermitage Artist Retreat invites you to join them on Friday, August 8th for open studios and a beach reading. The schedule begins at 6:00 pm with two open visual art studios. Beach readings start at approximately 7:00 pm, followed by Mother Nature’s sunset at 8:14 pm. Featured artists are this year’s STARs, a select group of Florida art teachers who have been selected for State Teacher Artist Residencies. These are awarded in partnership with the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, a statewide organization that chooses the winning teachers. The event is free. Simply bring your beach chairs or blanket and any refreshments. The Hermitage is located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. For changes due to weather, call 941-475-2098, after 3:00 pm on August 8th.
“Once again we are delighted to present some of Florida’s outstanding artists who also happen to be teaching our children in schools throughout the state,” remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage. “They come bursting with ideas and are so grateful for the opportunity to be inspired while living with other artists and little distractions but their own creative energy. We wholeheartedly support this program and provide the chance for arts teachers to recharge their artistic batteries as they work on projects that are often neglected during the school year.”
The visual art studios will present work by (Mary) Beth Garcia from Lakeland and Tim Smith from Ft. Myers. Both are high school visual art teachers during the school year. Their work represents two entirely different art forms. When time allows, Garcia does hand work in ceramics, with inspiration drawn from the environment. Smith, on the other hand, creates his art by using 21st century technology and digital imaging to create large format works that are projected, or printed, or even sometimes laminated to metal.
The beach readings will feature work written by Troy Jewell, from Orlando and Joyce Behnke from Polk County. Jewell, a high school English teacher, will share parts of a novella he is working on. Behnke, who is a middle school visual arts teacher during the year, has rediscovered her gift for writing and will share a short story, one of several she is writing for her second book.
The artists’ Hermitage experience as been a successful rejuvenation, as it was intended. According to Jewell, “the time afforded me to write in seclusion, away from daily worries, except what I’ll eat for lunch, has been a true gift. In the short time I’ve been at the Hermitage, I’ve been able to write and rewrite what normally would have taken me months to accomplish.” Similar sentiments have been expressed by all the STARs.
“Come join us on August 8th,” continued Rodgers. “You will meet some amazing artists, be inspired by their talent, and come away impressed by arts education and arts educators who work in our Florida classrooms.”
The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among three disciplines: visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.