Sarasota, FL – June 7, 2021 – Today Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design announced that as part of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Blue Star program, active military personnel and their families will enjoy free admission this summer, from Saturday, May 15, 2021 to Labor Day, Monday, September 6th.
“During my 20 years serving in the U.S. Army, the constant change of moving my family every other year on average made it very difficult for us to learn about each new town we were living in, let alone engage with the cultural institutions there,” said Sarasota Art Museum Interim Co-executive Director David Samec. “By partnering with the Blue Star Families program to provide active-duty service members and their families free admission, we hope to make it much easier for them to engage with our community by providing a warm and welcoming gathering space in which to learn about and be inspired by the contemporary art of our time.”
The NEA’s Blue Star Museums program supports the service and sacrifice of our nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families and a list of all participating museums in the program is available at arts.gov/bluestarmuseums. This year’s participating organizations include fine art, science, history, and children’s museums, as well as zoos, aquariums, gardens, and more.
The Blue Star program supplements the Sarasota Art Museum’s ongoing free admissions programs for public and life safety officers, veterans and active military with ID; all children under 17 when accompanied by an adult; and Cross College Alliance Students with ID. In addition, through the support of the Charles & Margery Barancik Foundation, the Sarasota Art Museum offers free admission to everyone on the last Sunday of every month.
Sarasota Art Museum opened two new exhibitions to the public on May 29th featuring the work of Robert Colescott (1925-2009) in the 2nd floor galleries and Charles McGill (1964-2017) in the John & Charlotte Suhler Gallery on the 3rd floor.
Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott is the first comprehensive museum retrospective presenting the works of one of America’s most compelling and controversial artists and will reveal over 50 works from 53 years of his career that both bring to the surface and challenge diversity and racial stereotypes. Art and Race Matters invites a renewed examination of the artist, whose work is still as challenging, provocative, and relevant now as it was when he burst onto the art scene over five decades ago.
Charles McGill: In the Rough features the work of this multidisciplinary artist, educator, and golf teaching professional celebrated for his assemblage works that re-purpose the plastic, steel, leather, vinyl, and hardware from vintage golf bags. By cutting, tearing, and re-imagining these materials into abstract sculptures, McGill transforms the accessory and game of golf from a symbol of exclusion and privilege to a cite for discussions surrounding racial and class inequities.
“We’ve seen the tremendous impact the Blue Star Museums program brings to our military families, and we’re thrilled to be celebrating a decade of support,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, chief executive officer of Blue Star Families. “Not only are museums fun to explore but they are also great for making memories and strengthening military families as a whole.”
Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums nationwide. The program is available for those currently serving in the United States Military—Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members. Qualified members must show a Geneva Convention common access card (CAC), DD Form 1173 ID card (dependent ID), or a DD Form 1173-1 ID card for entrance into a participating Blue Star Museum.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families builds communities that support military families by connecting research and data to programs and solutions, including career development tools, local community events for families, and caregiver support. Since its inception in 2009, Blue Star Families has engaged tens of thousands of volunteers and serves more than 1.5 million military family members. With Blue Star Families, military families can find answers to their challenges anywhere they are. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.
Sarasota Art Museum Mission
The Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation andunderstanding of the art of our time. As a platform for exposure, education, and experimentation, the Museum inspires new ideasand new ways of being through an endless rotation of transformative, relevant, and pioneering exhibitions and programs designed to elevate and empower all by cultivating discerning visualthinkers and ethical citizens.
About Sarasota Art Museum
A contemporary kunsthalle operating under the parent institution of Ringling College of Art and Design, the Sarasota Art Museum is located at 1001 S Tamiami Trail. This location also houses theCollege’s Continuing Studies program, comprised of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College and the non-credit Studio and Digital Arts program. Taking over the former Sarasota High School — a 60,000 square-foot 1926 Collegiate Gothic structure designed by M. Leo Elliott — and a 20,000 square-foot building by Paul Rudolph through a 99-year lease, the adaptive reuse project was led by Lawson Group Architects with Terence Riley, principal of K/R, as the Museum design architect.
The Sarasota Art Museum has 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space; site-specific and site-responsive art installations; a plaza court featuring sculpture; a Great Lawn for temporary sculpture, installation, and performance programming; a 110-seat auditorium foreducational events and performances; a Bistro café; and a retail store. The Sarasota Art Museum also offers stunning event spacesavailable for rent. https://www.sarasotaartmuseum.org/
Sarasota Art Museum Hours and Admission:
10 am to 5 pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. 11 am to 5 pm Sunday
Galleries are closed Tuesdays, Museum Shop andGrounds are open 10 am to 5 pm.