Art Center Hosts Panel Discussion on Journalism and Art

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Art and journalism collide tonight at Art Center Sarasota, where Dr. Ann Albritton, professor of contemporary art history at Ringling College of Art and Design, will lead a panel discussion with artists and experts on the current state of journalism and how it affects contemporary art. Titled "The Value of Long-Form Journalism in Contemporary Art,” the panel includes Ringling Museum Curator of Works on Paper Chris Jones, artist and Ringling College Fine Art Professor Michael Wyshock and artist and Hermitage Artist Retreat Fellow Michael Adno, whose exhibit, Cracker Politics: The Limits of Colonial Knowledge, will serve as a jumping off point for the conversation.

Currently hanging in Art Center Sarasota, Cracker Politics sees Adno exploring Florida’s history in a manner that brings the artist close to the journalist, as he seeks out the hidden narratives in Florida’s history—whether they be diminished, disguised or previously dismissed—to better understand the place itself. Working for long periods of time with historians, researchers and members of the communities under study, Adno offers supplementary or alternative approaches to the dominant narrative.

Cracker Politics serves as, “a departure point to ruminate on the role of long-form journalism and art practices of the 21st century in an increasingly vitriolic political climate,” Adno said in a statement, “where we are seeing diminishing opportunities for those forms of reportage, a backlash against succinct reporting and a frightening distrust of facts.” With a focus on the many white supremacist fraternal organizations that persistently intertwined themselves with the region’s political history, the exhibit offers questions on both the political and artistic levels.

A teacher of art history and contemporary issues in art, Albritton hopes for discussion of not only the relevant political questions raised by Adno’s work, but also his process in general and its blending of long-form journalism and art. French artist Theodore Gericault read about shipwrecks before painting The Raft of the Medusa, she notes, and Frida Kahlo’s Three Little Nips was inspired by a true account of a man killing his wife. “But to me, [Adno’s] work is much more about documentation and mapping,” Albritton says. “Maybe what he’s doing is even newer than those.”

Produced in partnership with the Hermitage Artist Retreat, the panel discussion begins tonight at 6:30pm at Art Center Sarasota. Free and open to the public, seating is limited and advanced reservation is required. For reservations, email

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