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SRQ DAILY Jan 30, 2015

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"The same way we want to develop artists, we want to develop collectors."

- Sam Alfstad, Alfstad& Contemporary

[Gallery]  Reimagining Sarasota with Sam Alfstad
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

With the opening of his latest gallery, Alfstad& Contemporary, which debuted last week with the sculptural small works showcase Rubber, Metal and Stone, Sam Alfstad aims to not only bring a little energy to the ever-on-the-cusp Rosemary District but breathe new life into Sarasota’s whole contemporary art enterprise.

“There’s a real space for more contemporary art, to showcase something a little bit to the left,” said Alfstad. Established names and big money producers aren’t Alfstad’s focus; developing local emerging artists and giving them a space to create a cultural nexus within their hometown is. “We’re going to find talent here in Sarasota and we’re going to make relationships with those artists.”

With this in mind, Alfstad& Contemporary is set up to be much more than a gallery. Equipped with facilities and materials for printing, silk-screening and more, Alfstad envisions his space on 5th Street eventually becoming a hub for artists looking not only to showcase their work, but also develop their craft and expand their mediums. Printing also holds that singular place between personal and mass-market art–designed for mass production but made with the care of any painting, it’s simultaneously artistically valuable and affordable. Just as artists gain a space to experiment with their work, the viewing public can experiment with their art collections without breaking the bank. “The same way we want to develop artists,” said Alfstad, “we want to develop collectors.”

One of the factors working against The IceHouse, Alfstad says of his past gallery on 10th Street, was the emphasis on large-scale work, the kind of art that rooms are built around, the kind that’s hard to move. This time around, Alfstad chose to direct his efforts toward finding and showcasing collections of smaller works–prints, paintings, sculptures and everything in between–of a sort that even collectors without devoted in-home gallery space can imagine showing. Many of the past lessons and future plans are exemplified in Alfstad&’s ongoing partnership with the newly rebranded Sarasota Sculpture Center, previously Season of Sculpture. Alfstad sits on the board but largely maintains a supportive role, supplying office and gallery space for the sculpture community to grow. And by curating smaller shows year-round instead of being limited to a largely seasonal public presence, Alfstad hopes to kickstart a greater general appreciation of the medium.

At a more fundamental level, Alfstad wants to bring the Sarasota gallery scene into the 21st century by establishing a more comprehensive and active online presence, showing and selling. “Industry after industry has been revolutionized by the fact that people can shop online,” said Alfstad, who remembers when naysayers declared nobody would ever buy clothes online, unable to feel the cloth or test the fit. “If you’re dependent on who comes walking in the door to sell, it’s behind the times.”

Rubber, Metal and Stone, featuring the works of Chakaia Booker, Hans Van de Bovenkamp and Boaz Vaadia is currently on display at Alfstad& Contemporary and runs until Feb. 20. 

[Daily Shop]  From Thailand With Love

Stepping into Binjara Traders is like a globetrotting adventure, featuring clothes and accessories from all over the world, including a jewelry line from designer John Michael Richardson called “Antique Thais.” Richardson has traveled extensively combining elements from various cultures to create an extraordinary line of designer fashion earrings. He combines handcrafted metals from Thailand with vividly detailed etchings made from natural elements like horn, shell, wood and bone. Finishing off these decorative pieces are hand-blown glass beads from the Czech Republic. All of the items used are handmade, plated, assembled and finished stateside with a personal note from Richardson.  

Binjara Traders 327 John Ringling Boulevard, Sarasota, 941-388-0574

[From The Chef]  A Kiss for Valentine's
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

With Valentine’s Day around the corner the team at The Table Creekside is amping up the romance at the bar. This cocktail, by Bar Chef Ila Edwards, is being mixed at the Table right now.

A Simple Kiss

Ingredients: 2 strawberries; 1/4 simple syrup; 1 lemon wedge; 2 parts Hendricks; 1 part St. Germain; Prosecco

Muddle strawberries. Add simple syrup, lemon wedge, Hendricks and St. Germain in shaker. Add ice. Shake well. Strain into Martini glass. Top with Prosecco. Garnish with a strawberry or your favorite sweet candy. 

[Exec Moves]  Girls Inc. Hires Woody

Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County announced the hiring of Ann Woody as director of development.  Woody most recently was the annual fund manager and a part of the major gifts team at The Morton Arboretum in Illinois. Before her work at The Arboretum, Woody was a Peace Corps volunteer and served three years in the Commonwealth of Dominica. 

Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County

[Exec Moves]  Neal Hired Geib

Neal Communities hired Roger Geib as a controller.Originally from Port Charlotte, Geib has over 14 years of experience in public and private accounting. In his new role, he will oversee the company’s overall accounting operations, including hiring and training accounting personnel and managing department functions as well as implementing and maintaining accounting software systems and internal control procedures with vendors.Prior to joining Neal Communities, Geib spent five years as the controller for the retail division of Airgas, a single-source supplier of gases, welding equipment and supplies and safety products. Prior to that, he spent three years as the assistance controller for two national homebuilders. 

Neal Communities

[Exec Moves]  Hansen Elected to FPN Board

Gulf Coast Community Foundation President and CEO Teri A Hansen has been elected to the board of directors of the Florida Philanthropic Network.  Hansen participated in her first FPN board meeting this week prior to the network’s annual Statewide Summit on Philanthropy in Orlando.FPN is a statewide association of grantmakers that works to strengthen philanthropy through research, education and public policy.  Hansen has represented Gulf Coast as a member of FPN for many years and served as the founding president of Community Foundations of Florida, a network of the state’s community foundations that operates as a part of FPN. 

Gulf Coast Community Foundation

SRQ Media Group

SRQ DAILY is produced by SRQ | The Magazine. Note: The views and opinions expressed in the Saturday Perspectives Edition and in the Letters department of SRQ DAILY are those of the author(s) and do not imply endorsement by SRQ Media. Senior Editor Jacob Ogles edits the Saturday Perspective Edition, Letters and Guest Contributor columns.In the CocoTele department, SRQ DAILY is providing excerpts from news releases as a public service. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by SRQ DAILY. The views expressed by individuals are their own and their appearance in this section does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. For rates on SRQ DAILY banner advertising and sponsored content opportunities, please contact Ashley Ryan Cannon at 941-365-7702 x211 or via email

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