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SRQ DAILY Aug 17, 2016

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"I want to make sure we select art that's not only appropriate for the community but also something they embrace and that contributes to the quality of our public art."

- Tim Jaeger, Sarasota Public Art Committee

[Public Art]  Local Sculptor Tops Short List for Roundabout Project
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

With 162 artists from around the world answering the call to artists for original artwork to be placed in the incoming roundabout at Orange Avenue and Ringling Boulevard, members from Sarasota’s Public Art Committee (PAC) met last week to winnow proposals to three finalists. Local sculptor Jorge Blanco leads amongst the finalists, followed by the China-based sculptor Nnamdi Okonkwo. The final decision will be made November 1, giving the selected artist a year to fabricate and install the work, according to the time frame provided by the original call.

“You’re not just looking at the sculpture,” says local artist and PAC member Tim Jaeger. “You’re looking from several different points of view.” Beyond pure aesthetics, the five-member PAC jury has to consider such things as how the proposed piece would fit into Sarasota’s existing public art collection, its accessibility to the public eye and the weight of the concept behind it, as well as more down-to-earth questions of maintenance, material and cost. Jaeger spent more than a week reading through the hundred-plus submissions and weighing proposals.

“It’s an extremely important thing,” says Jaeger, “and I want to make sure we select art that’s not only appropriate for the community but also something they embrace and that contributes to the quality of our public art.” Blanco’s piece stood out as being not only its own expression but also something of a tribute to the performing arts, which resonates with the Sarasota scene. “It’s very gestural and lyrical in nature,” Jaeger says, before turning to Okonkwo’s submission, Unity, a proposed bronze sculpture of totemic human forms caught in a unending dance or embrace. Also a strong contender, if selected the resulting sculpture would weigh approximately 1,300 pounds.

Finalists selected by the PAC, including Blanco and Okonkwo, will be invited to give their final pitch to the committee in person at the November 1 meeting, after which a final decision will be made. But it’s public art and not just a discussion between the PAC and the artists, says Jaeger. The community at large is encouraged to attend, hear the artists, view the proposals and weigh in with their own input for the PAC’s consideration. “It’s an opportunity for everyone in the community to participate and make their voices heard,” he says. 

Pictured: Rendering by the artist of Jorge Blanco's proposed sculpture for the roundabout at Orange and Ringling.

[Good Bite]  Paella Party
Aviel Kanter, aviel.kanter@srqme.com

Spice up your Thursday and head over to Servandos for a wild night of $20 paella and sangria, accompanied by live music and live artists. The Valencian dish is served in all its spicy glory, an homage to its traditional Spanish roots. Packed to the gills with red pimento peppers, paprika, tomato, Arborio rice, mussels and clams still in the shell, shrimp, chicken and a rich seafood stock, Servandos "Real Paella" is a serious meal that only gets better for lunch the next day. The fluffy yellow rice soaks in the rich flavors of the sea, melded with the deep fragrant flavors from the red veggies and spice. Take your Thursday up a notch and treat your mind and body to a sensory experience.  

Photo courtesy of Servandos.

Servandos, 1525 4th St., Sarasota, 941-954-7400.

[Recognition]  Hilton Named As A-List For 14th Consecutive Year

Founder and president of Admiral Travel International, Malaka Hilton has been recognized for the 14th consecutive year as an Egypt Specialist on Travel & Leisure’s 15th annual A-List. The annual Travel & Leisure program showcases the best specialists in the travel business, the industry leaders who have firsthand knowledge of destinations on the rise, are able to provide unique access for their clients and provide comprehensive insider travel guidance.  

Travel & Leisure

[Exec Moves]  Sales For Neal Communities Rise

Home sales for Neal Communities increased steadily in the month of July with 104 sales reported across the company’s divisions. Four Neal Communities neighborhoods had impressive sales number last month, including the Grand Palm and Milano communities in Venice with 10 sales each and the Magnolia Point and Windwood communities with seven sales each. 

Neal Communities

[Opening]  Assisted Living Locators Opens New Office

A trusted national senior service company that helps aging adults and their families locate quality senior care free of charge, Assisted Living Locators, announced the opening of their newest location in Florida.  The Venice office, led by franchise owner and senior care advisor Jaime Daniels, serves the Gulf Coast counties of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee. 

Assisted Living Manasota

[Inside the Issue]  Maximum Meda

Tridimensionalismo, Meda Blocks, flourescent paint—Italian artist Massimo Meda works in mediums and alongside materials that create an otherworldly canvas. This month, we hone in on the artist's new downtown gallery space in Maximum Meda, where he has stationed his first US-based gallery, clearing the walls of his Italian gallery for the opening. Get a taste for Meda's singluar style in the August issue.   

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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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