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SRQ DAILY Feb 15, 2017

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"I'll just keep painting and see what happens."

- Eleanor Merritt, artist

[Gallery]  Retrospective Exhibit Celebrates Artist Eleanor Merritt
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

The parking lots are full and so is the large conference room on the first floor of the Center for Arts and Humanity, where the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County is celebrating a community icon with the opening of a solo exhibition of the work of local artist Eleanor Merritt. Late arrivals crane for a better view as Merritt finishes an impromptu speech to rounds of applause and one woman standing to declare, “You are the greatest!” Merritt takes it in stride, saying only the show of support was “very special and very empowering.” She had thought this may be her last exhibit, she muses, “but after that show, maybe it won’t be.”

A known presence in the arts community since her arrival in Sarasota in the 1980s, Merritt has served on the board of the Arts Council, as president of the Venice Art Center and on the board of the Ringling Museum, where she was also a docent for 25 years. And as a member of the Florida Artists Group, Women Contemporary Painters, Petticoat Painters and Sarasota’s own Art Uptown artists collective, Merrit has devoted decades to her art. Entitled Sixty Years of Painting, 1957–2017, this exhibit offers a retrospective on Merritt’s acclaimed career through a series of more than 20 paintings adorning the halls and walls of the Center and leading the viewer through Merritt’s own journey of artistic self-discovery.

The exhibit is a “true retrospective,” says Merritt, in that to the careful viewer, it reveals more than just a chronology of paintings but an artist’s evolution over time. “I wanted to show that evolution,” she says, “and how it transformed my work and the way in which I painted.” With limited space on the walls, paintings were selected with purpose to represent pivotal moments in her career. As an indirect result, while many paintings in the show are for sale, many are also from Merritt’s private collection and available only for viewing.

Walking through the exhibit, certain consistencies in techniques manifest—the strong use of line and curve, the dynamic palette, a persistent figurative focus and a penchant for patterning—as do differences, such as the continual shift in medium from acrylics to oils to water-based and mixed-media. “I’ve been constantly experimenting and constantly looking for new ways to make the image,” says Merritt. “I like the material to allow me to be experimental.”

As for the artist moving forward, what the future holds, she can’t say. Will this be Eleanor Merritt’s last show? It seems doubtful. “I’ll just keep painting,” she says, “and see what happens.”

Sixty Years of Painting, 1957–2017 hangs at the Center for Arts and Humanity through February 27. 

Pictured: Eleanor Merritt stands in front of her work. Photo by Michael White.

[Good Bite]  Super Bowl
Kendall Sompolski

It’s hard to imagine what Tom Brady ate to fuel himself before the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LI in order to come back and sink that mindblowing win for the Patriots—but it probably looked a whole lot like a healthful bowl from Fresh Kitchen. These build-your-own bowls pack in the power with hormone- and antibiotic-free grilled meats, local roasted vegetables and an array of bases including vegetable quinoa, sweet potato noodles and perfectly spiced rice sure to kickstart the energy for any major comeback. Pair with a signature FK bottled cold-pressed juice to really #BeLikeBrady. Football season may be over but Fresh Kitchen is here for the win.  

Photo courtesy of Fresh Kitchen.

Fresh Kitchen, 8491 Cooper Creek Blvd., Bradenton, 941-208-3900.

[Marie Selby Botanical Gardens ]  Exploring Selby Gardens After Dark

The exhibition for Marc Chagall’s nature-inspired artwork at the Selby Gardens has partnered with the Perlman Music Program (PMP) to present one of six Chagall Nights. On Wednesday, February 15 from 6pm–9pm alumni from PMP will perform at the Gardens. They will play violins from Violins of Hope, a traveling exhibit of 16 instruments once played by those imprisoned during the Holocaust at Nazi concentration camps. Tickets are $40 for Selby Gardens members and $50 for guests. Along with the performance, there is full access to the Gardens, the exhibition, hors d’oeuvres and complimentary beer or wine. This performance is presented by The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Mazur Family Fund. 

Additional monthly performances by the likes of the Sarasota Ballet, Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Orchestra are also planned. Visit www.selby.org for a complete schedule.  

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

[Hires]  Ryan Hale Named Dean of Academic Affairs at SCF Venice

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) has named Ryan Hale its dean of academic affairs at SCF Venice. Hale, who began in his new job in July, formerly was a mathematics instructor and dean of students at SCF’s Collegiate School. A long time educator, Hale helped develop two Charter Schools. In his new role, he has expanded SCF programs including the accelerated dual enrollment program and the honors program. Hale is responsible for the direction and administration of academic programs in Venice, including Language and Literature, Business and Technology, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Mathematics and Natural Sciences. Hale has a bachelor of science in chemistry from Grand Valley State University in Michigan and a master of science from the University of Florida at Gainesville. He is working on his doctorate in higher education administration, where his research focuses on the factors affecting college readiness in mathematics for students from low-income households. 

State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF)

[Recognition]  SMH Cardiac Surgery Team Receives Highest Ratings

Sarasota Memorial Hospital has earned 3-Star ratings from The Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) for overall quality and clinical outcomes in all three adult cardiac surgery procedures the national organization measures: aortic valve replacement (AVR), coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) and AVR combined with CABG surgery. The 3-star ratings, which denote the highest category of quality, place SMH’s cardiac surgeons among the best of nearly 4,000 surgeons and providers in the United States and Canada participating in the STS Adult Cardiac Surgery Database, officials announced at Sarasota Memorial’s fifth annual Cardiac Summit on Saturday. Only 11 participating hospitals achieved the 3-Star ratings across the board – for overall care and clinical outcomes achieved in isolated CABG, isolated AVR and CABG+AVR procedures. 

Sarasota Memorial Hospital

[Community]  Sheriff's Office Donates Computers to Boys & Girls Clubs

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office today donated more than 60 computers to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. The computers were seized during investigations into illegal internet gambling cafes throughout Sarasota County and prior to the donation, cleaned by digital forensic technicians. The 63 computers will be placed at the Newtown Estates Park, Lee Wetherington and Gene Matthews campuses, granting students access to technology outside the classroom and further aiding the after-school program in facilitating study and homework sessions. 

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

[Inside The Issue]  Head Over Heels

In this month's Design Dossier (Head Over Heels), we catch up with Tatyana Sharoubim, owner of high-end shoe boutique T. Georgiano's. Sit on a comfy couch with her and her son Byron Stewart and chat about entrepreneurship, the risks and joys of owning your own business and the future of fashion in Sarasota.  

Read more

[TODAY]  SEMINAR: SWAC Speaker Series , February 15

Join the Sarasota World Affairs Council for the next installment of their 2016–2017 lecture series, featuring Dr. Robert Gallucci, Director of the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress and former Assistant Secretary of State. Dr. Gallucci explores the evolution of the US approach in dealing with nuclear weapons and their re-emergence as critical to Russian defense policy, Chinese force modernization and regional importance in the middle east. He will also address the threat posed by the prospect of a terrorist nuclear attack. Each SWAC lecture is followed by a members wine and cheese reception on Sarasota Bay where attendees speak face–to–face to those working directly in the field of international affairs.

[TODAY]  BUSINESS: Lecture: At Their Doorstep, with author Charlotte Perret , February 15, 11am

Explore the street fairs of Paris and their carnival folk via stories and photographic postcards from the 1900s.

Kamlet Library of the Sarasota Opera House , 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  SEMINAR: Lecture: Dialogues of the Carmelites: The Big Picture , February 15, 7pm

An event designed to bring the background of Francis Poulenc’s opera “Dialogues of the Carmelites” to the foreground. The event features talks led by Dr. Jocelyn Vantuyl and Dr. Maribeth Clark, both of New College, and musical excerpts of the opera presented by artists of the Sarasota Opera. More information at www.sarasotaopera.org

Kamlet Library of the Sarasota Opera House , 61 N. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota

[TODAY]  PERFORMANCE: Big Fish , February 15 – March 5

This fairytale musical is adventurous, romantic, and remarkably hip for any audience. Based on the 1998 book and the 2003 Tim Burton film, the show revolves around the relationship between a traveling salesman Edward Bloom and his estranged adult son, Will, who is looking to connect with the truths behind his father's tall tales. www.theplayers.org

The Players Theatre of Sarasota, 838 N. Taiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Meet the Artist: Kathleen Mulcahy, February 16 & 21 , February 16 – February 21

Alfstad& Contemporary’s Meet the Artist series continues with Kathleen Mulcahy, discussing her magnificent glass exhibition, “Steady Flow of Cool” and how she transforms glass into meditations on cold, sparkling water. She will also talk about the work of her late husband Ron Desmett and his show, “Hollowed Truths.” Kathleen and Ron were co-founders of the Pittsburgh Glass Center and often showed their work together. The reception on February 16 is from 2-3pm and the reception on February 21 is from 6-7pm.

Alfstad& Contemporary, 1419 5th St., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Lunch, Look & Listen: La Flute Enchantee with Jenny Kim-Godfrey, soprano, Betsy Traba, flute and Joseph Holt, piano , February 16, 11am

Part of Artist Series Concerts’ popular Lunch, Look & Listen series, the trio performs works by Poulenc, Mouquet, Mozart and Saint-Saëns. Ticket price includes lunch.  Tickets and info at www.artistseriesconcerts.org.

Micheal's On East , 1212 S. 1212 East Ave., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Exhibition Reception: A Walk in the Park , February 16, 5:30pm

Featuring the work of photographer Grant Jefferies, the exhibition, which includes more than 20 photographs taken throughout Manatee County's preserves, will be on display in the second floor Rincon Gallery. The photos highlight the natural beauty of the landscapes and the wildlife that can be found in the area. Visitors may purchase tickets to the Museum online at SouthFloridaMuseum.org.

South Florida Museum , 201 W. 10th St., Bradenton

[SOON]  GALLERY: A Walk in the Park: Exploring Manatee's Preserves , February 17 – May 28

Featuring the work of photographer Grant Jefferies, the exhibition, which includes more than 20 photographs taken throughout Manatee County's preserves, will be on display in the second floor Rincon Gallery. The photos highlight the natural beauty of the landscapes and the wildlife that can be found in the area. Visitors may purchase tickets to the Museum online at SouthFloridaMuseum.org.

South Florida Museum , 201 W. 10th St., Brandenton

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Cynthia Sayer’s Hot Banjo Show , February 18, 8pm

Get ready for a fun, entertaining show celebrating America's jazz banjo stars and stories from award-winning banjo star Cynthia Sayer and her band. Packed with swinging music that ranges from Great American Songbook and old favorites to novelty tunes, vaudeville, and virtuoso classics, Cynthia is sure to give you a memorable, toe-tapping experience of the 4-string banjo, America’s joyful jazz instrument. Tickets start at $25. 

Glenridge Performing Arts Center , 7333 Scotland Way, Sarasota Florida

[SOON]  BUSINESS: Bill Buckman's Art of Jazz featuring Nancy Pastore , February 19, 2-4pm

Joining pianist Buchman and vocalist Pastore are Rob Fors, bass; Lenny Balistreri, drums; and Benietsito Campoverde, congas.The group will perform an afternoon of jazz favorites, and Buchman is sure to bring some of the boogie-woogie beat that always delights audiences.

Gazebo at Centennial Park , 200 W. Venice Ave., Venice

[SOON]  MUSIC: Rejoicing in Ravel , February 19, 3pm

Rising young opera star John Brancy is joined by pianist Peter Dugan and Sarasota Orchestra musicians Betsy Traba, flute, and Christopher Schnell, cello, for a program of works by Ravel, Schumann, Debussy and more. Tickets and info at www.artistseriesconcerts.org.

Faith Lutheran Church, 7750 Beneva Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Music Mondays with June Leball , February 20, 10:30am

Featuring John Brancy, baritone and Peter Dugan, piano. As part of an ongoing collaboration between SILL, Artist Series Concerts and Young Concert Artists, baritone John Brancy and pianist Peter Dugan follow up their Sunday performance with an appearance at June LeBell’s popular series of musical conversations with great performers. Tickets and info at www.sillsarasota.org.

Church of the palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota

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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