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SRQ DAILY May 24, 2018

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"This couldn't have been in a better place."

- Grady Miars, GreenPointe Communities

[Development]  GreenPointe Breaks Ground on Quay
Jacob Ogles, jacob.ogles@srqme.com

Golden shovels finally turned over dirt at the site of the once and future Quay on Wednesday. City leaders and officials from GreenPointe Communities gathered on a long vacant piece of land on the Tamiami Trail for the groundbreaking of a $1-billion mixed-use project that could provide important connectivity between Sarasota’s Bayfront and Downtown. “This couldn’t have been in a better place,” GreenPointe Communities President Grady Miars told SRQ at the event.

It’s been a long road for the Quay Sarasota Waterfront District. Plans for a major hotel and commercial project at the site won Sarasota City Commission approval in 2007, and a memorable pyramid structure on the site got leveled to make way for the new development, but financial disputes at the peak of the Great Recession led to those plans’ demise. GreenPointe in 2014 announced its own plans to buy the site, then got their own plan approved in 2016. The company ultimately plans to build six structures, and will also leave in place the historic Belle Haven hotel. “I’ve watched this project unfold and I've been really excited about it,” says Mayor Liz Alpert. 

Even at the groundbreaking, some officials remain reticent about the new project. Commissioner Jennifer Ahearn-Koch shrugged at the project kicking off despite outcry two years ago at the potential for new traffic detrimentally affecting the community. “It is what it is,” she says. “The good part is the public process. The planning part will be vetted.” She notes that every phase of the project moving forward will need a sign-off by Sarasota’s Planning Board, a special stipulation put on the massive project. Miars says he’s happy to have that requirement in place. “We concentrate on placemaking,” he says, noting GreenPointe’s history with master-planned communities.

Already, Sarasota is looking for ways to bring in the community as the project moves forward. GreenPointe will work with engineering and architecture students at Booker High School, and officials from the Sarasota County School District took the stage at the groundbreaking on Wednesday. Martha Jane Flynn, who leads the robotics and engineering programs for Sarasota County schools, brought to the groundbreaking Antonio Hanamean, a sophomore Booker High student studying architecture and who will be among the students participating in the planning, design and construction of the Quay. “I told him he has no idea how cool it will be 10 years from now when he drives by this and can say 'I’m part of this,' ” she says.

Commissioner Shelli Freeland Eddie, who helped bring together the schools and the developer, says the prospect of educational outreach was among the best parts of the project. “Early on we asked, how can we use this project as an opportunity to keep the best and brightest in the city,” she says.

Miars says the complete buildout of the Quay will take years.  The company has a five- to seven-year timeline in mind, but notes market and economic conditions could affect that. 

[Gallery]  The Primacy of Process with Laine Nixon
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

For some, the siren song of the sea represents limitless adventure. For others, the vast reaches of space yet loom large as the final frontier. Still more seek the thrill of exploration in the endless possibilities of a burgeoning digital world. But for the explorer in artist Laine Nixon, all she needs is a fresh canvas. Opening tonight with a reception at Alfstad& Contemporary, Laine Nixon: Unfixed brings audiences into the artist’s world of process as exploration, including select pieces from the past five years and the debut of new large-scale work.

Featuring art from three of Nixon’s series, including the long-running Zuhanden series and Assent, which garnered the artist a John Ringling Towers Grant in 2017, Unfixed simultaneously highlights both the artist’s prolific exploration and experimentation, as well as her devotion to established process. Running since 2013, Zuhanden comprises 22 paintings at this point, and Nixon plans to continue. Both Assent—four works created from the recombinated remains of fifty abstract watercolors—and Becoming Unfinished—a departure in technique seeing the artist work with liquefied pigment and syringes—may have completed their runs in 2017, but Nixon always leaves the possibility open for future exploration.

But despite the show spanning years of creation and multiple series, Nixon remains unconcerned about any scattered or unfocused effect, as the pieces remain in conversation with one another, partly due to this throughline of process. Obvious linkages can be made through color palette or even the overall penchant for abstraction (“I’m drawn to abstraction for the sheer aesthetic experience one can have,” says Nixon, echoing the Unfixed sentiment), but perhaps the greatest point of commonality resides in the lingering ambiguity permeating each presentation, which should come as no surprise, as the primacy of process over conclusion necessitates the presence of the unanswered—the process has a point, even if what that is remains to be discovered.

Therein lays the paradox of process and the value of constraint. By forcing herself to abide by the confines of process, Nixon forces herself to explore in a more focused and minute manner. Instead of each canvas being an entirely new conversation, it represents but a slight variation on the theory, each shedding new light on the general proposition. And the work, as a series, becomes a dedicated area of focus, as opposed to a passing flight of artistic fancy. “It’s important, if you have an idea, to execute the idea as best you can,” says Nixon. “If you switch too much, then you don’t really know if your first idea would’ve worked or not. You can only do so much in one painting—the more marks you put on a canvas, the more locked down it is. So if you have three or four ideas, then you have to make a series.”

Opening tonight with an artist reception at Alfstad& Contemporary at 5:30pm, Laine Nixon: Unfixed runs through June 29. 

Pictured: "Infinite Sameness" by Laine Nixon. Photo courtesy of Alfstad& Contemporary.

[ShopTalk]  Do Put All Your Gifts In One Basket
Brittany Mattie, brittany.mattie@srqme.com

In this scenario, there's no need to be wary of a big basketcase. Sunshine Baskets puts together lavish gourmet gifts customizable for every holiday and any occasion you can possibly think of. But owner Tamara Davis goes way beyond the predictable celebratory occasions—her creations become as personable as the person accepting the gift. Leaving no basket unturned, Davis has broadened her repertoire to cater to virtually anyone in terms of demographic, lifestyle and hobby. Have your pick—Junk Food Junkie, Showtime Movie, Boater's Glory, Football Fanatic, Golf Lover, Paw Patrol, Chocolate Madness, Coffee Time, Bath & Snacks, Lucky Lady, and even a Finding Dory and an Ultimate Redneck—just to name a few prime examples. Especially noteworthy are the native themed Floridian baskets, to put a little estra "sunshine" in someone's day. Taste of Florida, Life's a Beach and Hurricane Surival Kit consist of locally sourced items such as Sirards Seafoam, Simon's coffee beans, local honey and hot sauces, Amish apple butter and baked breads, keepsake postcards, candles, baggie of Siesta Key sand, Sarasota Taffy, key lime-flavored goodies, flamingo-shaped pasta and craft beers from local breweries.

Davis is continually in search of the most festive and out-of-the-box ingredients to deviate from the boring fruit and candy landmarks. Discover specialty snacks galore, as well as gourmet commodities relating to your desired theme. “Our unique handmade gift baskets are a creative alternative to flowers, and certainly last much longer,” says Davis. “Baskets are stuffed full of great items and gifts that will leave a lasting impression on the recipient.”

All baskets come impeccably “dressed to impress”, wrapped in cello with a handmade bow and ribbons. Daily local delivery is available to businesses, homes, hotels, hospitals and everywhere in between within Bradenton, Venice, Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Osprey and Nokomis. Worldwide shipping also available daily. If you can't find exactly what you're looking for, call Tamara Davis to customize a bespoke basket! 

Images provided by Sunshine Baskets

Sunshine Baskets, $49.99-$149.99, 3805 McIntosh Road Sarasota, 34232, 941-320-7219.

[Education]  Sarasota County Schools Promotes Andreas

Michael D. Andreas, the current director of Safety, Security and Emergency Management with Sarasota County Schools has been promoted to the position of executive director, effective immediately. He will be responsible for the formation and long-term implementation of the Department of Public Safety, which will include the Sarasota County Schools Police Department and the operations command center, among other functions. An Army veteran and former police officer, Andreas has served with the school district since 2016. Before joining the school district, he was responsible for numerous state and local security programs and initiatives, and served as director of the Graduate School of Homeland Security Studies at Endicott College in Massachusetts, where he was responsible for leading the faculty and designing the program’s homeland and domestic security programs. During his career, Andreas has served on numerous federal, state and local task forces, including the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, the U.S. Attorneys Massachusetts Anti-Terrorism Task Force and Governor Mitt Romney’s Criminal Justice Transition Team. Andreas also served on the Salem Massachusetts Police Department. 

Sarasota County Schools

[Real Estate]  Halfacre Names Giasson and Rees as Partners

Halfacre Construction Company, a Lakewood Ranch-based commercial construction company, recently named Reed Giasson and Tom Rees as partners. Giasson joined Halfacre Construction 18 years ago as a carpenter. He advanced from that position to lead estimator, to a field superintendent, to a project manager and later became a vice president. With over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, As the team leader for manufacturing and industrial projects, Giasson will manage preconstruction services and oversee the project managers and superintendents during construction through project completion. Giasson’s past projects include Marina Jack’s renovations, Siesta Key Village beautification and numerous projects for Manatee County Port Authority, Manatee County and Sarasota County governments. Rees joined Halfacre Construction 14 years ago as an assistant project manager. He will supervise the firm’s educational projects in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Collier and Hillsborough Counties. From preconstruction through completion, he will oversee all project phases and managing client relations. Past projects include numerous educational facilities projects throughout Florida, The Loveland Center Villages, MacDill Air Force Base and Caldwell Trust’s headquarters in Venice. 

Halfacre Construction Company

[Exec Moves]  Williams Parker Welcomes Christie, Gard and Lowther

Williams Parker is pleased to announce the addition of attorneys Nicole F. Christie, Nicholas A. Gard, and Bailey S. Lowther to the firm. Christie represents clients in residential and commercial real estate matters. She represents developers, investors, lenders, and individuals in connection with purchase and sale transactions and the development of subdivisions, condominiums, and real estate investments. Gard focuses on corporate and tax law. His experience includes work on a variety of tax matters, including federal tax litigation, tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service at the examination and appeals levels and international tax issues involving tax treaties, transfer pricing, and cross-border investments and business operations. Lowther is a civil trial attorney who focuses on complex litigation matters, including probate and trust litigation and business litigation. 

Williams Parker

[Industry]  PGT Innovations Unveils Stringent Protocol Testing

Hurricane season begins June 1, and for the first time ever, PGT Innovations, the nation’s largest manufacturer of impact-resistant windows and doors, is allowing an inside look at the independent testing lab to see the stringent protocol testing that its products undergo. Multiple demonstrations will be on display, including an impact test, cyclic pressure differential test and water test, and hear about Florida’s strict codes and certifications. During the impact test, a 9-pound, 8-foot-long two-by-four lumber missile will be shot out of a compressed-air cannon at 50 feet per second (34 mph) at a window. The cyclic pressure differential test subjects the window to 4,500 cycles of varying positive wind pressure, which is simulated with a vacuum chamber, and is flipped around and subjected to another 4,500 cycles of varying negative wind pressure. The water test subjects the window to air pressure that is equivalent to 15 percent of the structural design pressure rating. While the air pressure is applied, a water-spray rack uniformly delivers water to the window at a minimum rate of five gallons per square foot per hour. The air pressure and water are applied for a period of 15 minutes. 

PGT Innovations

[TODAY]  GALLERY: OPENING RECEPTION Laine Nixon: Unfixed , May 24, 5:30-8pm

This solo exhibition, the artist's first in Sarasota, Laine Nixon explores the mutable nature of art through work on paper, mixed media, and painting. The show's title, "Unfixed," refers to her working methods of creating, altering, covering up or exposing various painting techniques on a single surface.

Alfstad& Contemporary, 1419 5th St., Sarasota

[TODAY]  THEATER: Soul Man: A New Musical Revue , April 18 – May 26

As the 1960s Civil Rights movement unfolded, black music evolved from the controlled Motown performances to fiery cross rhythms sound—a little gospel, a lot of soul. The passionate soloists, such as James Brown, Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, added energetic movements and unique vocalizations that inspired many future performers. Soul Man will feature some of WBTT’s most popular male performers.

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, 1646 10th Way., Sarasota.

[TODAY]  GALLERY: Martha's Vineyard Location - Feeling Fresh , May 24 – June 20

Nikki Sedacca Gallery is pleased to open with an exciting exhibition, “Feeling Fresh,” debuting work by nationally-acclaimed artists Kathe Fraga and Carter Wentworth, and featuring new works by Linda Richichi and Joan Konkel. This show seeks to highlight the light, bright, and joyous excitement that builds as the warm summer breeze infuses the salty air to signal the start of seasonal activity on Martha’s Vineyard, featuring diverse mediums such as oil paint, watercolor and metal mesh and fresco.

530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Ct., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Studio Year End Showcase , May 25

Students from The Players Studio will showcase their talent, appearing in songs, dances and acting scenes. A must see!

The Players Centre for Performing Arts, 838 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota


KidSpace is a program for kids who want to explore everything there is to know about space and become Masters of the Universe. From 10:15–11am on the second and fourth Saturday morning of each month, we'll unleash the awesome power of the Bishop Planetarium, taking off from Earth's surface and flying to places no human has gone before.

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

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Roots of Unity (with Chris Kottke) , May 27, 2pm

This performance is from a jazz ensemble called The Roots of Unity, headed by trumpeter Chris Kottke. Their repertoire includes both straightahead and latin jazz, from classic standards to modern originals. Kottke attended the Berklee College of Music and was active in the Boston jazz scene for about a decade before moving to Sarasota in 2016 to pursue his day job as a math professor at New College of Florida. In addition to the Roots of Unity, Kottke can be occasionally heard in such Sarasota-based jazz ensembles such as Ocean's 11 and the Sarasota Jazz Project.

The Reserve SRQ, 1322 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Always...Patsy Cline , May 30 – July 1

A tuneful and memorable tribute, Patsy Cline's rise to legendary stardom is told through the eyes of her biggest fan, Louise Seger. From her performances in honky-tonks to the Grand Ole Opry, Patsy Cline will "always" have a place in country music, with hit songs such as, “Walking After Midnight,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Crazy,” “Sweet Dreams,” and many more you know and love.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Menopause the Musical , May 30 – June 10

Inspired by a hot flash and a bottle of wine, writer Jeanie Linders created Menopause The Musical® as a celebration of women who find themselves at any stage of “The Change.” Set in a department store where four women with seemingly nothing in common but a black lace bra meet by chance at a lingerie sale, the all-female cast makes fun of their woeful hot flashes, forgetfulness, mood swings, wrinkles, night sweats and chocolate binges. 

Manatee Performing Arts Center, 502 Third Ave. West, Bradenton

[SOON]  FOOD: Reserve Spring and Summer Wine Tastings , May 31, 6pm

Come through the Reserve to help them fine tune their retail wine selection. Wines from a wide array of places such as France, Italy, Argentina and more are offered. Pair the wine with a savory meat and cheese platter and enjoy the low key evening. The event is reoccuring, so May 31 is not the last chance to take advantage of this wonderful deal.

The Reserve SRQ, 1322 North Tamiami Tr., Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: The Twenty-Third Annual Loveland Show–Unplugged: The Best Day of Your Life! , May 31 – June 3

Venice Theatre and the Loveland Center have been partnering for 20 years to provide adults with intellectual/developmental disabilities the chance to grow and learn through theatre study. Loveland students, under the direction of professional staff and with help from community volunteers, rehearse all season to present this full-scale musical on MainStage.

Venice Theatre, 140 Tampa Ave West, Venice

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Free Performance by Reggie Harris and Sarah Gancher , June 1, 7:00pm

Join the Retreat in welcoming Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Reggie Harris and Playwright Sarah Gancher as they share their work and spread knowledge of American history through song; Harris will share and explain secret code songs used by runaway slaves and their allies during the time of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and Gancher will share a scene or two from the play she is writing for the Asolo Repertory Theatre.

Hermitage Artist Retreat, 6660 Manasota Key Rd., Englewood

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: World Oceans Day , June 2, 10:00am-1:00pm

A worldwide ocean celebration is on the horizon. Join the fun during the World Oceans Day Family Festival on Saturday, June 2 at Mote Aquarium. Mote’s World Oceans Day event will spotlight the ocean's deep connection to the human spirit and the boundless inspirational power of our natural world's greatest resource. The family festival is free with regular paid admission to Mote Aquarium and is free for Mote Members.

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium , 1600 Ken Thompson Pkwy, Sarasota, FL 34236

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: All About Women Expo , June 3, 12pm–5pm

Experience a day of pampering for women with four featured areas that host Beauty, Wellness, Fashion and Girls Wanting to Have Fun. Enjoy make-up and hair care techniques, massages, sample products, talk to doctors and health professionals, watch a fashion show and more, all for free. Register to have access to the VIP area with wine tastings, a painting class, photo booth, appetizers and everyone receives a glam bag full of swag.

Westfield Sarasota Square Mall, 8201 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Music Festival , June 4 – June 23

Classical musicians from around the world converge for three weeks of breathtaking concerts, featuring artists such as Vijay Venkatesh and Robert Sirota.

Sarasota Orchestra, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center, 709 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Jungle Book , June 6 – June 24

Using the same multimedia jaw-dropping approach as past hit show Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, this reimagination of Kipling's classic stories will transport audiences to the world's jungles. Audiences will have the chance to truly meet characters like Mowgli the Man-Cub and Baloo the Bear in this upcoming performance.

Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 North Tamiami Trl., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Jungle Book , June 6 – June 24

Join Mowgli, Baloo and friends when Asolo Rep presents the world premiere of Jungle Book from the creators of the hit show Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Using the same jaw-dropping multi-media theatrical approach, Jungle Book re-imagines Rudyard Kipling’s classic stories through modern eyes to transport audiences to the world’s jungles. Family Day is June 16; Family Package pricing starts at just $15 per ticket when one person in the party is 18 or younger.

Asolo Repertory Theatre , 5555 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34243

[SOON]  SPORTS: 2nd Annual Big Run 5K for Global Running Day , June 6, 6pm

Fleet Feet Sports Sarasota, the local retail leader in building and supporting the Sarasota running and physically active community, will join in Global Running Day as part of a nationwide 5K Big Run celebration. Designed to unify the efforts of running communities in different locations across the U.S. behind one event, the more than 70 participating Fleet Feet stores across the country collectively drew more than 12,000 participants in 2017.  The event is open to all ages and ability levels and the 3.1-mile-long course will take participants down to and around Sarasota’s Bayfront.

Fleet Feet Sarasota, 711 South Osprey, Sarasota.

[SOON]  THEATER: Incognito , June 8 – July 8

In a cerebral journey through neuroscience, amnesia, and the theft of Albert Einstein’s brain, playwright Nick Payne investigates the nature of identity in a series of mysterious and touching interwoven tales.

Urbanite Theatre, 1487 2nd St., Sarasota

[SOON]  GALLERY: Floridian Artists Exhibition , June 8 – June 30

As the warm summer heat sets in, 530 Burns Gallery is pleased to highlight artists who hail from Florida. Summertime and sunshine always bring inspiration, and each artist uses his or her diverse style to create innovative and original art works. Featured artists include Gary Borse, Linda Richichi, Katie Cassidy, Todd Andrew Babb, Randy Colbath and Bettina Sego.

530 Burns Gallery, 530 Burns Ct., Sarasota

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Summer Circus Spectacular , June 12 – July 28

The 2018 Circus Spectacular will amaze and dazzle you. Join the performers for an hour of incredible family fun at affordable prices. Presented in collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory of Sarasota, this onstage exhibition of circus artistry provides delightful summer entertainment for “children of all ages.”

Historic Asolo Theatre, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota

[SOON]  THEATER: Carole's Kings , June 12 – July 15

Be transported back in time with Carole's Kings, an all-male Carole King tribute that mixes fabulous music with clever writing by The Second City, the legendary home of sketch comedy and improv. With a cast fresh from Broadway, Carole’s Kings will have you singing and dancing along to “The Locomotion,” “You've Got a Friend,” and “I Feel the Earth Move.” Jam-packed with humor, this salute to Carole King will take you back to when she was the queen of the airwaves.

Florida Studio Theatre, 1241 North Palm Ave., 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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