Ringling College Kicks Off ArtWalk Season with Six Shows

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BY PHILIP LEDERER SRQ DAILY FRESHLY SQUEEZED CONTENT EVERY MORNING THURSDAY AUG 30, 2018

With red tide ravaging beaches and driving folks from the shores, Ringling College of Art and Design looks to highlight one of Sarasota’s other great natural resources—the artists. With the first Ringling College Artwalk of the season planned for this Friday, August 31, and spanning the entire campus, six exhibitions will be on display, including faculty shows, student shows, a new venue and even a mystery exhibition with a telling title yet shrouded in secrecy. All exhibitions are free and open to the public, and food trucks will be on-hand to keep bellies full as attendees feast with their eyes.

Beginning at the south end of campus, kick off the artwalk in the Willis Smith Gallery, where the 2018 Ringling College Staff and School of Continuing Studies Instructors Exhibition showcases the talents of many of the college’s behind-the-scenes contributors. Instructors of non-traditional students, preparators, facilities staff—all get a chance to shine, and show that creativity permeates the entire campus. “It’s a wonderfully dynamic exhibition,” says Tim Jaeger, Ringling College campus and community engagement coordinator. And sizable, with possibility to overflow into the neighboring Basch Gallery.

From there, it’s a quick jaunt to the Crossley Gallery, where the first annual Fine Arts Alumni Exhibition highlights the continuing work of alumni not employed by the college. Near a dozen artists from around the country contributed, including Craig Rubadoux, who graduated from the Ringling School in the ‘50s, and now shows alongside graduates as recent as the 2000s, resulting in a six-decade range of work to admire.

But if there’s an exhibition that Jaeger seems particularly excited for, it just might have to be the 2018 Annual Faculty Exhibition, seeing all the faculty and instructors at Ringling College unveil what they’ve been pursuing in the past year. “It’s like a bake-off,” laughs Jaeger. “Everyone puts out their pie and then we have a tasting to see who came up with the best rhubarb recipe this year.” And as professors compare and take notes and inspiration in equal measure, the public also gets a quality look at the artists responsible for guiding the next generation. And with all sorts of media on display, it amounts to a bit more than rhubarb, Jaeger admits. “It consists of all different pies and flavors,” he clarifies, “so the public can see the broad spectrum of talent and imagination that we have here.”

And with a stop in the Patricia Thompson Gallery for a last chance to see Illustrations, a solo exhibition devoted to the work of Ringling College instructor Octavio Perez, and a trip to MadeBy gallery, where students and alumni show their work, there remains but one stop—the mystery box.

Included for the first time in a Ringling College artwalk, the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center, located on the second floor of the Goldstein Library, will play host to a special exhibition known only as “an untitled show about Trump, the alt-right, and the state of things.” Featuring letterpress art and books from the special collection, details are scarce for the moment, but Jaeger hints that feathers may be ruffled. “It should be interesting to see the response,” he says.

The first Ringling College artwalk is this Friday, August 31, from 4pm to 7pm. All shows are free and open to the public.

Pictured: "Izzy Sailing into New York City Harbor, 1893" by Ringling College instructor David Gardner.

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