FLAG Brings Annual Statewide Exhibition to Ringling College

Todays News


Artists from all across the state of Florida will be heading to Ringling College of Art and Design next Friday, as the college hosts the latest group symposium and exhibition from the Florida Artists Group (FLAG), a statewide collective of hundreds of practicing and professional artists who have earned state or national recognition. An annual event since 1949, FLAG last held the exhibition in Sarasota in 2012.

Entitled The Beauty of Small, the exhibition will feature 84 works from member artists, including several from Sarasota and Manatee counties, such as Janet Mishner and Jill Krasner (whose work can be found at Art Uptown Gallery), Susan von Gries and Bettina Sego (whose work can be found at 530 Burns Gallery) and Joseph Melancon, represented by Palm Avenue Fine Art. Reflecting a variety of media—from painting and drawing to sculpture and mixed media—and multitude of styles, the unifying factor will be size, with no work larger than 26” x 26” allowed.

At a time when large-scale seems to be all the rage with buyers, the choice to scale down was both an artistic one and a practical one, says local FLAG Area Director Lolly Owens, who oversees FLAG membership in Sarasota, Manatee, Highlands, Hardee, Glades, DeSoto and Charlotte counties and has been planning the exhibition for the past two years. “Many people are buying very large paintings to enhance their homes,” she says, “and we’ve decided to do just the opposite, to give people another perspective on art.” Of course, she adds, there’s also the fact that all 84 works of art have to fit into Ringling College’s Basch Gallery and Willis Smith Gallery.

And one of those works, an abstract piece dubbed Ataraxis, comes from Owens herself. Begun in blue and still dominated by the hue when completed, the statement is one of peace, she says, and so she strove for a softer touch in her mark-making. “When we’re born, we come armed with certain spiritual elements. Among them is the ability to love, to feel peace, to feel courage and gratitude,” she says. “I paint those elements.”

Opening May 31 at Ringling College and with an artist reception from 5pm to 7pm, Beauty of Small runs through June 20. Docent tours will be held June 5 at 11am, June 12 at 1pm and June 19 at 11am.

Pictured: "Ataraxis" by Lolly Owens.

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