Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College Presents "Celebrating Florida's Wild Wonders"

Arts & Culture

Photo courtesy of Florida Press Blog

Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Ringling College (OLLI at Ringling College) presents “Celebrating Florida’s Wild Wonders,” a one-day event inspired by the book, The Wilder Heart of Florida, and featuring eight celebrated writers, poets, educators, environmentalists, architects and artists. 

Julie Cotton, a member of OLLI’s Advisory Council’s Strategic Program Committee, is the creative spark for the event and says that participants will “expand their emotional connection to Florida’s natural treasures and learn about places they never knew existed.” Cotton adds that audience members will have the opportunity to offer their own perspectives and interact with the guest speaker. The day will also include book signings and interactions with local environmental and art groups at display tables. Cotton encourages audience members to prepare for the event by reading The Wilder Heart of Florida, edited by Jack E. Davis and Leslie K. Poole, and The Palmetto Book by Jono Miller.  “Using the arts as our vantage point via evocative prose, poetry, painting, photography, architecture and film, we aim to engage hearts and minds in celebrating and safeguarding our precious wild wonders,” says Cotton.

Panelists include: Leslie K. Poole, co-editor of The Wilder Heart of Florida and assistant professor of environmental studies at Rollins College; Gianna Russo, assistant professor of English and creative writing at Saint Leo University, author of several poetry collections, and winner of a Florida Book Award; and Bruce Stephenson, professor of environmental studies at Rollins College and author of John Nolen: Landscape Architect and City Planner.

Other presenters include notable environmental writers, artists and educators, including: Jean Blackburn, contemporary artist, photographer, and naturalist who celebrates nature and the joy it can bring to human life; Susan Cerulean, multiple award-winning writer, naturalist, earth advocate, and author of three books, including the newly published I Have been Assigned the Single Bird, A Daughter’s Memoir; Pamela Callender, adjunct professor of eco-art history at Eckerd College, who has created a unique landscape design project called “Lifelines, Connecting Nature’s Habitat”; Joe King, the architect/developer who designed River Forest, the unique 26-home neighborhood on the Braden River, set among a lush native plants landscape; and Jono Miller, educator, activist, and natural historian who works to understand and protect wild places in Southwest Florida.

The event is Friday, March 11, 2022, 9 am - 5 pm at the Ringling College Museum Campus, 1000 S. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. General admission is $125; registration opens on December 7. The registration fee includes lunch and a complimentary reception. For more information and to register, call 941-309-5111, or visit OLLIatRinglingCollege.org

Photo courtesy of Florida Press Blog

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