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SRQ DAILY Jan 7, 2022

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"She was a wonderful person known mostly as an educator and for her community engagement."

- Steven High, Executive Director, The Ringling Museum.

[Art Exhibition]  The Late Eleanor Merritt Gets Retrospective Exhibition at The Ringling
Andrew Fabian, andrew.fabian@srqme.com

By the time The Ringling Museum’s Steven High began his tenure 10 years ago, Eleanor Merritt was an institution unto herself. A big education advocate, one-time board member (and one of the first of African American descent) and charming docent for 25 years, High remembers a lovely woman with a sharp intellect. “She was a wonderful person known mostly as an educator and for her community engagement,” says High. But in February, the museum unveils an exhibition of her paintings that showcase the full range of her artistic endeavors.

Titled “Remembrance,” the exhibition is unique amongst her previous retrospectives in that it includes what is believed to be the last painting she completed before passing in 2019. “The most important thing for me was to put together an exhibition that captured the full range of her work,” says High. That range began in the 1950s in Harlem and would cover stylistic forays into symbolism, abstract, figurative rendered in a multitude of paints, including acrylic, oil and water based. 

 The collection follows the winding path of her aesthetics but demonstrates a thematic through-line. “She was very much a feminist artist throughout her career and focused on those issues,” says High, “but she was also a colorist whose work is always stunning and bold.” Those elements are reflected in the frequent figurative pieces and explosive splashes of color that seem to continue beyond the edge of the canvas. But with so much color and style, the curatorial process was more an exercise in omission.

 “It’s been a process combing through a large body of work and winnowing down the collection,” says High. To comb through the vast catalog of pieces in her estate, High collaborated with Mike Solomon and someone who works closely with the estate, Merritt’s own daughter, Dr. Lisa Merritt. “Mike learned a lot about managing the estate of an artist when his father passed,” says High, “so he’s been instrumental from a curatorial standpoint.” The whole process has also culminated in three new pieces being added to The Ringling’s collection, including the exhibition’s title piece, “Remembrance” (pictured above), and two figurative pieces, one of which features a rare male figure.

 “I think her career as an artist was less well known locally than her work as an educator,” says High, “so I hope this opens up another aspect of her life to Sarasota.”

The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, FL 34243. 941-359-5700. www.ringling.org 

Photo courtesy of artist's estate.

To learn more, visit

[New Comedy]  FST Presents Olivier Award-Winning Comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong

Florida Studio Theatre (FST) is proud to produce the Tony and Olivier Award-winning comedy, The Play That Goes Wrong, by Henry Lewis, Henry Shields, and Jonathan Sayer. Called “The funniest play Broadway has ever seen” by the Huffington Post, this fast-paced comedy follows the opening night of an amateur theatre troupe’s production of a 1920s whodunit, “The Murder at Haversham Manor.” As the performance gets underway, every conceivable thing that can go wrong does go wrong. Cues are forgotten. The fireplace mantel falls, and doors get stuck. The leading lady is knocked unconscious. Words are horribly mispronounced. Still, despite all this mayhem, the accident-prone thespians stay committed to making it to their final curtain call, much to audiences’ delight. The Play That Goes Wrong begins playing January 19 in FST’s Gompertz Theatre. The Play That Goes Wrong started out as a one-act play performed for a meager audience of four in a small performance venue, but, over the past decade, the play has grown to become an international phenomenon. The comedy has been performed for over two million people across six continents. Since 2014, The Play That Goes Wrong has launched four UK tours, played for eight years in the West End, and become the second longest-running production in the history of Broadway’s Lyceum Theatre. At the same time, the comedy won multiple awards around the world, including the WhatsOnStage and Olivier Award for Best New Comedy as well as a Tony and Drama Desk Award for Best Scenic Design of a Play.    

For more information click here

[Concerts Postponed]  Key Chorale’s Choral Splendor in 40 Parts Postponed Until May

Out of an abundance of caution and the expressed concerns of Key Chorale’s Guest Artists, Les Canards Chantants traveling from the Northeast, Key Chorale has reluctantly decided to postpone their Choral Splendor in 40 Parts concerts scheduled for January 14-15 to May 6-7. “The health and safety of our patrons and performers has been and will remain our primary concern,” says Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins.  This program – one 450 years in the making, PLUS 4 months – will be an amazing finale to the 37th season. Current ticket holders will have the opportunity to keep their tickets for the rescheduled performance, exchange for any upcoming performance this season, receive a refund, or turn their ticket into a donation. A member of the Key Chorale team will reach out to all current ticket holders to make alternative arrangements. The performances will now take place:  Friday, May 6, 7:30 PM at St. Boniface Episcopal Church  Saturday, May 7, 4:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church  Tickets are $30-$40. 

For tickets or for more information click here

[Cancellation]  Detroit Symphony Orchestra Cancels January 20 Appearance on Sarasota Concert Association’s Great Performers Series

The Sarasota Concert Association today announced that the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has cancelled its Florida tour this month, and therefore the first concert of the Sarasota Concert Association’s 2022 Great Performers Series, scheduled for January 20 and featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, has been cancelled. The Sarasota Concert Association’s 2022 Great Performers Series will now open on Tuesday, February 1 featuring pianist Emanuel Ax in an all-Chopin recital. Subscribers and single ticket buyers who hold tickets to the cancelled January 20 Detroit Symphony concert will receive notification by mail with options to donate their tickets or receive a refund.  Or they can also call the box office at 941-966-6161.  

[Fundraiser]  Music Compound presents ‘Shred the Love’ fundraiser - January 15

Music Compound invites its members and the community to enjoy an unforgettable evening of music, food, art and more during its Shred the Love fundraiser, with proceeds supporting scholarships for area youth who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 or whose parents have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Organizers hope that the event, which takes place on Saturday, January 15 at 6 p.m. at Music Compound (1751 Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota), will raise at least $5,000. This event, a partnership with local not-for-profit Every Child, Inc. is being organized by middle and high school students, led by homeschool student Sam Stahlmann. “Shred the Love” was originally started as an IB project at Riverview High School to support career readiness, enable students to learn how to plan and implement an event, and see the value of charitable works. The inaugural Shred the Love concert in 2018 funded the purchase of ukuleles for children with cancer; in 2019, the event funded music programs at Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County and Children First. Founded 20 years ago by Sarasota philanthropist Judy Alexander, Every Child, Inc. has given out thousands of backpacks with school supplies, distributed thousands of holiday gifts, provided groceries for hundreds of families, distributed thousands of books, and worked on numerous other projects with other local agencies. Every Child, an all-volunteer group, contributed nearly $3,000 in scholarship funds for Music Compound students in 2021. The event is open to the public; tickets are $15.  

Pictured: Shred the Love event chair Sam Stahlmann with Music Compound owner Jenny Townsend.

For more information click here

[Employee Announcement]  Clark Financial Partners Announces New Director of Business Development

Clark Financial Partners is excited to announce their new Director of Business Development - Allie Watson.  Allie has been gaining business experience in multiple industries for over twenty years.  She has served in various roles in administration, customer service, support, and leadership. Her relationship building skills and efficiency is a great asset.  Allie has incredible enthusiasm and a zest for living which is contagious.  Allie has always been passionate about serving others and building authentic relationships that connect people.  She has served alongside Ken Clark on the Better Business Council (BBC) of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce for several years.  The natural partnership developed with her interest in helping others to empower themselves and Protect What Matters Most.  Allie's new perspective and enthusiasm to the well-established and respected financial firm of Clark Financial Partners is a wonderful asset. Allie lives in Bradenton, Florida where she is a member of MYP-Manatee Young Professionals, an important part of developing the talent of young professionals in Manatee County.   

[SOON]  GALLERY: SPAACES Gallery: The Language of Ephemera , January 7 – January 22, Gallery hours.

The Language of Ephemera, A Two Person Exhibit with Sally Pettibon and Eszter Sziksz, DLA will have its Opening Night Reception on Friday, January 7th, 2022 from 6pm to 8pm. Open Exhibition Dates are January 8th through 22nd By Appointment Only. Ephemera is generally defined as collectible memorabilia that was intended for a short term purpose. It is almost always paper-based and is often written or printed items that were expected to have short term popularity or usefulness. But oftentimes, we do keep and cherish ephemera items – especially vintage ones. Pettibon and Sziksz, explore the transitory through thoughtful, quiet, and powerful reflections on what ephemera is in relation to the passing moments of time. 

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Masterworks: Ohlsson Plays Rachmaninoff , January 7 – January 9, 8pm and 2:30pm

This program features two jewels of the Romantic repertoire on Friday, January 7 at 8pm, Saturday, January 8 at 8pm and Sunday, January 9 at 2:30pm. Brahms' bucolic Second Symphony is a sunny, optimistic work that boosts the spirit. Legendary pianist Garrick Ohlsson returns to Sarasota to awe audiences with Rachmaninoff's towering Piano Concerto No. 3. A fiendishly difficult work, the piece demands extraordinary technical prowess and stamina from the soloist. Jeffrey Kahane, Sarasota Orchestra's Artistic Advisor, leads the orchestra in this memorable collaboration.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Atelier de SoSi: Feline , January 7 – February 19, Gallery hours.

“Feline”—an art show for cat lovers. This six-week show focused solely on feline inspired art, includes sculptures, paintings, collages, prints, and other eclectic pieces based on the fantastic felines of the world. Artists have created works inspired by these fascinating creatures that baffle, inspire, and infuriate us but most importantly, they fill our hearts with pure joy. Join us for the Opening of “Feline” on Friday, January 7th, 6-9pm. Wear your cat tails, cat ears, and anything you love that is cat-inspired. For this show Atelier de SoSi is especially excited to partner with the “St. Pete Sunshine Kitty Catfe." A percentage of all of the sales will be donated to their fabulous organization that helps cats find their fur-ever homes. For those looking for a new furry friend in their lives, there will be a photo gallery of adoptable cats during the show. "Feline" will encompass many feline-themed events during the show's run, including a cat art yoga class, cat-inspired painting classes, screenings of cat-themed movies, and more. The exhibition will show through February 19th.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival , January 8 – January 9, 10am-5pm

Whether you are an art collector, need artwork for your home or office, or merely wish to support the arts, join us in downtown Sarasota on January 8-9, 2022 for the 8th Annual Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival. As a result of your gracious support, this event has grown to become one of the most powerful and successful fine art festivals in Florida and ranks among the nation's top fine art shows. This fine art festival is held in downtown Sarasota in JD Hamel Park at Gulfstream and Main Street. The event is produced by Paragon Festivals and hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association. The 8th Annual Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival is open Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission is free. Bring your sense of discovery and appreciation of the beautiful.

[SOON]  THEATER: Florida Studio Theatre: Hare & Tortoise , January 8 – February 26, Varies.

Hare & Tortoise is a whimsical retelling of one of Aesops best-known fables about two friends who have opposite approaches to just about everything. Hare wants nothing more than to speed through everyday life and make time pass faster. Tortoise prefers to take her time, tending her garden and celebrating each season of life. This fun, treasured tale tells a timeless story of friendship, change, and the excitement of growing up. Hare & Tortoise, by Brendan Murray, will play Saturdays and select Sundays from January 8, 2022 - February 26, 2022 in FST's Bowne's Lab. Subscriptions and single tickets are on sale and can be purchased by clicking the button above or by calling the Box Office at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Sarasota Art Museum: Free Second Sundays at SAM , January 9 – February 13, 11am-4:45pm

Free Second Sundays at SAM Activities will take place on Sunday, January 9 and Sunday, February 13 from 11am to 4:45pm. Bring your friends and family to explore new art and thought-provoking exhibitions, and participate in our fun activities. Musical Interludes – 12pm to 1:30pm: Join us for music on the Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza. Mary’s Front Porch – 1:30pm to 2pm: Storytelling performance for all ages where they can share their imagination and creativity. What’s your medium?- 2pm to 4pm: An intergenerational art activity for discovering various artistic mediums. Ringling Studio + Digital Arts Free Studio Day Activities – 11am to 4:30pm: Free ceramics activity! Personalize your own ceramic puzzle piece. Help to create The Community Puzzle.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sol of the Circle: Cold Days, Warm Hearts , January 9 – January 26, Varies.

St. Armands Circle has announced the event dates for its upcoming 2022 “Sol of the Circle – Cold Days, Warm Hearts.” Experience life on the circle and visit an assortment of some of the best merchants in the region. Sol of the Circle, a joint effort by the St. Armands Circle Association and St. Armands Business Improvement District, invites locals and tourists alike to enjoy weekly events happening throughout the month of January. Sol of the Circle will start Sunday, January 9th, and will include events such as: Sunset Yoga - Sunday, Jan. 9, and Jan. 23, 5pm to 6pm, St. Armands Family Day - Sunday, Jan. 16, 11am to 1pm, Ladies Night - Thursday, Jan. 20, 6pm to 8:30pm, and Songs on the Circle – Wednesday, Jan. 26, 6pm to 9pm. St. Armands Circle is set to kick off the new year with a handful of events for one to enjoy in January. The first event features a soothing way to wind down the weekend with Sunset Yoga. This free event will take place on Jan. 9 and 23 from 5 to 6 p.m. Led by instructor Liana Sheintal Bryant. Songs on the Circle will return with a mix of several smooth genres. Each quadrant will feature a different musical act providing a soundtrack to your evening as you stroll around the circle. This special event will be held on Wednesday, January 26 from 6pm to 9pm. St. Armands Circle Association’s Sol of the Circle will also include Ladies Night, which will be held on Thursday, January 20 from 6pm to 8:30pm. Shop and dine out on the Circle with a festive atmosphere for a special night of fun. The final event will conclude on Wednesday, January 26. From 11am to 1pm, the Circle encourages you to enjoy St. Armands Family Day which will include great activities for the whole family to participate in. 

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe: Ruby , January 12 – February 24, 2pm and 7:30pm

Originally scheduled for the 2019-2020 season and highly anticipated, the next production is “Ruby,” a world-premiere musical. It tells the story of the 1952 murder in Florida of a white doctor by a black woman, guaranteeing a conviction for the woman bold enough to commit such a shocking crime and bringing celebrated writer Zora Neale Hurston to town to cover the story for a northern newspaper. This powerful and haunting musical explores the secrets just beneath the surface of the idyllic, genteel exterior of a quaint Florida town. The book and lyrics are written by Michael Jacobs, Nate’s brother; Nate will direct. Runs from January 12 to February 24, 2022, Evenings at 7:30pm and Matinees at 2pm. Call the Box Office at 941-366-1505 or visit westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Asolo Repertory Theatre: Our Town , January 12 – January 22, Varies.

Perhaps no other play rings truer today. Thornton Wilder’s magnificent Our Town is, at its heart, about us. All of us who are swept up by time and subject to inescapable change. As another ordinary day begins, the inhabitants of a small American town go about their business: newspapers are delivered; people go to work; gardens are tended. And a boy and girl fall in love. But as life’s events unfold, one question remains: “Do any human beings ever realize life as they live it?” Long after it won the 1938 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Our Town remains one of the most enduring American plays of all time, reminding us to celebrate love, family, community, and the beauty in the ordinary. Recommended for general audiences. Our Town will show January 12–March 26, 2022.

[SOON]  GALLERY: Arts Advocates: Elisabeth Trostli , January 12 – February 19, 2pm-5pm

Elisabeth Trostli, Saturday, January 22 – Saturday, February 19, 2022. Digital artist Elisabeth Trostli creates fantastical photographic collages, in amazing detail, using her own original hand-rendered illustrations, antique papers, exquisite embellishments, photography and geometrical fractals. A native Brazilian, she received her artistic education at the Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in Illustration.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Concert Association: Music Matinees: Passerine , January 12, 1pm

A longstanding community outreach program, Music Matinees feature accomplished area-based musicians who perform an array of musical styles. Concerts take place on Wednesdays from noon to 1pm in David Cohen Hall, Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center. Passerine will take place on January 12. With inventive vocal harmonies and songwriting and supported by the sounds of acoustic strings, Passerine offers a fresh take on traditional folk and bluegrass music, as well as a repertoire of original songs that ranges from sweet ballads to the edgier side of contemporary Americana.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Sarasota Orchestra: Great Escapes: Comedy Tonight , January 12 – January 16, 5:30pm, 7:30pm, 8pm and 4pm

What better combination than music and comedy to lift your spirits on Wednesday, January 12 at 5:30pm, Thursday, January 13 at 7:30pm, Friday, January 14 at 5:30pm, Saturday, January 15 at 8pm, and Sunday, January 16 at 4pm at Holley Hall. Christopher Confessore adds his trademark humor to a program including music by Stephen Sondheim, Leroy Anderson, and Peter Schickele (a.k.a. P. D. Q. Bach).

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Orchid Society: Orchids in Paradise Show , January 8 – January 9, 9am-5pm and 10am-5pm

2022 Annual Orchids in Paradise Show and Sale will take place on January 8 and 9, on Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from 10am to 5pm at Sarasota Municipal Auditorium, 801 North Tamiami Trail. Masks are STRONGLY recommended and masks and hand sanitizer will be available.

[SOON]  SPORTS: Melges 15 Winter Series Event 1 , January 8 – January 9

The Melges 15 Winter Series returns to Sarasota on January 8 and 9, 2022. The Winter Series features three events, the first on January 8 and 9. More than 60 teams from around the country will compete in this sailing regatta. Sarasota Bay will be teeming with colorful spinnakers as the sailors make their way down the course. The Melges 15 Winter Series is hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. See Sailingsquadron.com for more information about sailing on beautiful Sarasota Bay.

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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