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SRQ DAILY Feb 18, 2022

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"The ongoing support of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has been vital to both helping our curatorial teams create vibrant and engaging exhibitions that capture the essence and exhilaration of contemporary art and in supporting the spaces in which to experience it."

- Dr. Larry R. Thompson, Ringling College of Art and Design President .

[New Exhibition]  An Intersection of Art and Nature at Selby Botanical Gardens
Dylan.Campbell. Dylan@srqme.com

How do you pay homage to two of the most iconic artists of the 20th Century? In the case of photographer Rober Mapplethorpe and punk-rocker Patti Smith, you pair their work with nature. A new attraction has arrived at the Marie Selby Botanical Garden’s 15-acre Downtown Sarasota Campus. From Feb 13th through June 26th, Robert Mapplethorpe and Patti Smith: Flowers, Poetry, and Light, an exhibit curated by Dr. Carol Ockman, Selby Gardens’ Curator at Large, will bring a new way to immerse yourself into Mapplethorpe and Smith’s work.

“Our exhibition explores their mutual interest in flowers and the natural world as part of their larger iconic bodies of work. We’ve taken Mapplethorpe’s high-art floral photography and placed it alongside lyrics and prose from Smith’s work,” says Greg Luberecki, Vice President of Strategic Communications at Selby Gardens.

Mapplethorpe and Smith’s relationship - which ranged from artistic to romantic and ultimately platonic - paved the way for some of the great nature-inspired artistic works during the counter cultural movements of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. In an attempt to reinvigorate that bond, Selby Gardens’ Tropical Conservatory has been repurposed in the style of Mapplethorpe’s photography. “ Upon entry visitors are met immediately with the music from Smith’s debut album Horses, as well as an enlarged photo of the album’s cover art which was a portrait of Smith taken by Mapplethorpe,” recalls Luberecki.

Inside of the conservatory a series of vignettes incorporate living plants into conceptual designs that evoke Mapplethorpe’s approach to photography. “There’s a small pond that is surrounded by a photography studio, a long ‘living’ wall with orchids hanging as suspended living art, and a set of framed flowers that play with light and shadow.”

Throughout the exhibit various interactive horticultural installations depict the balance between Mapplethorpe and Smith’s work. Visitors can have their picture taken with orchids reminiscent of Mapplethorpe’s famed photographs and listen to a turntable that sits amongst a colorful burst of flowers, playing yet another one of Smith’s albums.

The exhibit also traces the history of Mapplethorpe and Smith’s relationship. “Visitors will move from the South gallery which tells of their early years together, to a foyer that focuses on Smith, and eventually to the North gallery that features four of Mapplethorpe’s famous flower photographs. It’s a highly conceptualized exhibit that both pays tribute to each artist and fits right in alongside the rest of what Selby Gardens has to offer,” says Luberecki. 

Pictured: Studio in Tropical Conservatory. Photo courtesy of Selby Gardens.

For more information click here

[Local libraries]  Library Foundation Raises More Than $350,000 at Annual "Love Our Libraries" Author Luncheon

The Library Foundation for Sarasota County welcomed 430 guests in-person and 100 additional livestreaming guests when it presented its annual “Love Our Libraries” Author Luncheon at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium on Feb. 3. The guest speaker was Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, literary scholar, and creator and host of the groundbreaking PBS genealogy series, “Finding Your Roots.” His talk was followed by a question-and-answer session led by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a Sarasota resident and former foreign correspondent for CNN, NPR and PBS.

The “Love Our Libraries” luncheon raised more than $350,000, which will go toward the purchase of books and digital resources to be used throughout the Sarasota County library system, free books
mailed monthly to hundreds of Sarasota’s youngest residents through the Library Foundation’s partnership with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and innovative programs like the Creation
Stations that are now in nine of Sarasota County’s 10 library branches. The Community Foundation of Sarasota County was the presenting sponsor. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the nonprofit Library Foundation for Sarasota County has raised more than $8 million in private funds since its founding in 2011 for the benefit of Sarasota County public libraries. “With the conviction that great communities deserve great libraries, we are proud to champion strong public libraries, support innovation and help to extend the library system’s reach for everyone in Sarasota County,” said Alisa Mitchell, the Library Foundation’s executive director. 

Pictured: Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Charlayne Hunter-Gault at the Library Foundation for Sarasota County’s “Love our Libraries” Author Luncheon, February 3, 2022.

To learn more, click here

[Grant Awarded]  Community Foundation of Sarasota County Awards Grant to Ringling College

Ringling College of Art and Design today announced the receipt of a grant totaling $35,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County sponsoring 2021/2022 season programming for the College’s Lois and David Stulberg Gallery, the Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery, Campus Art Walks, and Silver Sponsorship of the Sarasota Art Museum’s Judith Linhares: The Artist as Curator exhibition. The Strategic Partnership grant was awarded from the Community Foundation’s Zella I. and Junius F. Allen Fund.

“The ongoing support of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County has been vital to both helping our curatorial teams create vibrant and engaging exhibitions that capture the essence and exhilaration of contemporary art and in supporting the spaces in which to experience it,” said Ringling College of Art and Design President Dr. Larry R. Thompson. “Truly the foundation is aptly-named for they have and continue to provide the resources and direction that have proven vital to building our community.” 

[Award Given]  JMX Brands Honors Dr. Kari-Jo Koshes with President’s Award

JMX Brands Director of Stores and Fulfillment Kari-Jo Koshes received the specialty retailer’s President’s Award during the company’s annual awards ceremony on February 11, 2022. Koshes was hired in 2013 as the assistant to JMX Brands CEO Jim Miller. Before being promoted to her current role, Koshes served as shipping coordinator, Customer Experience Team assistant manager, and showroom and fulfillment manager. Under the leadership of Koshes, the company expanded its warehouse from 7,500 to 23,000 square feet, organized and expanded fulfillment and warehouse teams, and created an inventory and packing model that has provided huge competitive advantages for JMX Brands’ Amazon platform. Koshes developed a team of drivers to deliver directly to customers, including the purchase of four delivery trucks and hiring excellent drivers in a very competitive environment. This new development is projected to save JMX Brands hundreds of thousands of dollars in shipping costs along with improving the delivery experience for customers. Alongside Vice President Linse Miller, Koshes led the redesign of the DutchCrafters Sarasota, Fla. Showroom, launched a DutchCrafters Outlet store in LaGrange, Ind., prepared for the next showroom in Alpharetta, Ga., and is currently exploring locations for another showroom. Under Koshes’ leadership, the DutchCrafters showroom in Sarasota, Fla. had a record-breaking year in 2021. The JMX Brands President’s Award annually recognizes one employee for excellence in work and game-changing contributions. For her notable achievements, Koshes was presented with a trophy and monetary bonus. 

To learn more, visit

[Awards Given]  Manatee County Educator and Support Employee of the Year Announced

The School District of Manatee County is proud to announce the winners of the 2022 Excellence in Education Awards. Manatee County’s Educator of the Year: Deelah Jackson, 4th Grade Teacher at Samoset Elementary School; 6 years with School District of Manatee County. Support Employee of the Year: Kari Keech-Babcock, Guidance Secretary at Lakewood Ranch High School; 4 years with School District of Manatee County. Both winners receive a $5,000 cash prize, provided by Suncoast Credit Union; an all expenses paid gathering for 24 friends and family in the Mayor’s Suite at LECOM Park in Bradenton during a Pittsburgh Pirates game, courtesy of the Pittsburgh Pirates; a $2,500 scholarship to Nova Southeastern University; a two-night stay at the Courtyard/Hampton Inn by Marriott – Sarasota/Lakewood Ranch; customized spa service from Sirius Day Spa; and more. Deelah Jackson will now advance to the Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year Program, while Kari Keech-Babcock will advance to the Florida School-Related Employee of the Year Program. The remaining six finalists, who were also deserving of the “Educator of the Year” and “Support Employee of the Year” recognition, receive a $1,000 cash award from the Manatee Education Foundation, among other prizes. The Excellence in Education Awards wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our community partners including the Manatee Education Foundation, and a long list of event sponsors. Please visit www.ManateeSchools.net/EEA for details. 

To learn more, visit

[Fashion Week]  SRQ-Based Fovari at New York Fashion Week

Fovari Founder Yara Shoemaker’s inspiration for Fovari first came from her childhood memories in Syria. “I grew up near these beautiful ruins. Literally, some of the world’s greatest architectural masterpieces were my childhood playground” Yara said. “My father would point to them and highlight their integrity, their genius. "If something is well constructed," he would say, "it will last forever." I was just a child, but his words marked me. And that… is at the heart of Fovari. The idea that real beauty – constructed well–is timeless.” When she was 24, Yara moved to the US. She was heavily influenced by Lebanese fashion legends Zuhair Murad and Elie Saab. And of course: Her mother’s closet. In 2006, she launched her first private fashion label and boutique in Sarasota, Florida. From there she founded a lifestyle magazine: Femme Rouge.

“Years later during the pandemic, fashion took a huge hit. People were battling grief, depression, anxiety… and our fashion seemed to reflect that. But when the world zips, I zap. As everyone turned to sweats and comfort, I thought, ‘There is a light at the end of this tunnel. There is meaning in this moment, and that is reason to celebrate.’ So I decided to create Fovari: A sustainably-focused couture brand that would make every woman who wore it feel like a queen, that life was worth celebrating.” Through virtual calls with manufacturers in Italy, artisans in France, beading-specialists in India, and artists from all around the world, Fovari was born. One year later Fovari is debuting in Paris and NY fashion weeks. “Fovari has become one of the first Syrian-American founded and woman-owned brands to debut at a major global fashion event.” Attention to detail gives this collection an ultra-luxurious touch. Fovari created a complete wardrobe ranging from the lined and fitted trouser suits to the great evening gowns, including light cocktail dresses highlighting delicate femininity and noble materials - silk and French lace. Modern yet timeless couture to wear. Fovari is couture re-invented for the modern woman by Yara Shoemaker. Each piece pushes and surpasses the boundaries of couture, rediscovering the values of craftsmanship, integrity, and individuality. Fovari’s NYFW launch video was shot onsite at Sarasota Art Museum, Ringling College of Art and Design’s dynamic laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. 

Pictured: Fovari modeled by Sarasota Ballet dancers Danni Rae, Melanie Wells, and Taylor Sambola at Sarasota Art Museum with the art of David Budd.

To learn more, visit

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Sarasota Opera: The Daughter of the Regiment , February 19 – March 18

The Daughter of the Regiment (La fille du regiment) by Gaetano Donizetti with poetry by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François Bayard. Love for Marie, a girl raised by a French regiment, will lead the young Tonio to unexpected lengths in this colorful comedy set in the Tyrol during the Napoleonic Wars. The Daughter of the Regiment will run from February 19 until March 18, 2022.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: Lido Beach Fine Art Festival , February 19 – February 20, 10am-5pm

Join us on February 19-20, 2022 at Lido Beach in Sarasota, FL for the 5th Annual Lido Beach Fine Art Festival. The event is produced by Paragon Festivals and graciously hosted by the Downtown Sarasota Enrichment Association with the Humane Society of Sarasota a Special Guest. The visions and talents of artisans from across Florida and throughout America in fine arts and fine crafts will create an outdoor gallery of extraordinary and original fine art in mediums such as sculpture, jewelry, painting, photography, glass, ceramics, mixed-media, metalwork, fiber art, woodworking and more. Represented will be artisans with works found in the top private and public art collections in the nation. If you do not find exactly what you wish, consider commissioning a piece made specifically for you. Hours of the Lido Beach Fine Art Festival are Saturday and Sunday 10am-5pm. Admission is free. Bring your sense of discovery and appreciation of the beautiful. Find that piece of art for home or office to enrich your life and inspire you each day.

[SOON]  SPORTS: World Champions Welcome Weekend , February 19 – February 20, Varies.

CoolToday Park, the Spring Training Home of the Atlanta Braves, announce the World Champions Welcome Weekend (WCWW) event, slated for February 19-20, 2022. This exciting event will celebrate the Braves’ World Series win as they return to North Port for the 2022 Spring Training season. The two-day celebration includes various free activities for the whole family from 11am to 3pm each day, followed by a ticketed concert each evening. The activities will take place on the plaza out front as well as inside the stadium, and will include: The World Series trophy on display, Budweiser Clydesdale parade and photo opp, Autographs by Braves legends, First look at spring merchandise, Wellen Park Fun Zone with competitive speed pitch, iHeartMedia Scavenger Hunt, and City of North Port’s Braves Bash with inflatables and DJ. All concession stands will be open, serving up the best in ballpark fare and craft beer. The Superior Pools Tomahawk Tiki Bar & Grill will also be open, serving drinks only. The night of Saturday, February 19, the B Street Band will grace the stage with their #1 Rated and Longest Running Tribute to the Boss, Bruce Springsteen. Gates open at 5pm with a showtime of 7pm. On Sunday, February 20, Nashville to North Port country superstar John Stone will take the stage at 5pm with gates opening two hours prior at 3pm. Tickets to each concert are $18, or a bundle is available for $30 that includes a general admission ticket to both nights. VIP is also available and comes with four (4) seats and four (4) beverages for $90. All concert tickets are available on ticketmaster.com.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 40th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival , February 19 – February 20, 10am-6pm

Celebrate local coastal heritage during the 40th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on February 19 and 20 in the historic fishing village of Cortez. Every February for the past four decades, people have gathered in one of Florida’s last true fishing villages to celebrate the cultural history of the region and honor the men and women who supply us with fresh local seafood. Due to COVID, the 2021 Festival was cancelled, but the Florida Institute of Saltwater Heritage (F.I.S.H.) and the village of Cortez are thrilled to report they are GEARING UP to welcome the public back to the shores of Sarasota Bay for the 40th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival on February 19 & 20, 2022 from 10am to 6pm at 4415 119th St. W., Cortez. Come on out February 19 & 20 to celebrate a real working waterfront community dedicated to preserving their fishing way of life. The University of Florida and Florida Sea Grant have partnered with this event for 40 years to put on “Dock Talks,” that educate the public on local marine life and the value of our commercial fisheries. After you feed your appetite for science, soak in the sunshine along Sarasota Bay while you boogie to live local music, peruse aisles of original artwork and nautical crafts, sip cold beverages and sample some really tasty seafood. Check out the Florida Maritime Museum and the Cortez Cultural Center, which are steeped in history of the region. Buy a raffle ticket to be entered to win one of the beautiful, refurbished custom boats lovingly restored by the F.I.S.H Boatworks. So grab your sunglasses and your appetite, and come on out to celebrate on the shores of Sarasota Bay during the 40th Annual Cortez Commercial Fishing Festival. This party with a purpose has something for everyone. Admission is only $5 and kids under 12 are free.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Paul Anka - Greatest Hits: His Way , February 20, 7pm

With the release of his new album, Making Memories, a brand-new collection of reimagined classics and new recordings including duets with Olivia Newton-John, Michael Bublé, Andrea Bocelli and Il Divo, PAUL ANKA is not only excited about this new music — but getting back on the road to perform in concert for his fans. This performance will take place on Sunday, February 20 at 7pm.

[SOON]  FOOD: Sarasota Opera: Moonlight & Melodies Dinner Series , November 1 – February 21, 6pm

Moonlight & Melodies Dinner Series is a new dining experience for opera lovers. This year Sarasota Opera welcomes our community into the Donna Wolf Steigerwaldt Courtyard for an immersive themed dinner series that highlights composers from the season. As we come together to share our awe for the exquisite art these composers created, enjoy curated cocktails and food prepared by the best of Sarasota’s chefs in a setting that will transport you to a different location each evening. Make your reservations now so you won’t miss out on this exciting and new event. Moonlight & Melodies Dinner #1 will take place on Monday, November 1 at 6pm and Moonlight & Melodies Dinner #2 will take place on Monday, February 21 at 6pm.

[SOON]  FESTIVAL: 24th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival , February 18 – February 20

The 24th Annual Thunder By The Bay Music & Motorcycle Festival is a three day event held at the Sarasota Fairgrounds to benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy continuous live music with featured headliner FireHouse performing Saturday - February 19th. This year’s Festival includes a “Born To Be Wild” Kickoff Party, a “United We Ride – America Strong” charity motorcycle ride, 17 Class Bike Show, Stereo “Sound Off” contest, burnout contest, great food, and so much more! Dry & full service camping is available on site. Gate admission on Friday and Sunday is $5 and gate admission on Saturday is $10 - 12 and under free.

[SOON]  HEALTH: Selby Gardens: Fitness in the Forest: Outdoor Movement Class at Historic Spanish Point February , February 2 – February 23, 10:15am-11:15am

An outdoor guided workout of gentle exercises combining yoga, martial arts, and dance. Immerse yourself in nature, overlooking Little Sarasota Bay, and increase energy, flexibility, balance, and physical wellness. Wear comfortable clothes and lightweight shoes; bring water and a towel for the final stretch. Any age/fitness level welcome. General admission to HSP included. Drop-ins encouraged. For ease of transaction, drop-in payments should be made in cash. Please check-in 15 minutes before for your class at the Welcome Gazebo. Fitness in the Forest will take place on Wednesdays from 10:15am to 11:15am: February 2, 9, 16, and 23. Class fee: Members $20 / Non-members $30. Class Size: 50 Students. Instructor: Kathy Oravec.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Van Wezel: Celtic Thunder: Ireland , February 23, 7:30pm

The CELTIC THUNDER IRELAND live theatrical show embodies the essence of the public television stars, delivering a blend of lively, fast-paced and upbeat songs: “A Place in The Choir,” “The Galway Girl” and “Raggle Taggle Gypsy,” classic ballads “Mountains of Mourne” and “The Wild Rover” and renowned Irish love songs such as “She Moved Through The Fair” and “Danny Boy” — all with a special Celtic Thunder twist, of course.Drawing from their most popular public television specials (as seen on WEDU) and hits since their inception, Ireland features the songs and performances that launched Celtic Thunder into the hearts and homes of audiences across the U.S. and Canada, winning them the mantle of Top World Music Act in Billboard five times over. The production has something for everyone and is perfect for the whole family. This performance will take place on Wednesday, February 23 at 7:30pm.

[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.

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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