Art Center Sarasota Welcomes Javi Suarez as Board Member

The Giving Coast

Philip C. Baker, whose position as chairman of Art Center Sarasota’s board of directors commenced with the start of the fiscal year, recently announced that the organization has welcomed the celebrated architect and artist Javi Suárez to its board of directors. Javi Suárez was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, and moved to Sarasota when he was 10. The son of an architect, Suárez felt honored to follow in his father’s footsteps, although art was his first love. At the University of Florida, Suárez’s architectural studies prepared him well for a future as an artist. He says his studies there taught him to question everything—and to rely on his own ideas and innate passion. Suárez went on to receive a master’s degree in architecture from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1997. While researching a thesis topic there, his interest in improvisation inspired him to look beyond the historical precedents within architecture. Under the teachings of the acclaimed jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, Suárez focused his thesis work on jazz as a model for architecture. The ideas behind this thesis have influenced the process and concepts of his art, as well. Suárez’s work has been shown at private studios and galleries and is displayed in several private and public collections. His regional architectural projects include the Sarasota branch of Bay First Bank; the Bradenton headquarters of the REALTOR Association of Sarasota and Manatee; Sarasota Midtown Plaza’s facade renovations; the Church of the Redeemer expansion; Sabal Palm Plaza; and a Bird Key residence. Suárez has served on several regional boards, including The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, the AIA Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, the advisory board of the City of Sarasota Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Salvador Dali Museum. He was part of the 2009 Leadership Florida team and served as a board member for Art Center Sarasota from 2005-2006.

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