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SRQ DAILY Jun 23, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

Friday Weekend Edition

"She knew her value in this world when no one else recognized it. I want people to see that."

- Beck Lane, Artist.

[New Exhibition]  There's A Frida Kahlo Exhibition In Town, Kind Of
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Head down Fruitville, away from downtown and out past the fairgrounds, to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota and its Lexow Wing Gallery, where, if you’ve made an appointment, they’ll open the doors instead of throwing you out and you’ll find yourself surrounded by 17 not-small and definitely colorful portraits of the iconic Mexican artist-activist Frida Kahlo. Painted by Sarasota artist Beck Lane, the exhibition represents only a portion of Lane’s ongoing “55 Frida Project,” seeing the artist paint 55 portraits of Kahlo in homage to the 55 self-portraits Kahlo made over the course of her career.

“She knew her value in this world when no one else recognized it,” Lane says. “I want people to see that.”

Not simple recreations of Kahlo’s original self-portraits, each of Lane’s paintings comes from an archival black-and-white photograph of Kahlo. It’s a method that Lane has used for many of her projects, having a lifelong love for black-and-white photography and a little bit of the opposite for the full-color version. “They have more soul,” she says. “And the color seems to take out that connection I feel.” It’s a  eeling she describes as first a strange sound in her head and then a jolt down her spine and into her hands. A feeling that says, “It’s time to paint the donuts.” Or something like that.

With an image selected, Lane begins each portrait by first chalking in the figure and the basic shapes, then adding the first layer of color with aerosol—spray-paint and stencils—to enhance outlines and build the palette. Then comes the oil paint. And it’s here that, again, Lane makes a defense of her monochromatic source material. “If I had a color photograph in front of me,” she says, “it would be telling me what to do. That takes all the fun and exploration and adventure out of the painting.” Mixing the oils with mineral spirits or a gel medium, Lane can control the viscosity and, in doing so, determine how much of the underlying aerosol shines through, creating a sort of glow. It’s an effect the artist has enjoyed exploring and employing, but never on Kahlo’s face or eyes, where she wants audiences to see the subject’s power absent any such trickery.

Because although Lane does not pretend to any special connection to Kahlo’s art or her activism, she can’t help but be moved by the eyes of a woman who was dismissed her entire life but kept fighting. “Here’s a woman who could have been utterly and completely crushed by life,” Lane says. “And I want people to see themselves in her and feel lifted and like they can keep fighting.”

Currently on display at the Lexow Gallery at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, The 55 Frida Project runs through July 14. The gallery is open Sunday, 10am-1pm, and Tuesday through Friday by appointment. An artists reception will be held tonight from 5pm to 7pm.

Unitarian Universalist Church of Sarasota, 3975 Fruitville Road, Sarasota. 

Pictured: Beck Lane with three of her portraits of Frida Kahlo.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Circus in The Summer
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

“Here at The Ringling, we have a performing arts series with contemporary, multidisciplinary events from August till April, excluding the summer months so that we can reserve the theater for the circus, allowing this to be the main focus of our performance programming this summer,” says Elizabeth Doud. “We try not to have more than this event happening in the summer because one, it’s a really important time off for families, students and other camp groups and two, it provides the circus to perform indoors when it’s too hot to perform outdoors in the tent."

Doud, The Ringling’s Connie-Kuhlman curator of performance, is talking about the Summer Circus Spectacular, a long-standing collaboration between the Circus Arts Conservatory and The Ringling. The one-hour show runs twice a day from June 9 through August 12 at The Ringling’s Historic Asolo Theater. The show will feature performances from some of the world’s most entertaining acts, including the master of ceremonies, Heidi Harriot, a third-generation circus performer and The Alexis Brothers, a hand-balancing duo who have performed together for more than 40 years. Other acts include Garret Allen, on the aerial rope, Tersit Asefa Dersu, a bounce juggler from Ethiopia and the clowning act, Dick Monday & Slappy.

“We have a lot of different kinds of tourism passing through the museum, which is great because we can offer a live circus experience right inside the museum,” says Doud. “This show is the product of an ongoing relationship that we’ve had with the Circus Arts Conservatory for years and we’re really excited to be able to have it again this summer.”

Summer Circus Spectacular, Tuesday to Friday at 11am and 2pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 5pm, The Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota. 

Pictured: The Alexis Brothers will astound audiences with their feats of strength, balance and beauty. Photo by Cliff Roles.

Click for more.

[SRQ Book Club]  New Fiction Review of Niki by Christos Chomenidis
Bookseller Roxanne Baker, BookStoreOne Sarasota

Told from the point of view of the ghost of Niki Armaos, this epic historical WWII fiction is set in Greece starting with the life of her socialist father, Antonis Armaos. What unfolds is a stoically resilient journey reminding me of Wei Wei’s memoir 1000 Years of Years of Joys and Sorrows.

If you know about Greek culture and its people, you know how passionate they live their lives and the lengths they are willing to go to fight for both country and family. Chomenidis captures the feeling of fear and moral conviction through beautifully drawn complex characters.

In Niki’s (which means Victory in Greek) case, this meant eight years of cloistered hiding while her father was wanted for treason. Chomenidis’ rifles his protagonist’s story with vigor and I found myself unable to stop reading this 450 plus page Prix Du Livre Européen Winning novel. In isolation, her father homeschools her with strict goals to become multilingual and culturally sophisticated.

As her family resumes normal life after government exoneration, Niki’s life blooms into a coming of age discovery with the pleasures and pitfalls of dating as she waitresses at a high end restaurant. I’ll leave the rest of the story for the reader, but let me just say I haven’t read a book with such specificity in regards to food and relationships in quite some time. Niki becomes not only a character, but a friend.

Niki by Christos Chomenidis Publication Date: June 13, 2023 ISBN 97816354211972. 

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Players Studio Makes a Splash with Disney's Finding Nemo Jr.

Running June 30 to July 2, join the Teen Summer Bootcamp actors as they swim through the ocean in Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr., the musical adaptation of the beloved 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo. With new music by award-winning songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez we follow Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, who lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the supportive Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. This is the first production directed by brand-new Director of Education, Thayer Greenberg! Dates and times for performances are: June 30 – July 1, 2023 at 7pm; July 2 at 2pm.

3501 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 1130, Sarasota. Please enter the mall by Connor’s Steak & Seafood. 

For ticket information click here

[Arts & Entertainment]  St. Petersburg Arts Alliance Launches Community Tours Murals in Mind - Pride in the Arts

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance (SPAA) is launching a series of self-guided public tours of murals across the city to promote its new community art and wellness initiative, Murals in Mind. The tours kick off with Pride in the Arts, a suggested tour of a selection of SHINE murals and accompanying recorded performances and stories that promote community inclusiveness. Tour participants are invited to visit each public mural and scan a PixelStix marker with any smartphone to view recordings by community artists. “The Murals in Mind initiative is designed to provide unrestricted public access to art accompanied by recorded performances focused on community wellness, beauty, and inclusion. These murals are meant to offer an experience that leaves the participant feeling inspired, uplifted and hopeful. While this is not a replacement for therapy, it is therapeutic in nature and thoughtfully delivered by performing artists that match the inspired images by the muralists themselves,” says Terry Marks, SPAA CEO. The SPAA Pride in the Arts tour includes a visit to four must-see St. Petersburg murals, starting with Nowness is the Portal at 3000 Central Ave. and Pride & Love at 2437 Central Ave., continuing to Rooted in Community at 1000 3rd St. S. and culminating with Love Shines at 330 Beach Dr. NE along the 2023 Pride Parade route. Recorded performances and stories are accessed on any smartphone.  Murals in Mind shifts negative perceptions and offers hope and help for day-to-day living. This 24/7 accessible gallery is a public and daily reminder that there is hope, help, and resources to provide a shift in thinking, feeling and action.  

To learn more, visit

[Culture City]  Artists Helping Artists
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

Artists Helping Artists | Creative Liberties open their third artists' studio gallery space at Gaze Gallery, May/June 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  MUSIC: Songs from the Sand , June 23, 7pm

Songs from the Sand, A Hermitage Cabaret will feature the work of Hermitage Fellows performed by great Sarasota talents. From Adam Gwon to Jeanine Tesori, Michael R. Jackson to Kit Yan, Rona Siddiqui to Zoe Sarnak, the Hermitage has provided space and time to some of the most exciting musical theater writers working in the industry today. Hear selections from creators such as these performed at Waterside at Lakewood Ranch. In addition to the works themselves, hear little known stories about the creation of some of recent success stories of New York Theater, all as the sun sets over the water. Presented in Partnership with Waterside at Lakewood Ranch. Registration is required at HermitageArtistRetreat.org $5 per person registration fee. Waterside Pavilion at Lakewood Ranch, 1561 Lakefront Drive, Sarasota.

[SOON]  FILM: Sing 2 at Family Movie Night at The Bay , June 23, 7:30 pm
Join us for a free movie at The Bay. Bring your blankets, chairs, family, and friends to enjoy a wonderful evening under the stars. Free scoop of Rise and Nye ice cream to the first 100 people, first come, first served. Tasty food and beverages will be available for purchase at Simply Greek Food Truck and The Nest Concession. In Sing 2, Buster Moon and his friends must persuade reclusive rock star Clay Calloway to join them for the opening of a new show. The Oval at The Bay Park, 1055 Blvd of the Arts, Sarasota, thebaysarasota.org.
[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Sarasota Cars and Coffee at University Town Center , March 11 – December 9, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

This monthly gathering of car enthusiasts brings together automobile lovers from every walk of life, not to mention a wide array of spectacular cars. Bring your own vehicle (all makes and models are welcome) to show off, or check out the hundreds of cars on display. Each month, the event sponsors a different charity, and attendees are encouraged to donate $10 to benefit the charity. The event, occuring on the second Sunday of each month, will feature live music, complimentary coffee and more. To learn more, visit facebook.com/carsandcoffee941. Sarasota Cars and Coffee, The West District at University Town Center near Ford’s Garage, 295 N. Cattlemen Rd., Sarasota.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Surfer Boys at Florida Studio Theatre , June 13 – August 13, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre kicks off its Summer Cabaret Series with The Surfer Boys,an energetic tribute to the music of The Beach Boys. Featuring such hits as California Girls, Good Vibrations, Barbara Ann, and Surfin USA, The Surfer Boys is filled with the honey-tinged harmonies and unforgettable melodies that defined 1960s California and pop music. The Surfer Boys begins playing June 13 in the FST Goldstein Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

[SOON]  THEATER: Urbanite Theatre: That Must Be The Entrance To Heaven , June 9 – July 9

THAT MUST BE THE ENTRANCE TO HEAVEN by Franky D. Gonzalez. A World Premiere. June 9 - July 9, 2023. Urbanite Theatre. Glory. Survival. Legacy. Citizenship. Four Latino boxers all chase a world title to achieve their personal versions of heaven. But to get there, they must battle each other, their own battered bodies, and the universe itself. All four men walk the line between life and death in this poignant, poetic collision of combat and cosmos. For tickets and info contact - phone (941) 321-1397, email info@urbanitetheatre.com, website www.urbanitetheatre.com.

Urbanite Theatre , 1487 2nd Street Sarasota FL, 34236

[SOON]  FILM: Summer Movie Nights at CoolToday Park featuring Shazam, Fury of the Gods , June 4 – July 30, 5pm
Summer movie nights are back at CoolToday Park. Shazam, Fury of the Gods will be shown on the scoreboard and will begin at 5pm each night. Children ages 3 and under will receive free admission, while tickets for ages 4-9 are only $3, and ages 10 and up are $7. Tickets are available now at the CoolToday Park box office, online at cooltodaypark.com/movies or by calling 941-413-5004. Parking is free, seats will be available in the seating bowl. No outside food or beverages are chairs are allowed inside the stadium. The Superior Pools Tomahawk Tiki Bar and Grill will be open for full dinner service. For more information on the 2023 Movie Nights, or CoolToday Park, visit www.cooltodaypark.com , email springtraining@braves.com, or call 941-413-5000.
[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: Comedy Lottery at Florida Studio Theatre Improv , June 3 – July 29, 7:30pm
It is the lottery where everyone wins. Twelve lucky audience members determine the fate of our team by selecting the nightly lineup of games. Our cast of funny people are off to the races spinning scenes, sketches, and songs to win your laughter. Bownes Lab, 1265 First St., Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.
[SOON]  THEATER: Shear Madness , May 31 – July 16, Various times

There has been a murder in a local hair salon, and it is up to the audience to solve the crime. Everyone is a suspect when the old lady living above Shear Madness salon is mysteriously offed. Join two police officers to piece together the clues behind this strange, scissor-stabbing homicide. Chock full of up-to-the minute spontaneous humor, Shear Madness has slayed the hearts of audiences around the world. Now it is up to Sarasota audiences to outwit the suspects and catch the killer in this interactive comedy whodunit. FST Gompertz Theatre, 1265 First St.
Sarasota, floridastudiotheatre.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Lorna Bieber, Natural World at The Ringling , May 20 – October 15, Museum hours

The Ringling presents a solo exhibition of works by Lorna Bieber in May that includes two new pieces making their debut in the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art. Her artwork first and foremost encourages us to indulge in the pleasures of looking and discovering anew the details of the visual world. Her artistic practice is grounded in appropriating, recycling, and manipulating imagery. The work reminds us of the image world that inundates our daily existence. Our experience of reality is mediated through a barrage of photographic digital images that supplants our connection to the natural world. Yet, Bieber is less interested in a critique of this condition than she is in offering her work as an antidote, a way to inspire viewers and reconnect with our shared sense of wonder. Included with museum admission. The Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.org.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Eco Engineers , April 12 – September 3, During museum hours

Eco Engineers are plants and animals that profoundly impact their ecosystem. Through their presence or behavior, eco engineers create microhabitats, or unique areas within an ecosystem. Other species have taken notice of these microhabitats and decided to move in! In this exhibition, explore nine of Florida’s eco engineers and discover why our landscape wouldn’t be the same without them. Eco Engineers is a bilingual (English and Spanish) special exhibition created by our own Museum curators. Included with museum admission. The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature, 201 10th St. W., Bradenton, bishopscience.org.

[SOON]  GRAB BAG: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens 2023 Jean & Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature , February 12 – June 26, During garden hours

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 2023 Jean and Alfred Goldstein Exhibition Tiffany: The Pursuit of Beauty in Nature showcases the creativity and innovation of American artist and designer Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933). The first exhibition of its type to be presented in a botanical garden, the exhibition highlights the inspiring connection between Tiffany Studios and the natural world through unique horticultural displays in the Tropical Conservatory and the Gardens, accompanied by seminal examples of Tiffany’s work on view in the Museum of Botany and the Arts. To learn more, visit selby.org. Selby Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, 1534 Mound St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: Reel Music at the Florida Studio Theatre , February 15 – June 25, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents the original music revue, Reel Music, celebrating the movies that helped create the soundtrack to the last century. Featuring classics like “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Circle of Life,” and “My Heart Will Go On,” this new Cabaret traces how films—and the music highlighted in them—have evolved over the past one hundred years. Created by Richard Hopkins, Rebecca Hopkins, and Sarah Durham with musical arrangements by Jim Prosser, Reel Music begins playing February 15, 2023, in FST’s Court Cabaret. Single tickets for Reel Music
range between $18-39 and are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000.

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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