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SRQ DAILY Sep 1, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"It is interesting to compare photographers in different cultures and time periods and how they frame this idea of labor."

- Christopher Jones, Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Art, The Ringling Museum of Art.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Mastering The Sunlight Makes Master Artist
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

Venice-based painter and illustrator Bill Farnsworth has officially been recognized as a Master Artist by the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (NOAPS). An elite status within the organization, an artist must win three significant awards at NOAPS exhibitions within a five-year period to achieve this recognition. Farnsworth won his third and most recent award this month at NOAPS’ 33rd “Best of America” International Juried Exhibition, where “Cool Shade,” his oil on canvas portrait of a sunlit scene from Bucks County, PA, was awarded “Best Use of Light and Color.” But while for some, achieving Master Artist status could be seen as the end goal, for Farnsworth it just means he’s moving in the right direction. “I’m thrilled,” he says of the accolades. But it really sounds like he’d just like to get back to work.

“Every time you step into your studio, you have to think, ‘This will be my masterpiece,’” Farnsworth says. “It may or may not work out, but you strive toward that.” And it’s this artistic mindset dedicated to continual growth and improvement in the work that seems to define Farnsworth as an artist. Though, fittingly enough, it’s been an active decision to leave the studio that Farnsworth credits most for his recent growth on the canvas.

“Going outside and painting has helped a great deal,” the artist says. And his plein air excursions over the last five years have affected his work in a profound way, teaching him to edit quickly and confidently as he works, and in turn freeing him to approach his subjects in a more impressionistic or narrative manner. “I’m trying to capture the essence,” he says. “As opposed to just documenting, like a photograph, you create something beyond what the scene offers.” The result is something like “Cool Shade,” where exacting detail gives way to something more atmospheric and emotional, where the feeling of the sun and the smell of the green are more important than individual blades of grass.

And for an artist whose philosophy has always been to start the story that the audience will finish, the epiphany stuck. “My growth over these past five years has really been about critical thinking,” he says. “And if I make it to 90, I’d like to still be painting and still be improving.”

Currently based in Venice, Farnsworth is represented locally by Palm Avenue Fine Art Gallery in Sarasota and Harley Gallery in Venice. In addition to one-on-one plein air mentorships, he also teaches workshops across the country, with the next coming to Boca Grande in early 2024. 

Pictured: Cool Shade, oil on canvas, by Bill Farnsworth.

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  Working Conditions at The Ringling Museum of Art
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

One of the most universal elements of the human experience is this: everybody works. Most everybody, at some point in their lives, has to hold down a job. Whether it’s working as a cashier in a small-town convenience store or a corporate executive in a high-rise office, the act of working is a near universal experience. The Ringling Museum of Art is exploring this concept in their latest exhibition Working Conditions, which opened last Saturday and will be on view through March 3, 2024.

Working Conditions is an exhibition from our permanent collection of photography,” says Christopher Jones, the Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator of Photography and Media Art at The Ringling. “The objective is to examine the ways that different photographers have approached the idea of labor from the turn of the 20th century into the 21st century. It’s interesting to compare photographers in different cultures and time periods and how they frame this idea of labor.”

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include the work of Lewis Hine, a photographer hired in 1908 by the National Child Labor Committee to document the exploitation of children in the industrial workforce. “He often went into these environments as a sort of investigator. He would wear disguises or use subterfuge to gain access to these workplaces so that he could photograph children working. In many cases these were kids who were seven or eight years old working in coal mines or other dangerous conditions,” says Jones. “For Hine, labor was really a social issue that needed reform–his photographs helped this child labor committee in their campaign to create federal legislation to restrict child labor. He was one of the first to show early on how the camera could be used as a witness to document and persuade people.”

Another standout from the exhibition is the work of the American photographer Bill Owens, who chronicled the working atmosphere of post World War II suburbia. Owens, who worked for his local paper in Northern California, created own series “Working” in the 1970s when he was off the clock from his full time job. Owens’ photography explores the visual culture of the time and by extent, this new idea of the American dream after World War II.  

Pictured: Bill Owens (American, born 1938), Industrial burger maker, Tri-Valley Area, Northern California, from the series Working, 1974-1976. Gelatin silver print, 6 7/16 x 9 1/16 in. Gift of John Chatzky and Debbie Mullin, 2021, 2021.51.31. © Bill Owen

[Arts & Entertainment]  ensembleNewSRQ Presents the Suncoast Composer Fellowship Program Concert and Conversation

ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ), the innovative chamber music ensemble, has collaborated with Sarasota-based Soundbox Ventures in the Suncoast Composer Fellowship Program (SCFP), a new residency program for six emerging composers and nine classical musicians. The group is producing the program’s first concert, Tuesday, September 5, 7 p.m., at First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. The event will include a pre-concert lecture and salon, featuring wine and refreshments, while the composer fellows speak about the work that will be performed that evening. Audiences can meet and greet the artists and composers following the concert. Tickets are $25 for the general public; free for enSRQ subscribers if a season subscription is purchased before September 5; and can be purchased at www.EnSRQ.org.  

[Arts & Entertainment]  Temple Sinai Welcomes Sarasota Jewish Theatre to Usher in Selichot

Temple Sinai welcomes Sarasota Jewish Theatre (SJT) to present a reading of “The Rest of the Story,” a one act comedy for its upcoming Selichot service. The holiday, which begins the official “High Holy Days” period, will be observed on Saturday evening, September 9, 2023, at 7:00 pm. Chazzan Cliff Abramson will lead one of the year’s most beautifully spiritual and musically uplifting services. Accompanying him will be Principal Harpist from the Sarasota Orchestra, Guiseppina Ciarla, Principal Flutist from the Sarasota Orchestra, Betsy Hudson Traba and Temple Sinai’s longtime keyboardist, Christine Allen-Bruno. Following the service, SJT will present “The Rest of the Story,” a funny and introspective play about the Garden of Eden featuring a very old Eve being interviewed about her life. The interview takes place in the Garden of Eden Park, just across the river from the assisted living facility where Eve currently resides. As the journalist asks questions, it becomes clear that Eve has been holding a lifetime of resentments. "Why did HE get all the credit when I did all the work? Who do you think named the animals?" The revelations come fast and furious when Eve is interrupted by Lilith, an unwelcome guest, who brings up a past including the infamous snake. Directed by SJT Artistic Director Carole Kleinberg, the performance will be followed by a special discussion facilitated by Rabbi Emeritus Geoffrey Huntting, an SJT board member. Temple Sinai’s Chazzan Abramson says, “theatre is the most overlooked avenue for insight into all the elements of Jewish identity. It has been said that when man was faced with the necessity of explaining the meaning of human existence, that is when he invented theatre. What better time to share this concept with our congregation than Selichot, when we are just beginning to prepare ourselves spiritually for the High Holy Days.” The play is being prepared for a fully staged performance in SJT’s 2023-24 season. Carole Kleinberg says, “it’s a modern riff on Adam and Eve and the changing role of women from biblical times to now. It’s a light and humorous look at a traditional story.” This event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit templesinai-sarasota-org or call 941-924-1802. Temple Sinai is located at 4631 South Lockwood Ridge Road (enter only from Proctor Road). 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Selby Gardens Announces Winners of 43rd Annual Juried Photo Exhibition

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ 43rd Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition  is now on view in a virtual gallery that can be accessed at selby.org. The show includes over 300 photographs that were taken by visitors at one of Selby Gardens’ two  campuses and selected for display by an expert panel of jurors. The jury awarded honors for top photographs in  the exhibition, with Best in Show going to Gary McNulty for his colorful photo of a red-bellied woodpecker in a  silk cotton tree, titled Afternoon Repose. The web gallery will remain on view through September 30. In addition to Best in Show, awards for first place were given in each of the five exhibition categories: Living Art: “Leaf” Imitating Art, by Christopher Harrington; Make a Splash: Welcome to Selby Gardens, the Water Is Great!, by Betsy Roe; Plant Portraits: Solitude, by Caryn Koffman; The Birds and the Bees: Blue Dasher Dragonfly Portrait, by Christopher Harrington • Black + White: Circle of Life, by Gonzalo Hernandez Jr.  The jury also selected second- and third-place winners in each category and recognized three additional photos  with honorable mentions. Selby Gardens received over 300 entries for this year’s juried exhibition. Entrants could submit up to  three photos, which had to be taken at either the Downtown Sarasota or Historic Spanish Point campus of Selby  Gardens within the past year. All submissions were reviewed by the panel of volunteer jurors, who were invited  for their expertise in photography, art, and curation. The jury included: Olivia Marie Braida-Chiusano, artist and head of Selby Gardens’ botanical illustration program • Christopher Jones, Stanton B. and Nancy W. Kaplan Curator photohotography and Media Art at The Ringling, Keith Monda, philanthropist and Selby Gardens Trustee, John Pirman, artist and illustrator, Walter Gilbert, Selby Gardens vice president for diversity and inclusion and namesake of the Gilbert Mural Initiative public-art project. To view Selby Gardens’ Virtual 43rd Annual Juried Photographic Exhibition, visit selby.org. This  exhibition is presented in partnership with the Observer Media Group.  

Pictured: Best in Show Afternoon Repose by Gary-McNulty.

[Women Who Roar]  SRQ MEDIA to Present the 2023 Illuminator Award to Leisa Peterson at the 8th Annual Together We Roar Leadership & Awards Luncheon

SRQ MEDIA will present Leisa Peterson with the SRQ Illuminator Award, which celebrates women who are shining a light on information and tools that empower women to live their best life at the Together We Roar Leadership & Awards Luncheon on October 27th in Sarasota, Florida.

Author of The Mindful Millionaire, Leisa Peterson is a visionary dedicated to transforming millions of lives through heightened financial consciousness. With a three-decade tenure in finance, she has been recognized by Forbes as one of the pioneering 10 Women Driving Growth in Wealth Management and Investing, As a facilitator, strategic advisor, and author, Leisa’s purpose revolves around reshaping society’s collective outlook on money, sparking a revolution in perspective through her conviction that abundance is an attainable reality for all. Merging her financial expertise with the art and science of mindfulness, Leisa reveals a liberating journey that emancipates people from the grip of scarcity and financial worries, paving the way to lives brimming with prosperity. Leisa spearheads “The Mindful Millionaire” and “Art of Abundance” podcasts. In addition, she empowers her clients through online workshops and transformative in-person retreats. Her insights can be found on Gaia Media Network, Wall Street Journal, FastCompany, The Week, and Huffington Post.

The luncheon celebration will also include a Pop Up Boutique Salon featuring fabulous gifts from Camilyn Beth, PAINT Nail Bar, Saks Fifth Avenue, Discover Sarasota Tours Gift Shop and BookStore1 among others. Blair Bloomston of Game On Nation will present an energizing, interactive motivational leadership session followed by the highly anticipated announcement of the 2023 SRQ Women Who Roar Competition Honorees. 

Special thanks to Champion Sponsor, Seaside Bank and Trust and Supporting Partners, Ritz Carlton Sarasota, Diamond Vault Jewelers, Michael’s On East, Dolphin Transportation, Tropical Interiors Florist, Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota, Sarasota Trophy & Awards and Bookstore 1 Sarasota.


Reserve Your Tickets Here

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art at Ringling Museum , March 29 – September 4, Museum hours

Reclaiming Home, Contemporary Seminole Art group exhibition will mark The Ringling’s first presentation of contemporary art by Native American artists with ancestral, historical, and present-day connections to Florida. An imperative step toward establishing a meaningful relationship with the Native American artistic community, Reclaiming Home will highlight the breadth and depth of the artwork by Seminole, Miccosukee, and mixed-heritage artists from Florida with the important work by internationally-recognized artists. The exhibition will expand the conceptual framework of Native American art made in Florida today and provide a fuller understanding of the complexities of issues within the art of the Seminole diaspora. Ringling Museum, 5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, ringling.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]  GRAB BAG: Fresh Harvest Farmers Market at Wellen Park , June 25 – December 29, 9 am to 1 pm

Visit Fresh Harvest, the newly launched weekly farmers market in Downtown Wellen. Fresh Harvest offers a selection of local goods from nearly 40 local vendors. Fresh Harvest takes place every Sunday in Downtown Wellen from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can peruse different vendor booths and stock up on a variety of goods. Vendors will offer a wide variety of locally grown and produced food, including herbs, spices, cut flowers, teas, canned and preserved fruits and vegetables, syrups, baked goods, pickled foods, fresh seafood, meats, poultry, eggs, milk and prepared food and beverages. A limited selection of craft vendors also participate in the farmers market. For a listing of participating vendors and more information on Fresh Harvest Farmers Market, visit wellenpark.com/events/fresh-harvest-farmers-market. Downtown Wellen, 19745 Wellen Park Blvd., Venice.

[SOON]  THEATER: Divas Three , July 11 – September 17, Various times

Florida Studio Theatre presents Divas Three, a dynamic music revue featuring four decades of hits by some of the most influential women of music. With songs made famous by Aretha Franklin, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Carole King, and more, this original revue pays tribute to the artists whose musical impact has earned them the coveted title of diva. Created by Nancy Allen Productions, Divas Three begins playing on July 11 in the FST Court Cabaret. Tickets are now on sale at FloridaStudioTheatre.org or at 941.366.9000. Florida Studio Theatre, 1265 1st St., Sarasota.

[SOON]  SCIENCE AND NATURE: John Pirman, Diving Into Nature , July 22 – September 17, Garden Hours

Dive into nature this summer at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Downtown Sarasota campus, where a retrospective-like show of the career of Sarasota artist John Pirman to date can be seen inside the Museum of Botany and the Arts and outside in the Gardens. The show features several of his signature views of Sarasota, including iconic scenes of Selby Gardens itself, along with diverse works from his 30-year career in New York City and even pieces from his childhood in Ohio. On view daily through September 17. Learn more at selby.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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