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SRQ DAILY Sep 8, 2023

Friday Weekend Edition

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Friday Weekend Edition

"I found a spool of thread somewhere in my apartment and thought if I could just drape this thread over the paper I could achieve my goal and I did. It had a very remarkable power in a small space."

- Stephen Balut, Artist.

[Arts & Entertainment]  Taking It Outside with Linda Richichi
Philip Lederer, Phil.Lederer@srqme.com

This time last year, Linda Richichi was sitting outside in the pouring rain, painting on the corner of Main Street and Palm Avenue with two stolid compatriots at her side, each pitting pigment against precipitation. Sisyphean? Sure. A little mad? Perhaps. But the elements are an accepted hazard of plein air painting and Richichi, a Signature Member and Florida Ambassador for the International Plein Air Painters, wasn’t about to miss the organization’s annual Great Worldwide Paint Out—that one time a year when all similarly mad paint-slingers take their canvases outside and celebrate the plein air tradition together as a global whole. Still, as the 21st Great Worldwide Paint Out hits this Saturday at Bayfront Park, Richichi can’t help but hope for better weather and a bigger turnout.

Running from 9am to 11am this Saturday by Marina Jack’s, the rules to participate in the Great Worldwide Paint Out are pretty simple: there really aren’t any. A free and open community event, anyone and everyone with the urge to try their hand at a little plein air creation is invited to bring their easel down to Bayfront Park and join the artists for however long or little as they please. “No sign up; just show up,” says Richichi. And you don’t even have to paint. Doodle, sketch, draw in the dirt with a stick—just be sure to hang around for the group photo afterward. The only real rule is the unspoken rule of all such events: Don’t be a jerk.

Of course, even non-jerks might ask: Why paint outside in generally-unpredictable-but-predictably-too-hot Florida weather, when we’ve got these things called air conditioning and mini-fridges? For Richichi, noted non-jerk and member of the International Plein Air Painters since 2011, when she traveled to the Ontario home of IPAP’s founder for her first 10th Great Worldwide Paint Out and promptly won Best In Show, the answer is as simple as it is uncompromising. “When you’re outside, you actually see truer colors,” she says. More than that, she says, the art of painting is about more than just what you see, but what you feel. And photographs make her feel almost nothing. “A photograph is only what you see,” says Richichi. “It doesn’t include your emotions or how the space made you feel. But if you’ve ever taken a walk in nature, you can feel the energy.”

Gathering at Bayfront Park, Richichi hopes that all who attend can find something to energize them, regardless of skill level or subject of interest. With ocean waves and boats in one direction, people at the park in another, yachts one way and the architecture of the city behind them, options abound for scenes and studies of all sorts. But for plein air beginners, Richichi does recommend perhaps starting with a sketchbook and pen or colored pencils. “Keep it simple,” she says, as painting outside requires either a careful setup or a lot of juggling, which can be frustrating even in a circus town. As for Richichi, she’ll be posting up with her paints by the little boats next to Marina Jack’s, trying to capture those true colors. “And the colors are different every time,” she says.

The 21st Great Worldwide Paint Out hits Bayfront Park this Saturday, 9am-11am. 

Pictured: Street Life, oil on canvas, by Linda Richichi. Photo courtesy of the artist.

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Art of Stephen Balut
Dylan Campbell, dylan@srqme.com

“When I was in graduate school at UT-Austin for architecture, I was taking this drawing class and became obsessed with trying to draw the thinnest, most powerful line that I could draw,” says Stephen Balut. “I found a spool of thread somewhere in my apartment and thought if I could just drape this thread over the paper I could achieve my goal and I did–it had a very remarkable power in a small space.”

Fast forward 17 years and Balut, now a full-time architect and Studio Director for MHK Architecture’s Sarasota office, is still playing with string. Only now, Balut does it in a much more complex, nuanced way. An architect by day and artist by night, Balut has been developing a series of paintings called String Theory, some of which are now showing at the State of the Arts Gallery in downtown Sarasota. Balut’s paintings operate in the world of abstraction–painted canvases are strategically wrapped in up to 50 layers of differently colored string or yarn, creating a three dimensional piece of scaleless complexity. Many of the paintings are inspired by the colors and environment of the Gulf Coast. Some, like Siesta Strings evoke infinite seascapes, while others like Wisping Ether are a reaction to Balut’s experience of last year’s Hurricane Ian.

“I use anything that is tensile to wrap my canvases–from various yarns to kite string to fine threads to monofilament–which is what artists call fishing line because I suppose fishing line doesn’t sound cool enough,” says Balut with a chuckle. “Not only do the compositions become deep and rich with complexity and color, but when you light them properly there are thread shadows that appear on the canvas and create an even further level of depth that is quite subtle and powerful at the same time.”

The product that Balut creates now is the result of years of laborious experimentation. The paintings themselves are so vastly detailed that they can take weeks at a time to create. By expertly layering string and acrylic paint, Balut can achieve a subtle version of the lenticular effect–one piece can appear quite different when viewed from a 45 degree angle as opposed to straight on. Despite how labor intensive and complex his art can be, Balut is still drawn to creating, time and time again. “I love the feeling of when I finish a painting,” says Balut. “There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction that comes from creating something beautiful.”

State of the Arts Gallery, 1525 State St, 941-955-2787.


Pictured:Stratospheric, Acrylic, Yarn, String, Thread and Nails on canvas. 60" x 48". 2023, by Stephen Balut.

To learn more, visit

[Sarasota Modern Hotel]  Explore Your Urban Oasis at The Sarasota Modern

“Enjoy The High Life, The Real Life, But Never Medium Life.”

If you're looking for a luxury experience in the heart of downtown Sarasota, look no further than The Sarasota Modern. This gorgeous 89-room boutique hotel is located in the Rosemary District, in the heart of the arts district, downtown attractions, and some of Sarasota's most popular restaurants - including its own, Wink Wink Modern Lounge. Its expansive pool deck is equipped with a cold plunge, hot tub, and resort-style pool so you can relax while enjoying plenty of fresh air and sunshine. The Modern also offers a variety of fantastic venues for creatives, entrepreneurs and groups seeking an authentic, inspiring setting for all events and meeting desires. Whether you're staying here with your family, joining us for business or as part of a romantic getaway with your significant other, there are plenty of ways to customize your trip. Whether you want to stay in the exclusive 1800 square-foot Rosemary Suite or add some extra amenities like a romantic dinner at Wink Wink Modern Lounge—The Sarasota Modern has got you covered!

The Sarasota Modern Website: https://www.thesarasotamodern.com

Wink Wink Modern Lounge Website: https://www.winkwinklounge.com

Link to Resort Pass for Sunday Funday Tickets: https://www.resortpass.com/hotels/the-sarasota-modern 

[Arts & Entertainment]  Key Chorale Presents First Concert of the Season Tango, September 23rd, 4 PM Church of the Palms

Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, first concert of the season is “Tango” on September 23, 4 PM at Church of the Palms in Sarasota. Billboard Top 10 Duo Ben &; Winnie join the 100+ voices of Key Chorale to celebrate the passion and sizzle of the Argentine Tango. Bandoneonist Ben Bogart, pianist Winnie Cheung, and four traditional tango dancers take you to the streets of Buenos Aires. Together they present Martín Palmeri’s Misatango, a Latin mass incorporating the harmonies, rhythms, and sensual qualities of the tango. Soloists Amy Connours and Stephanie Jabre add their vocal sparkle to the dance. Key Chorale will be joined by a string quintet, piano, and the bandoneon, a button-accordion that has become synonymous with the tango. Tango was born in the 1880s. It grew out of the lower-class dance halls and brothels of Buenos Aires. Tango combined African and South American styles with European influences and reached the height of its popularity in the 1940s. Today, it is still one of the most popular dances and is celebrated worldwide for its fire and passion. “Duo Ben & Winnie are masters in taking the raw energy and intricacy of a tango orchestra and distilling it down into exciting and imaginative duo arrangements,” says Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins. “The featured work on this program is one of my all-time favorites. It is Misa a Buenos Aires (or, as its popularly known, Misatango) by Argentine composer Martín Palmeri. Palmeri takes the traditional Latin mass text and infuses it with the tango. It was premiered in 1996 by the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba and since then has been performed in cities throughout the world.” The six movements of Misatango are scored for traditional tango orchestra and will also incorporate four traditional tango dancers. The movements of the mass will be interspersed throughout the program with traditional tangos in between by composers like Astor Piazzolla, Rosita Melo, and Osvaldo Pugliese. World-renowned dancers and choreographers Fernanda Ghi and Silvio Grand, and Junior Cervila and Guadalupe Garcia, who are considered one of the most explosive tango couples on the scene, will be joining Key Chorale for this concert experience. To purchase tickets to “Tango” or to buy a season subscription, visit www.keychorale.org or call 941-552-8768 to reserve the best seats and to take advantage of additional savings. 

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  The Sarasota Players Opens 94th Season with a Brand-New Series

The Players begins a new season with a new series in a new performance space! Inclusions by Joseph Allen Smith runs Sept. 8-10 and 15-17, 2023 starting off the new Sidebar Series in The Players Black Box space, inside The Players Studio (1400 Blvd. of the Arts, Suite 200, Sarasota, FL 34236.) This production stars Blake Walton and deals with the universally suffered theme of grief. In an intimate Black Box setting located at the Players Studio in the Rosemary District, the Sidebar Series includes shows that fall off the beaten path and are designed to intrigue and engage audience members. Carefully curated by Artistic Director, Steven H. Butler, the stories are chosen to reflect on the fragility of the human condition. Synopsis: Ralph and Louise are in their 60s. They have been married for 37 years. They have no children. They are retired and lead a quiet life. They never talked about what life would be like after, you know, it happens … But it happened. And now, three years later, Ralph is still struggling with widowhood and the consequences of past decisions. In this one-man show, Ralph tells the story of a very special ring.

Sept. 8-10 and 15-17, 2023, Fri..-Sat. at 7:30pm, Sun. at 2pm, 1400 Blvd. of the Arts, Suite 200, Sarasota. 

To learn more, visit

[Arts & Entertainment]  St. Pete's Museums Band Together for a Historic Free Access Day Where Community Meets Culture

A harmonious fusion of art and community is on the horizon, as four cornerstone museums of St. Petersburg, led by the distinguished Imagine Museum, join forces for Arts Alive: Free Museum Day on September 23, 2023. Facilitated by the St. Pete Arts Alliance, this initiative invites locals and tourists to immerse themselves in the city's rich cultural fabric, emphasizing St. Petersburg’s commitment to its residents and its legacy. In the heart of St. Petersburg, the Imagine Museum will unveil its contemporary glass art, each piece echoing tales of creativity, history, and shared experiences. This event is not just an artistic endeavor, but a call to action for the community to connect, engage, and celebrate their shared heritage and future. Journalists, bloggers, and influencers across print, digital, and television platforms should keep an eye out for: Community Chronicles: Engage with local artists, leaders, and community members for firsthand accounts of St. Petersburg's evolving cultural narrative; Behind-the-Scenes Glimpses: Explore the meticulous planning and vision behind the timed entry system, ensuring every visitor has a curated and intimate experience; Retail Reverie: Dive into the histories of select retail items, showcasing a blend of traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design; Local Flavors: Highlight the partnership with local vendors for refreshments, each offering a taste of St. Petersburg’s diverse culinary essence. In a time where community means more than ever, St. Petersburg's iconic institutions are rising to the occasion, offering a day of unity, education, and celebration. We're extending an invitation to media outlets of all formats to capture this community-driven event and share its essence with audiences everywhere. Join Us, Document the Day, and Celebrate St. Petersburg's Legacy!

September 23, 2023, 1901 Central Ave St. Petersburg, FL. 

To reserve your spot click here

[SRQIST]  Fintastic Flair
Laura Paquette, laura.paquette@srqme.com

FINTASTIC FLAIR | Fin Pin Shop, owned by entrepreneurs Yasmin Greene and Jacklyn Gerakios, finds the fun in ocean conservation, September 2023. 

Read Here!

[SOON]  FOOD: Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival , January 25 – January 29, Various times
The 2024 Forks and Corks Food and Wine Festival, hosted by the Sarasota Manatee Originals, will take place January 25 to 29. Grand Tasting tickets go on sale in October. A full five day slate of food and wine themed fun is planned, including the University Master Classes, wine dinners at area restaurants, wine shop tasting events, a trade tasting and the much anticipated Grand Tasting at The Ringling Museum of Art. Due to the unprecedented demand for tickets, ticket sales for The Grand Tasting launch on two consecutive Tuesdays: On October 10 at 9 a.m. there is a presale of the VIP and Early Access tickets and on October 17 at 7 p.m. General Admission tickets will be available and historically have sold out in a matter of minutes. All Forks and Corks Grand Tasting tickets will be available online only. For more information, please visit www.eatlikealocal.com.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Tobias Quartet at the Perlman Music Program , November 15, 7pm

Join us on November 15th at 7pm to kick off the 2023-2024 season with the Tobias Quartet! Members of the Tobias Quartet initially connected during summers spent at the renowned Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island, NY. They reunited during their studies at the Juilliard School and the quartet ultimately formed in the summer of 2021 at the Music from Angel Fire Festival, located in New Mexico. During their residencies at Music from Angel Fire in 2021 and 2022, the quartet performed a wide range of repertoire including the world premiere of an octet by Elise Arancio in collaboration with the Vera Quartet. The name of their ensemble pays homage to Toby Perlman, to whom they are eternally grateful for her infinite wisdom and inspiration. Tickets will be available October 1st and this public show will be located at the Sarasota Art Museum in Thomas McGuire Hall, 1001 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, https://www.perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Suncoast Largest Food Truck Festival 4.0 at UTC , November 11, 12-9pm
Featuring over 70 Food Vendors, and coinciding with the Grand Arrival of Santa Parade held at UTC. 140 University Town Center Dr., Sarasota.
[SOON]  FOOD: Suncoast Food and Wine Fest , November 11, 1-4pm
Suncoast Food and Wine Fest offers an afternoon of samplings and tastings from a large selection of fine restaurants as well as a variety of fine wines and other beverages in a beautiful outdoor setting. Your participation by purchasing a ticket provides financial assistance to many charitable organizations within Sarasota and Manatee counties, and other Rotary projects. Premier Sports Campus, 5895 Post Blvd., Lakewood Ranch.
[SOON]  MUSIC: Choral Artists of Sarasota Present Veterans Day in Song , November 11, 1pm

Choral Artists of Sarasota presents the songs that brought hope and inspiration during military conflicts, from the Revolutionary War through Desert Storm. The featured guest artist is baritone Bob McDonald, a retired Sergeant Major from The US Army Chorus. The performance will be on Saturday, November 11, 1pm, at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets are $40 for guests and $25 for Veterans. Student tickets are $5. For more information, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Taste of New Orleans at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens , October 28, 5:30-7:30pm

Taste of New Orleans will take place on Saturday, October 28th at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. This event has developed an exceptional reputation, providing guests with hors doeuvres, live entertainment, and an unforgettable bayfront setting. Taste of New Orleans sponsorships are available at a variety of levels. Proceeds support Truly Valued programs, that increase confidence and better decision making skills through changed behaviors of the youth and families that we serve. Visit https://trulyvalued.org/taste-of-new-orleans to purchase tickets.

[SOON]  PERFORMANCE: The Ringling Art of Performance Season Kickoff Party: White Hot Fête , October 20, 7pm

Secure your tickets to our Art of Performance Season Kickoff Party: White Hot Fête on Friday, Oct 20 featuring La Dame Blanche. White Hot Fête is Sarasota’s hottest party. Put on your stylish glow and celebrate the opening of the cultural season in your finest all-white attire! General admission includes a pre and post-show DJ, live concert with La Dame Blanche, as well as food and beverages for purchase. Tickets for general admission are $35 for non-members and $31.50 for members. VIP admission includes priority entrance to the venue at 7pm, a private VIP Section, open bar and buffet, as well as VIP parking access. VIP tickets are $125 per ticket. Be sure to buy your tickets soon, VIP tickets are limited. 5401 Bayshore Rd., Sarasota, www.theringling.org.

[SOON]  FILM: Taylor Swift the Eras Tour at at Sarasota Film Society , October 13 – October 22

The cultural phenomenon continues on the big screen! Immerse yourself in this once-in-a lifetime concert film experience with a breathtaking cinematic view of the history-making tour. Taylor Swift Eras attire and friendship bracelets are strongly encouraged! Tickets available for October 13-15 and October 19-22. For more information visit filmsociety.org.

[SOON]  DANCE: Romeo and Juliet at the Van Wezel , October 8, 5pm
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is excited to welcome the International Ballet of Florida’s production of Romeo and Juliet to Sarasota on Sunday, October 8, at 5 p.m. For over ten years, the International Ballet of Florida, IBF, has gained a reputation for original full length ballets and has garnered acclaim across the state. Alongside its students, IBF proudly welcomes principal guest artists from the National Ballet of Ukraine, Lithuania Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and more as they begin the 2023 through 2024 season. Tickets are available now, starting at $30 and can be purchased at www.VanWezel.org, by calling the box office at 941-263-6799 or by visiting the box office Monday through Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Groups of 10 or more should call 941-263-6726.
[SOON]  FOOD: Sarasota Opera Food and Wine Festival , September 23, 1 to 4pm
On Saturday, September 23, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. the Sarasota Opera Food and Wine Festival will take place at Sarasota Opera House. Local restaurants will gather to serve tasty bites, wine, and other treats as a benefit for Sarasota Youth Opera. Throughout the event, there will be performances from the Youth Opera chorus and Sarasota Opera artists, as well as raffles and other activities. Tickets are now available for $75 per person and can be purchased online at www.sarasotaopera.org/foodandwinefest, or at the Box Office located at 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota, FL 34236, or by calling the Box Office at (941) 328-1300. All proceeds go to support the Youth Opera and Education programming. This season, Sarasota Opera events are produced by Mary Kenealy Events. Restaurants interested in participating in this event can find registration information at www.sarasotaopera.org/foodandwinefest-registration.
[SOON]  FOOD: Bistro Pop Up Night at Sarasota Art Museum , September 20, 5:30-8pm

Join us this summer for a Bistro Pop-Up Night. Enjoy an after-hours gallery tour, live music and a 4-course dinner curated by Executive Chef Kaytlin Dangaran. The Bistro fare is inspired by the regional fruit stands and farmers markets of Florida, and emphasizes local produce, healthy proteins and artisanal specialty items. Dinner reservations are available for 6:30PM. Private tour will begin one hour prior to dinner, at 5:30PM. 4-Course Dinner: $100/person, 4-Course Dinner with Wine Pairing: $130/person. 1001 South Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

[SOON]  MUSIC: The Jalen Baker Quartet at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe , September 9, 7:3opm

Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and Modern Marimba are collaborating to present an incredible evening of jazz featuring the Jalen Baker Quartet on September 9 at 7:30pm. Jalen Baker will be on vibraphone, Paul Cornish on the piano, Gavin Moolchan on the drums, and Gabriel Godoy on bass. Baker is a vibraphonist, percussionist, educator, and composer whose early training involved both classical and jazz genres. Since 2019, he has continued to distinguish himself as a performer as a Ravinia Jazz Fellow, where he studied with Rufus Reid, Billy Childs, and Tim Haggins. He has been an active performer with other groups while also leading his own band - with which he has recorded two albums - in venues throughout the country. Tickets are $27. WBTT, 1012 N. Orange Ave., Sarasota, www.westcoastblacktheatre.org.

[SOON]  FOOD: Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch , September 3 – September 30, 10am-2pm

Experience some of the best food and flavors of the region with more than 100, and still growing, curated vendors. The Farmers Market at Lakewood Ranch has fast become a favorite weekly tradition for people from all over the region seeking farm-fresh produce, delicious prepared foods, and specialty items and gifts. Aside from all the goodies you can shop at the Farmers Market, find your flow in a free yoga class or have the kiddos get creative during weekly-hosted workshops. 1561 Lakefront Dr., Lakewood Ranch.

[SOON]  MUSEUM: Working Conditions at The Ringling , August 26 – March 3, varied times

Explore labor through The Ringlings Working Conditions photography exhibit, running until March 3, 2024. The Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries radically changed the nature of human labor. That era is defined by a global shift from producing goods by hand to manufacturing by machines and technologies that emphasized efficiency. Working Conditions explores the myriad ways in which photographs have communicated ideas about labor since the nineteenth century through examples from The Ringlings photography permanent collection. For more information, visit ringling.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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