Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 04.08.10

Posted April 7, 2010 at 7:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Albright’s ‘Process’ exhibit held up in U.S. Customs
For those of you who attended the opening of s/ART/q’s “Process” exhibition March 26, at G.WIZ Science Museum, and were wondering why artist/member Tobey Albright’s installation was MIA, blame the Department of Homeland Security.

It seems Albright’s Sarasota telecommute is getting trickier by the day.

The 28-year-old artist, Ringling grad and former Mack B gallery curator has continued to participate in the 14-member arts group s/ART/q, despite living in Hannover, Germany, with his girlfriend and New College alum Claire Michelsen, who received a Fulbright grant in 2009 to work in the midwifery research unit at the Hannover Medical School.

For the group’s November exhibit, Albright projected a moving hologram of himself against a white wall. His latest hologram project, however –– a collaboration with Sarasota artist Trevor Dienes inspired and named for French post-Impressionist Henri Rousseau –– never made it to the United States in time for this month’s G.WIZ show.

According to Albright, the work is still caught up in the screening process at the U.S. Customs office.
Albright, who earned his artist cred in Sarasota by collaborating with friends and gallery owners, says he’s had a “horrible collaborative relationship” with the international mailing system.


Photo by Heather Rasley

Venice Theatre’s ‘foxy’ Gawne still has the moves
For this bit of uplifting news we look south of Nokomis to the Venice Theatre, where longtime dancer Shirley Gawne celebrated her 90th birthday last month following a special matinee performance of the Silver Foxes Follies.

The high-kicking Gawne, a Venice Theatre volunteer since 1976 and a member of the theater’s Silver Foxes senior performance troupe, not only danced in this year’s Follies, she choreographed several numbers. That accomplishment earned her a standing ovation in front of a full house, in which 20 members of her extended family applauded her from the front row balcony.

Though Gawne earned her sassy reputation for dancing and choreography, she says her favorite experience came from directing the 1983 production of “The King and I.”

+ Orchid scandal exposed at Sarasota Fringe Film Fest
A documentary about an orchid might seem like a bore until you consider the drama surrounding one particular Peruvian flower at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Filmmaker Rich Walton’s “The Judge, the Hunter, the Thief and the Black Orchid,” which screens at 7:20 p.m. April 8, at the Sarasota Fringe Film Festival, explores the story of the Kovachii orchid, which ended up in Selby Gardens five years ago after an orchid trader smuggled the plant into the United States from Peru.

The Kovachii, considered the most important orchid species discovered in South America in the last 100 years, triggered, according to Walton, an international scandal that nearly brought down The Gardens in 2004 after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service launched an investigation of the wild flora and the U.S. District Court in Tampa found the orchid trader guilty of violating the endangered species act.

Now that’s some flower power.


+ Hot tickets
Key Chorale’s 25th Anniversary Concert: The Sarasota Orchestra’s official chorus kicks off its gala anniversary concert at 4 p.m. Sunday, April 25, at the Sarasota Opera House. The program includes two premieres –– a world premiere by choral conductor Dale Warland and a regional premiere by conductor and composer Eric Whitacre, plus music by Daniel Moe, René Clausen, Bonia Shur and Gwyneth Walker. It’s the organization’s silver anniversary, and with tickets priced between $15 and $45, seats will fill up fast.

‘A Night At the Cotton Club: A Tribute to Duke Ellington’: Sitting out this year’s Sarasota Film Fest revelry? How about an effortless evening in downtown Bradenton at the Manatee Jazz Fest? “A Night At the Cotton Club,” a tribute to the influential composer/pianist/jazz icon Duke Ellington, features performances by Sarasota’s Jazz Juvenocracy and dancers from the COBO Dance Project, with choreography by Cory Boyas. Catch the show at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 11, at the Manatee Players Riverfront Theatre.


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