Scene & Heard by Heidi Kurpiela

Scene & Heard 10.14.10

Posted October 13, 2010 at 6:00 am

by Heidi Kurpiela

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+ Jamie Kirkell ties one on during sARTée
Three things are in silk artist Jamie Kirkell’s favor right now.

It’s getting cooler out, black-tie season has arrived and the Ringling International Arts Festival’s sARTée is almost in full swing.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kirkell’s work, the North Sarasota resident and longtime silk painter has a scarf collection that’s worthy of the most Audrey Hepburn of necks.

The artist is hosting a studio open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 to Oct. 17, at his home off Lockwood Ridge Road, as part of Festival sARTée.

Kirkell, a former New York City studio art director, has devoted most of his career to painting botanicals on silk scarves. His commissions have hung in the Chrysler building, Hilton hotels, Carnival cruise ships and resorts in Miami and Aruba.

Tropical botanicals have inspired Kirkell since he studied textile design on the Indonesian island of Java and served in the Peace Corps in the Philippines.

Among his favorite flowers to paint are orchids, which he describes as “raw and erotic.”

“What I like to tell people is hang the scarves on your wall, and let’s say you have an emergency opera to go to, then take it off the wall and wear it,” Kirkell says.

Kirkell’s studio is located at 3214 Village Lane, between Desoto and Dr. Martin Luther King Way. For more information, call 360-1900.

+ FST plans ‘Happening’ dances for FunFest
Local performers continue to hold their own among the bevy of national headliners performing this weekend at the Ringling International Arts Festival.

The FamilyFun Fest (scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16) not only plays host to this week’s A&E cover girl Keren Shani-Lifrak and her band of oddly intriguing Butoh dancers, but it will provide the perfect environment for Florida Studio Theatre’s pseudo-impromptu dance “Happenings.”

According to Beth Duda, FST’s director of education, a spontaneous display of public dancing will go down around 2 p.m. in the Ringling Museum courtyard, followed by another “Happening” at 3 p.m.

About 85 people are expected to turn out for the choreographed dance, which is set to the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Got a Feeling.”

Duda and company kept the routine energetic but simple so that festival attendees can learn the moves and join in on the second presentation.

This isn’t the first time FST has planned a seemingly spur-of-the-moment dance in a public space. The theater company has surprised bystanders at the Sarasota Farmers Market, the Selby Library and at Southside Elementary School.

“At first, there’s an element of surprise,” Duda says. “And then it’s just really joyous. More often than not we hear, ‘Do it again!’ right after we finish.”

+ Crème de la crème of craft shows returns
It seems a bit early to be mentioning Christmas.

But we’re doing it anyway.

The American Craft Show Sarasota (ACSS) has just announced that it’s returning to the Sarasota-Bradenton International Convention Center for the 18th year in a row.

If the ACSS isn’t at the top of your holiday shopping list, it should be. The craft bonanza, scheduled for Dec. 3 to Dec. 5, features one-of-a-kind pieces by more than 150 of the country’s top artisans.

Avoid the mall this holiday season and hit up the granddaddy of Sarasota craft shows. For the cost of a $9 ticket, you’ll be swimming in clever gift ideas.

Below: Pottery by Elisabeth Maurland

+ Vinca Quartet plays a free-for-all
They’re young. They’re talented. They’re Perlman Music Program alumni. What else do you need to know?

The Vinca Quartet — a New York City-based string ensemble, featuring violinists Jessica Tong and Aaron Requiro, violist Laura Seay and cellist An-Lin Bardin — will visit Sarasota County and Manatee County schools next week for a two-week residency program sponsored by The Perlman Music Program’s Suncoast Education Outreach Program.

In addition to its whirlwind school tour, the group will perform a series of free public concerts in Sarasota and Bradenton.

Dubbed “The Performance Series,” three, free concerts are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, at Riverview High School; 2:30 p.m. Oct. 24, at Piano Distributors on South Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota; and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 27, at Braden River High School.

The Vinca Quartet took top honors at the 2010 Yellow Springs International Chamber Music Competition. The group performs in the United States and abroad.

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