+ Artist needs help picking up sticks
More than 100 volunteers are being sought to help sculptor Patrick Dougherty collect supplies for his upcoming site-specific installation on the grounds at Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA, a division of Ringling College of Art and Design.
But he can’t build his signature sculptures that involve weaving and binding sapling branches together alone! Volunteers will work in four-hour sessions to help gather and weave truckloads of sticks, twigs, vines and other natural materials. Volunteer museum docents are also needed. Those interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
+ A&E votes Yea for ‘1776’
To call “1776” a musical isn’t fair; it’s a play with a few musical numbers.
And, it gave me a lot to think about. Historical characters such as Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams are idolized for their achievements for America. But they were just normal guys: Stephen Hopkins enjoyed booze; Franklin had gout; Adams was annoying; and all Jefferson needed to write the Declaration of Independence was an intimate visit from his wife. Thinking about these figures as average men who achieved great things, is a reminder of what determination and collaboration can bring about.
“1776” piqued my curiosity and allowed me to dig deeper. For instance, after seeing the play I immediately researched Caesar Rodney, the delegate from Delaware. In the play, he collapses and is in ill health, but comes back to Philadelphia to sign “yea” for Delaware. Upon my research I found out that he was an asthmatic who suffered from facial cancer. He rode 80 miles in the peak of the summer heat and thunderstorm season (which would have been difficult for anyone, regardless of health) and he made it to cast his vote. He put his life on the line in defense of liberty. Each man has his own story, and it is truly remarkable to see it put to music.
When the carefully mimicked and magnified Declaration of Independence drops at the finale of the play; it’s a moment that represents the self-sacrifice these men endured to claim America for posterity.
And, on a final note, did you know that SRQ was the only place in America where one could see both “1776” and “Lincoln” in the same day? It runs through Dec. 22.
+ My flight into Veronese
I was spoiled Thursday, Dec. 6. Dr. Virginia Brilliant, Ringling Museum’s curator of European art, and Frederick Ilchman, curator of paintings at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, led me through the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s “Paolo Veronese: A Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice” exhibit.
Brilliant conceived the exhibit based on two Veronese pieces in Ringling’s permanent collection: “Flight into Egypt” and a portrait of Francesco Franceschini. Interestingly enough, in 1925, “Flight into Egypt” was the first painting John Ringling bought to the museum sight unseen. Of the entire exhibit, these two paintings and another by Giovanni Antonio Fasolo are the only works from Ringling’s permanent collection. The rest of the exhibit comes from North American museums and private collections.
It was an ambitious project that took two years to compile. In fact, this is the first time many of these paintings have been paired together, and many of the works are some that even scholars of Veronese haven’t seen in person.
In addition to paintings, the exhibit includes textiles from the 1500s that look as if they were pulled straight from Veronese’s paintings. There are also sketches that represent the restlessness of Veronese’s mind, that follow his artistic process and give a full scope of his career. There are works by other artists of Veronese’s time that show how his work inspired those around him.
The catalogue for the exhibit is the first for Veronese written in English. The catalogue offers a good deal of information from the curators. Visit Ringling.org/Veronese/catalogue.html.
‘The Nutcracker’: Clara runs away with the circus in Sarasota Ballet’s Circus Nutcracker world premiere choreographed by Matthew Hart and designed by Peter Docherty. Sarasota Orchestra will play Tchaikovsky’s original score. The opening-night performance starts at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Tickets are $35 to $90. Call 359-0099, Ext. 101.
‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’: Lois Lane, PLATO’s Platinum Players and the Powder Puffs perform a holiday-themed musical review, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” with dancing girls and skits starting at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, at the Ramada Waterfront, 7150 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets are $15. Call 363-1727.
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