+ Putting on a show
It was the 20th anniversary for the Sarasota Craft Show, which took place Nov. 30 through Dec. 2, at Robarts Arena, but it was only the third show that Richard Rothbard, of American Art Marketing, organized. When Minneapolis-based American Craft Council decided not to organize the event, artists were frantic.
“They emailed me because they know the shows I run up North, and they said, ‘Richard, do something!’” he said.
Rothbard got in touch with every artist involved and made the show happen, and he’s planning to run it “forever.” Other than the Sarasota Craft Show, Rothbard is a New Yorker who has no ties to Sarasota. He’s an artist, himself, and runs galleries in various locations throughout the country, as well as shows, such as this one.
The term “craft show” is a slightly misleading. The work of the 100-plus featured artists is of mostly fine art. At the show were large bronze-cast bear sculptures displayed across from unique Sunday hats, sitting adjacent to intricate metal and leatherwork and located down the aisle from large oil paintings.
Artists travel across the country, take an average of six hours to set up their booths and show their works for three days. People who attend the festival get to talk to the artists about the unique pieces they buy.
“Sales are excellent,” says local artist John Whitney. He and his wife, Linda, have participated in the festival since Rothbard took over. The artist couple typically sells their work wholesale to galleries and museums, and the Sarasota Craft Show is the only show in which they participate — because they love it.
“The customers who come are loyal, and they have been coming for years,” says Linda Whitney.
There’s only one thing missing, according to Rothbard. “Thousands of people who live in Sarasota just don’t get to the show,” he says. “It’s silly, because it’s such a treat.”
+ End of the world
Will it be the end of the world as the Mayans knew it? South Florida Museum is hosting events that place the Mayan belief into context in the “End of the World” program.
A notable Mayan expert from our backyard, research scholar Dr. Gabriele Vail, of New College of Florida, along with Jeff Rodgers, director of Bishop Planetarium, will discuss what the Mayan calendar has to say about the end of the world, Dec. 5.
And coming up Saturday, Dec. 15, is another interesting program called “The Return of the Goddess,” which was inspired by the Mayan mythology and gravitational waves predicted by the Theory of Relativity. The program features composer Paul Ramshaw, but don’t expect conventional music — it uses reorganized samples of operatic and choral voices in different frameworks of time. And it will be complimented with projected graphics on the planetarium dome.
In case the world doesn’t end, tickets to the event are $10. Call 746-4131 for more information.
+ Jazzed up ‘The Nutcracker’
There is an abundance of creative “Nutcrakers” taking place this season, one of which will be presented by Jazz Juvenocracy.
The group of young professional-sounding, talented jazz musician teens has created original arrangements based on Tchaikovsky’s themes, as well as original arrangements of Duke Ellington’s “Nutcracker Suite,” John Coltrane and David Berger.
Imaginique Contemporary Ballet Company, including former members of the Sarasota Ballet, will perform the ballet that scripts Drosselmeyer as a music director and Clara as a trumpeter who falls asleep during rehearsal for the holiday party.
Performances take place at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and run through Dec. 23, at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center, 7333 Scotland Way. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit jazzjuvenocracynutcracker.com.
‘Paolo Veronese: a Master and His Workshop in Renaissance Venice’ — The exhibit, which features more than 50 of the artist’s paintings and drawings in classical tradition, opens Dec. 7, at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road. It runs through April 14 during museum hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. General admission is $25. Call 359-5700.
‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ — Get in the holiday spirit at PLATO’s ByKids4Kids presentation of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” at 10 and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, Dec. 12 and Dec. 15, at The Ramada Waterfront, 7150 N. Tamiami Trail. Tickets are $8 for children and $10 for adults.
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Sound of hope
The holiday season hasn’t officially started until our favorite bell ringers return to their posts.
Shoppers and residents were treated to some holiday harmonies by the Senior Friendship Centers’ group, the Second Wind Harmonica Players, in Downtown Sarasota.
Stepping up to the plate
The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County teamed up to bring the anti-bullying event Rachel’s Challenge to Sarasota Dec. 3.