Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: May 23, 2012
by: Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor



+ Mass consumption on full display at ACS
Litterbugs and tree huggers both agree that Chris Jordan produces some pretty cool art. 

Hailed as the “it” artist of the green movement, Jordan, a corporate-attorney-turned-photographic-artist, will open his exhibit, “Running the Numbers: Portraits of Mass Consumption,” this week at Art Center Sarasota.

A highly sought-after touring artist, Jordan, who’s currently based in Hawaii, is often lauded for his meticulous photographs of garbage and consumer waste.

For example, the image “Cans Seurat,” which was created using 106,000 aluminum cans, was inspired by painter Georges Seurat’s “Sunday Afternoon at the Grand Jatte.”

A student of making art out of garbage, Jordan’s love of pointillism transcends your basic eco-art canvas — it defines it.

His impressive (and sometimes controversial) images have appeared in the pages of Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, Mother Jones and Esquire, to name a few.

You can see Jordan’s work for yourself now through July 21, at Art Center Sarasota. For more information, call 365-2032.

+ Booker High makes good on EdExplore grant
Sarasota’s “cultural connections” are being embraced every day at Booker High School.

Case in point: Last week Adam Ratner and Beth Duda from Florida Studio Theatre’s education department showed up to the Booker campus, dancing, singing and touting the organization’s Write-A-Play program.

The program, which was designed to function as an icebreaker exercise for students who are too shy or nervous to perform, was one of several arts and cultural-outreach experiences English teacher Ashley Harris organized this year.

In addition to learning how to ham it up in front of a crowd, Harris took her students to the Ringling Museum and to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall to watch the Alvin Ailey Dance Company.

The visit was made possible thanks to the Education Foundation of Sarasota County’s new EdExplore Program, an art education initiative launched in 2010 in partnership with The Patterson Foundation and Sarasota County Schools.

Says Harris, “I wanted to expose students in the community to things they might never have the opportunity to see.”

+ Former Observer reporter pens first novel
When Roger Drouin told me he was moving to Delray Beach to pursue his MFA in creative writing/fiction at Florida Atlantic University, I was bummed, to say the least.

Drouin and I have been buddies since I started at The Observer eight years ago. At one point, we were even roommates.

A former Observer reporter, Drouin left the paper in 2007 to work the City Hall beat at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. His name probably sounds familiar to many of you. During his time at both publications, he was a total man-about-town, holding court with his beloved canine companion, Sandy, outside of Pastry Art and Sarasota News & Books.

One of his greatest life ambitions was to publish a novel. It’s why he decided in 2009 to study creative writing at FAU.

Well, guess what, guys? Mission accomplished.

Drouin’s first book, “No Other Way,” comes out June 1.

Published by Moonshine Cove Publishing, an independent publishing house based out of South Carolina, the novel is a piece of environmental fiction that pits a bird-watcher and a ruffian park ranger against a gas-drilling corporation.

Drouin, an avid outdoorsman and mountain biker, said the subject matter seemed to develop organically thanks to feedback from professors and classmates.

“The story is fiction, but it’s very journalistic,” Drouin says. “There are a lot of complex issues. The journalism background certainly helped, especially when it came to self-discipline. If I weren’t a journalist, I probably would’ve dragged my feet more. I wrote like I was on deadline, like there was an editor standing over my shoulder.”
That said, the project still took three years to finish.
Up next on his banner year: marrying former SRQ writer Rachel Gomez. No word yet on whether the couple will leave South Florida and return to their Sarasota stomping grounds.

+ Key Chorale to finish season with documentary
Key Chorale will continue its collaborative hot streak next season with joint performances with the Sarasota Orchestra, Circus Sarasota and Sarasota Young Voices for the popular and hypnotic “Cirque des Voix” concert.

Highlights include solos by Sarasota Orchestra principal clarinetist Bharat Chandra and a repeat performance of James Whitbourn’s haunting ode to Anne Frank, “Annelies,” which had its regional premiere in 2010 at the Historic Asolo Theater.

According to Executive Director Richard Storm, Key Chorale’s performance of the piece, scheduled for April at The Players Theatre, will be filmed for a PBS documentary on Holocaust survivors.

Unlike most Frank-related works, this one uses exact verbiage pulled straight from her diary. Unlike most Frank-related works, this one uses exact verbiage pulled straight from the girl’s diary.


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