Scene & Heard


Scene & Heard


Date: October 12, 2011
by: Heidi Kurpiela | A&E Editor



+ Anna Paquin indie slated to shoot in Sarasota
While hobnobbing this week with the cast and crew from “A Lot in Common” (leading lady Jini Mount is this week’s Diversions cover girl), I walked away with an interesting scoop.

According to Art Director Annette Breazeale, a low-budget indie flick by writer/director Shana Sosin is scheduled to begin shooting Oct. 22 in Sarasota.

Sosin’s script is based on her life story about growing up the daughter of a marijuana smuggler.

Susan Dynner, who won the Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, is producing the feature-length film, which will star “True Blood” actress Anna Paquin.

Perhaps the movie will need extras. If so, let’s hope the age and costume stipulations are less upper-crusty than that which the director of last month’s Jennifer Lopez caper was looking.

Those of us under 30 who don’t own ballgowns would like our turn at a Hollywood close-up.

+ ‘Whimsical’ demolition under way on the North Trail
The pink flamingos at the Marietta Museum of Art & Whimsy are spreading their wings.

Mary Lee, the Sarasota art collector who in 2008 purchased the old Kancha Buddhist Center on North Tamiami Trail for $1.55 million, painted it pink and turned it into a museum for her eclectic art collection, has now gobbled up the parcel next door.

Demolition has already begun on the 29-unit Southland Inn, which Lee purchased earlier this year for $950,000. She says she plans to spend the next couple of years expanding her art museum and converting what’s left of the existing motel into office and studio space.

“I’m always on the lookout for more space,” Lee says. “I don’t know the schedule (for renovating the exterior) yet, but we will probably paint it sometime.”

Who wants to bet she paints it pink?

+ One man’s dead palm is another man’s tiki pole
After stormy weather ravaged many of Anna Maria Island’s cabbage palms, waterfront business owners figured they’d be shelling out big bucks to have the trees removed.

Enter local artist Jeff Chouninard, who last week transformed some of the dead trunks by carving them into tiki poles.

Chouninard, who owns Surf Soul Tiki, has already turned three dead trees in front of the BeachHouse Restaurant on the south end of Anna Maria into tropical décor.

If you see Chouninard around town, be sure to praise his resourcefulness. When most people would have fired up a stump-grinder, this guy picked up his whittling knife.

+ Blanco’s ‘Zephyrus’ makes waves in South Carolina
Sarasota sculptor Jorge Blanco was one of 20 sculptors selected by the Community Foundation of the Lowcountry for its public art exhibition on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

Blanco’s 14-foot aluminum “Zephyrus” is currently on display through the end of the year at Hilton Head’s Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn.

The Venezuelan-born sculptor, who was chosen out of 339 applicants for the event, is competing against juried artists from across the country for a spot in Hilton Head’s permanent public art collection. You can vote for Blanco for the exhibit’s People’s Choice Award by visiting

‘Doctor Idol’: Sarasota doctors jam for a good cause at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14, at Michael’s On East. The third annual “Doctor Idol” competition, sponsored by the Sarasota Orthopedic Associates, will benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County. The talent competition/fundraiser has become one of the must-see events of the year. Where else can you see a gastroenterologist, ophthalmologist and neurologist rock out to Ozzy Osbourne? Tickets are $25. For more information, visit or call 685-0367.



Login Register now

Currently 0 Responses

Login below to post a comment or click register.
Account E-Mail
forgot password? click here
Speak Your Mind Below!


Subscribe to our eNewsletters
1970 Main Street, Sarasota, FL 34236 941-366-3468

Copyright 2015 The Observer Group Inc., All Rights Reserved