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Performing Art
“Where Do You Fit In?” by Ella Emmett, Dalton Jett, Sara Martin and Palmer Mays
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Mar. 28, 2012 8 years ago

Art Scene & Heard

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

+ SeaFair art yacht drops anchor in Sarasota
Get your sea legs and appreciate fine art at once?

Sounds like the perfect double whammy to me. SeaFair, the $40 million mega yacht that doubles as an art gallery, docked this week at Marina Jack.

At 228 feet, it’s the largest commercial ship on the Intracoastal Waterway and the world’s first mobile yacht venue.

Last season it turned into a floating cultural hub when it opened its cabin doors to local artists and collectors. This year will likely be no different thanks to a program that includes artist receptions and lectures.

This year it’s back with a collection of paintings, sculpture, photography, glass, contemporary design, jewelry and site-specific installations.

Its inventory even includes a rare Joan Miro painting valued at $750,000 and a Paul Klee work worth $1.2 million. (Apparently you can fit a lot in a mega yacht.) Mainstream contemporary works by Warhol, Lichenstein, Indiana and Bacon will also be for sale.

On a local level, the fair will feature work by Sarasota artists Florence Putterman and Alina Eydel, designer and craftsman Phil Stapleton and furniture designer Chad Jensen.

SeaFair will be open from noon to 7 p.m. March 30 to April 2. Tickets are $20 at the door; $25 for a multi-day ticket; and $30 for a priority boarding ticket. For a complete schedule of events, call 239-949-5411 or visit

+ Jersey Shore musician rocks on in Sarasota
Guitarist/singer Robert Garcia recently left New Jersey to lay down roots in Sarasota, where his covers of classic rock songs will be fully appreciated at area watering holes.

“It appeals to a specific demographic,” Garcia says. “Forty-five to 60-year-olds is the real sweet spot — any older and you typically get people who like more of a big band/swing type of sound.”

Since arriving in town this month, Garcia has been busy booking gigs from Punta Gorda to Bradenton Beach. He’s currently in the midst of knocking out 23 performances in nine days.

His next two are slated for 4:30 p.m. April 1, at Pelican Alley in Nokomis and 6 p.m. April 1, at the Blue Owl in downtown Sarasota. Typical of a Gulf Coast newcomer, he thinks he can get from Nokomis to downtown Sarasota in 30 minutes … in the middle of season.

Best of luck to you, Rob. Oh, and welcome to Sarasota.

+ New Opera House name a noted tribute
In a generous move, Casiana Schmidt, wife of William Schmidt, announced Sunday at the 30th anniversary party of Maestro Victor DeRenzi that she and her husband were “relinquishing” the name of the Sarasota Opera’s theater, known for the past several years as The William F. Schmidt Opera Theater, and renaming it “The Verdi Theater.”  The Schmidts said they were doing this to honor deRenzi’s 30th anniversary as artistic director of Sarasota Opera and because it is the only opera house in the world that will have performed every note Verdi wrote.

DeRenzi set out to perform every opera, song, instrumental, chamber and choral work Verdi composed, and he has almost accomplished his goal. Although a few other opera companies have attempted to perform all of Verdi’s operas, no one, to date, has presented the composer’s entire output of music.

+ Downtown bayfront embraces diversity
I never thought I loved billboards until “Embracing Our Differences” splashed the Sarasota bayfront with colossal art celebrating diversity.

These billboards, with their messages of acceptance, love and self-esteem, were a much-welcome addition to Island Park.

Now in its ninth year, the campaign, which last year attracted 277,000 people, has grown into a major exhibition, drawing submissions from student artists all over the word.

This year more than 4,502 submissions poured in from 53 different countries.

You think Sarasota Film Festival director Tom Hall has a tough job? Try choosing 39 entries out of 4,000 submissions.

The exhibit runs April 1 through May 28.

Look for work by students at Lakewood Ranch, Booker and Riverview high schools, as well as Phillippi Shores Elementary, Pine View School and Out-of-Door Academy.

“Where Do You Fit In?” by Phillippi Shores second-graders Ella Emmett, Dalton Jett, Sara Martin and Palmer Mays should do art teacher Petie Brown proud.

Created using paper doll cutouts, the project not only required collaboration, it tackled such meaty topics as bullying, isolation, fun with friends and being different.

To see more EOD art, visit

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