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Performing Art
Piero Rivolta
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Apr. 11, 2012 8 years ago

Scene & Heard

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

+ Rivolta tackles metaphysics in new novel
When Piero Rivolta began penning fiction filled with romance and adventures on the high sea, no one seemed to bat an eye.

The 71-year-old Italian auto maker-turned-real-estate developer-turned-novelist is not only a sailor, he’s an unabashed flirt, so the topics hit close to home.

But a prophetic novel about what mysteries unfold when the Mayan calendar ends Dec. 21, 2012? Even for Rivolta this is uncharted territory.

Although his last three novels — “Sunset in Sarasota,” “The Castaway” and “Alex and the Color of the Wind” — plumbed the depths of self-discovery, love and healing, the themes running through his newest release are a lot more New Age-y.

“Journey Beyond 2012” chronicles the lives of three people as they prepare for what they presume to be the end of the world.

Rivolta’s Sarasota-based publishing company, New Chapter Publisher, released the 173-page hardcover this month, kicking up a lot of buzz over what’s being referred to as a mystical and visionary plot.

Rivolta will host an official launch party for the novel April 13, at Ivory Lounge in downtown Sarasota, before embarking on a book tour that will take him from Miami to New York City to Milan.

The author says he was compelled to write about the 2012 prediction after overhearing so many Europeans talk about the date during his many sojourns overseas.

I’m looking forward to hearing Rivolta’s take on the apocalypse. I predict only the beautiful women will survive.

+ Five Points Collective closes its doors
About a year ago, I interviewed Stephanie Broche, Rocky Bentley and Midgeann Schotsch about their downtown art gallery/recording studio/retail business on U.S. 301.

Located just outside the boundaries of Towles Court, the friends’ Five Points Collective showcased the work of dozens of local contemporary artists, including this week’s Diversions cover girl, Anita Wexler.

When I sat down with the trio, they said they hoped their 1,100-square-foot space would turn into a hot spot for local musicians and artists. They had hoped their laidback rock ’n’ roll attitude and funky contemporary art tastes would catch on in Sarasota.

To help put them on the map, Bentley, the frontman for a local hip-hop dance band, hosted a weekly Internet radio program, streaming live performances from the studio to fans online.

It was a valiant effort. And, like so many valiant efforts in Sarasota, this one has come to an end.

According to Bentley, Five Star Collective will close its doors at the end of this month.

“We’re not getting the support we need,” he says. “It’s time for me to focus on my purpose, and that’s to make music and not sell art or guitars.”

Good news is Schotsch’s bead store, Make It, has relocated to the Rosemary District.

Located in a 6,000-square-foot warehouse at 1143 Central Ave., the studio is part of a collaborative community art space championed by the Uprise Art Collective. It’s slated to open later this spring.

+ Clothesline re-opens, airs new art downtown
So, how does that expression go?

When one door closes, another one opens?

As Five Points Collective packs its inventory into boxes, Austin Kowal hangs his out to sell at his recently re-opened Clothesline boutique and 529 Gallery on South Pineapple Avenue.

Kowal, the 25-year-old son of Burns Square proprietress Denise Kowal, opened his newly expanded boutique/gallery March 31 in one of his mother’s vacant storefronts in historic Herald Square.

A commercial screenprinter, Kowal’s T-shirts are popular among young hipsters, and his gallery space, headed up by ZIGZAG art zine founders Van Jazmin and Brett Lindstrom, has become the must-exhibit locale for budding contemporary artists. (Note this summer’s solo shows for Ringling College students Matt Coombs and Walter Matthews.)

And, yes, even Anita Wexler has a piece at 529. (She’s everywhere!)

The gallery will turn its wall space over to USF senior Evan Lovejoy April 21 to May 12 for the solo show, “Hypnagogia.”

For more on Clothesline, go to its Facebook page. Everything you need to know about this rising class of cool kids is well documented in photos and status updates.

‘Cloud Nine’: Spring is in the air, and sexual liberation is on full display in the Cook Theatre. Performed by the Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, Caryl Churchill’s two-act play, “Cloud Nine,” is a gender-bending free-for-all that opens with a cast of prudish, upper-crusty British colonialists in 19th-century Africa and ends with a cast of freethinking hedonistic adults living life to the fullest (and the loosest) in 1980s London. The show runs through April 22, at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets, call 351-8000 or visit

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