Students contribute to Community Foundation art installation
The the three-part piece represents the components of the foundation’s mission — community, donors and nonprofits.
| 9:10 a.m. October 26, 2017
Anne Patterson has made an art form of making empty spaces her canvas.
The artist is known locally for her 2016 exhibition at The Ringling, entitled “Pathless Woods.” The installation closed in April, but her work will soon have a new home in Sarasota at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
“I love … filling up spaces with beautiful things,” Patterson said Monday during a presentation at Alta Vista Elementary School.
It was one of several presentations for Patterson as she works on her newest installation — a combination of three metal triangles and 1.5 miles of ribbon — to be hung from the Community Foundation’s lobby ceiling. It represents its three-fold mission to the community, donors and nonprofits. As one benefits, so does the whole.
“It’s called ‘Circle of Thirds,’” she said. “It’s these three groups, which is different than anything I have ever done.”
It’s one of many firsts involved in the installation. It’s the first time Patterson has created an entirely red piece — a color she chose to represent the heart of the organization. The 9-by-8.5-foot piece is slated to debut Friday and will transition gradually in color from deep burgundy to pink.
It’s also the first time she has partnered with children.
After her presentation Monday, Patterson tasked Alta Vista students to choose up to five words, each summing a hope, dream and wish for the future.
“There is a lot of power in what words you use,” she told the students. “When you say something ... you are putting something out there that has so much power in it.”
She told students to think about what they wanted more of in the world and distill that into single words. Soon, students began filling pieces of paper with their wishes — animals, laughter, help, history, world peace.
After picking their words, the students wrote them on long pieces of red ribbon to be hung from the portion of the piece representing the community.
For Alta Vista Principal Barbara Shirley, it’s a fitting home for her students’ aspirations.
“The Community Foundation has been such a tremendous support to us in developing children so that they know ... where they’re headed and think about what is possible,” Shirley said.
The students were among the first to enter Alta Vista’s Eagle Academy as kindergartners. The program, originally called the Eaglet Academy, began in 2012 thanks to Community Foundation donors Mary Kay and Joe Henson and provides educational opportunities for students during the summer months.
Now, five years later, Shirley said those students are not only young beneficiaries, but equipped contributors.
“They were able to express themselves and put words to their feelings and use vocabulary and language skills that they didn’t have previously, but have really grown into,” Shirley said. “It shows they are ... developing into really beautiful citizens.”
It’s a result that epitomizes the intent of the piece.
“Community lies at the heart of our work,” Community Foundation President and CEO Roxie Jerde said. “So we wanted to ensure that donors, nonprofits, and the beneficiaries they support were represented as a whole. How terrific for our original students of the Eaglet Academy to have the opportunity to collaborate on a piece like this and have their hopes, dreams, and wishes realized on a work of art that will live in our lobby for years to come.”