- February 10, 2022
It was hours of surprises for guests at The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota's 50th Anniversary Party March 3 at Hyatt Regency Sarasota.
The biggest surprise, however, was an announcement by President Vern Weitz about a painting that was stolen during a performance in late November 1991 at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. It was originally acquired by the society for its collection in 1972 from Mrs. William Flook in honor of her husband.
For $25, the stolen Jon Corbino painting, "Palette," was recovered by art collector Eric Bowyer. Bowyer is an avid collector, known to browse estate and garage sales to find art treasures. He immediately recognized the work of Corbino and purchased the painting from an estate sale in the Palm Aire subdivision of Sarasota.
When he called Corbino's daughter, Lee Corbino, to ask her about the painting, he made the surprising discovery that it was the piece that had gone missing in 1972.
Bowyer then returned the 1960s circus-themed work to The Fine Arts Society. The painting will return to its home in the Van Wezel.
The evening also included a performance by the Next Generation Dancers with the Sarasota Ballet, choreographed by Principal Dancer Kate Honea.