Roughly 70 top donors gathered to be the first to view Aftermath: The Fallout of War — America and the Middle East on Oct.11 at The Ringling.
Despite some setbacks, The Ringling’s newest exhibit is set to open Oct. 15 — but not before an insider’s look for the museum’s most generous benefactors.
Circle members — supporters who donate $2,500-$10,000 a year to the museum — began their Circle Member Preview Dinner Oct. 11 with a reception in the Turrell Skyspace courtyard. Guests mingled, enjoyed drinks and light bites and learned more about the exhibit from Executive Director Steven High.
Aftermath: The Fallout of War — America and the Middle East is a photography and video art exhibit that explores the effects of conflict on a place, its people and its visitors — and in this case, those visitors are the American soldiers who were sent to Iraq and Afghanistan starting 15 years ago.
The display will include 90 photographs and two videos that both in-house curator Chris Jones and guest curator Carol McCusker said are meant to explore visitors’ empathetic side.
The exhibit will open to the public in four days, but before Hurricane Irma hit, the opening date was the week prior. Aftermath is part of a partnership with the University of Florida’s Harm Museum of Art, and High said his staff had to ask UF to prolong the opening because they lost 10 days of preparation when Hurricane Irma’s pending arrival caused the prep team to redirect their efforts to preparing the museum for the storm.
Thankfully, he said, UF was willing to let them open a week later.
Circle members browsed the exhibit, often stopping for moments of reflection, before dinner in the Huntington Gallery.