Last Sunday I finally got the chance to venture to SMOA to experience two very fleeting exhibits, through an even smaller window of opportunity: a docent led tour of Lisa Hoke’s “Swept Away”, and ‘ORIGINS’, a collaboration between Sweet Sparkman Architects and the Ringling College of Art & Design.
Since I arrived early I decided to wander through Patrick Doughetry’s Installation “Out In Front”, created for SMOA in 2013. Being the nitpicky artist I am, and that many of us tend to be, I was simultaneously enjoying my experience while also envisioning how I would have done it differently — a little bit more Richard Serra and Robert Smithson, and a little bit less Andy Goldsworthy and Tim Burton. Although, I have a feeling many’a visitor would completely disagree with me, and that’s the beauty of it.
These community engaging endeavors are being provided by the Sarasota Museum of Art in an ongoing effort to raise funds for what will be Sarasota’s first modern and contemporary art museum. I, for one, am really appreciative of these efforts as I feel substantial impacts are already being felt within the community. Once SMOA meets its funding goal (they only have 13% left to complete the goal), the process of remodeling historic Sarasota High School into a highly anticipated museum will begin.
After wandering through “Out In Front”, and taking plenty of pictures, The museum doors were open and guests were greeted for the tour. After the docent introduced herself and talked about SMOA and it’s mission — including providing studio spaces for Ringling students on the first floor, and a gallery space on the second floor where viewers can look down through the floors to see what the students are working on — she led us through a conference room to get to an old classroom turned Lisa Hoke’s installation space, consisting of collaged recycled materials that envelop the whole space with explosive shapes organized by color. The materials used to create “Swept Away” were donated by members of the community — interestingly enough, much of the packaging was either candy or liquor (Sarasotans clearly know what the good life is all about!).
After we walked through the space and questions were addressed, we headed to the next exhibit: ‘ORIGINS’. Our docent explained that Sweet Sparkman Architects was contacted by someone from the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy to create a piece for the event. The docent explained that Sweet Sparkman is a small business and this was such a big surprise that they thought someone was playing a trick on them, only to find out that they were chosen specifically because they’re a small business and someone involved with the Biennale saw a previous work by Sweet Sparkman Architects during a visit to Sarasota. SSA accepted the invitation and contacted the Ringling College of Art & Design to collaborate with students to generate ideas. What they came up with was a piece about sand from world-famous Siesta Key Beach. The finale piece is made up of a wooden cube that viewers are invited to walk into. In the center of the cube, sand from Siesta falls from a glass orifice into a pile on the floor of the cube, where it is then sucked through the floor with a compressor and continuously cycles from ceiling to floor. Viewers are also invited to put their hands through the falling sand, illuminated by a light coming from the glass orifice on the ceiling, as well as illuminated from behind by cast glass bricks, created with sand from Siesta Key.
You can view both exhibits through April 19th, Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30-3:30 pm. Patrick Dougherty’s piece can be viewed any time until it deteriorates and goes back to the land… so you’ll have plenty of time 🙂