All in the Family: An Exploration of Familial Creativity

This year is off to an exciting start, in Sarasota, with an exhibition bringing together some of the most highly influential individuals within the Sarasota art community – both as artists and educators. All in the Family is exhibited in the newly established Ice House, located right down the street from the primary colored building that was once John Chamberlain’s Studio. The Ice House was established in 2013 by Alfstad& Productions, with an aim to explore new ways to engage with the art community by reimagining art, exhibition spaces, and the art market. [Disclosure: Alfstad& is a sponsor of ART AT BAY]

Tim Jaeger, who’s mission has been to foster and maintain the local arts community along with his own studio practice (so far he’s been doing an exceptional job), curated All in the Family with artistic familial relationships in mind.  All in the Family consists of Ringling College of Art & Design faculty, as well as, their sons and daughters whom are all accomplished artists – featuring installations, paintings, videos, sculptures, drawings, and prints.

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Patrick Lindhardt, Untitled 2, Monotype

Master printmaker Patrick Lindhardt and his son Matthew Lindhardt, whom works with photography, address landscape as subject matter, however they each approach land space in broadly differing ways. Patrick’s monochromatic Monotypes convey dramatic landscapes that poetically suggest the beginning or aftermath of environmental disturbances.  Matthew’s photographs are digitally manipulated into industrialized landscape spheres – bringing to mind the fragility and sheer power of our surroundings.

Steven Strenk and his daughter Bianca Rylee’s mixed media works exude a playful approach with colorful and energetic color pallets, inspired by the Floridian landscape. For me, Strenk’s most compelling pieces simultaneously appear to be modern kinetic sculptures and Children’s toys. Each piece looks as though they may come to life upon turning the hand crank, and similarly aesthetically pleasing as static objects. Bianca Rylee presents the viewer with a variety of artistic media including lovely embossed Monoprints with suggestive text, such as “THE ECSTASY OF INFLUENCE”.

Kevin Dean, his daughter Molly Dean, and his son Ian Dean each have a more disparate approach to art making, and yet they are equally arresting in their chosen medium. Kevin Dean’s multimedia assemblages and installations are laden with iconography and symbology – you could literally intellectually deconstruct these works for hours and you’re still left with plenty of questions. Molly’s masterfully executed paintings and illustrations inspire admiration for her highly skilled technical abilities and acute eye for design. Ian Dean’s photographs depict delightfully cluttered, colorful spaces as a clever way to describe the individual that inhabits each space, and in doing so, depicts aspects of the individual’s surroundings on a grander scale.

Mark Anderson, his son Jarrod Anderson, and his daughter Sörine Anderson are really good at creating psychologically probing pieces through their use of space, form, and material. Mark Anderson’s sculptures assert their power by the tension that is created from the details within each piece, as well as the negative space between one form and another. Jarrod Anderson creates beautifully intricate graphite drawings — fragments of his experiences and surroundings — to create visual narratives. In order to create each drawing, Jarrod coats paper with latex paint and carves into the paint with great care to reveal the underlying surface.

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they'll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

Sörine Anderson, If you let them, they’ll destroy you, 18K gold cast finger nail shards

With the use of metaphor, and historical and modern mythologies as a catalyst for creation, Sörine Anderson creates intriguing sculptures that look as though they could be an ancient artifact. In this exhibition Sörine’s pieces include a melted candle made of glass, a human jaw with lead teeth, and 18K gold cast finger nail clippings.

What a pleasure to experience a show that celebrates such important figures within the Sarasota art community and the gifts that have been passed down to their children, and shared to enrich the community as a whole. Furthermore, I am delighted by the fact that the Ice House makes available a beautiful  large space that proves to give artists’ the opportunity to utilize it to its full potential, as well as give artists the ability to get quite ambitious with their medium of choice – or offer enough space for quiet contemplation.  I’m looking forward to observing Ice House’s development and impact on the arts. Welcome to the neighborhood!

All in the Family runs through Sunday, January 19th from 12 pm – 6 pm. There will be a presentation by Kevin Dean entitled “The History of Artist Relationships”, January 15th, 7-8:30 pm and a panel discussion and Q&A session with the artists on January 16th, 7-8:30 pm (both not to be missed!). Curator Tim Jaeger will be the moderator.

The Ice House is located two blocks east of Tamiami Trail, 1314 10th Street, Sarasota, FL. For more information about All in the Family and upcoming exhibitions you can visit:

www.icehouseon10th.com

Art@Bay on Articulate: Pinellas Arts Calendar 1/17 – 1/23

Our state’s copious ‘weird news’ crop can make even the proudest Floridian a bit embarrassed (while still strangely proud) of the Sunshine state. The arts in Pinellas, though, remind us that there is plenty to make your chest swell.  This week we’ll be talking with Pinellas’ brainiest, opening the newest glass workshop on the East Coast’s best glass art destination, and meeting two of  Florida’s legendary Highwaymen.

Check out the calendar on Articulate

Sorry, Art: Governor Scott is Just Not That Into You.

I feel like the spurned lover finally arriving at the painful revelation that “he’s just not that into you”.  However, I’d be naïve or lying if I said that Rick Scott’s indifference (and by extension, the State government’s) is at all shocking.  If indeed, the arts were the lover manifest of Mr. Scott, the relationship would be such that at this point the two would be sleeping in separate beds.  Perhaps, even forgoing “honey” and “sweetie” in favor of “Mr. Scott” and “Mrs. Art”.  A strained relationship would be an improvement.

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Art@Bay at Sarasota Visual Art: The Farther South You Go, the Further North You Are

WPA: FAP: kids involved in painting and sculptures based upon spirituals: Jacksonville, Florida, Extension Art Gallery

“The farther South you go the further North you are” – a sentiment you’ve probably heard referring to the geography and soul of Florida.  While reading a recent issue of the Southern lit mag, Oxford American, I noticed scant mention of Florida, the Southernmost of the contiguous forty-eight.  Apparently it takes more than South to be Southern – something Florida hasn’t got.  Not that Florida pines to be Southern all that much anyhow.

If not Southern, though, what does it mean to be Floridian and how would this manifest itself in art?

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A Dime and Four pennies – Thanks, Tallahassee!

Florida arts funding to Bay area artists is like giving a dime as a tip to a Denny’s server: it serves more as an insult than actual compensation.  I knew Florida arts funding was bad (and thus my constant complaining), but the statistics nearly made me puke.  How well the Bay area art scene does with the virtual absence of support from state funding is a testament to how awesome the local scene is.    However, to pull ourselves out of this funding hole it may be helpful to get an idea of how deep it is.

A good benchmark is how much each state spends on the arts per person.  The state that tops the list is Minnesota at $5.80 per person (Washington D.C., because it’s not actually a state, really tops the list at $11.80 per person).  Florida comes in at $.14 per person.  That’s right: one dime and four pennies.  That puts Florida on the bottom of the list at second to last.   To get an idea of how little that is consider this: your Minnesotan cousin gets nearly fifty times more money for the arts than you do!  50 times more!

The good thing about being in a pit, however, is that the only way to go is up.  That is, unless the State thinks the best plan of action is to keep digging.  The state of Florida managed to come in second on a list in this regard – largest arts budget cuts.  In 2010 the state saw it fit to make the small art budget even smaller, cutting it by 65% or $2.5 million.

Hold on, I’m think I’m going to blorch.

I’m not going to bother spending time on the enigma of the reason why politicians hate art.  The only thing I can think of is that phrases like “cultural enrichment” and “stronger tight-knit communities” come off as hippy-babble to politicians.   That fact is, besides its hippy-perks, arts and culture is one of the best financial investments the state can make.

The fact that the state of Florida would treat the arts as trivial even though they generated $26.9 billion dollars in taxes nationwide in a single year (2005) is perplexing.  Additionally, that same year the arts let people bring home $104.2 billion dollars in income.

I hate going down the road of why art is great economically (art and capitalism just don’t mix) but now since we’ve started…both the audience and the artist have a large financial impact on their community.  Consider the artist.  The artist performs a job that can’t be outsourced.  Money made by the artist is in turn spent locally rather than funneled to out-of-state banks.

Consider the audience.  The average arts and culture attendee spends on average $27.72 above the cost of admission (i.e. dinner, lodging, gifts, etc.).  Simply put, spending money on the arts encourages people to spend more money elsewhere.    However, non-local attendees on average spend over $40 above the cost of admission.  That’s important for places that are already established tourist destinations…like Florida.  And not to be overlooked is the fact that arts tourists are more awesome than regular tourists.  Arts tourists on average spend about 27% more than regular tourists and stay two nights longer.  Studies have shown that in 2009 people spent $26 million in the city of St. Petersburg alone, with little help from the city itself.

Don’t let the state of Florida’s fiscal abandonment of the arts con you into thinking that arts and culture are a financial dead-end.  Art is not only a cultural necessity but also vital for any stable economy.  The funding of the Bay area art scene is directly tied to the welfare of the Bay area as a whole.  I know five bucks is a lot to ask, but 14 cents?!

Check out these links (a couple of the sources I used):

  • You’ll find an awesome study at the very bottom of this page called ‘Arts and Economic Prosperity III”.  Check out the National Study PDF. 
  • Here you’ll find an interesting analysis of arts funding sorted by state.