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The SMOA ARTmuse Program

We often view artwork in museum and gallery settings but rarely encounter the artists themselves. The opportunity to learn about the path the artist took to create the art is not available to us. SMOA’s ARTmuse Program takes a different approach. This innovative and engaging series brings renowned artists and art professionals to our area to share their personal stories, their expertise and their creative journeys. ARTmuse gives our community the rare ability to interact with these extraordinary individuals and explore the ways in which they transform, interpret, adapt and respond to the world around them through their art.

These interactive encounters offer ARTmuse audiences of all ages compelling glimpses into the creative process. As active participants, we investigate ways art expresses shared human experiences. We learn how artists communicate deeply personal truths. Even better, these artists are happy to answer questions and demonstrate their art-making process. The result is an exciting interchange between artist and audience. We see that art isn’t theoretical, remote and academic. We come away from these encounters realizing how deeply personal the process of creation is. We also see the results. During each artist’s visit, some pieces of their work are exhibited at Sarasota High School. When their artwork is displayed in the entry of the future home of the museum, the vision of the Sarasota Museum of Art/SMOA is revealed.

Imagine that you are part of the vast potential of SMOA!

Stephen Brown

Lesley Dill | ARTmuse 2012
“From the Verbal to the VisuaI”

Lesley Dill’s world of artistic invention gives physical presence to the written word. Her unique emotional expressions include sculpture, installations, prints, drawings and paintings. Her visual metaphors interpret verbal communication, amplifying the deeper meaning of language through her expressive and exquisite works of art. To quote Lesley, “Language is my touchstone, the pivot point of all my work.” Lesley magically transforms a multitude of materials into stunning similes. Her poetic imagery merges form and content, creating a contemplative, expressive and spiritual journey for the viewer to explore.

Patrick Dougherty | ARTmuse 2013
“The Magic of Sticks"

Born and raised in the woodlands of North Carolina, Patrick Dougherty has always appreciated nature, trees, sticks, vines and branches. From this love of nature his Stickwork developed. He has completed more than 236 sculptures in museums/galleries/public and private spaces worldwide and is still going strong. Examining each location carefully before beginning the work, he seeks to sense the history of the site as he considers the effect of his sculpture. Naturally and almost magically his phenomenal twisting, swirling Stickwork sculpture arises. Says Patrick: “l make sure that each approach to the sculpture presents passersby with a tantalizing view that compels a closer look.”

Janet Echelman | ARTmuse 2012
“Taking Imagination Seriously"

Janet Echelman reshapes the urban airspace around the world. She creates monumental, fluidly moving sculptural forms constructed from highly sophisticated materials of woven fibers. Janet’s floating netted sculptures are forever changing shape as they respond to the slightest stirring of the atmosphere. Mesmerized by the sculptures’ motion, people from major cities to small towns gaze upward with delight witnessing the magical, responsive movements these delicate lace-like sculptures have to the wind, the rain, the snow or the sunshine. Her work transforms our familiar everyday landscape into a seemingly new space.

Janet Fish

Philip Heylen

Karole Vail and Andrew Huston

Judy Pfaff | ARTmuse 2010
“Synthesis of Dimensions"

Judy Pfaff is a pioneer of installation art and a prolific printmaker. She continues to invent and explore new materials in combination with traditional mediums. Her work embodies concepts of two- and three-dimensional space. Judy’s artwork seems to expand and collapse simultaneously as she focuses on creating an emotional as well as a visual experience for viewers. Working spontaneously, she incorporates an array of unique materials creating a dynamic image. To quote Judy, “l’m really trying to get something really emotional and murky—more sensation and emotion than an idea.”

Seth Randal | ARTmuse 2011
“The Sparkle of Glass"

Seth Randal is a master of contemporary sculpture in glass. With courageous perseverance, he reinvented the ancient technique of casting glass. His admiration for the ideals of classical beauty informs his imagery. The love of color and light led him to create a body of magnificent glass sculpture, which includes historic, modern and imagined forms. Seth’s concepts emanate from urn-like forms to heroic figures and heads. His valiant portrayals are symbolic of the highest aspiration of human consciousness, representing timeless beauty captured in the shimmering delicacy of glass.

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