Sarasota Art Museum






Saturday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Sunday   11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Tuesday   Shop & Grounds Open, Galleries Closed
Wednesday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Thursday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Friday   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Website coming soon. Stay tuned.


Mission Statement

The Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation and understanding of the art of our time.
As a platform for education, exposure and experimentation, the Museum inspires new ideas and new ways
of being through an endless rotation of transformative, relevant, and pioneering exhibitions
and programs designed to elevate and empower all by cultivating discerning visual thinkers and ethical citizens.



General Admission                                        $15
Museum Members                                     FREE
Under 17, accompanied by an adult           FREE
Cross College Alliance Students     FREE with ID
Public Safety Officers                                  FREE
 Veterans & Active Military                 FREE with ID




Free visitor parking is available on a first come, first served basis on the south side of the Museum.

As parking is extremely limited, we encourage visitors to use public transportation and ride hailing services.

The SCAT bus stop is located in front of the Museum on South Tamiami Trail.

Above: 2019 K/R Terry Riley
Above: M. Leo Elliott - Former Sarasota High School

Changing perspectives through contemporary art.

The Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College is a contemporary art museum (known as a kunsthalle, an art museum without a permanent collection) that will open in December of 2019. Anchoring the Ringling College Museum Campus, the Museum has 15K square feet of dedicated exhibition gallery space, a café, retail shop, auditorium for educational events, performance and film, a sculpture courtyard and extensive grounds and facilities where one can engage with site-specific and site-responsive art experiences. 

About the Museum


Spring 2019 Programming



As we enter the last year of this extraordinary decade, we are thrilled to launch a dynamic series of events that embody some themes that have gained prominence over the last ten years. New research in the cognitive sciences has raised awareness of the importance of unstructured learning – play – in our evolution and development. While it may be some time before these developments have a significant impact in the realm of public education policy, the beauty of a contemporary art museum is that it provides the ideal platform to explore, investigate and experiment with these ideas. Continued attention to environmental issues and the results of rampant consumer culture has prompted many artists to employ various "recycling" mechanisms into their practice and to reinvigorate '60s- and '70s-era environmental art strategies with new praxis. The rise and continued activism of the global accessibility movement has resulted in extraordinary new design innovations and helped us rethink what it means to be abled, disabled, differently-abled, and cyber-assisted. We are continually inspired by the "Nothing about us without us" cri de couer of the global disability movement (with a nod to earlier origins in Central Europe such as Poland's  "nihil novi" movement), and we try to ensure that ethic and sensibility informs all of our community programs.  Related, rising consciousness of intersectionality as a matrix of engagement and empowerment has contributed to an expanded canon of extraordinary, formerly under-recognized artists, helping continually rewrite the narrative of art history and widen the pantheon of brilliant artists, to the great benefit of all. And "all" is a key operative word here at the Museum. 
Embedded in our mission, we strive to ensure our Museum is indeed "For All"

We hope you'll join the conversation with us this season at The Works!


Jean Shin

Thursday 31 January 6 pm

Jean Shin is nationally recognized for her monumental installations that transform everyday objects into elegant expressions of identity and community. For each project, she amasses vast collections of a particular object -- prescription pill bottles, sports trophies, sweaters -- which are often sourced through donations from individuals in a participating community. These intimate objects then become the materials for her conceptually rich sculptures, videos, and site-specific installations. Distinguished by her meticulous, labor-intensive process, and her engagement of the community, Shin's arresting installations reflect individuals' personal lives as well as collective issues that we face as a society.


Amanda Hawkins

Thursday 7 February 6 pm

What we learn through play impacts our physical, mental, social, and creative health -- and designers, architects, and play advocates are taking notice.  Extraordinary Playscapes examines the art, history, science, and importance of play while telling the story behind some of the most incredible play spaces in the world. From towering treetop paths to hand-knit crochet playgrounds, scholar Amanda Hawkins of Design Museum Foundation will share how architects and designers worldwide are engaging diverse communities to translate play objectives into state-of-the-art and meaningful environments. 



Waste Land

Tuesday 12 February 7 pm (98 min.)

Filmed over nearly three years, Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world's largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of "catadores" -- self designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz's initial objective was to "paint" the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Directed by Lucy Walker.

Cara McCarty

Thursday 28 February 6 pm

There has been a surge of design with and by people with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and sensory abilities. Cara McCarty, Curatorial Director at Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and co-curator of the exhibition Access + Ability, will explore how users and designers are expanding and adapting accessible products and solutions in ways previously unimaginable, from low-tech products that assist with daily routines to the newest cutting-edge technologies.




Saturday 9 March 8 pm


The performance duo Princess, comprising Alexis Gideon and Michael O'Neil (JD Samson & MEN), use music as the backbone of a multi-disciplinary practice that often explores issues of queerness and the concept of masculinity. Simultaneously gay, straight, queer, masculine, and feminine, Princess embodies the fluidity and coherence between the seemingly contradictory. Out There is a concept video album and live performance that explores the role men ought to be playing during the current cultural reckoning of misogyny. According to the artists, the science fiction narrative piece is likened to Beyoncé's "Lemonade" meets "Hamilton" meets Kraftwerk, and builds on the long legacy of concept albums like Ziggy Stardust and Deltron 3030
The world premiere of Out There takes place at the Andy Warhol Museum on March 1, followed by a tour and the NYC premiere at the New Museum in April. 



Part II: Collecting

Tuesday 12 March 10 am - 12 pm

Master Classes offer a deeper look at various subjects, though are designed for any level, so no advance training is required. The Connoisseurship Series is a 3-part series, and need not be done in order as the courses will rotate continuously.
We all gather things around us, but what makes a "collection"? What is the difference between "shopping" and "collecting"? An art collection is a highly personalized reflection of the collector -- one's values, one's interests, one's 'taste.' Are you interested in starting a collection? Do you have art, but not sure if it constitutes a collection? This Master Class will look at some extraordinary collections and collectors, examine what makes a great collection, and offer insight into how to develop a collection, on any budget.




Karin Campbell

Thursday 21 March 6 pm

Drawing on global weaving traditions, the history of painting and sculpture, and architecture, Sheila Hicks has redefined how fiber is used to create art, influencing a generation of artists. Curator Karin Campbell of Joslyn Art Museum will share how Hick's oeuvre has taken shape over time and discuss the essential links between the artist's work and lived experience. 




Valerie Cassel Oliver

Thursday 4 April 6 pm

Join us for a conversation with Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Previously the Senior Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, she also co-curated the Whitney Museum of American Art's Biennial Exhibition in 2000 and directed the Visiting Artists Program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She will be speaking on her curatorial practice and her most recent project co-curating the first major survey of the work of Howardena Pindell.




Dr. Alicia Longwell

Thursday 18 April 6 pm

Dr. Longwell, Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Chief Curator at the Parrish Art Museum in Long Island, will discuss the curatorial program of the Parrish, developed over her thirty-five year tenure at the Museum. She has organized numerous survey and solo exhibitions on Marsden Hartley, Frederick Kiesler, Dorothea Rockburne, Alan Shields, and Jack Youngerman. Longwell received her Ph.D. from the Graduate Center, City University of New York, where her dissertation topic was John Graham, the subject of a retrospective she organized for the Parrish Art Museum in 2017.


Meet + Greet

Tuesday 18 September 2018 10-11 am
The Works, 891 South Tamiami Trail
Free; no reservations required

Take this opportunity to meet the Museum crew and connect with fellow art enthusiasts!


Dr. Douglas Dreishpoon

Thursday 4 October 2018 6 pm

How does aging influence the form of one's aesthetic language? How does an artist's lived experience shape their creative practice? How do the physical and physiological shifts that accompany the aging process impact both the production and reception of their work? Join Dr. Douglas Dreishpoon, Chief Curator Emeritus of the Albright-Knox Museum Art Gallery, as he explores the topic of creativity and aging. 



Dr. Chelsea Bruner

Tuesday 9 October 2018 6 pm

On the occasion of the book release New York: Art + Cultural Capital of the Gilded Age, join us for a talk with Dr. Chelsea Bruner, editor of the book and Design History Professor at Ringling College. We will see how the Gilded Age was the formative period of New York's modernization and cosmopolitanism, and how it parallels today's new Gilded Age.

John Hatfield

Thursday 18 October 2018 6 pm

How and why do public art controversies occur? Join John Hatfield, Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park in NYC, as he discusses the anatomy of public art controversies through three case studies that describe the essential ingredients of discord.



Aaron Betsky + Chris Lasch

Thursday 25 October 2018 6 pm

The School of Architecture at Taliesin is an academic community where students learn by experimentation to figure out how we can make our built environment more sustainable, open, and beautiful. Join Aaron Betsky and Chris Lasch of the School of Architecture at Taliesin as they trace the origins of experimental design education and where it might lead in the future. 



Bonnie Clearwater

Thursday 1 November 2018 6 pm

Frank Stella emerged as part of a generation of American artists excited by, driven and challenged by Abstract Expressionism. Bonnie Clearwater, Director and Chief Curator at NSU Art Museum, will share tales from her decades-long engagement with Stella which culminated in this groundbreaking, innovative exhibition.




The Education Program: Vision, Strategy, Criteria

Thursday 8 November 2018 6 pm

Join us for the second of an ongoing series about the formation of our community's new contemporary art museum. This session will focus on the educational vision, and how the Museum employs pedagogical models from across time and around the world to reach the widest possible audience, and to help everyone enjoy object-based, experimental learning.




Art21: Johannesburg

Tuesday 13 November 2018 6 pm

Now in its ninth season, Art21 is the longest running television series on contemporary art. Join us for a screening of the Johannesburg episode, featuring four artists who use their work to empower marginalized communities, reexamine history, and pursue their visions for South Africa's future. Artists include: David Goldblatt, Nicholas Hlobo, Zanele Muholi, and Robin Rhode.




Christopher Domin

Thursday 29 November 2018 6 pm

Join us for a talk and book launch of Victor Lundy: Artist Architect. Scholar, architect, and book contributor Christopher Domin will discuss Lundy's spaces for worship – both the process of development and the physical presence – in an attempt to link engineering to the ineffable. Book signing will follow. 


Meet & Greet

Thursday 1 February 2018 5:00pm

Designing and building a cultural institution from the ground up is challenging, complex, and rewarding work, and we'd like to bring you on this journey with us. Each season leading up to our opening, we'll have an open house, a cafecito, a kaffeeklatsch- whichever your preferred term for a casual community gathering cum lively conversation- designed to engage you with our process and progress. It's not every day (or even every decade!) that a community gets to build a new museum, and we don't want you to miss a moment of our evolution. Take this opportunity to engage with fellow Museum enthusiasts and find out "everything you ever wanted to know about contemporary art but were afraid to ask!"



Christian Sampson
Color Light Projections

Thursday 1 February 2018 6:00pm

Christian Sampson's immersive light installations embody elements of both painting and sculpture. They vacillate within dimensional boundaries, engaging with the history and discourse of experimental film and esoteric spiritual movements. His installations are often site-specific or site-responsive, in dialogue with physical architectural space – from museum halls, to domestic living spaces, to pop-up performance stages. On the inauguration of his site-specific installation debut at our pop-up space, The Works, Sampson will give a special talk about his creative practice.

Based in New York City, Sampson holds a BFA from Ringling College of Art + Design and an MFA from Hunter College. His works have been exhibited at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Centre Pompidou-Metz in an exhibition titled “Cosa Mental: Art and Telepathy” curated by Pascal Rousseau. In 2015, Sampson collaborated with Ariel Dill and Amanda Friedman on a Color Light Projection Reading Room for “Drawing Hilma Af Klint” at Jackie Klempay Gallery, Brooklyn, NY. In January, 2017 Sampson created an installation for a group exhibition titled “Ripple Effect” at Turn Gallery in New York City.



Brillo Box (3¢ off)
Directed by Lisanne Skyler, special guest Barrett White

Thursday 8 February 2018 6:00pm

In 1969, film director Lisanne Skyler's parents bought an Andy Warhol Brillo Box for $1,000. Inspired by the popular Brillo soap pad product package, Warhol’s Brillo Boxes were not initially embraced by the market.  Forty years later, the same sculpture once owned by Skyler’s parents sold for over $3,000,000 at a record-breaking Christie’s auction. Blending humorous family narrative with anecdotes from the Pop Art era, Brillo Box (3¢ Off), follows the sculpture as it makes its way from the Skyler’s living room to the contemporary global art market, exploring the ephemeral nature of art, value and the decisions that shape family history. 

Lisanne Skyler and Barrett White, Executive Deputy Chairman, Post-War and Contemporary Art at Christie’s, will do a Q&A session following the film.

Lisanne Skyler is a writer and director of numerous, award-winning fiction and documentary films exploring economic systems and their impact on our lives. In addition to the HBO Documentary Film, Brillo Box (3¢ Off), her films include the critically acclaimed Joyce Carol Oates adaptation Getting To Know You, and the South Central, Los Angeles documentary No Loans Today. Skyler lives and works in Tucson, Arizona where she is a member of the faculty of the University of Arizona School of Theatre, Film and Television. 

Barrett White is an Executive Deputy Chairman for the Post-War & Contemporary Art Department at Christie’s, focusing on business development and private sales. Since joining Christie’s in 1999, White has held senior positions in the Post-War and Contemporary Art Department and Christie’s subsidiary Haunch of Venison. He was also formerly the Senior Director at L+M Arts in New York. White has a BA in Art History from New York University and a MA in the history of the art market from Christie’s Education.

In partnership with New College of Florida
Art, Math, & Orange Peels: The Legacy of Dr. William Thurston

Thursday 1 March 2018 5:30pm

Dr. William Thurston was a world-renowned expert in the mathematical field of topology and one of New College of Florida’s most renowned graduates. In 2010, Dr. Thurston’s unlikely collaboration with the fashion House of Miyake demonstrated that the most abstract math can have gorgeous practical applications. Join New College of Florida President Donal O’Shea and Anne-Marie Russell, Executive Director of the Sarasota Art Museum, as they tease out the beauty and complexity of math and fashion using Dr. Thurston’s studies as a point of departure. Celebrate interdisciplinary thinking, and find out how peeling an orange can lead to revelations about the shape of the universe.



The Curatorial Program: Vision, Strategy, Criteria 

Thursday 15 March 2018 6:00pm

There are many aspects to building a new art museum. The most visible is the curatorial program. In addition to the 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, there are numerous "curatorial zones" on the museum campus where visitors will experience and engage with art. How does one go about programming these spaces? How is the mission and vision of the institution articulated through the curatorial program? How do curators make decisions about what art to exhibit? What strategies are employed to reach and serve wide audiences and diverse stakeholders, both in our community and around the world? Join us for a presentation and interactive discussion about the formation of our communities' new contemporary art museum!

This is part of an ongoing series, Building a New Museum, designed to engage and inform the community about the mission, vision and operations of the Sarasota Art Museum.

Next on deck: The Educational Program: Vision, Strategy, Criteria, coming in Fall of 2018.



Master Class
Part I: Introduction to Connoisseurship

Tuesday 3 April 2018 10:00am-12pm

Master Classes offer a deeper look at various subjects, though are designed for any level, so no advance training is required. The Connoisseurship Series is a 3-part series, and need not be done in order as the courses will rotate continuously.

PART I: How does one determine “quality” in a work of art? How do you know it’s real? Is “value” synonymous with “cost”? Is beauty subjective? Who decides? How? This Master Class session will engage with key questions around art and quality. Throughout the series, you’ll discover your own criteria for quality, and begin to use your skills to assist your decision-making. Whether you’re a seasoned collector, novice wanting to start or simply interested in questions of truth and value, this course is for you.




Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957
Talk & book signing with ICA/Boston curator Ruth Erickson

Tuesday 10 April 2018 6:00pm

The story of Black Mountain College begins in 1933 and comprises a fascinating chapter in the history of education and the arts. Black Mountain College was born out of a desire to create a new type of college based on John Dewey’s principles of progressive education. The events that precipitated the College’s founding occurred simultaneously with the rise of the Nazi Regime, the closing of the Bauhaus school in Germany, and the beginning of the persecution of artists and intellectuals in Europe. Some of these refugees found their way to Black Mountain, either as students or faculty. Legendary even in its own time, Black Mountain College attracted and created maverick spirits, some of whom went on to become well-known and extremely influential individuals in the latter half of the 20th century. These individuals include: Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, Cy Twombly, Franz Kline, Buckminster Fuller, Dorothea Rockburne and many others who have impacted the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to echo. 

Join Ruth Erickson, co-curator of Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933-1957, as she discusses the first major exhibition focusing on this unique moment of educational and artistic experimentation in Asheville, North Carolina.

Ruth Erickson is Mannion Family Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Her exhibitions at the ICA include "Mark Dion: Misadventures of a 21st-Century Naturalist," "Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian: The Birthday Party," and "Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957" (with Helen Molesworth). She has forthcoming exhibitions with Wangechi Mutu and Kevin Beasley. Erickson was previously a curator at the BCA Center, Burlington, VT. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.



In Memoriam: The Architecture of Memory 
Dr. Paul Ivey

In partnership with UF CityLab Sarasota and the Center for Architecture Sarasota
16 February 2017 6pm

How does one give shape and form to an abstract idea? What does grieving look like? How do we use space and objects to remember those who have passed? Throughout time and across the globe, different cultures and religions have created spaces and rituals around the one thing common to all human beings:  the inevitability of death. Join us for a discussion on memorial architecture with Dr. Paul Ivey, author of Prayers in Stone and Radiance from Halcyon, and a leading expert in matters of spirituality and the built environment. 








Art & Science Series

"Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature." Cicero

The Art & Science Series features a partnership between the Museum and Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.
The series celebrates the shared passions and praxis of artists and scientists and finds commonalities among their seemingly disparate pursuits.

In partnership with Mote Marine Laboratory 

Mote Marine Laboratory
Wave Center
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota FL
$10 General admission; FREE for Sarasota Art Museum donors, Ringling College students, faculty, staff and Mote Members




Magic, Myth and Memory: The Life Aquatic
Janaina Tschäpe and David Gruber
Sunday 12 March 2017 5pm

Artist Janaina Tschäpe works in a variety of media—painting, sculpture, photography, video, and performance.  Her work explores landscape through a wide range of scale--from the microscopic to the cosmic—all engaged with the myth and meaning of water. She collaborates with marine biologist David Gruber, who searches the undersea world for bioluminescent and biofluorescent animals. Gruber's discoveries are providing a wealth of new insights into a secret "language" of shining colors and patterns that help many marine creatures communicate, interact, and avoid enemies. 


The Art (and Science) of Camouflage

Dr. Noam Josef and Anne-Marie Russell
Wednesday 12 April 2017 6pm

The history of camouflage as visual strategy is a fascinating aspect of the history of art. The science of camouflage as an evolutionary strategy in the natural world is an equally fascinating aspect of natural history. Join Anne-Marie Russell and Dr. Noam Josef for an entertaining and informative tour of camouflage among both human and non-human animals. 

Dr. Josef studies the camouflage capabilities of cephalopods: octopuses, squid, cuttlefish and related species. He joined Mote last Spring to develop algorithms for predicting camouflage patterns in cephalopods and will also study how octopuses interact with the local stone crab population.

Open House: Meet & Greet 


Open House: Meet & Greet 
Wednesday 15 March 2017 10am

The rich diversity and pluralistic nature of contemporary art, with its wide-ranging chorus of voices, represents the whole of the human experience. We hope the Museum becomes a place that feels both comfortable and familiar, but that also encourages the exploration of new territory. Designing and building a cultural institution from the ground up is challenging, complex, and rewarding work, and we’d like to bring you on this journey with us. Every few weeks leading up to our opening, we’ll have an open house, a cafecito, a kaffeelatsch, – whichever your preferred term for a casual community gathering cum lively conversation – designed to engage you with our process and progress. It’s not every day (or even every decade!) that a community gets to build a new museum, and we don’t want you to miss a moment of our evolution. Take this opportunity to engage with fellow Museum enthusiasts and find out “everything you ever wanted to know about contemporary art but were afraid to ask!” 


The WorkShop Presents:

The WorkShop is our nascent retail operation at The Works. As we lead up to the opening of the Museum and our full retail operation, The WorkShop will present trunk shows, book-signings, and mission-driven retail events to give a you sense of what’s in store for the store!


The Price of Illusion:  An Evening with Joan Juliet Buck

Reading and book-signing
Saturday 25 March 2017 5pm

The Works 891 S. Tamiami Trail
$10 General admission; FREE for Sarasota Art Museum donors and Ringling College students, faculty, and staff

Joan Juliet Buck is a novelist, critic, essayist, editor and actor. The only child of larger-than-life film producer Jules Buck, Joan was born into a world of make-believe.  Her childhood was a whirlwind of famous faces: John Huston, Peter O’Toole, Lauren Bacall, Federico Fellini and many more; ever-changing home addresses: London, Paris, Cannes, Los Angeles; and the unspoken lesson that appearances mattered more than reality.  When Joan became the first and only U.S. woman ever to fill the coveted position of Editor in Chief of Paris Vogue, she quickly became a force in the cult of fashion and beauty.  In The Price of Illusion, Joan offers up a dazzling, compulsively readable memoir: a fabulous account of six decades spent in the creative heart of London, New York, Los Angeles, Milan, Paris, and more.  But when her fantasy life at Vogue came to an end, she had to find out who she was after all those years of make-believe.  Now Buck chronicles her quest to discover the difference between glitter and gold, fantasy and reality, and what merely looks like happiness from the thing itself.

Limited copies of The Price of Illusion will be available for sale.



Greenfield Prize Creative Conversations

In partnership with the Hermitage Artist Retreat
Sunday 23 April 2017 2-4pm
The Works 891 S. Tamiami Trail
FREE; Reservations suggested due to limited seating. RSVP to or call (941) 475-2098 ext. 8

2pm My Life, My Work 
Artist talk by the winner of the 2017 Greenfield Prize in photography, to be announced.

3pm The State of the Art of Photography
Panel discussion with national photography curators including Anthony Bannon, former Director of the George Eastman House, and Robert Pledge, President and Editorial Director of Contact Press Images, an international photojournalism agency.





Art on Film:
National Gallery
Directed by Frederick Wiseman

Larry R. Thompson Academic Center Auditorium (MAP)
Tuesday 20 September 2016, 6pm

National Gallery takes the audience behind the scenes of a world-renowned institution, on a fascinating journey to the heart of a museum inhabited by masterpieces of Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th century. Tag along with Director Frederick Wiseman as he listens to docents decode the great canvases of our time, watches restorers wield tiny eye-droppers and scalpels to make repairs, and glimpses the internal battle of public perception voiced by the leadership.


Open House: Director’s Meet & Greet

Friday 21 October 2016, 10–11am
Thursday 17 November 2016, 5–6pm

The rich diversity and pluralistic nature of contemporary art, with its wide-ranging chorus of voices, represents the whole of the human experience. We hope the Museum becomes a place that feels both comfortable and familiar, but also encourages the exploration of new territory. 

Designing and building a cultural institution from the ground up is challenging, complex, and rewarding work, and starting this fall, we’d like to bring you on this journey with us. Every few weeks leading up to our opening, we’ll have an open house, a cafecito, a kaffeelatsch—whichever your preferred term for a casual community gathering cum lively conversation—designed to engage you with our process and progress. It’s not every day (or even every decade!) that a community gets to build a new museum, and we don’t want you to miss a moment of our evolution. 

Take this opportunity to find out “everything you ever wanted to know about contemporary art but were afraid to ask!” 




Art on Film:
Carmen Herrera: The 100 Years Show 
Directed by Alison Klayman

Larry R. Thompson Academic Center Auditorium (MAP)
Tuesday 18 October 2016, 6pm

Meet the vibrant and productive Cuban-American abstract painter Carmen Herrera, an artist who—now 101 years old—went from relative obscurity to global art stardom in recent years (“Better late than never,” she quips).The film follows Carmen as she prepares for her 100th birthday exhibition at Lisson Gallery in New York City. A major retrospective of her work opens at the Whitney Museum of American Art this fall.


This is What Happened: Art Since the 60s

The Works 891 South Tamiami Trail (MAP)
Tuesday 25 October 2016, 6–7pm

The 1960s were a time of radical societal change. Art was both a reflection of the times, and often an instigator of change. Leading up to the opening of the Museum exhibitions program, we will have a series of talks and lectures examining the avant-garde roots of contemporary art, to shed some light on the origins of art production today. This series will be a casual, salon-style conversation. So whether you’re an expert, or new to contemporary art, everyone is welcome and encouraged to share thoughts and engage in the conversation. Join Executive Director Anne-Marie Russell and special guest Dr. Matthew McLendon, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.



Artist Talk: Joe Fig
Inside the Artist’s Studio

Larry R. Thompson Academic Center Auditorium (MAP)
Saturday 5 November 2016, 5pm

Born in 1968, Joe Fig received both his BFA and MFA from the School of Visual Arts. His body of work encompasses painting, sculpture, photography, and drawing, in which he examines the role of the artist, the creative process, and the self-made universe of the artist’s studio. Fig’s work has been exhibited internationally at the Bruce Museum, Bass Museum of Art, Parrish Art Museum, Toledo Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and New Britain Museum of American Art. He is the author of two critically acclaimed books Inside the Artist’s Studio (2015) and Inside the Painter’s Studio (2009), which include his interviews and documentary photographs of today’s leading contemporary artists. Fig is represented by Cristin Tierney Gallery in New York. He works and lives in Connecticut’s Farmington River Valley. 


How to Survive an Art Fair

The Works 891 South Tamiami Trail (MAP)
Wednesday 9 November 2016, 6–7pm

In preparation for the upcoming Miami Art Week, featuring dozens of fairs and an endless series of exciting events, join us for a fun and informative session designed to help you navigate the often chaotic and perplexing environment of the art fair. (Helpful tip: sensible shoes!)




SarasotaMOD Weekend

11-13 November 2016

The Museum is proud to partner with the Sarasota Architectural Foundation to co-present the third annual SarasotaMOD Weekend. This year’s MOD weekend will focus on the important architectural legacy of Victor Lundy. 





Art on Film:
Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art
Directed by James Crump

Larry R. Thompson Academic Center Auditorium (MAP)
Tuesday 15 November 2016, 6pm

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the tumultuous late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features a cadre of renegade New York artists that sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desolate desert spaces of the American southwest. Today these works remain impressive not only for the sheer audacity of their makers but also for their out-sized ambitions to break free from traditional norms.




Artist Talks: Tania Katan
Creative Trespasser: Disrupting Museums, Bathrooms and Other Public/Private Space

Larry R. Thompson Academic Center Auditorium (MAP)
Saturday 19 November 2016

Tania Katan is an award-winning author, keynote speaker, and creative instigator who, in her words, “believes in storytelling at all costs!” Katan has performed her stories at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, NPR, Comedy Central Stage, TEDx, and more. Her work has been written about in the New York Times, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, GLAMOUR, and others. She has been a featured speaker at Etsy, i.d.e.a. Museum, S.H.E. Summit, Social Innovation Summit, American Alliance of Museums and other national and international conferences and events. Katan’s instigations include Arm Wrestling for Art and co-creator of the internationally viral campaign #ItWasNeverADress for Axosoft. Katan is a Certified Anti-Bias & Diversity Trainer through the Anti-Defamation League and well-respected advocate in the breast cancer community.

Formerly the Curator of Performing Arts at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Katan made the audacious leap into technology and is the Evangelist at Axosoft, because every rock star company needs a punk! She is currently working on a book about the astounding value of creatives in the business world called Creative Trespassing. 





Curator Talk: Dan Cameron
The Useful Curator

Wednesday 14 December 2016, 6pm

Dan Cameron served as Senior Curator at the New Museum in New York from 1995 to 2006, and as Chief Curator at Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, California, from 2012 to 2015. As an independent curator, Cameron was Artistic Director for the 8th Istanbul Biennial in 2003 and Co-Curator of the 10th Taipei Biennial in 2006. He is currently Curator for the XIII Bienal de Cuenca in Ecuador. Cameron is also currently guest curator for the Palm Springs Museum of Art, where he is preparing an exhibition for 2017 on Latin American kinetic art of the 1950s and 1960s. Cameron is the founder of Prospect New Orleans, a triennial of international contemporary art, and directed the organization and exhibition program from 2006-2011, while also serving as Director of Visual Arts for New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center. Dan is a member of the Hermitage National Curatorial Council.

In partnership with  The Hermitage Artist Retreat


A place for contemporary ideas to converge.

In 2003, a group of 13 forward-thinking Sarasotans came together to further their goal of enhancing Sarasota’s rich cultural landscape with a contemporary art museum. After a two-year dialogue with area arts, educational and community leaders, the Sarasota Art Museum partnered with Ringling College of Art and Design to transform the historic Sarasota High School into a state-of-the-art visual arts destination with the art museum as its centerpiece.

As the region's first museum dedicated to contemporary art, the Museum will offer visitors from around the world a place to see thought-provoking, boundary-pushing exhibitions, participate in educational programming, and take community courses with Ringling College instructors. The facility will be a resource for learning about contemporary concepts and deepening appreciation for 21st century art and artists through world-class gallery spaces, an auditorium, an outdoor sculpture garden, a cafe, and a number of classrooms and work spaces for students and visiting artists. 

Much more than a museum, the Sarasota Art Museum will be a site for contemporary creation and dialogue.


Breathing new life into an architectural landmark.

Built in 1926 in the Collegiate-Gothic style, the Sarasota High School was designed by esteemed Florida architect, M. Leo Elliott. The 57,000 square foot building opened its doors to students from the 7th-12th grade in the fall of 1927 and flourished for almost 70 years. In 1984 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. Although the school closed its doors in 1996, members of the community felt attached to the building and inspired to find its new purpose.

Fast-forward to 2002, the start of a two-year process of community involvement and consensus-building known as the Sarasota High School New Life Initiative. Funders of the New Life Initiative included the School Board, the City of Sarasota, Sarasota County, the Selby Foundation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and private donors. More than 200 potential uses of the historic building were considered.

In October 2004, the School Board voted to lease the historic Sarasota High School to Ringling College of Art and Design to transform the building into the Sarasota Art Museum.


Get in on it!




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The Sarasota Art Museum promises to be a dynamic destination for exhibiting visually compelling and conceptually challenging contemporary art. Our continued success depends on the generosity of people like you who support our mission.  




Attend the opening of Sarasota's newest cultural institution at the Gala this December.




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