Ringling College’s Galleries and Exhibitions held its first Art Walk of the new year on Friday, Jan. 20. Over 950 visitors crowded into galleries across the campus, enjoyed dinner on the lawn with a meal from the food trucks, participated in an interactive art performance, and watched a live band.
Lost Summer, an exhibition of large and small scale landscape paintings by Ringling alumni Lee Mayer ’72, Commercial Art, filled the Patricia Thompson Alumni and Skylight Galleries. For the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections curated selection of humorous books, Just the Funny Stuff, Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian Janelle Rebel offered her top ten humorous picks.
Storyteller and author Larry Littany Litt gave a reading, performance, and interactive prompt to an audience in the Carol Camiener Plaza. Reading from his book, Mad Monk Improper Parables: Wit, Wisdom, Humor, Laughter and Practical Advice, Litt offered all of the above in a performance that mixed passages from his writing with off the cuff conversation. His performance culminated in an invitation for members of the audience to join him in a symbolic burning of printed tokens. Participants waved the printed sheets over a decorative fire, a fan- blown fabric artifice lit from below, before tearing the page up and throwing the pieces in the cauldron. The ritual was the perfect mix of halloween store decor, sincere intention, and self-deprecating humor, to keep the audience committed.
At Go Figure! The Figure Enhancement Workshop, in the Selby Foundations Gallery, framed figure drawings by Ringling students were up for sale to take home on the spot, with gallery attendants acting as auctioneers. The sales were part of a fundraiser to raise money for The Figure Enhancement Workshop, known as FEWs, a student-run and student-funded life drawing studio program at Ringling College. As part of the programming for the fundraiser, ongoing and informal life drawing classes took place throughout the evening. Students and visitors alike sharpened their skills as onlookers observed.
Highlights from the first Art Walk of 2023
A curated selection of the Basch Glass Art collection, Circles and Spheres, was on view at the Richard and Barbara Basch Gallery in the Larry R. Thompson Academic Center. An exhibition of junior and senior year photography work, Chimeras, was on display on the second floor of the Cooley Center, and student design work for a cause was on display, with items for sale, in Design Activism Hub and a Plate for All: Combating Food Insecurity and Food Waste at the Lois and David Stulberg Gallery. And, an Untitled exhibition of colorful, mixed media artworks was on view at the Crossley Gallery.
To end the night, a live performance by St. Petersburg-based psychedelic post-punk band Liquid Pennies injected some energy into the closing hour of the Art Walk. The show was enjoyed by an eclectic audience of students, families, and retirees, and offered a convivial last note to the evening, with art goers lingering for a pause on their way home.
The next Art Walk will be held Feb. 24 and promises another evening of exceptional art, experiences, and fun. Art Walk is free and open to the public, and one of many ways Ringling College engages the Sarasota community. For more information, visit the Ringling College Galleries and Exhibitions website.