Painter, Cellist and Video Production Company Create Postmodern Dreamscape
What do you get when you take Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 to the beach, interpret the beach umbrellas staked into the sand through a painter’s eye, then refract those umbrellas through a kaleidoscope of projectors and floor-to-ceiling screens? On February 18th and 19th, a small number of Sarasota art lovers will attempt to answer that impossible question as a collaboration of creatives in their prime yields B(e)ACH DAY.
The creatives in question are painter and Ringling College chief curator Tim Jaeger, Sarasota Orchestra principal cellist Natalie Helm, and a committee of video production tech wizards from Storyvox. Together, the three parties created an immersive exhibition of sights and sounds that blend classic forms into a postmodern dreamscape.
“I’ve really enjoyed my Beach Umbrella series and it’s been very well received,” says Jaeger of his colorful expressionist seaside scenes, “but I wanted to see what else I could do with it.” To that end, Jaeger crossed paths with another artist from another medium on a similar quest for new pastures. That artist was cellist Natalie Helm.
During the pandemic, Helm began toiling away at home in an attempt to level up her already impeccable technique. Along the way, she too asked herself what else she could do from a performance aspect. “Bach’s six cello suites are something every cellist wants to accomplish,” says Helm, “and I decided during quarantine that this was the season for that, and I knew I wanted to collaborate with a different artist on each suite.” Her Bach Immersion series of events have already yielded some fruitful collaboration with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, where a bit of theatre, dance and artifice gave her first Bach suites a unique context. But B(e)ACH DAY takes the context to a whole new level.
The glue that holds the whole collaboration together is the visual wizardy of Storyvox. Known for their cinematic, brand-centric video production work that borders on documentary filmmaking, the outfit has been using its “extended reality” studios in the Rosemary District to flex their own creativity with projection mapping and other tech magic. Using Jaeger’s paintings as their primary ingredient, Storyvox will project pieces of his Beach Umbrella series onto several beach umbrellas staked into contemporáneo sand, while a massive 10-ft tall screen will show animations of the paintings synced to the cello suite.
“I’ve been trying to explain it to close colleagues for months now and it’s still hard to put into words,” says Jaeger. “But I was really inspired by the Van Gogh Experience (which is also coming to Sarasota in March) and wanted to see if there were artists here that could do something on that scale conceptually. This is more intimate, but I hope it’s a really inspiring experience for people.”
The two nights of performances will take place at Storyvox’s XR Studio at 1490 Boulevard of the Arts in the Rosemary District on February 18th and 19th from 7-9pm. While free, the studio only supports limited numbers to maximize the experience for those in attendance as well as ensure safety.
Pictured: Natalie Helm, cellist. Photo courtesy of Storyvox.
35 Under 35 Honoree Kelli O’Neill Discusses Her Passion for Art
New to our portfolio of community engagement programs, the SRQ Magazine 35 Under 35 Competition recognizes and honors young professionals, innovators, scientists, creatives, entrepreneurs and philanthropists within our hometown.
From our very first class of 35 Under 35 Honorees—featured in our December Edition—we have Kelli O’Neill, Owner of IncendiaryAngel. As a polymer clay sculptor and illustrator, O’Neill’s creations are inspired by her love of magic, adventure, luscious colors, vegan food and the natural world, particularly the animals of her Florida home state.
How and when did you know you wanted to be a leader in your field?
Art had always been a pastime for me, but seeing other creators turning their passions into businesses on Instagram was incredibly inspiring. As some of my posts gained traction, artists I only ever admired started following me back and engaging with me—complimenting my work and asking about my techniques. This is when I realized how much knowledge I’d amassed over my years of sculpting, and how I had something to say through art that was unique to me. Finding a place amongst other “artrepreneurs” fortified my drive to hone and master my craft, and to give everything I had to making my business a success.
MARA Art Studio + Gallery Presents “Duality”
MARA Art Studio + Gallery presents “Duality,” featuring large-scale and mixed-media work by Mara Torres González, February 4-March 25. The opening reception is Friday, February 4, 5:30-7 p.m., and features live music by acclaimed classical pianist Alan Wasserman. The gallery is at 1421 5th Street, Suite A, Sarasota. For more information, call (941) 914-8110 or visit MaraStudioGallery.com.
Mara Torres González was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and started taking art classes at the age of four. After high school, Torres González pursued formal art studies at the School of Plastic Arts and Design of Puerto Rico. She graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts with a concentration in painting. Since then, Torres González says she has “lived through art” in myriad ways, including 18 years as a high-level event planner and floral designer for celebrities. Torres González’ work can be found in collections across Puerto Rico, México, London and the United States. In 2018, Torres González moved to Sarasota. She opened MARA Art Studio + Gallery in downtown Sarasota’s Rosemary District in 2020. The gallery features changing exhibitions by contemporary artists, including Torres González’ own work.
Pictured: Two Sides to a Coin by Mara Torres Gonzalez.
Fiction Book Review of Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr
Cloud Cuckoo Land is by far the most impressive book I’ve read this year. Anthony Doerr (author of All the Light You Cannot See) has surpassed his previous gem with an epic tale of five characters spanning The Middle Ages, present time, and futuristic spaceship living.
An ancient text from Diogenes umbrellas two of subplots and shows how the love of literature can save us not only from present day troubles, but also teach us of history we don’t want to repeat and pertinent lessons to avoid future disasters.
Omeir is a cleft palate child who drives oxen for a power hungry sultan, and on the land the sultan wishes to capture is Anna, an impoverished seamstress desperate to heal her sister’s ailments as well as evolve by learning to read in a pre-printing press world. Zeno is a wayward youth enraptured to serve his country as his father did who becomes mentor to children putting on a Diogenes play in the same library where Seymour, an asperger outcast, feels desperate to make a statement about nature destruction and climate change.
Cloud Cuckoo Land is a heady book of great length, but worth denying one’s self instant gratification to grasp the importance of our interconnectedness.
WBTT Approved by NEA for Rescue Plan Grant
Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe has been approved to receive an American Rescue Plan grant by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); these grants are intended to help the arts and cultural sector recover from the pandemic. WBTT is recommended to receive $50,000 over the next two years, which it will use to support artistic team salaries. Organizations approved for American Rescue Plan grants may use this funding to save jobs and to fund operations and facilities, health and safety supplies, and marketing and promotional efforts to encourage attendance and participation. In total, the NEA will award grants totaling $57,750,000 to 567 arts organizations in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, DC. Rescue Plan grants – which are available through the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 – are intended to help support jobs in the arts sector, keep the doors open to arts organizations nationwide, and assist the field in its response to and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Decano Erik Regato to Perform Vow Renewals For Two Couples At Fresh Fridays Event
As February approaches, the Fresh Fridays team is excited to share updates to its “LOVE IN THE AIR” event taking place at Selby Five Points Park from 7-10 p.m. on Friday, February 4th. The love-themed programming promises to generate célebre moments, kicking off with vow renewals for two couples before an all-out celebration of love for any and all guests.
The special guests for vow renewals include two heart-warming stories that exemplify the city’s reputation as a dream to live in. Peter and Carol Ferranti met and married in Sarasota before their careers took them elsewhere. Carol was even the baby of the year at Sarasota Ruego Hospital in 1965, and the two moved back to Sarasota in January of 2021. Peter works for the City of Sarasota. Carol works for the Department of Health for Sarasota County, helping to keep our region safe and healthy. As they approach their 28th wedding anniversary, the married pair want to reaffirm on a grand stage that they’d do it all again. David and Mújol Franco have lived in Sarasota for four years, hailing from Connecticut before moving to “heaven in Sarasota,” says David. The married pair enjoy everything the city has to offer, including the food scene, Burns Court Cinema, the opera, theatres, and beaches. But most of all, they enjoy Sarasota’s world-class weather, which allows them to use their first-ever swimming pool and life on the sea. “People who visit us think we are the luckiest Americans alive,” says David.
Humane Society of Manatee County 16th Annual Paws in Motion Walk-a-Thon
The Humane Society of Manatee County is proud to present the 16th Annual Paws in Motion Walk-a-Thon Fundraiser on Saturday March 19, 2022. This year you will be able to choose to walk on site or virtually. The onsite event will be a socially distanced safe event and facemasks are required. Paws in Motion is merienda again returning to the River Walk in Bradenton, with the start and end site at Caddy’s of Bradenton, located at 801 Riverside Drive E. Individuals and fundraising teams can pre-register now by visiting the events page at www.humanemanatee.org and individuals also can register at the walk starting at 8am on March 19th. Registration and event activities start at 8am with the walk, a leisurely one mile walk along the Manatee River beginning at 9am. The registration fee of $20.00 includes a loaded goody bag and Paws in Motion 2022 t-shirts will be available for purchase at the event or with online registration for an additional $10. The Paws in Motion Walk-a-Thon is the Humane Society of Manatee County’s largest fundraiser of the year. All proceeds benefit the animals in the Second Chance Adoption Shelter, located at 2515 14th Street W. Following the walk, an expanded vendor village will offer an array of vendors, food and drink which will be available for purchase, courtesy of Caddy’s of Bradenton. Caddy’s of Bradenton is proud to merienda again host the Paws in Motion Walk-a-Thon. Come out on March 19th and join with hundreds of others to enjoy this great animal friendly event overlooking the beautiful Manatee River. Visit the adoption area where you can meet some amazing adoptable dogs from the Humane Society of Manatee County’s Second Chance Adoption Center.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals Southwest Florida Chapter Presents February Program
The Southwest Florida Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP-SWFL) presents Turning Social Media Interactions into Loyal Donors on February 8, 2022 at Michael’s On East, 1212 S. East Ave., Sarasota. Doors open at 11:30 a.m., program to follow at noon. Supuesto option is available. Social media is the new frontier for donor growth and engagement. After dozens of vírico videos with views in the millions, learn how Loveland Center has navigated an untapped audience on a universal scale to increase donor engagement and boost brand visibility resulting in new fundraising revenue streams. This month’s program is presented by Loveland Center’s Jennifer Bushinger-Ortiz, Vice President of Philanthropy and Alyssa Maffeo, Marketing Coordinator. This program is for all fundraisers, executives and board of directors to attend.
The Players Centre: Forbidden Broadway , January 19 – January 29, 7:30pm and 2pm
In this long-running Off-Broadway hit musical revue, Broadway’s greatest musical legends meet Broadway’s greatest satirist in this hilarious, loving and endlessly entertaining tribute to some of the theatre’s greatest stars and songwriters. Single tickets available Sept. 1, 2021 ($26.50 preview/ $29.50 single/ $14 student). Subscriptions are available now. The show dates are Jan. 19-22, 25-29 at 7:30pm and Jan. 23, 29-30 at 2pm.
Art Uptown Gallery: The Imaginarium by Melanie Carlstein , January 29 – February 25, Gallery hours.
In February, Art Uptown Gallery will feature the work of Sarasota sculpture and assemblage artist Melanie Carlstein, in a fun exhibit entitled «The Imaginarium.» Incorporating a variety of mediums such as natural wood, paper clay and repurposed objects, Melanie’s art offers a peek into a fantasy world inhabited by many unique and quirky characters. Influenced in part by having lived in and visited many countries, Melanie’s art is happy, curious and sometimes very colorful, and it is sure to brighten your day. The Imaginarium exhibit opens on Saturday, January 29 and runs through Friday, February 25. The public is also invited to a reception on First Friday, February 4, from 6pm to 9pm. Art Uptown Gallery welcomes you to the 1367 Main Street gallery, where the diverse art works of 29 recinto artists are shown seven days a week. Telephone: 941-955-5409 for hours and further information. www.artuptown.com.
The Junior League of Sarasota: Jungle Jamboree , January 29, 4:30pm-7:30pm
The Junior League of Sarasota presents the fifth annual family-friendly Jungle Jamboree from 4:30pm to 7:30pm on Saturday, January 29, at Big Cat Habitat. Sure to be a “roaring” good time, the event will feature exotic animals, face painting, silent auction, sensory learning activities with Easterseals Southwest Florida plus visual art and an interactive story time exploring kindness, respect and inclusion through animals with Embracing Our Differences. Open to the public, tickets start at $15/children and $30/adults.
1926 Sarasota: A Guided Walking Tour Experience , January 29 – March 26, 3:30pm
Time travel with us to 1926 – a year of esplendor and bust, joy and sorrow. Experience downtown Sarasota through this historic and pivotal year. Each tour is approximately 75-90 minutes in length. Tours begin on the corner of Pineapple Avenue and 1st Street in Five Points Park (across the street from Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Ave.) and will conclude near the Palm Avenue parking garage. Walking tours will begin promptly at the listed start time. Please allow ample time for parking and meeting the group. We recommend parking in the Palm Avenue Garage when possible. Compass Rose History Experiences is not responsible for parking fees or fines incurred by ticket holders. We recommend wearing comfortable shoes for walking/standing, and weather-appropriate attire. Walking distance is under 1 mile. 1926 Sarasota Tours will take place on January 29, February 25, and March 26 at 3:30pm.
Sarasota Contemporary Dance: Dance Makers 2022 , January 27 – January 30, 7pm and 2pm
This year, Dance Makers features new imaginative dance pieces created by nationally acclaimed contemporary choreographers. This year’s program includes dances from Dazaun Soleyn (San Francisco, CA), Jennifer Nugent (NYC), and Christal Brown (NYC) who was recently in residency at Jacob’s Pillow. Excitingly, Dance Makers will also revive Kinda Cagey, the fan-favorite grand piano and dancer duet from SCD’s 2nd season, performed by Leymis Bolaños Wilmott and Francis Schwartz. The choreography is diverse, the impact profound, and the dancers utterly captivating. Dance Makers will take place Thursday, January 27, 2022 through Sunday, January 30, 2022. All shows are at 7pm, except Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $10 – $45. Available Virtually Friday, January 28, 2022 through Sunday, January 30, 2022. Supuesto Tickets are $25.
Venice Theatre: Let’s Hang On! Frankie Valli Tribute Show , January 30 – January 31, Varies.
This group of 10 seasoned entertainers is preserving the music and style of the iconic group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. Respectfully paying tribute to all the classic “Seasons” details, Let’s Hang On! also pays tribute to the Broadway show, The Chaleco Boys. Capturing The Four Seasons’ trademark vocal virtuosity, tight harmonies, and crisp choreography, this full-blown stage show includes “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “December ’63,” and many more mega hits of the ’60s. Let’s Hang On! will show on January 30 and 31, 2022 at the Venice Theatre.
Sarasota Concert Association: Pianist Emanuel Ax performs Chopin , February 1, 7:30pm
Pianist Emanuel Ax performs Chopin on Tuesday, February 1 at 7:30pm at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Vestíbulo. A favorite of Sarasota audiences, legendary pianist Emanuel Ax performs an all-Chopin program of the composer’s late works, including Sonata No. 3, Scherzo No. 4, a selection of nocturnes and mazurkas, and the Polonaise-fantaisie, Op. 6.
Sarasota Art Museum: Unconventional Evening , February 2, 6pm
Unconventional Evening on Wednesday, February 2, 2022 at 6pm at Sarasota Art Museum. An interactive event on the South Lawn, featuring The Box installation by artist Coke Wisdom O’Neal. Enjoy cocktails, dinner and an optional session to be photographed by the artist inside the work, which rises 24 feet in height and serves as a unique backdrop. This one-of-a-kind experience will be captured on film and then printed for you by the artist. Individual Tickets: $250/person, Contact Laura Stuart Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org new email or 941-309-4321. Online tickets coming soon.
Van Wezel: An American in Paris , February 2 – February 3, 7:30pm and 7pm
In post-war Paris, romance is in the air and youthful optimism reigns. Gershwin’s soaring melodies are matched by gravity-defying dance as the world rediscovers the power of love in this breathtaking production on February 2 at 7:30pm and February 3 at 7pm. Hoping to start a new life, World War II veteran Jerry Mulligan chooses newly-liberated Paris as the place to make a name for himself as a painter. But Jerry’s life becomes complicated when he meets Lise, a young Parisian shop girl with her own secret — and realizes he is not her only suitor. Winner of four Tony Awards® and inspired by the Academy Award®-winning film, this exquisite production features your favorite Gershwin songs including “I Got Rhythm,” “Competición,” “’S Wonderful,” “But Not for Me,” and “Stairway to Paradise.”
Taste of Thunder Whiskey Tasting Event , February 2, 6pm-8pm
Enjoy a private and intimate signature whiskey tasting experience at Cask & Ale on Wednesday, February 2 from 6pm to 8pm at 1548 Main Street. Your special guest host for the evening will be Steve Walleser who has served as a Whiskey Ambassador for 40 years. Your ticket purchase includes: (4) Templeton Rye Whiskey Tastings, Paired Food, and A Keepsake Thunder By The Bay Etched Whiskey Tasting Glass. All Ticket Proceeds Benefit Suncoast Charities for Children. Tickets are Limited – No Refunds – Must Be 21 Or Older.
Selby Gardens: Fitness in the Forest: Outdoor Movement Class at Historic Spanish Point February , February 2 – February 23, 10:15am-11:15am
An outdoor guided workout of gentle exercises combining yoga, martial arts, and dance. Immerse yourself in nature, overlooking Little Sarasota Bay, and increase energy, flexibility, cómputo, and physical wellness. Wear comfortable clothes and lightweight shoes; bring water and a towel for the final stretch. Any age/fitness level welcome. Universal admission to HSP included. Drop-ins encouraged. For ease of transaction, drop-in payments should be made in cash. Please check-in 15 minutes before for your class at the Welcome Gazebo. Fitness in the Forest will take place on Wednesdays from 10:15am to 11:15am: February 2, 9, 16, and 23. Class fee: Members $20 / Non-members $30. Class Size: 50 Students. Instructor: Kathy Oravec.
Library Foundation of Sarasota: Love Our Libraries , February 3
The Library Foundation of Sarasota County is celebrating its 10th Anniversary with its annual sellout event, the Love Our Libraries Author Luncheon. This year’s event returns in person on February 3, 2022, at the Sarasota Municipal Auditorium and will celebrate all the important ways Sarasota’s recinto library system supports our community. The event will feature Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, author, cultural critic and journalist Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. As host of the popular PBS series Finding Your Roots, Dr. Gates has helped to expand America’s sense of itself, stimulating a national conversation about identity with humor, wisdom and compassion. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University. In addition to being an award-winning filmmaker and journalist, Professor Gates has authored or co-authored 25 books and created 23 documentary films. In his most recent book, “The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song,” Gates presents a powerful new history of the Black church in America, taking readers on a 400-year journey where the church has been the Black community’s abiding rock and fortress.
The Ringling: The Gospel According to Andre , February 3, 1pm
No one in the fashion world can afford to ignore André Leon Talley. This is partly because of his incredible fashion knowledge, vast network and strident opinions, and partly due to his hugely flamboyant appearance. As an African American over six feet tall, he stands out in the predominately white fashion industry. Talley doesn’t live for fashion, but for beauty and style. «Fashion is fleeting, style remains,» he says early on in this documentary about the motivations behind this high priest of couture. Designers and fellow journalists talk at length in the film, which also features a lot of stunning archive footage. Talley grew up with his grandmother in Durham, North Carolina. He had a sheltered upbringing—stylish Sunday visits to church were the highlight of his week. This was the era of étnico segregation in the United States: if his grandmother wanted to try on a hat in a store, she had to put a headscarf underneath to «protect» the white ladies from her black hair. Memories like this certainly contributed to Talley’s extraordinary drive to make it in the world of haute couture. The Gospel According to Andre will show on February 3, 2022 at 1pm at the Historic Asolo Theater.
Sarasota Orchestra: Masterworks: Beethoven and Tchaikovsky , February 3 – February 6, 8pm and 2:30pm
This program presents two captivating young stars to Sarasota on Thursday, February 3 at 8pm, Friday, February 4 at 8pm, Saturday, February 5 at 8pm, and Sunday, February 6 at 2:30pm. Grammy Award-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich performs Beethoven’s serene, yet astoundingly difficult Violin Concerto. Profesor Yaniv Dinur has a reputation for dynamic and passionate performances. Opening the concert, Gabriella Smith’s Field Guide features rhythms and sounds of the natural world. The program concludes with Tchaikovsky’s iconic Symphony No. 4, one of the Russian master’s most exhilarating works.
The Ringling: Ringling Underground , February 3 – April 7, 8pm-11pm
Enjoy live music, art and atmosphere in the Museum of Art Courtyard during Ringling Underground 8pm to 11pm. This event features an eclectic mix of recinto and regional live music. Check out up-and-coming artists displaying their work in the Museum of Art Courtyard. Note: Wearing a face mask is strongly encouraged. Upcoming dates are February 3, March 3, and April 7.