Season of Sculpture


Imagine an outdoor gallery of magical sculptures lined up along Sarasota’s Bay Front Park, a free public exhibit the likes of which could only be found in this city, known as the cultural capitol of Southwest Florida.  Better still, come see it. You have until May 30th.

This biennial exhibit, sponsored privately without taxpayer expense, is in its 7th year exhibiting large-scale sculptures of renowned international, national, and local artists. Eight award-winning artists have created eighteen pieces that vary from the curved stainless steel   “Red Trunk,”  Elephant Heart,”  “Oracle,”  and “Sagg portal #6,”  all by Dutch artist Hans Van De Bovenkamp,  to the series of striated family figures (including the dog) made of bronze, boulder and bluestone by Israeli sculptor Boaz Vaadia and the brushed aluminum “Gateway,” – whose arches  sculptor Linda Howard  describes as “gateways…to the expanded universe beyond.”

Strolling the path from Marina Jack’s  southward as far as Marie Selby Gardens, adjacent to Bayfront Drive, one also encounters the startling steel piece “It’s all about electricity” by local artist  Richard Herzog;  the glazed ceramic blue “Untitled Head” and “Dango” pieces by Japanese sculptor  Jun Kaneko ; and an 18′ high cone-shaped  “Lotus” composed of smoothly integrated wood, branches and nails by Korean artist Jae-Hyo Lee.  A round white modular 2,00 pound composite piece entitled “Raytynd” by Miami-born Robert Chambers  displays colored lights and sci-fi music from the 1950’s at night.   A bit further north near the intersection of Gulf Stream Avenue sits the spiraled steel “Composer” by Heinz Aeschlimann, a Swiss artist.

The purpose of the Shared Ground exhibition as expressed in its web site,  is “to present art that will inspire and delight audiences, stimulate learning and thought, ignite lively dialogue, and raise the community’s awareness of the importance of public art and its ability to transform, enhance and inform the community.” Co-curators are  Fayanne Hayes and Andrew Maas.

There are also free  docent-guided tours available upon request . The exhibit will be open day and night  through May of 2014. A satellite exhibition of smaller works by these artists will be exhibited at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune building at 1741 Main Street in downtown Sarasota from January 7th through May 30th, 2014.

This sculpture exhibit is a favorite of Sarasota’s many visitors, including those from other countries who are attracted to this city’s numerous cultural offerings.  Also seen at the sight are local residents with children, dogs and bicyclists enjoying these extraordinary pieces of art.  For more information:

(Viewers of this exhibit will also be able to see  nearby  “Complexis, ” John Henry’s tower of red steel sculpture from a previous year’s exhibit. It is now permanently  located at the intersection of Gulf Stream and Ringling Boulevard, across the street from the controversial statue  “Unconditional Surrender ” -a sailor kissing a nurse- devised from the WWII photograph which greets all drivers passing by, another tourist  photographer’s favorite).   © Gail Sanderson


Those Daring Women Explorers Who Went Where Ladies Had Never Been

Course offered by Lifelong Learning Academy Spring term 2014.

This course will take you from Provence to Persia, Tahiti to Tibet, Africa to the Poles as we retrace, through their writings, the journeys of intrepid women. Starting in 1716 when Lady Montagu created a scandal by following her husband to Constantinople, we’ll continue to 1987 when teenager Tania Aebi set out alone  in a 26′ sailboat on a 27,000 mile volayge around the world.

Who were these women who left the safety of  home to experience exotic locations and cultures? How did their adventures affect their lives? What discoveries did they make? We’ll read stories from No Place for a Lady: Tales of Adventurous Travelers, by Barbara Hodgson, 2002,  and Maiden Voyages: Writings of Women Travelers,  edited by Mary Morris, 1993.

Course leader Gail Sanderson, JD

pianos in the park

Six artist- painted pianos attracted dozens of onlookers the other night -all had smiles while listening to lively music played by professional musicians. After the performance, the pianos were wheeled to six locations in downtown Sarasota for the public to play at leisure. Have you tried one yet?