SARASOTA’S SEASON OF SCULPTURE: Shared Ground
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: www.SarasotaSeasonofSculpture.org.
(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