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Hermitage STARs Showcase Their Work

Hermitage STARs Showcase Their Work

Friday, July 20, 4-6 p.m., at the Hermitage

Four public school arts teachers from around the state will exhibit and discuss the work they have achieved during their three-week residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood.

Four Florida public school arts teachers will showcase and discuss the work they’ve developed during their three-week stay at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Friday, July 20, 4-6 p.m., at the Hermitage, 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. The event is free and open to the public.

The four artist/teachers are the winners of the 2018 State Teacher/Artist Residency program (STAR), presented by the Hermitage and the Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE). They received a three-week summer residency, July 2-22, at the Hermitage, where they live and work as artists, without any expectation, schedule or demands.

Marisa Flint, a visual arts teacher from Edgewood Junior/Senior High School in Merritt Island, will hold an open studio and demonstrate encaustic painting (painting with hot wax). Rosemary Shaw, a visual arts teacher from U.B. Kinsey/Palmview Elementary School of the Arts in West Palm Beach, will lead guests in a participatory art activity in her studio. Travis Damato, a strings specialist teacher at Muller Elementary Magnet School in Tampa, will perform jazz standards on trumpet. Laura Tan, an art teacher at Southside Elementary Museum Magnet School in Miami, will show her work, including self-portraits in watercolor.

“These exceptional educators are also artists,” says Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage. “They need time to pursue their own artistic work. Creativity is like a muscle, and like other muscles, it needs to be exercised. The STAR program gives them the rare opportunity to experience an ambience where artists from around the world come to get motivated and connect with the artist within. Stepping back from the demands of everyday life can inspire leaps in creativity.”

Florida arts educators apply for the Hermitage summer residencies through FAAE. Applications are open to all Florida music, visual art and creative writing teachers. Since the start of the program in 2011, 39 teachers have represented 20 Florida counties. Residencies last for three weeks and culminate with a free community program on the Hermitage’s beachfront campus.

“We look forward to seeing what this latest group of STARs will create,” says Rodgers. “It’s an honor to celebrate Florida’s top arts educators.”

 

Martyna Majok First Woman Playwright to Receive 2018 Greenfield Prize in Drama

The Hermitage Artist Retreat along with its partner the Philadelphia-based Greenfield Foundation announce that Playwright Martyna Majok has won the 2018 Greenfield Prize, given this year in Drama. Majok joins only three other playwrights who have previously won this prestigious award, Craig Lucas (2009), John Guare (2012) and Nilo Cruz (2015). She is the first female playwright to win. Recipients of the Greenfield Prize receive a $30,000 commission for a new work which can be presented to an audience in two years. In addition, they receive time and space to create the work at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, FL (Sarasota County).

Click here to read the full Broadway World article. Continue reading “Martyna Majok First Woman Playwright to Receive 2018 Greenfield Prize in Drama”

Click here to read the full Broadway World article. Continue reading “Martyna Majok First Woman Playwright to Receive 2018 Greenfield Prize in Drama”

Greenfield Prize Honors Photographer with New Commission

Photographer David Burnett was understandably tongue-tied when he received a phone call a week ago informing him that he had won the 10th Greenfield Prize, the first given in the field of photography. “This is really exciting,” he said by phone to a crowd of Greenfield Prize supporters and donors gathered in a Sarasota penthouse. “I’m speechless. I’ve got to tell you that I’m watching ‘Fences’ right now and enjoying how August Wilson can put words together so beautifully and I’m sorry that I’m not able to do that.” Read the rest here.

Thank You for Meeting “The Challenge”

YOU DID IT! An amazing group of 88 people donated to the Hermitage during the recent 24-hour Giving Partner Challenge! This is up from 66 donors last year. Once all the “dust has settled” at the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, the Hermitage will be receiving more than $20,000 – thanks in part to matching dollars provided by The Patterson Foundation.

HUGE THANKS to our 2016 Giving Challenge Donors! Steve and Dale Adler (in honor and memory of Syd Adler), Sam Alfstad, Peggy Allen, Caroline Andrus, Darrell Ayers, Alana Badinger, Craig Badinger, Judy and Pat Ball, Susan Barrett, Debbi Benedict, the Willa and Robert Bernard Fund, Carol White Bold and Larry Bold, Arts Alliance of Lemon Bay, Judy Bremer, William Buttaggi, Patricia Caswell, Jim Chandler, Mary Clement, Deborah Cohen, James and Kim Cornetet and the Bjork Sanders Donor Advised Fund, Carol Crosby, Ilene Denton, Annette and Tom Dignam, Joan and Jim Dusenbury, Sandy and Paul Eppling (in memory of Rose Ebeltoft), H. Wayne Ferguson, Carolyn Fitzpatrick, Melissa Granberry-Pranke, Linda and David Green, Linda Gross, Sandra Hammonds, Marilyn Harwell, Mildred Headdy, Christine and Richard Hess, Pencie Huneke, Charlotte Isaacs, David Katz, Carole Kleinberg (in memory of Ted J. Shears), Gerlinde Kohl, Thomas Koski, Lucy Laides, Dorothy Lawson (in honor of Ina Schnell), Diane Ledder, Arthur and Marcella Levin, Sharyn Lonsdale (in honor of Linda Mansperger), Ruth and Andy Maass, Kerry Mack, Linda and Mike Mansperger, the Martin Family Fund, Rita Mazer, Hannah and Gregory McDaniel, Susan McLeod, Charmaine McVicker, Carolyn Michel (in honor of Bruce Rodgers), Vance Mixell, Michelle Morris, Don Morrison, Sara and Larry Myers, Anne Patterson, Margaret Pennington, Charlotte and Charles Perret and Family Fund, Michele Redwine, Bruce Rodgers, James Rogers, Joy Rogers, Nancy Roucher, Lisa Rubinstein (in honor of Bruce Rodgers), Don and Linda Schilke, Stephanie Simmons, Harvey Small (in memory of Jeanie Small), Audrey Snyder (in memory of Robert B. Snyder), Laura Soule, Shannon Staub, Zoe Strecker (in honor of Patricia Caswell), Cynthia Stuhley, Elizabeth Van Riper, Sheila Weiss, Barbara Williams (in memory of Jean and Denzyl Williams), and Karen Williams.

Librettist Mark Campbell Talks at the Sarasota Opera

At dinner on the beach his first night at the Hermitage Mark Campbell regaled us with backstage stories until the stars were out. This year his operas will premiere at the Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Philadelphia and the Santa Fe Opera. You too can come under the spell of his words by just showing up at the Sarasota Opera House at 10:30 am Oct. 26. Click Mark, whose opera Silent Night received the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, will talk about the recent boon in contemporary American opera, the joys and challenges of working in the art form, and give a preview of the five new operas he premieres in 2017.

At dinner on the beach his first night at the Hermitage Mark Campbell regaled us with backstage stories until the stars were out. This year his operas will premiere at the Houston Grand Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Philadelphia and the Santa Fe Opera. Continue reading “Librettist Mark Campbell Talks at the Sarasota Opera”

Book Reading with Hermitage Fellow Josh Barkan

When Josh Barkan walked along the sandy Hermitage path, he was seeing the sands of Mexico and hearing Spanish in his mind. Josh was the first of two writers in residence who wrote timely and important stories of the underworld of Mexico. As I read his stories I too was transported, with a new empathy for those across the Gulf from us. He befriended painter Michael Wyshock while at the Hermitage, so Wyshock invited him to read at the College. Reservations are not required for this reading.

October 13, at 7 pm at the Judy Hughes Studio @ Bayou Ringling College

When Josh Barkan walked along the sandy Hermitage path, he was seeing the sands of Mexico and hearing Spanish in his mind. Josh was the first of two writers in residence who wrote timely and important stories of the underworld of Mexico. As I read his stories I too was transported, with a new empathy for those across the Gulf from us. He befriended painter Michael Wyshock while at the Hermitage, so Wyshock invited him to read at the College. Reservations are not required for this reading.

Josh Barkan’s astonishing collection indelibly captures the beauty, strangeness and brutality of life in modern Mexico. The characters in these pages are everyday citizens—a chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime—simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet inevitably, violence has a way of intruding on their lives. A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal danger. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the lines between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, with tragic results. Though the lives of Mexico’s characters are affected by the corrupt and dangerous subculture of their country, these are much more than simple “crime stories”. They are complicated and deeply moving tales that tap into universal and enduringly powerful themes: love and loss, religion, family relationships, government abuse, sexual identity, professional ambition, cancer; they introduce us to characters that feel fully realized in their humanity.

Fiction Writers Workshop by Eric Goodman

The Suncoast Writers Guild is collaborating with the Hermitage to get the word out to area writers about this free creative learning opportunity. “The Things They Cherish” is a two-hour workshop designed to help writers of all levels in fiction and creative non-fiction, create vivid characters through the use of a totemic object, a talisman, if you will, that carries great meaning for the character. Seating is very limited for this workshop.

The Suncoast Writers Guild is collaborating with the Hermitage to get the word out to area writers about this free creative learning opportunity. “The Things They Cherish” is a two-hour workshop designed to help writers of all levels in fiction and creative non-fiction, create vivid characters through the use of a totemic object, a talisman, if you will, that carries great meaning for the character. Seating is very limited for this workshop.

Eric Goodman has published five novels, most recently the award-winning Child of My Right Hand and Twelfth and Race. He’s published more than 200 essays and short stories in publications including North American Review, Travel and Leisure, Glamour, Los Angeles Times Traveling in Style and Saveur. He directs the Low-Residency MFA at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Goodman lives in upstate New York and Sonoma County, California.

Eric Goodman has published five novels, most recently the award-winning Child of My Right Hand and Twelfth and Race. He’s published more than 200 essays and short stories in publications including North American Review, Travel and Leisure, Glamour, Los Angeles Times Traveling in Style and Saveur. He directs the Low-Residency MFA at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Goodman lives in upstate New York and Sonoma County, California.

You can read more about Eric at his website:
http://www.erickgoodman.com/index.html

Ellen Dore Watson on “The Hermitage Gift”

We provide a special place where

artists can strive for success, and through their successes, our lives can also be

transformed. The Hermitage Gift for artists like poet Ellen Dore Watson – more than 80 last year alone – is only possible

because friends like you make it possible!

Artists of all disciplines are invited to come to the Hermitage to stay and work at our historic campus nestled among the sea grapes and mangroves of Manasota Key.
Writers, composers, and painters connect with artistic passions within while strolling along our shoreline, transforming the time away from normal routines into what most
claim to be their best productive time for creating.


“My Story” by Ellen Dore Watson,

Once darkness fell, I walked out onto the beach as if by gravitational pull. No moon. No

people. Pound and glow of surf. Slightly scary, but energizing. I felt myself opening up, anticipatory.

I don’t think I ever before felt so primed. Back at the house, a new poem

poured out, mysterious and different—a piece I hadn’t realized the manuscript needed.

The first evening of my first stay at the Hermitage. What was it about this place?

The Hermitage is a magic kingdom. The dolphins, mangroves, iguanas, egrets, sharks’

teeth found their way into my work and my psyche. In two weeks, I had intense and

inspiring conversations with four playwrights, a choreographer, a novelist, and a

composer, whose work I will follow and with whom I remain in contact. This amazing

cross-fertilization, and everyone’s single-mindedness about pressing forward, reaching

to new places in their work, was electrifying.

And then there’s the sense of time outside time: permission to read, think, walk,

uninterrupted. I’d been feeling empty, uneasy, stressed about what direction to go with

new pieces and how to re-enter earlier problematic ones. But the perfect balance of

solitariness and fellowship, external and internal immersion, and the fact of having

been invited here—invited!—conspired to produce ease, courage, even joy. When I hit

a snag in a poem, I went kayaking, let my brain stew while I glided, wondering how

those mullets can hurl themselves skyward, and why. But then I thought—that’s what

artists do: thrust themselves out of the familiar, then plop back in to see it anew. We do

what we do because we are who we are, and we are most ourselves when doing it.

I wrote eleven new pieces and re-imagined half a dozen thorny others.

It’s amazing every time. It’s not just driving blind, but finding I’ve taken my hands off

the wheel. Let something seep up from deep underneath—or maybe it’s drizzling down

from somewhere. From outside, from inside. Or just something coming. Forming.

Something we enter, or that enters us. It’s thrilling! Hours fly by, and then here is this

new thing that didn’t exist before, and now I get to play with it—add intention,

discipline, attitude, form—nudge it toward the best it can be. Which is what the

Hermitage does for the artists they gather there: that great a gift.


This is just one story of how a stay at the Hermitage made a difference in the

creative life of an artist, but it is why we are here.  We provide a special place where

artists can strive for success, and through their successes, our lives can also be

transformed. The Hermitage Gift for artists – more than 80 last year alone – is only possible

because friends like you make it possible!

Please visit www.hermitageartistretreat.org and click on the Donate Now Button. Or mark your calendar

for the 24-hour Giving Challenge beginning at 12 noon on Tuesday September 20.

The Patterson Foundation will provide a 2:1 match of donations up to $100 from

new donors (those who did not contribute to the Hermitage during last year’s Giving

Challenge), and will provide a 1:1 match of donations up to $100 from returning

donors! Be the one and make the Hermitage Gift available to future Hermitage.

artists.


The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with

giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community

Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the

Herald-Tribune Media Group.

Do You Remember Our Very First STARs? We Sure Do!

So just how does the STAR program make a difference in these artist/teachers lives? I went back to our first STARs, a wonderful group of teaching artists, several of whom I am happy to call my friends, who came to the Hermitage in 2011, not knowing what to expect from this surprise gift of time and space. I had been here three years and never saw a group of artists bond so tightly. Looking back, they provide insight as to what is so special about the STAR program and how five years later, how much their time here mattered.

So just how does the STAR program make a difference in these artist/teachers lives? I went back to our first STARs, a wonderful group of teaching artists, several of whom I am happy to call my friends, who came to the Hermitage in 2011, not knowing what to expect from this surprise gift of time and space. I had been here three years and never saw a group of artists bond so tightly. Looking back, they provide insight as to what is so special about the STAR program and how five years later, how much their time here mattered.

Andrea Huffman: “After breakfast every day, I looked forward to walking to the studio, opening the doors to let the light in and just focusing on the creative process. It was a pivotal experience for me in accepting myself as a working, professional artist. In a practical way, I have sketches and photos from the Hermitage that I continue to reference in my artwork. In a deeper way, it is a constant reminder to treasure the moments I have to create art, and suck the life out of those moments (to very loosely paraphrase Thoreau). It’s also a reminder of how little I needed to be content…. Oh to recapture that perspective again.

Patricia Cummins, Artist: “The best memories of my residency at The Hermitage reflect on the personal connections made with Manasota Key and the other STARs. There was always something new and exciting to share! I have served a dozen National Park residencies, receiving recognition as an artist. The STAR residency was the FIRST and ONLY that recognized me as an artist as well as an arts educator. Never before has that occurred in my 40-year career as an art teacher. Being recognized by the Hermitage and the FAAE was one of the highlights of my career.”

Alan Sincic, Writer; “What I remember most fondly about our time together was the informal nightly ritual of gathering in the main house to compare notes, socialize, gossip, debate, share the progress we were making, joke around, and generally make fools of ourselves. We were like a little family of expatriates, gathered together on a secret island making secret plans for the future.”

Melissa Pranke, Writer: “There are no standardized tests to pass; no observations or personal development plans to construct. You experience the chance to be creative and to create solely for the purpose of whatever you wish to explore without any strings attached. I fell in love with the philosophy and natural beauty of this place and met people who truly value and cherish the creative spirit. No one will ever bond the way the first of us did. The Hermitage experience is life changing.”