Following our Fellows

Congratulations to Hermitage Fellow and recipient of the 2009 Greenfield Prize in music, Eve Beglarian. Earlier this month, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), a nonprofit arts organization founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns, awarded Eve the third annual Robert Rauschenberg Award, which includes an unrestricted cash prize of $35,000. The two previous awardees were choreographer Trisha Brown and the late composer Elodie Lauten. Eve, along with Ruthie Stephens and a creative team from New York, was here this past November working on the new musical piece “Descent,”” presented in workshop at Circus Sarasota. Composer and Hermitage fellow Phil Kline is also part of the “Descent” creative team.

This new feature will share just some of what past and present Hermitage Fellows are sharing with the world.

Congratulations to Hermitage Fellow and recipient of the 2009 Greenfield Prize in music, Eve Beglarian. Earlier this month, The Foundation for Contemporary Arts (FCA), a nonprofit arts organization founded by John Cage and Jasper Johns, awarded Eve the third annual Robert Rauschenberg Award, which includes an unrestricted cash prize of $35,000. The two previous awardees were choreographer Trisha Brown and the late composer Elodie Lauten. Eve, along with Ruthie Stephens and a creative team from New York, was here this past November working on the new musical piece “Descent,”” presented in workshop at Circus Sarasota. Composer and Hermitage fellow Phil Kline is also part of the “Descent” creative team.

The work of artist Jeffrey Beebe continues on exhibit at the Bravinlee Programs gallery in New York City, until Feb. 21, 2015. Jeffrey Beebe The Battle of The Invoked Impossibility: Further Adventures in Refractoria features maps, diagrams, charts, portraits and drawings.

Hermitage Fellow Mala Iqbal has been busy. She is participating in two group shows, Pallets & Palates: Placing Taste Sound and Sight, at the Asian Arts Intitiative in Philadelphia, through Feb. 20, 2015 and Interventions II at 257 State Street in Hudson, NY through Feb. 1. Mala’s new book of drawings, “Be Home Here, is also available. Check it out here.

Filmmaker and Hermitage Fellow Bill Morrison and composer Michael Gordon, a Miami native, will discuss their long-term collaboration and show excerpts from their films at The Miami Jewish Film Festival on January 27. Bill Morrison’s films were recently showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

The Geva Theatre of Rochester, NY will present a reading of Playwright Rich Orloff’s “documentary-style” play “Chatting with the Tea Party” on January 26. Rich’s new play “Jennifer’s Birth” will get readings February 5-7 at WorkShop Theater Company in NYC. To see if Rich’s work is coming near you, check out his website.

Travels with our Friends

I was sorry to miss December at the Hermitage, especially the beach event that had so many people in attendance. Thanks to all of you who helped out in so many ways while I was away.

Marianne Schafer, Coordinator, Friends of the Hermitage

I was sorry to miss December at the Hermitage, especially the beach event that had so many people in attendance. Thanks to all of you who helped out in so many ways while I was away.

Actually, I heard all about it via the Hermitage website all the way on the other side of the world in Indonesia where Mike and I spent the month celebrating the marriage of our eldest son to a lovely young woman we have come to adore.

After the wedding in Jakarta, we spent two weeks travelling with the newlyweds to Yogyakarta and the island of Gili Trawangan off the coast of Bali and Lombok. Yogyakarta is known as the center of classical Javanese fine art and culture. Highlights of our travels were seeing a traditional Javanese ballet, hearing the beautiful strains of a Javanese orchestra, and shopping for batiks, tapestries, and fine silver filagree jewelry where the various processes were demonstrated for us by skilled artisans. We also witnessed a 4 a.m. sunrise over Borabadur, the largest Buddhist archaeological site in the world.

We spent Christmas on Gili Trawangan where I felt like I was living in a National Geographic article. We arrived there by boat, having waded into the Indian Ocean with our luggage to an awaiting water taxi. We spent the last week relaxing in a three-bedroom house a swimming pool with a soothing waterfall that was a welcome relief from the tropical heat. Breakfast was brought to our dining table; and we ate the rest of our meals in restaurants along a narrow, dusty cobblestone road traversed by bicycles, horse-drawn carts and pedestrians—no motor scooters or cars allowed.

All the time I was reminded of the Hermitage and the wonderful artists we have met and enjoyed there. Seeing a culture on the other side of the world made me realize more than ever how alike we all are, no matter where we live on this precious planet. Art is truly the universal language of mankind.

Now I am happy to be back home enjoying the cultural life that is the Hermitage and looking forward to all that the Hermitage has to offer in the New Year. Hopefully, you will continue to make the Hermitage a part of your life, too and we hope to see you at the February 12 meeting of the Friends of the Hermitage.

Sixteen Geniuses in January

During January, sixteen creative geniuses from twelve states and a province continuously awakened us from our conventional ideas.

During January, sixteen creative geniuses from twelve states and a province continuously awakened us from our conventional ideas.

As a boy, novelist and essayist Tony Eprile was forced to flee South Africa with his family to protect his father, a publisher of a black newspaper. His book, The Persistence of Memory recounts a boy’s coming of age during apartheid. When Tony returns in the fall, he’s agreed to join our informal Hermitage book club in conversation about his story. Everyone is welcome. You can contact Sharyn at admin@hermitageartistretreat.org for information.

River barges, waterwheels and water itself become instruments in the hands of Chinese-American composer Byron Au Yong from Seattle. He is engaged with long-term musical creations that often have to do with the environment and the ecosystem. He is working on a commission to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Fairmount Water Works in Philadelphia using chorus, dancers – and water of course.

Nebraskan Anthony Hawley’s paintings aren’t hanging on a wall. You are turned into a voyeur to peek through a painting to see another painting in a set of four forming a cube. Abstract color and texture meet your view.

Nearly 200 people visited open studios to see the work in progress of Barbara Parmet’s photography, Rebecca Allan’s paintings, and slides of monumental scale, extremely creative participatory artwork by Zoe Strecker. Also participatory is Barbara’s work, which featured several Hermitage volunteers floating underwater modeling for her camera among shafts of wet sunlight.

Wind and grey skies forced the beach reading inside, making for an intimate exchange. The crowds were so fascinated that the artists had to repeat their talks three times each so everyone could squeeze in to hear. Lisa Schlesinger read her essay published in the New York Times about her husband fathering a child for a lesbian couple. Composer Laura Kaminsky showed scenes and told the story of her Opera As One, dealing gracefully and lovingly with the two people inside one transgender body.

Off campus, Sarasota playwrights and Florida Studio Theatre interns were the first to hear Colorado playwright Carter Lewis’ new work. They then got to write for themselves as Carter lead them through a creative writing workshop.

In January the Hermitage is brimming with genius: Writer, and National Artist Advisory Committee member Christopher Merrill from the University of Iowa; Greenfield Prize winner Trenton Doyle Hancock from Houston; writer Jonathan Garfinkel from Montreal; novelist Carin Clevidence from Northampton; composers Patrick Harlin from Seattle and Christine Southworth and Evan Ziporyn from MA and MIT are all in residence this month, creating and shaping their work, at our idyllic and inspiring campus.

News From The Friends

The Friends of the Hermitage met on Dec. 18 at the Hermitage. It was not only an opportunity to catch up with each other, but also to enjoy a holiday lunch featuring homemade latkes, salads and desserts. But the biggest treat was hearing award-winning author Tony Eprile read from his upcoming memoir and then answer questions about his career and stay at the Hermitage. The Friends in attendance also got to visit visual artist Anthony Hawley’s studio.

The Friends of the Hermitage met on Dec. 18 at the Hermitage. It was not only an opportunity to catch up with each other, but also to enjoy a holiday lunch featuring homemade latkes, salads and desserts. But the biggest treat was hearing award-winning author Tony Eprile read from his upcoming memoir and then answer questions about his career and stay at the Hermitage. The Friends in attendance also got to visit visual artist Anthony Hawley’s studio.

This is just one example of the opportunities our dedicated volunteers have to meet our artists and learn about their work. If you would like to join them, please call Sharyn Lonsdale at the Hermitage or email admin@hermitageartistretreat.org so you can join us at our next meeting.

Thanks so much to Linda Schilke and members of the Lemon Bay Garden Club for decorating the Hermitage House living and dining rooms for the holidays. Thanks to our Friends who helped out at the Dec. 5 Beach Reading, to Dale Mancini for helping in the office and to Jacobina Trump for helping with the Hermitage Library.

Where in the World is Marianne Schafer
Friends coordinator Marianne Schafer couldn’t be with us for the December meeting but before she left, she shared this message.

Greetings from Los Angeles where Mike and I are spending a few days with our son Ben before the three of us depart for Indonesia. The trip that has been almost a year in planning is finally taking place. In a few days our eldest son will be married in Jakarta to a lovely young woman we are happy to welcome into our family. If you are a Facebook friend, I will be posting comments and photos of our experiences on the other side of the world. Wherever you are spending the holidays, I wish you joy and all good wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

With gratitude for all that you do to support the Hermitage and its mission,

Marianne

George Pappas

George Pappas of Sarasota is one of the longest serving members on the Hermitage Board. But long before he became involved with the Hermitage, he had made art his career having earned a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and an Ed.D in Art Education from Penn State. He made arts education his career and in 1993 he retired as Professor and Chair Emeritus from the art department of USF Tampa. He and his wife Sarah moved to the Sarasota area in 1997 after she was named president of Manatee Community College in Bradenton.

George Pappas of Sarasota is one of the longest serving members on the Hermitage Board. But long before he became involved with the Hermitage, he had made art his career having earned a Master’s Degree from Harvard University and an Ed.D in Art Education from Penn State. He made arts education his career and in 1993 he retired as Professor and Chair Emeritus from the art department of USF Tampa. He and his wife Sarah moved to the Sarasota area in 1997 after she was named president of Manatee Community College in Bradenton.

George had already served on the Board of Trustees at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, an artist community in New Smyrna Beach, when he met with Hermitage founder Syd Adler and Bruce a decade ago and learned of their dream to start an artist retreat in this area.

George said he and Sarah look forward to the Greenfield Prize Weekend every year and they also enjoy the partnership with the Ringling Museum and the performances by Hermitage artists at the Historic Asolo Theater. “And of course the Artful Lobster is a great place to bring friends to introduce them to the Hermitage Campus and enjoy a fantastic meal!”

He has remained involved and committed to the Hermitage mission. “The Hermitage is important to this area because it brings a variety of artists from all over the nation to our county where they interact with our patrons, school and college students and the community at large.”

“A highlight of my many years on the Board is seeing how Bruce has lead us into innovative partnerships with local and national groups and how we’ve grown in stature and prestige…Artists are so appreciative of the experiences we provide for them.”

And George should know. A respected artist in his own right, he’s had more than 60 solo exhibitions. His paintings have been seen throughout the United States, including at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

His work has been featured at the National Gallery of Art, the deCordova Museum and the Ringling Museum and many others.

George is still retired and Sarah Pappas is now President of the William and Marie Selby Foundation. They have two children, Tom, an artist living in New York and Jane, a trainer for Wells Fargo Bank, who lives in Jacksonville, and two grandsons.

Artful Lobster Huge Success!

What a picture perfect day was enjoyed at the Hermitage on Saturday November 15 for our annual Artful Lobster fundraiser! 225 guests enjoyed the music of Ruthie Stephens, the lobster feast by Michael’s on East, and the themed decorations by Joy Rogers and her decorations committee. Kudos to event chair Susan Brennan and her hardworking team that raised more than $50,000 net to support the Hermitage mission!

What a picture perfect day was enjoyed at the Hermitage on Saturday November 15 for our annual Artful Lobster fundraiser! 225 guests enjoyed the music of Ruthie Stephens, the lobster feast by Michael’s on East, and the themed decorations by Joy Rogers and her decorations committee. Kudos to event chair Susan Brennan and her hardworking team that raised more than $50,000 net to support the Hermitage mission!

Preservation Paddle Raise

So how do we care for this magnificent historic and environmental site? Of great help in the future will be an all-terrain service vehicle, a John Deere “gator,”” made possible by a grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation that was matched through the Artful Lobster Paddle Raise with gifts from the following:

Ellen Berman, Gene and Rita Bicknell, Larry and Carol White Bold, Mark Cole, Linda Crawford and Arthur Adelberg, Joan Engelbach, Susan Erhart, Patrick Henningan, Bette and Arn Hoffman, Susan Hollins, Whitmore Kelley, Key Agency, Inc., Dorothy and Bogie Korszen, Cornelia Matson, Gary and Lynne Mormino, the Paver Family, Mario Petrini and Sandra Nohre, Jocelyn and Jeffery Stevens, and Jean and Jim Wurdeman. Thank you all!

Paddle Raise generosity did not stop with full funding for the service vehicle. Judith Hydeman and Joy P. Rogers are supporting the restoration of the Hermitage chimney. Others who contributed are funding the chimney project as well as a new skylight in the Whitney house and modifications to the deck on the Hermitage House. Our thanks go to these generous contributors: Karen and Jon Albert, Caroline and Dyckman Andrus, Allen Barry, Robert Blattberg, Dan Denton, Linda and David Green, Jim and Ellie Manser, Donald Oakley, Cherry Richards, Tatiana and David Staats, Jessie Townsend Teague, and Tracy Tucker and Joel Howard.

Annual Fund

Once a year we invite our Hermitage “family” – that’s you! – to contribute in support of our mission to nurture creativity, preserve Florida history, protect native ecology, and serve our Gulf coast communities. If you haven’t yet made a year-end, tax-deductible gift, please click on the DONATE NOW button today!

We want to celebrate the “early” donors to the 2014-2015 Annual Fund Campaign – gifts received as of December 15: Caroline Andrus, Carol Ankerson, Juanita and Ross Branca, Doug and Carol Burns, Carol and Michael Clark, Rosalie Reagan Conlon, Dan Denton, Ilene Denton, Joan and Jim Dusenbury, Wendy Hacker, Millie Headdy, Joel Healy, Christ and Dick Hess, Pense Huneke, Barbara and Charles Kahn, Alyssia Lazin Kapic, Susan and David Katz, Josephine Kixmiller, Christine Koski, Jane and Joel Larus, Cathy Layton, Diane Ledder, Linda Long, Bobbi and Will Lorry, Cornelia Matson, Maggie and John Propst, Ronda Rohde, Jo and Stan Rutstein, Susie Samp, Marianne and Mike Schafer, Eva Slane, Nancy and Jack Sneider, Cathy Snyder, Bonnie Southwind, Karen Stults, Cecilia Sweet, and Michele and Rick Tromble.

Plus, you will be pleased to know that many of the artists who come to the Hermitage “pay it forward” with their own generous contributions. As of December 10, our thanks to Melvin Bukiet, Carin Clevidence, Bob and Coleen Cording, Barbara Ellman, Anne Patterson, Sandra Phaup, Bernard Rands, Barbara Ras, Daniel Sklar, Robert Spano, and Y York for their Annual Fund donations.

Palm Circle

We are pleased to recognize three new members of the Palm Circle – our group of donors who contribute $2,500 or more annually to the Hermitage Artist Retreat – Ginger and Bob Bailey, Dan Denton, and Susie Samp. Thank you!

The Economics of ETHEL on the Beach

As the sun touched the water, ETHEL musicians faced the horizon vocalizing a sound that echoed the whoops of joy the crowd shouted during their applause. Nearly 400 voices joined in a low sonorous “woooooooo” that slowly gained volume and intensity until it reached a deafeningly beautiful pitch as the last ray disappeared. Then silence. Instinctive silence. ETHEL made music from everything – even us.

Be the Music, Do the Math: The Economics of ETHEL on the Beach

By Patricia Caswell, Co-Founder and Program Director

As the sun touched the water, ETHEL musicians faced the horizon vocalizing a sound that echoed the whoops of joy the crowd shouted during their applause. Nearly 400 voices joined in a low sonorous “woooooooo” that slowly gained volume and intensity until it reached a deafeningly beautiful pitch as the last ray disappeared. Then silence. Instinctive silence. ETHEL made music from everything – even us.

For a creative week the old wooden Hermitage floorboards became a drum for improvised chant with ancient flute, voice and cello. Violinist Kip Jones never stopped making music with everything he got his hands on: a miniature Australian didgeridoo; bells; sticks; and a home-made shaker of a Publix hummus container filled with shells. Nothing and no one escaped becoming a musical sound experiment. ETHEL members sang during lunch, joined by a brave Nebraskan fiction writer, Hermitage fellow Tony Eprile. When Tony wanted cellist Dorothy Lawson to pass the salt, he had to request it in a melodic passage.

The week culminated in a concert on the beach with these classical musicians’ chests resonating with their chanting voices and the strings of their instruments. Grammy award winner Robert Mirabal wove the music with a story about a boy named “Drop”, a lesson of land and water conservation observed a thousand years ago.

New York City’s virtuosic ETHEL is one of the most acclaimed string quartets in contemporary classical music. They went from residence at the Hermitage to a resident gig at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can see them there, or in February, at the Ringling Museum’s Historic Asolo Theater.

If you are more business minded than “artsy,” then you may not care about the profound, aesthetic high 400 people cumulatively experienced at sunset. You might however like to know that this was a free concert. Generally tickets for ETHEL are $30 or more. At $30 each, this concert was worth $12,000. We program ten of these beach events each year, in addition to 50 or so off-campus educational programs. You’ve got to admit the Hermitage gives a great gift to the people of Florida whether you join us to “be the music” or stay home and “do the math.”

Ernest

Meet Ernest, local celebrity/mascot/muse of the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Ernest has inspired tree carvings, poems, essays and paintings. He has been photographed countless times from countless angles. He is not shy and can often be found perched on the deck of the main house and the beach cottage. His feathers are not easily ruffled.

Meet Ernest, local celebrity/mascot/muse of the Hermitage Artist Retreat. Ernest has inspired tree carvings, poems, essays and paintings. He has been photographed countless times from countless angles. He is not shy and can often be found perched on the deck of the main house and the beach cottage. His feathers are not easily ruffled.

While Ernest did not sit for his festive hat and jingle bell anklet, he was, as always, happy to hold a pose. Credit Bruce Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage, for creating this holiday version of our beloved Hermitage heron.

Watch out Toulouse the turtle, we see an elf costume in your future.