Hermitage Announces Special January Program in Advance of Two Word-Class Exhibitions 

The Hermitage Artist Retreat announced a newly added program on Friday, January 5th at 5pm on the Hermitage Beach on Manasota Key. This exciting new program will offer a glimpse into the creative process of three distinguished Hermitage Fellows in the midst of creating new work. Multidisciplinary visual artist Anne Patterson and composer Patrick Harlin will share insight into work they’ve developed at the Hermitage, as well as a “sneak preview” into their process for creating their new collaborative immersive exhibition, The Truth of the Night Sky, premiering in April of 2024 at the Ringling College of Art and Design’s Sarasota Art Museum. Before the conversation, visual and multidisciplinary artist Anthony Hawley will open his studio and share in-process works as well as selections from past creations.  

After meeting while in residence at the Hermitage and continuing their collaboration, multidisciplinary visual artist Anne Patterson and composer Patrick Harlin have joined forces to develop the upcoming exhibition at the Sarasota Art Museum: The Truth of the Night Sky. Patterson, who is familiar to Sarasota audiences from previous exhibitions at The Ringling Museum and whose “Divine Pathways” is currently represented in New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, is widely celebrated for her grand environments that immerse the viewer and surround the senses. This original experience opening in Sarasota this spring is augmented by Harlin’s composition “Earthrise,” inspired by the revolutionary photograph taken of the Earth on humanity’s first turn around the moon in 1968. This exhibition will be on display at the Sarasota Art Museum from April 21, 2024 through September 29, 2024. 

Multidisciplinary artist Anne Patterson, a celebrated Hermitage alumna with an impressive background in immersive exhibitions and theatrical design, has frequently collaborated with musicians, including fellow Hermitage alum Patrick Harlin, to design mesmerizing environments. For this collaborative project, Patterson and Harlin, who met and began working together as a result of their time at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, are expanding upon Harlin’s original composition Earthrise (2022), an orchestral piece inspired by the eponymous photograph (1968) taken by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders on humanity’s first-ever trip around the moon. The original composition by Patrick Harlin, who was also the very first recipient of the Hermitage Prize in Composition at the Aspen Music Festival, will play as visitors pass through the galleries. The exhibition will feature several works by Anne Patterson, as well as a suspended tree and her signature satin ribbon installation work. With each step, visitors will travel imaginatively through space and time.

Of their time at the Hermitage Artist Retreat, Patterson and Harlin are fond of saying that their experience was invaluable to their craft and their collaboration, allowing them to achieve new heights, find a unique environmental inspiration, and explore new possibilities in their work. Located on Manasota Key, many artists who are invited to make work on the Hermitage’s historic campus note the immediacy of the night sky around them, augmented by the crashing waves only steps away to create a primal and inspirational connection to nature. The Truth of the Night Sky conveys the sense of collectiveawe and wonderment we may feel under the dome of the stars or in the vibrating air of a concert hall, and it thus channels a message of hope and unity. Anne Patterson’s Hermitage Residency is generously sponsored by Ellen Berman & Roy Cohen.

Anne Patterson and Patrick Harlin have also been collaborating separately on a new oratorio based on Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, alongside two other Hermitage alumni who they met during their residency – Grammy Award-winning contemporary classical composer Christopher Theofanidis and celebrated poet Melissa Studdard.

In addition to the forthcoming exhibit from Patterson and Harlin, Sarasota Art Museum will also be presentingImpact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat from March 10, 2024 through July 7, 2024. This exhibition will feature work from ten nationally and internationally renowned Hermitage alumni artists: Diana Al-HadidSanford Biggers (2010 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner), Chitra GaneshTodd GrayTrenton Doyle Hancock (2013 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Winner), Michelle LopezTed Riederer, the late John SimsKukuli Velarde, and William Villalongo.

A key factor these ten artists have in common is that over the past two decades, each has been a Fellow at the Hermitage Artist Retreat on Manasota Key — a unique experience that contributed to each of their creative processes in a variety of ways. Overseen by guest curator and former Hermitage Curatorial Council member Dan Cameron, Impact represents the first major exhibition in collaboration between the Hermitage and Sarasota Art Museum, followed by and overlapping with The Truth of the Night Sky. The exhibit will feature work across a range of media, including sculpture, painting, installation, video, photography, printmaking, ceramics, textiles, and social practice. Sanford Biggers has remained engaged as not only a Hermitage alumnus, but also now a member of the Hermitage’s National Curatorial Council.

“We are incredibly excited to partner with the Sarasota Art Museum to present these two world-class exhibitions from Hermitage Fellows to Sarasota audiences,” says Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “This program on January 5th will offer an exciting ‘sneak peek’ into the making of these artists’ work and their unique collaboration.” Throughout the year, the Hermitage introduces Gulf Coast audiences to many exceptional Hermitage artists, and “in the case of the performing arts,” Sandberg adds, “we are frequently offering Sarasota audiences a ‘first look’ at more fully realized works of music, theater, and more. Now, this collaboration with Sarasota Art Museum provides Sarasota audiences the opportunity to experience more complete works created by acclaimed Hermitage visual artists.”