by Wendy Lyons Sunshine, Sarasota Scene Magazine, September 2021
Earlier this summer, 80 creative artists around the country received a package in the mail. Inside were a handful of sharks’ teeth, a small conch shell, and an invitation.
Getting this package was akin to winning the lottery. Just as each shell and fossil had been chosen from a wide universe of seaside treasures, those who received them were chosen from a wide sea of artistic talent, explains Andy Sandberg, artistic director and chief executive officer at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.
The lucky recipients are gifted with a rare opportunity—a fully paid artists’ residency at the Hermitage’s historic Manasota Key campus in Englewood, a time to relax away from daily responsibilities, recharge creative batteries, and advance their craft in a beautiful coastal setting.
“Nothing could have prepared me for the beauty of that first visit to the grounds,” says flutist and composer Claire Chase. “I was completely blown away by the setting, by the ethos of the organization, and by the wonderful warmth of everyone I met. There’s truly no place like it in the world.”