Two Exhibitions of Hermitage Artists to Premiere at Sarasota Art Museum

The Hermitage Artist Retreat is pleased to announce two exhibitions opening at the Sarasota Art Museum in the spring of 2024, featuring a collective twelve Hermitage Fellows, including two past winners of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize. Impact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat (March 10 to July 7, 2024) is curated by former Hermitage National Curatorial Council member Dan Cameron and features the work of ten award-winning Hermitage visual artistsThe Truth of the Night Sky (April 21 to September 29, 2024) is the result of a collaboration that sparked on Manasota Key between two celebrated Hermitage Fellows – visual artist Anne Patterson and composer Patrick Harlin. These two Hermitage artist exhibitions will be running concurrently at SAM from April 21 through July 7, 2024.

Impact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat opens on March 10, 2024, and will be on display to the public 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. The exhibit will feature work across a range of media, including sculpture, painting, installation, video, photography, printmaking, ceramics, textiles, and social practice. Sanford Biggers, a distinguished Hermitage alumnus and internationally renowned artist, is also now a member of the Hermitage’s National Curatorial Council and was a featured guest speaker at the 2023 Hermitage Greenfield Prize Dinner.

“Being the inaugural recipient of the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in Visual Art could not have come at a more crucial moment in my artistic journey,” said Biggers. “The Codex and Code Switch projects that I’m so proud of – and still exploring – were born because of my time at the Hermitage providing me the space to experiment and forge connections while I was there. I’m very glad to now be on the National Curatorial Council. I have been the beneficiary of such kindness and I take the opportunity to pay it forward very seriously and introduce new artists to this remarkable place.”

“We are excited to be partnering with Sarasota Art Museum to share the work of these ten extraordinary Hermitage artists with our community,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “These are some of the leading contemporary artists of this generation, and we are proud that the Hermitage has played a role in shaping and supporting each of their unique practices. Now, thanks to this world-class exhibition at Sarasota Art Museum, the Gulf Coast will get to experience more fully realized work from these visionary creators – including the work of past Hermitage Greenfield Prize winners Sanford Biggers and Trenton Doyle Hancock – under the expert curatorial hand of Dan Cameron. These ten artists present creative ideas that trace their roots and inspiration back to their time here on Manasota Key.”

“The opportunity to work on a curatorial project that brings a vital part of the Hermitage Artist Retreat’s story to the Sarasota Art Museum, while giving me the chance to collaborate with some incredible Hermitage Fellows in the field of visual art is pretty much a dream come true,” added Dan Cameron.

The Truth of the Night Sky, a Hermitage collaboration, is the second exhibition of Hermitage alumni premiering at Sarasota Art Museum this spring – opening on April 21, 2024 and remaining on display through September 29, 2024. After meeting while in residence at the Hermitage Artist Retreat ten years ago and building on their friendship and collaboration, multidisciplinary visual artist Anne Patterson and composer / soundscape artist Patrick Harlin have joined forces to develop this one-of-a-kind immersive experience. 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. A distinguished Hermitage alumna with an impressive background in immersive exhibitions and theatrical design, Anne Patterson has frequently collaborated with musicians, including fellow Hermitage alum Patrick Harlin, to design mesmerizing environments. For this collaborative project, Patterson and Harlin 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 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.

“I am thrilled for the opportunity to present a new body of work on Florida’s Gulf Coast through this inspired collaboration between the Hermitage and Sarasota Art Museum,” said Anne Patterson. “Receiving both space to create and space to present from these two institutions is indeed a wonderful gift.” 

Located on Manasota Key, many artists who are invited to make work on the Hermitage’s historic campus note the immediacy of the vibrant 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. 

“The Hermitage is an amazing place to create,” said Patrick Harlin. “Winning the Hermitage Prize in Composition and meeting Anne has sparked a number of collaborations which would not have occurred otherwise. Every night we would talk about how nature inspires our work and  what we were making. It’s  amazing to realize, years later, how much new work is created at the Hermitage, ours and others, that is now out in the world.” 

“Anne Patterson and Patrick Harlin are both extraordinary talents whose passion for collaboration and ‘big’ ideas embody the mission and spirit of the Hermitage,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “It is thrilling to be able to see a creative partnership take shape, and then to witness these two brilliant minds melding as their concepts evolve from the earliest stages to a fully realized immersive exhibition. We’re excited for Sarasota audiences to experience Anne and Patrick’s vision coming to life at the Sarasota Art Museum, and it’s particularly exciting that audiences can experience this alongside SAM’s concurrent exhibit, “Impact: Contemporary Artists at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.”

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

The Hermitage frequently offers Sarasota audiences a first glimpse into live performances from artists working in music, theater, dance, and more. This collaboration with Sarasota Art Museum will provide Gulf Coast audiences the opportunity to experience more fully realized works of visual art created by acclaimed Hermitage artists.

“The Hermitage has nurtured and supported hundreds of artists since its inception,” said Sarasota Art Museum Executive Director Virginia Shearer. “It is an honor to highlight the important role the Hermitage plays in advancing creative practice and building a rich network of artists who continue to impact and inform the cultural life of our city, and beyond.”

“We are honored to be partnering with Sarasota Art Museum as they showcase and celebrate the work of so many extraordinary Hermitage artists,” said Hermitage Artistic Director and CEO Andy Sandberg. “While all Hermitage Fellows offer our community a ‘sneak peek’ into their work and creative process, these world-class exhibitions will offer Sarasota audiences a more complete look at the expansive talent of these diverse and accomplished visual artists, whose creations often take years to complete.”