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Grant Launches Artist in Residence Program in Osprey04/24/2012 - Marjorie Floyd
Osprey, FL- Gulf Coast Community Foundation awarded a grant of $64,788 to launch an Artist in Residence Program at Bay Preserve in Osprey, Florida. The program welcomes career visual, literary and performing artists whose work is inspired by the environment. Artists compete for the opportunity to spend time away from their normal working space and take up residence in The Floyd C. and Flo Singer Johnson Center for the Arts. The building is a restored 1931 carriage house with an 850 square foot apartment and 600 square foot studio and gallery below on the shore of Little Sarasota Bay. The artists are given extraordinary access to properties like Bay Preserve which are protected by Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast, a not for profit land trust. “Visiting artists enrich our community,” said Conservation Foundation President Christine P. Johnson. “Our hope is that their creative work will increase appreciation for our coastal environment and broaden interest in conservation.”
That hope is being realized through Jerry Sparkman, AIA, NCARB, the incoming Artist in Residence. Sparkman is a partner in the Sarasota firm ToTeMS and he will use his residency to create an exhibit for Italy’s Venice Biennale 2012. “It is arguably the most prestigious Architectural Exhibition in the world and to our knowledge in the 117 year history of the exhibition nobody else has been invited from Sarasota County,” Johnson explained. The theme this year is "Common Grounds" and for Sparkman that means the natural environment that informs his designs. Specifically, Siesta Key sand features prominently in his concept. Sparkman’s residency will also engage Ringling College of Art and Design in a collaborative effort to showcase the beauty of our “common ground”. More than 40,000 visitors are expected to tour the ToTeMS exhibit which will be held in the 15th Century Palazzo Bembo from August 29 - November 25, 2012.
“The Gulf Coast Community Foundation grant was essential to launch the Artist in Residence program and already it is enhancing the reputation of our community internationally as a center for the arts and the environment,” said Johnson.
"protecting our bays, beaches and barrier islands"
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