- February 2: Art Center Sarasota’s 2016-2017 exhibition season, entitled “Common Ground,” continues with four new exhibits. “Classic Fantastic,” in Gallery Four, open to the public beginning January 26, is an open, all-media, all-subject juried exhibition juried by Shawn Pettersen, an artist, sculptor and fine arts technician at Ringling College of Art and Design. The other three galleries, with curated shows, opens February 2 “Marzipan,” in Gallery One, features a large-scale installation and other new works by Andrea Dasha Reich. “The Magic Circus,” in Gallery Two, features paintings influenced by circus memories by Robert Burridge. “ASALH: Black Muse 2017,” a curated exhibit of works by the member artists of the Association for the Study of African-American Life and History, is in Gallery Three, and The opening reception for all four exhibits is Thursday, February 2, 5-7 p.m. Art Center Sarasota is located at 707 N. Tamiami Trail, in Sarasota. For more information, call 941-365-2032 or visit www.artsarasota.org.
- February 1, 9, 22: Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy’s (RCLLA) Winter 2017 Academy Talks series continues with “Flat Humid and Hurricanes: Let’s Move to Florida,” presented by Richard Gelpke, Ph.D, Wednesday, February 1, 3-4:30 p.m. “The Religions of Southeast Asia,” presented by Southeast Asia expert Paul Sarno, is Wednesday, February 22, 3- 4:30 p.m. In addition to the two February Academy Talks, RCLLA’s lecture series continues with “Laugh Your Way to Health,” Thursday, February 9, 3-4:30 p.m. Academy Talks and lectures are held at the Academy’s interim headquarters at Temple Beth Sholom, 1050 S. Tuttle Ave., Building #1, Sarasota. General admission for Academy Talks is $6 general admission; $5 for members of RCLLA. The lecture is $10 general admission; free for members of RCLLA. To register, visit www.lla-sm.org or call 941-309-5111.
- February 1-16: Violins of Hope: In 1996, Israeli master violinmaker Amnon Weinstein began to collect and carefully restore violins that had extraordinary histories of suffering, courage, and resiliency. These violins are precious artifacts from one of the greatest human tragedies. Some were played by Jewish prisoners in Nazi concentration camps; others belonged to the Klezmer musical culture, which was all but destroyed in the Holocaust. Weinstein has dedicated his life to locating and restoring violins that were played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, so that they can give voice to the voiceless—their owners and the millions who perished at the hands of the Nazis. He calls these instruments the “Violins of Hope” in the belief that, where there was music, there was hope. The Jewish Federation of Sarasota-Manatee and the Mazur Family Fund are bringing Weinstein and 16 of these violins to the Sarasota-Manatee area, February 1-16. Numerous community events featuring live music by members of the Sarasota Orchestra, alumni from The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast and State College of Florida’s Presidential String Quartet are scheduled during the three-week event. (A full schedule of events open to the public is included below.) An extensive in-school outreach program for hundreds of students from area schools, including those from St. Martha’s Catholic School, Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School, Manatee High School, Braden River High School, Riverview High School, Sarasota High School, Booker High School, Venice High School, Pine View and North Port High School is also planned.
February 3: Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery presents “Natural Wonders: New Works by Amer Kobaslija, Claudia Ryan and Helen Shulman,” February 3-25. The exhibit is curated by Mark Ormond. A reception, with the artists, is Friday, February 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m. The gallery is at 1288 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota. For more information about this exhibit, call 941-366-2454 or visit www.allyngallup.com.
February 3: Ringling College Lifelong Learning Academy is presenting “Encore! Create Your Next Chapter with Joy & Purpose,” Friday, February 3, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Academy’s east campus at the State College of Florida in Lakewood Ranch, 7131 Professional Parkway, East, Lakewood Ranch. This daylong conference features powerful speakers who will shatter the myth of mid-life crisis; interactive sessions conducted by life coaches and educators; testimonials by people who have successful transition stories to share; and roundtable discussions.
- February 19: Art Center Sarasota presents the ninth annual “iconcept” art couture runway event, Sunday, February 19, in The Mall at University Town Center at Saks Fifth Avenue. This year’s event features a runway fashion show of creative, avant-garde ensembles created by area artists from unconventional materials. The evening also includes a gourmet, sit-down dinner, and a silent auction offering an assortment of inspired gifts and experiences. A “Hello Gorgeous” photo booth for guests to create lasting memories of the evening will also be available. Tickets to the show and a three-course dinner with wine are $175. General admission is $75, which includes a light buffet. Doors for dinner guests open at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. Doors for general admission guests open at 7 p.m., followed by the fashion show at 8 p.m. Dinner guests are seated around the runway and served a three-course, inspired dinner, including wine. General admission guests can enjoy dinner by the bite and cash bar in the mall. Guests can watch the show from an excellent vantage point above or downstairs in open seating. This year’s event chair is Terri Najmolhoda, vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue. Event presenting sponsors are the Herald-Tribune Media Group, Saks Fifth Avenue, The Mall at University Town Center, Mary Ann Robinson, and Libertyport IT & Communications. Funds raised through this event help Art Center Sarasota fulfill its mission to provide Sarasota with opportunities for creative expression and art appreciation through art education, exhibitions and cultural programs. Reservation deadline is February 17. For information and reservations, call 941-365-2032 or visit www.artsarasota.org/iconcept2017. For additional info, please email Lisa Berger at [email protected].
- Deadline for entries: March 3: The Central West Coast Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association (CWC-FPRA) announces a call for entries for the prestigious “Image Award” competition, which is conducted annually to recognize outstanding public relations programs. Entry is open to all communications professionals regardless of membership affiliation with FPRA. The four divisions in which to enter are: Public Relations Programs defined as a broad-based communications endeavor using two or more public relations tools. Printed Tools of Public Relations, defined as any printed material used for a public relations purpose, either standing alone or as part of a public relations program. It includes written material and specialty items. Audio/Visual/Online Tools of Public Relations, defined as any online, audio, or audio/visual presentation or program that serves a public relations objective. Student Projects in Public Relations. This division is restricted to entries submitted by full- or part-time students enrolled at an accredited Florida university or college. The deadline for entries is March 3, 2017, at 5 p.m. Visit www.fpraimage.org for more information, guidelines and to submit entries. Please select “Central West Coast Chapter” to begin the online submission process. Winners will be announced at a luncheon in April.