Friday, January 9, 2015, the Hermitage Artist Retreat will kickoff its winter season of renowned artist events with Stories, Opera and Art on their beachfront campus: Photographer Barbara Parmet and Painter Rebecca Allan; Playwright/Storyteller Lisa Schlesinger; Sculptor/Writer Zoe Strecker; Composer/Hermitage Trustee Laura Kaminsky

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Dec. 30, 2014


On Friday, January 9, 2015, the Hermitage Artist Retreat will kickoff its winter season of renowned artist events with Stories, Opera and Art on their beachfront campus, 6660 Manasota Beach Road in Englewood. Arrival, historic house tours and open studios with work by Photographer Barbara Parmet and Painter Rebecca Allan begin at 4:00 pm. At 5:00, the beach program starts with readings by Playwright/Storyteller Lisa Schlesinger and learning about the work of Sculptor/Writer Zoe Strecker, followed by video excerpts of an opera, by Composer/Hermitage Trustee Laura Kaminsky. Mother Nature’s sunset concludes the programming at 5:52. Visitors should bring their beach chairs and refreshments. The programming is free. Parking is available at Blind Pass Beach and on the lot across from the Hermitage. Bring your own beach chairs and refreshments. Call 941-475-2098 after 2 p.m. on the day of the event, or visit our Facebook page if weather appears questionable.

“Variety is the spice of life and we certainly have that at the Hermitage,” remarked Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “Each of these exciting artists have lots to share and we look forward to starting 2015 with a full palette of creativity.”

Santa Barbara photographer Barbara Parmet works primarily in black and white images and uses a layering technique to combine antique and digital images. During the open studio she will show slides of her work and have some unfinished prints on display. During her last residency, she took pictures of several Hermitage friends and staff underwater. Those and other series of photographs will be shown.

Rebecca Allan has been exhibiting her abstract paintings in the U.S. and abroad for over 25 years. She is known for richly layered and nuanced paintings that concentrate on ecology, meteorology and geology. Her inspiration comes from an appreciation of nature combined with an awareness of its fragility and endangerment.

Lisa Schlesinger is a playwright and storyteller with many associations, including coordinator for the playwriting program at Columbia College Chicago and as Associate Professor of Theatre Arts at University of Iowa. Her work as been commissioned by the Guthrie Theatre, the BBC, University of Iowa’s International Writing Program and Ensemble Studio Theatre, amongst others.

Kentucky Sculptor/Writer Zoe Strecker will do a reading related to her multi-media, theatre-oriented, performance art. An artist of many disciplines, Strecker’s work includes sculptures, ceramics, multimedia, nonfiction essays, art reviews and documentaries. Presently, Strecker is assistant professor of art at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky.

New York Composer Laura Kaminsky will show video clips of As One, an opera she composed and which recently opened to sellout performances at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). In addition to being a Hermitage fellow, Kaminsky also serves as the first Hermitage artist on its governing Board of Trustees.

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6660 Manasota Key Road in Englewood, FL. It invites accomplished painters, sculptors, writers, playwrights, poets, composers and other artists from all over the world for residencies on its beachfront historic campus. Artists are asked to contribute two services to the community during their stay and as a result, Hermitage artists touch thousands of Gulf Coast community residents with unique and inspiring programs each year. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among three disciplines: visual art, music and drama. The Hermitage also partners with the Aspen Music Festival and School to award the annual Hermitage Prize to a composition student during the Festival. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, call 941-475-2098 or visit the website at

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