Hermitage Artist Retreat Presents Fridays @ 5; These free art and literary programs feature works-in-progress, artist talks, workshops, demonstrations, readings, music and performances by renowned artists

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Hermitage Artist Retreat Presents

Fridays @ 5

These free art and literary programs feature works-in-progress, artist talks, workshops, demonstrations, readings, music and performances by renowned artists.


(Sarasota County) Gifted creators of all artistic disciplines are invited to live and work at the Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood. During their residencies, they share their talents with the community. Fridays @ 5 is the latest iteration of this outreach. This free series encompasses artist talks and readings, glimpses of the creation of works-in-progress, and live performances of music, theater, poetry and more. All presentations take place at 5 p.m. Three are on the beach; and three are in the Palm House. Whether a program is indoors or outdoors, attendees are invited to stay and enjoy the beach afterwards. The Hermitage Artist Retreat is located at 6630 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. Reservations for this series are required and can be requested at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org. For more information about Fridays @ 5 or the Hermitage, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

Bruce Rodgers, the Hermitage’s executive director, explains that these cultural gatherings exist to give the community the rare opportunity to interact with celebrated authors, poets, artists, composers and performers from around the world. “Artists who are invited to be at the Hermitage are asked to give free programs for the community during their stay with us.” He adds that, in addition to programs at the Hermitage, many artists also participate in outreach programs at area schools and colleges.


Upcoming Programs:


October 12

Word and Image: The Many Worlds of Regina Scully and Roberto Bentivegna: New Orleans-based artist Regina Scully will discuss the micro-universes she creates in her paintings and showcase some of her works in an exhibit entitled “Small Paintings and Works on Paper.” (This exhibit runs through December in the Palm House at the Hermitage, 6630 Manasota Key Road; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.) Italian screenwriter Roberto Bentivegna will read from his witty, challenging screenplays.

Roberto Bentivegna is a director and screenwriter whose short films have received acclaim at film festivals in the United States and around the world. His screenplays include “Shella,” written for celebrated photographer Albert Watson; “The Eel,” starring Sam Rockwell and Jon Bernthal; and “A Hard Day.” Bentivegna was awarded the Carla Kuhn fellowship, the Hollywood Foreign Press Award, the Alfred P. Sloan Screenwriting Award, and was a finalist in the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship.

Regina Scully lives and paints in the Holy Cross neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. She was the recipient of the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant Award. Scully’s artwork is showcased in a host of private and public collections, including the Microsoft Art Collection, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation Collection, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. For more information, visit www.reginascully.com.


October 26

I Am A Camera: A Photography Workshop with Ken Papagan: This participatory workshop will investigate the essential elements of creating aesthetically pleasing photography, both in color and black and white. His topics will include composition, light and shadow, exposure, and practical techniques.

In 1973, Los Angeles-based photographer Ken Papagan had his first exhibit in the lobby of Polaroid’s corporate headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1975, he was awarded a fellowship to pursue his master’s degree in photography and cinema at The Ohio State University, where he subsequently taught photography. In 1977, Papagan began a successful, 30-year career in television as a writer, director, and producer. In 2010, he left his career in mass media to return to his first love—photography. Today, he continues his work with documentary, experimental, and abstract landscape photography.


November 30

Write Your Story for the “Modern Love” Column of the New York Times with Lisa Schlesinger: Author and playwright Lisa Schlesinger will lead a workshop on how to get your love story in print in The New York Times. At the end of the workshop, participants will send in the stories and see who gets published. (Her “Modern Love” essay, “A Choice Not as Easy as It Looked,” is at this link: https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/02/fashion/My-Husbands-New-Son-Modern-Love.html)

Lisa Schlesinger is a recipient of the NEA/TCG Playwrights Residency Award, a winner of the BBC International Playwriting Competition, and a nominee for a USA Artist Fellowship. Her plays include “In the Wake of the Graybow Riots,” “Celestial Bodies,” “Wal-Martyrs,” and “The Bones of Danny Winston.” Her work has been published in The New York Times, American Theater, and Performing Arts Journal. For more info, visit www.lisaschlesinger.com.


December 7

Sublime Ridiculous at Sunset with Geoff Sobelle: Theater artist Geoff Sobelle will offer the first glimpse of the performance piece he is working on at the Hermitage.  He uses mime, illusion, movement, and even clownlike physical comedy to act out his unusual and evocative stories. Be prepared.  There is sure to be some audience interaction. No experience required.

Geoff Sobelle is a theater artist dedicated to the “sublime ridiculous.” He is the co-artistic director of rainpan 43, a “renegade absurdist outfit” devoted to creating original actor-driven performance works. Using illusion, film and outdated mechanics, R43 creates surreal, poetic pieces that look for humanity where you least expect it and find grace where no one is looking. R43’s shows have won the Innovative Theatre Award, Drama Desk nomination, OBIE award.  He has won the Edinburgh Fringe First Award, Carol Tambor Award, Total Theatre Award, and New York Times Critics Pick.  Sobelle is a 2006 Pew Fellow and is a 2009 Creative Capital grantee.


December 14

Sunset Performance Art and Poetry with Sheena Rose and Caryl Pagel: The dynamic Caribbean multimedia artist Sheena Rose and poet Caryl Pagel will offer a glimpse of their works-in-progress and discuss their artistry and creative process.

Sheena Rose is a contemporary artist from Barbados. In 2016, she received her Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Fulbright Scholarship. Rose’s multimedia creations include hand-drawn animations, drawings, paintings, mixed-media, new media, and performance art.

Caryl Pagel is the author of two poetry collections: “Twice Told,” and “Experiments I Should Like Tried at My Own Death.” Her essays have appeared in AGNI, The Collagist, Entropy, Essay Press, Wave Composition, and The Mississippi Review. Pagel is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press and the director of the Cleveland State University Poetry Center. She is an assistant professor at Cleveland State University, where she teaches poetry and nonfiction in the NEOMFA program.


December 28

Song and Story on the Beach with Mark Ari: Ari will celebrate the anniversary edition of his novel, “The Shoemaker’s Tale,” with a beachfront reading from the book, as well a performance of new stories and songs.

            Hailed “a true original” by Kirkus Review, Mark Ari is a writer, painter, and musician.  2018 saw the publication of his critically-acclaimed novel, “The Shoemaker’s Tale,” in an electronic anniversary edition funded by the National Endowment of the Arts. “The Shoemaker’s Tale” “seamlessly blends Jewish folktales and mysticism with the universal quest for life’s meaning” (New York Times).  According to the Jerusalem Post, “The shoemaker’s adventures are portrayed with an artist’s sensitivity and we get an exquisite and humorous portrait of life in 18th century Poland … rich with the ironic wisdom of the great Yiddish folklorists” (Miami Herald).


All programs are subject to change. Please check the Hermitage website or Facebook page to check program status. The Hermitage Artist Retreat is located at 6630 Manasota Key Road in Englewood. For more information about Fridays @ 5 or the Hermitage, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


About the Hermitage Artist Retreat:

The Hermitage is a nonprofit artist retreat located in Englewood, Sarasota County, Florida. It invites accomplished artists in all disciplines for residencies on its beachfront campus which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its artists, who are asked to interact with the community, touch thousands of Gulf Coast residents with unique and inspiring programs. Hermitage fellows have included Pulitzer, Tony, Emmy, Grammy and McArthur Fellowship award winners. The Hermitage awards the $30,000 Greenfield Prize for a new work of art, and the Aspen Music Festival awards the annual Hermitage Prize in Composition. For more information about The Hermitage Artist Retreat, visit www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.


The Hermitage is supported by:

Hermitage programs are supported, in part, by philanthropist Gerri Aaron; by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts; by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes).

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