On Friday, May 20, the Hermitage Artist Retreat will hold a free community beach event on its gulf-front campus, featuring two writers and a visual artist who are working there in residency

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On Friday, May 20, the Hermitage Artist Retreat will hold a free community beach event on its gulf-front campus, featuring two writers and a visual artist who are working there in residency. The evening begins at 6:30 pm with an exhibit of Rob Tarbell’s Smokes Rings in the Palm House, 6630 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. From 6:45 to 7:15, Tarbell will talk about his unique process of creating beautiful images from smoke, one of the most unusual techniques you can imagine. At 7:30 the program shifts to the beach where Poet Kiki Petrosino and Writer Carmen Gimenez Smith will read from their work. Sunset follows at 8:15. Those attending should bring their beach chairs and any refreshments. As always, the program is free but reservations are suggested, as seating becomes limited if conditions require the entire program to be held indoors. Call 941-475-2098, ext. 8 to place your name on the reservation list.

“We are pleased to be able to introduce the community to these amazing artists,” said Hermitage Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “When not enjoying residencies, all three are teaching, Rob at Ringling College, Kiki at University of Louisville and Carmen at New Mexico State University. Inviting them to take time to work at the Hermitage has no doubt been very inspiring for them. Meeting and learning about these immensely talented Fellows will also, no doubt, be inspiring for all who attend.”

Rob Tarbell’s work is very unusual. His exhibit, created from smoke, never ceases to amaze the viewer. Hearing him talk about the process is just as fascinating. These haunting and compelling images will be on display in the Palm House throughout May. Rob is a Sarasota resident whose work has been exhibited throughout the US, including recently at Sarasota’s Altstadt & Co.

Carmen Gimenez Smith’s work explores issues affecting the lives of females, including those of Latina identity, and frequently references myth and memory. She is the author of a memoir and four collections of poetry and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. In addition to writing and teaching, Carmen is also a publisher at Noemi Press.

Kiki is a talented and recognized poet whose work has appeared in Best American Poetry, The New York Times, FENCE, Gulf Coast and elsewhere. Her two books of poetry, Hymn for the Black Terrific (2013) and Fort Red Border (2009) were published by Sarabande Books. She directs the Creative Writing Program at University of Louisville. She will be reading new poems, as well as revisions of some originally created at a previous Hermitage residency.

Join us for a special evening on our beach, meeting and listening to talented artists, enjoying your refreshments and then watching the sunset,” Rodgers continued. “What a spectacular way to start the weekend!”

The Hermitage is a not-for-profit artist retreat located at 6630-6660 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. Hermitage community programs are partially sponsored by the Women’s Exchange and the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. In addition, the Hermitage awards and administers the prestigious Greenfield Prize, an annual $30,000 commission for a new work of art, rotating among 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, ext.5 or visit the website at www.HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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