Regional Artists Shine at 7th Annual Sarasota Craft Show
Scott Causey, Katherine Kaya, Susan Gott and Su Griggs are just a few of many acclaimed regional artists participating in the 7th edition of this celebrated juried show.
(Sarasota, FL) Ceramic sculptor Scott Causey, jeweler Katherine Kaya, glass artist Susan Gott, and mixed media artist Su Griggs are just four of more than 100 acclaimed artists hand-chosen to participate in the 7th annual Sarasota Crafts Show happening at Robarts Arena, December 4-6.
“Scott Causey‘s electric fired ceramic animals bestride with confidence the gap between the self-consciously primitive and the sophisticated. Their tamed and slick panache makes me want to own one!” Those of the words of Henry Geldzahler, former curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and one of the many fans of the brilliantly colored interpretations of everyday animals that has earned the Sarasota-based artist acclaim from across the country. A Mississippi native and a ceramist since childhood, Causey began an apprenticeship with Rob Reedy at age 16 and landed in Sarasota when Reedy became an instructor at the Ringling College of Art and Design. Wanting to get away from the potter’s wheel and vessel form, Causey returned to what had inspired him as a child, making animals. And, as playful as Causey’s beloved creatures are, the process behind making them is anything but child’s play. Causey’s sculptures are cast over a rigid base “skeleton,” bisque fired, and then broken into pieces. “Each piece is then glazed separately and fired, with some pieces undergoing a second glazing and firing in order to create that ‘just-right’ color, depth and design before being reassembled,” explains Causey. “The entire process can take a few weeks but no two pieces ever look the same.”
Inspired by the clean lines of modern architectural forms and a love of color, Katherine Kaya creates jewelry that combines silver, gold and colored gemstones using a variety of hand-fabricating techniques. The self-taught artist performs all of the creative aspects of her work, from the initial design to the final finishing touches, using a variety of hand-fabricating techniques. “Sterling silver is my metal of choice because of the cool and modern feel the color has,” says Kaya. “I like to texture, polish and oxidize it, and then embellish it with details in gold for contrast, plus gemstones. There are always gemstones! I am drawn to anything that is modern with clean lines and geometric shapes. Throw in a few industrial elements and my absolute love of color and this is where the inspiration for my jewelry comes from. And at the end of the day, seeing a client walk away with excitement in their eyes and a smile on their face all because they are wearing a piece of jewelry I created is why I love what I do!”
Making a return to this year’s show is Tampa-based glass artist Susan Gott. Gott has worked in glass for more than 30 years, specializing in cast glass to create one-of-a-kind sculptures inspired by “an interest in mythological imagery, symbolism and philosophies from historic and ancient cultures.” Gott is a recipient of the American Craft Council’s Award of Excellence and her work is found in major galleries, private and corporate collections, including Raymond James Financial, Tampa General Hospital, The Kessler Collection, All Childrens’ Hospital, Polypack, and Disney Corporate Collection. Her work is also in permanent museum collections, including the Alexander Brest Museum, Cafesjian Center for the Arts in Armenia, and The Polk Museum of Art. Gott has also created large-scale public art works for the Cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg, the University of Central Florida and HARTline’s University Area Transit Center.
Sarasota mixed-media artist Su Griggs is also back this year, with more of her hand-painted ceramic figures which have won numerous awards, and have been displayed at shows and exhibits and coveted by collectors throughout the country. All of Griggs’ ceramic work is original, hand-built, using a low-fire clay body and a coil/slab method of construction. The surface is carved, textured, manipulated, and then bisque fired. She then treats the surfaces as if they were paintings, with washes of color: oil, acrylics, glazes, pencils and/or pastels.
Griggs’ inspirations are many.
“I reach deep within to connect to the creative energy of the universe,” she says, explaining that each piece is an exploration of color, texture, magic, symbolism and power of this creative energy. “I let the process flow and unfold in a natural, organic way, stepping aside to become the observer.” The artist also taps into her childhood, spent traveling extensively throughout Europe, visiting the great museums and drinking in the various cultures of the world. “Each piece I create expresses a different dimension and depth of the spirit. I never know what might occur. Life is a mystery that way!”
The work of these and more than 100 other fine artists and craftspeople will be at the Sarasota Craft Show, December 4-6, at Robarts Arena. The show, now in its 7th year, features high-quality work in ceramics, decorative fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed-media, paper, wearable art, wood, painting, sculpture, furniture and photography by the nation’s top artists. Tickets are $11 per day; $10 for seniors; $6 for students; and $13 for a three-day pass. Children under 10 are admitted free. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, December 4 and Saturday, December 5, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, December 6. Robarts Arena is located at 3000 Ringling Boulevard in Sarasota. Free parking. For directions or information about the venue, please call 941-365-0818. For more information about the artists and event, please call 845-355-2400 or visit www.sarasotacraftshow.com.
“This region is home to a vibrant arts community,” says Richard Rothbard, who took over management of the event (formerly the American Craft Show Sarasota) seven years ago. “We’re always excited to see the high caliber of work being produced by the participating artists from this area.”
Hailed by artists nationwide as one of the more innovative promoters empowering artists and artisans working in the fine arts and crafts industry, Rothbard and his wife Joanna are the power couple behind American Art Marketing, a firm that has produced annual fine art and crafts events in the northeast for more than 30 years, including the celebrated Berkshires Arts Festival, the Arts Festival of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, and American Fine Craft Shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the DC Armory in Washington, D.C., New Jersey and the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut. The Rothbards also own and operate An American Craftsman Galleries with four locations in New York City, including a new gallery in Lincoln Center, and Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
Rothbard notes that the indoor ambience at Robarts Arena offers a civilized alternative to crowded outdoor art fairs. “It’s a more personal experience,” he says. “You can take your time, visit with the artists, and start a real conversation about their work. And Mother Nature won’t ruin that conversation if she gets in a bad mood, thanks to the controlled, air-conditioned environment. The sun’s not beating down on you—or hiding behind clouds. Artists can show their work in literally the best light.”