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The Hermitage Artist Retreat will present three free community programs in March about visual art. On Friday, March 9th at 5:00 pm, Artist-in-Residence and Basquiat Scholar Chaedria LaBouvier will present a talk entitled Basquiat’s Defacement: Trauma, Majesty and State Violence. The presentation will be at the Alfstad& Contemporary, 1419 5th Street, Sarasota. The following week, on Thursday, March 15 at 4:00 pm, Hermitage Visual Artist-In-Residence Robert Bordo will talk about his art at 530 Burns Court Gallery, Sarasota. The third program is on Friday, March 23 beginning at 6:00 pm on the Hermitage historic campus, 6660 Manasota Key Road. The evening will include an open studio tour of Painter Robert Bordo and beach readings by writers-in-residence. All programs are free but due to limited space in galleries and the possibility of inclement weather, reservations are requested. To reserve your place, call 941-475-2098, ext.8, or online at [email protected]. Those attending the beach event should bring beach chairs and any refreshments to enjoy before or during the readings. As always, all are welcome to stay to enjoy Mother Nature’s sunset, which follows.

“The Hermitage is pleased to present these unique programs on visual art and writing,” commented Hermitage Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “Most people are familiar with art by graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, but many do not know specifically about Defacement or the man himself. Also, many people might not be familiar with the work of our resident painter Robert Bordo but it is found in many collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Meeting Robert will be very special, as will seeing how an artist of his stature works in a beachfront, studio setting. Topping off the programs will be art in the written word by a variety of writers in residence. We hope you can join us for all or any of these artist presentations.”

Hermitage Artist Curator Franklin Sirmans calls Chaédria “A biting new voice in cultural criticism”.  In 2016, a number of Basquiat scholars, academics, art historians and curators convened at Williams College for a seminal talk about Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1983 painting Defacement (The Death of Michael Stewart). The Project, with Chaédria LaBouvier serving as its moderator, marked Defacement‘s proper debut in the public eye. The Project has caught the attention of the art world, academic institutions, social media and pop culture. Since then Chaédria has become one of the world’s leading experts on Basquiat, and will be curating an exhibition in 2019 on Defacement and its scholarship at one of the world’s top museums.

Robert Bordo studied at both McGill University (1967-1970) and the New York Studio School (1971-1974). His work has been exhibited and honored with awards around the world in both group and one-person shows. Public collections include Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; and the American Academy of Arts and Letters and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Among the writers-in-residence will be Mónica Lavín, a Mexican author of six books of short stories. She has won many awards for her work including the Gilberto Owen National Literary Prize, the Elena Poniatowska Ibero-American Novel Prize and a finalist for the Antonin Artaud.

Our artists have so much to share with us,” continued Rodgers. “Join us for an interesting lineup of artist experiences only the Hermitage can provide.”

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. Many of these artists are Pulitzer Prize, Tony, Emmy, Grammy and MacArthur “Genius” Award winners. Artists are asked to interact with 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 sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25, Florida Statutes), and the Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues. 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

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