The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with Florida Studio Theatre (FST) and Alfstad& Contemporary, are pleased to present a unique afternoon of theater and art featuring two artists presently in residence at the Hermitage, Friday, March 6th at 3 pm

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The Hermitage Artist Retreat, along with Florida Studio Theatre (FST) and Alfstad& Contemporary, are pleased to present a unique afternoon of theater and art featuring two artists presently in residence at the Hermitage. On Friday, March 6th at 3:00 pm, FST founder and national, award-winning storyteller Jon Spelman will be telling stories in FST’s Keating Theatre, 1241 N. Palm Avenue, in Sarasota. During the performance, painter Felix de la Concha will be creating a painting of Spelman in real time. The performance, including questions and answers, is expected to last 90 minutes. Following the program, the audience can visit Alfstad& Contemporary, 1421 5th Street, in Sarasota’s Rosemary District, to see the Spelman painting, as well as more works done by de la Concha during his six-week residency. Also on exhibit will be works by Hermitage Fellow Michael Wyshock. There will be a reception at the gallery for both artists, Spelman and de la Concha. The gallery will be open that evening until 8:00 pm. Both artist events are free and open to the public, however reservations for FST are suggested due to limited seating. To reserve your general admission place call the FST box office 941-366-9000.

“Jon Spelman is a Sarasota legend and has lots of stories to tell,” remarked Bruce E. Rodgers, executive director of the Hermitage. “He has been a solo artist since leaving FST in the 80s and has won many awards for his work. To be able to share him with the community he was so strongly attached to is a special event in many ways. Add to that the unique opportunity to watch Felix de la Concha paint the Spelman experience in real time will be amazing.”

Before founding FST, Jon Spelman was an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Florida State University and Associate Artistic Director of The Asolo State Theatre. He then founded FST, and was its Artistic Director for the first seven years until he began full time as a solo performer. Spelman has been called “World-Class” (Los Angeles TIMES), and “a stunning wordsmith and a riveting performer” (Washington POST). He has performed on NPR, at the Smithsonian Institution, The Round House Theatre at Lincoln Center, and around the world. Spelman has received three EMMYS, presented by the Washington Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has been honored with a Children’s Radio Award, an Achievement in Children’s Television Award, has been admitted into The Circle of Excellence of the National Storytelling Network, and is listed in WHO’S WHO IN AMERICA.

Felix de la Concha was born in Spain and divides his time between Madrid and Iowa City. His paintings have been shown in many countries, including the US, Europe and South America. His work often focuses on portraiture, usually done in a single session with his subject.

Program Director Patricia Caswell added, “He is also known as a Spanish realist painter who captures subtle detail and light changes in architectural subjects. He sat for days on end in all kinds of weather intensely observing the light and color of the Hermitage buildings until we the viewers in awe, saw them anew. Viewing his paintings is a lesson in observation. Anyone who loves the Hermitage will enjoy looking at his 12 paintings of our historic old Florida buildings.”

Come enjoy this extraordinary afternoon of art and artists,” continued Rodgers. “The Hermitage prides itself on its community programs that allow us to share some of the world’s best artists with the Sarasota community, at no or little charge. This program is a perfect example of what that means and the gift it brings.”


About the Hermitage Artist Retreat: 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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