The Hermitage Artist Retreat presents two opportunities to interact with their artists-in-residence at the end of January: Christopher Merrill, Felix de la Concha, Patrick Harlin, Evan Ziporyn and Christine Southworth

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January 20, 2015


The Hermitage Artist Retreat presents two opportunities to interact with their artists-in-residence at the end of January. The first program, on Thursday, January 29th at 7:00 pm, features Writer, Poet, Iowa International Writers Workshop Director and US Cultural Envoy Christopher Merrill talking about his work at the Historic Asolo Theater, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. The very next day, Friday, January 30th, Music on the Beach will highlight both visual art and music on the Hermitage campus, 6660 Manasota Key Road, Englewood. Beginning at 4:00 pm, Portrait Painter Felix de la Concha will hold an open studio of his work, as well as composer Patrick Harlin, who will show a video of the Hermitage he created with the help of a drone along with his musical composition to accompany the video. MIT composers Evan Ziporyn and Christine Southworth will join Patrick and Felix on the beach at 5:00 with a program that features a sampling of music and discussion of all the artistic processes. Sunset concludes the program at 6:10. Call 941-475-2098 after 2 p.m. on the day of the event, or visit our Facebook page if weather appears questionable.

Another amazing group of talented artists will share their time and talent with us on January 29 and 30th,” remarked Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers. “Chris Merrill is an amazing writer, teacher and emissary for the arts. His presentation in the Historic Asolo will leave you impressed and amazed. Then Friday’s beach event will continue to astound with the amazing range of talent working within our little beach cottages.”

On Thursday, Christopher Merrill will read a sampling of his work. There will be poems from his most recent collection, Boat (2013); prose from The tree of the Doves: Ceremony, Expedition, War (2011), which was worked on at the Hermitage and possibly something from the book he is writing now for a series called The Life of Trees. In an interview format, ED Bruce Rodgers will ask him about his work with the State Department, UNESCO, and the NEH, including teaching poetry in Afghanistan. Admission to the Historic Asolo evening is free to museum members, same day ticket holders and students. Others pay $5. Tickets however are required and can be reserved by calling the box office at 941-360-7399.

Artists presenting work on Friday include Felix de la Concha who 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 focuses on portraiture, usually done in a single session with his subject. Felix is expected to be working live on the beach during the other artists’ presentations.

Patrick Harlin is a composer and the first recipient of the Hermitage Prize, awarded annually at the Aspen Music Festival and School. According to his website, Patrick’s work spans both music composition and sustainability with research in soundscape ecology. This work has taken him to remote places in the United States as well as the Amazon Rain Forest.

Awarding-winning Composer Evan Ziporyn comes to us from MIT where he is the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Music. Ziporyn is a clarinetist and founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. In addition to composing for his own CDs, Ziporyn composes for film projects, opera and other groups, including Ethel, Kronos Quartet, the American Composers Orchestra, American Repertory Theater and the Boston Modern Orchestra Project.

Christine Southworth is a composer and video artist, whose work has been performed throughout the US, Europe and Indonesia. She has a BS in math from MIT and an MA in Computer Music and Multimedia Composition from Brown University. Her MIT-based group Gamelam Galak Tika has performed her compositions at venues including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Cleveland Museum of Art, several Bang on a Can Marathons and the Bali International Arts Festival.

“What an array of artists to meet, learn about, and enjoy,” continued Rodgers. “One night in northern Sarasota County and followed by an evening in south county. We try very hard to schedule our programs within proximity of the entire community and these two events are a perfect example of how we make that happen. It’s all free, or nearly free. Come to both or one, whatever fits your calendar. But come to something and be amazed and excited by new artistic work being created in Sarasota County before it goes out into the world.”


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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