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Community Spotlight: Art Center Sarasota Wins WEDU


Lissette Campos, “Host of Positively Tampa Bay,” Emma

Thurgood, exhibition coordinator at Art Center Sarasota; Lisa

Berger, executive director of Art Center Sarasota, and ABC

Action News Jack Harris, co-host of AM Tampa Bay on 970

WFLA, at WEDU Be More Awards ceremony; photo by

Mamarazzi Foto.

SARASOTA – Art Center Sarasota earned WEDU’s 2014 “Be More Enriched Award” at the ninth annual Be More Awards ceremony on February 20 in Tampa. The organization received the honor for “Southern Exposure,” its outstanding 2012-2013 exhibition season. WEDU’s “Be More Enriched Award” acknowledges cultural organizations that contribute to the spirit of adventure, exploration and education in the regional arts scene. Other finalists included Asolo Rep, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Florida Studio Theatre, Glazer Children’s Museum, and Ruth Eckerd Hall.

“Enriching our community through the visual arts is the reason we’re here,” says Lisa Berger, Art Center Sarasota’s executive director. “We’re deeply honored that WEDU recognized our dedication to the artistic life of Sarasota and the region.”

Berger adds that the organization’s exhibition committee, along with exhibitions coordinator Emma Thurgood, designed “Southern Exposure” to focus on Florida-based artists. Of the 19 exhibitions, 17 featured works by Florida artists, including “Artists Who Made Sarasota Famous: 1960-Present,” “For the Love of Art: Florida Division of Cultural Affairs Individual Artist Fellowship Award Recipients,” "”Black Muse 2013: Artists from the Manasota Chapter of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History,”

“Curated Unknowns,” a two-part series showcasing emerging Florida artists, and “Florida Flavor,” a juried exhibition of Florida resident artists. The season also featured “Leaf | Textile | Purpose,” a community-wide installation project led by textile designer Jackie Peters Cully. According to Berger, nearly 31,500 people visited “Southern Exposure” during its run. She adds that Art Center Sarasota’s local impact didn’t end with its 2012-13 season.

“We’re committed to showcase engaging, relevant art by contemporary artists from around the region and the state,” says Berger. “Our commitment extends to artists and art enthusiasts of all ages, who strive to take their technique and understanding to the next level.” She adds that the center offers dozens of educational programs, lectures, art classes and workshops throughout the year.

For more information about Art Center Sarasota, call 941-365-2032, or visit www.artsarasota.org.


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