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Art Center Sarasota's New Exhibitions Works From Illustrator Mary GrandPré And More

Art Center Sarasota's 2022-2023 exhibition season opens with four exhibits, October 15-November 23.

Art Center Sarasota's New Exhibitions Works From Illustrator Mary GrandPré And More

Art Center Sarasota's 2022-2023 exhibition season opens with four exhibits, October 15-November 23.

Mary GrandPré's "Conjuring the Backstory" showcases the artist's compelling abstract, mixed-media paintings. "Focus: New College Art" is curated by New College professors Kim Anderson and Ryan Buyssens and features artwork from the best and brightest of New College's thesis-level students. Elizabeth Barenis's "Palmistry" features the artist's latest acrylic paintings.

"The Figure" is a juried show celebrating the human form across a range of artistic mediums. Erin Wilson, the associate curator of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, will jury this exhibition. The opening reception for all four exhibits is Saturday, October 22, 6-8 p.m. Art Center Sarasota, 707 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For information, visit www.artsarasota.org or call 941-365-2032.

Mary GrandPré is best known for her illustrations of the Harry Potter books and her conceptual art for animated films like "Antz," and "Ice Age." But there's a lesser-known side to GrandPré's creativity. The Sarasota resident is also an accomplished painter. "Conjuring the Backstory" showcases her latest series of mixed-media abstract paintings. What's the story behind these compelling images? "I believe that every person and every place has a back story," says GrandPré. "That could be a mystery, a lost memory, or an untold secret that will bring new meaning when revealed." The artist adds that, "Discovering that narrative in painting, and the exploration that leads to it, is where my joy lives. Whether I'm inspired by a story, a memory, or a place in my dreams, my hope is that my finished work will allow each viewer to wander through and discover a rewarding interpretation of their own."

The "Focus: New College Art" Exhibit is a collection of the best and brightest from New College's rising talent as curated by New College professors Kim Anderson and Ryan Buyssens. As a scavenger, collector and painter, Anderson's work re-imagines art historical traditions located in the afterlife of thrift store novelties, vernacular photography, and home movies. Painted into Baroque-inspired narratives, these quotidian vestiges of our material culture function as a domestic counterpart to the masculine heroism of historical painting traditions, while reconciling the implicit codification of gender, power, and looking located in our cultural artifacts and personal possessions. Ryan Buyssens expresses his commentary on logic and progress through the manipulation of various media. Recently, he has been exploiting the interactivity of objects and environments to create new experiences for participants. The artist's toolbox includes electronic sensors and microcontrollers, motion picture film and video, computer-aided design, 3D printing, CNC machining, and laser-cutting.

Elizabeth Barenis's "Palmistry" features the artist's latest acrylic paintings, which celebrate the Florida landscape in new and unusual ways. "The patterns of light and color created among the glorious, towering palm fronds remind us of the little surprises and mysteries that are always happening around us in nature," says Barenis. "A language beyond words, beauty takes many forms, and is always available for us to find it, should we take the time to do so." The St. Petersburg-based artist was named a 2017 Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist grantee and was also a 2018 participant in the International Painting Symposium at the Mark Rothko Art Center in Daugavpils, Latvia. Using her own photography as reference, Barenis paints in a style she calls "Abstract Precisionism," which refers to her use of clean lines and generalized shapes. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally.

"The Figure" celebrates the human form in all media, including painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, mixed media, digital arts, and sculpture. The juror is Erin Wilson, associate curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.

Art Center Sarasota was the first arts and cultural institution in Sarasota. Founded in 1926 as the "Sarasota Art Association" by Marcia Rader, the art supervisor for the Sarasota County schools district, the Association was later incorporated as a not-for-profit organization in 1943 and has been in its current location in the Sarasota Bayfront Cultural District since 1949. Art Center Sarasota is a member-supported organization that offers curated and juried exhibitions, adult and youth education programs, outreach initiatives for underserved youth, and culturally related public programming. Art Center Sarasota is admission-free and open to all public; its mission is to inspire individual creative expression, nurture artistic talent and provide the community with accessible and diverse visual art opportunities.




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