Encore! Booker VPA Artists at Art Ovation Hotel
Booker VPA has enjoyed a fruitful relationship with the Art Ovation Hotel downtown. This year’s partnering was kicked off this week with VPA Artists Ella Swartz and Jinx Molina exhibiting artworks in the lobby.
Swartz and Molina are the featured artists in residence, which means they are artmaking as a public attraction. As artists in residence, they engage with hotel patrons, discuss their processes, sell artworks, and more.
Both artists have described the experience as transformative. For Swartz, who is negotiating a price on two of her paintings, it’s been a deep dive into the life of a pro. It’s been a foray into sales and value, self-promotion and more.
Molina said they would never have been able to attempt anything like this as a freshman. Their work is deeply personal–“all great art comes from tragedy,” they said. Their personality, shy. Showing up this way is a major feat and one that will likely never be forgotten.
Not only was it great to see them in this role, but the night I went, Booker VPA alum Hayden Richau was entertaining guests in the lobby, where he sang and played piano.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but the VPA Theater renovation project is progressing nicely. If you’ve driven by, seen that visqueen fencing, and wondered what lies beyond the facade, here’s your chance to get a sneak peek.
Some plumbing foundation has been installed and tested. These pictures also illustrate how the raked house floor has been flattened. Now, those who’ve enjoyed performances here can recognize the house only by the brick walls.
VPA Music Students Perform at Holocaust Remembrance Event
VPA Music students were invited to perform at “My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me: A Conversation with Jennifer Teege” on March 23 at Temple Beth Sholom. The Boxser Diversity Initiative sponsored the event, which was an interactive conversation with the author.
“My Grandfather Would Have Shot Me,” an international bestseller, is a book born of a shocking discovery: At age 38, Teege learned that her grandfather had been a Nazi commander.
The students sang the spiritual “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen.”
That’s a Wrap! VPA Film and Theater Collaboration Projects ‘In the Can’
VPA Film and Theatre students completed their joint project this week with raves from the students and plans from the teachers to continue this in years to come.
The goal was to give Film students an opportunity to direct actors so that they could apply theoretical lessons derived from the greats Sidney Lumet and Judith Westin. Additionally, the students learned together differences between acting on stage and for the screen.
The teams spent seven periods over the course of about a month working together. The classes culminated in filmed scenes from “Spanglish” and “Being the Ricardos.”
Sunny Smith and John Timpe developed and led the project.
VPA Artist at Pastry Art
Look, Ella Swartz is unstoppable, and she has an entire exhibit up at Pastry Art downtown. The collection features Swartz’s text-heavy works that offer incendiary social commentary.
Next time you’re on Main Street, dash in to locally owned Pastry Art for a beautiful cup o’ joe and take in Swartz’s work while sipping.
Apr. 1-2 | 7 p.m. @ Booker High School
The line between reality and fiction is blurred in this dance show that explores our tendency to fool others as well as ourselves. Examining deception and awakening, the masks and the revelations, Fool*ish features pieces in modern, ballet, hip hop, African and Latin dance genres.
Infinite: Music Showcase
April 29-30 | 7 p.m. @ BHS Campus
In our final music showcase of the season, we take to the skies in INFINITE. Featuring music from Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Williams, along with original compositions, arrangements and songs from Booker VPA Music and Staff. our musical selections will create an aura of the air, the sky, and flight, where you will truly feel infinite.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
May 6-7 | 8 p.m. @ The Sarasota Opera House
Hang on to your tunics! This madcap farcical tale of a slave attempting to win his freedom by helping his master woo the girl next door is a hilarious adventure of epic proportion. Forum is one of Sondheim’s most celebrated and popular musicals, winning several Tony awards and enjoying numerous revivals and screen remakes.
Reel Life: Annual Film & Animation Showcase
May 17 | 7 p.m. @ Burns Court Cinema
The VPA Film & Animation Annual Showcase will entertain and edify with screen stories that shine a light on life as our students see it. They will also offer a glimpse of the day-to-day process students use to bring their art to life. The showcase is a mix of live-action, animated shorts, and documentary work. This screening opportunity is made possible thanks to The Sarasota Film Society.