Creativity in the Time of Covid–May 9, 2021

Out & About: Art Students Gain Real World Experience

A feast for the eyes: check it out at L & L Hawaiian BBQ.

The VPA Visual Art freshman class has been hard at work on assignment to create the tropical Hawaiian ambiance for a new BBQ joint in town. They were commissioned to paint a public mural for the L & L Hawaiian Barbecue restaurant.

The experience transcended lessons in art technique; it was an opportunity for inspired collaboration. Students gained an important understanding of designing an image with client perimeters. There were also important lessons in time management, transportation, set-up and preparation of a space with constrictions, and paint handling and material needs in a public setting. 

A second part to the new work was painting blank surfboards with associated designs for installation before the restaurant opens. All boards were uniquely painted in abstract designs. Students involved were Sophia Chursina, Isabella Perez, Hong Nguyen, Amanda Sauceda, Isabel Serrano, and Annabelle Truong. 

Hollywood Nights a Sizzling Success!

Myles Summerlin (12), Emily Orsino (10), and Rosie Wolff (12) on the red carpet.

Cinebistro CMX had all the trappings of Tinseltown on May 5 with the premiere of new student films at the 2021 Sarasota Film Festival Hollywood Nights Young Filmmakers Showcase. Congratulations to the VPA Film & Animation program for its accomplishments this year: three films from the department were selected to be screened, and Booker VPA entered the only two animated shorts in the bunch.

Congratulations to John Timpe, Lori Burton, and the filmmakers, including Rosie Wolff, Myles Summerlin, and Isabella Zaccone, “Sorry for the Delay;” Toby Jaffee, Tallulah Bonifield, Maren Timpe, Bella Harney, and Madeline Seah, “Chick Flick;” Alaya Knowlton, Chloe Galleher, Bella Harney, Emily Orsino, Hannah Garcia, Chris Boorman, “Adrift.”

If you missed the live event, you’re in luck! Here’s the link to the showcase, which you can stream for free! It ain’t Cinebistro, but if you have a reclining chair and some great food at home, you can recreate the experience without even putting your shoes on!

Senior Art Show Inspires

The VPA Senior Art Show is open thru Friday, May 14, daily from 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m., with extended hours on May 12.

Don’t miss the VPA Art Senior Thesis Showcase, which is a collection of insightful and innovative works that reveal the ideas, dreams, and societal commentary of the graduating VPA Visual Art class. If you’ve never seen a Visual Art exhibit, do yourself a favor and check it out–the skill and insights on display are impressive.

The showcase, at the Art Center Sarasota, can be viewed in person, but reservations are recommended by calling (941) 365-2032. This Wednesday, VPA Senior Art instructor Jeff Cornwell will be there until 7 p.m., and rumor has it a few of the artists will make an appearance as well. All other days, the exhibit closes at 4 p.m. The final day is Friday, May 14.

Tickets Now Available for Jam! and Sing!

Get your tickets today for VPA Music’s Jam!, a rock concert with a special appearance by Booker Middle’s Modern Bands and Sing!, a choral concert featuring performances from SSA+S Music students. Seating is limited and tickets must be purchased at least 24 hours prior to the concerts, so order yours today at The concerts will be performed outdoors in pod seating following CDC guidelines. Both events will be livestreamed and tickets for that are available as well.

Original Music Released at Composition Showcase

A hallmark of our VPA Music Program is well-rounded musicianship, and as a part of the curriculum, students learn to compose original works and arrange existing works. This year’s new music will be available to the public through the first-ever VPA Composition Showcase, a virtual event that patrons can access May 15-June 1.

The accomplishment of a concert like this is enormous and demonstrates musical mastery; students write songs for multiple instruments and then collaborate with peers to perform the pieces. The process exemplifies deep understanding and application of music theory, along with collaboration and leadership as they transform the notes on the page to melodic marvels.

Filmmaker Virtual Visits VPA Students

Filmmaker Samuel Curtiss visited Film & Animation classes to offer words from an industry insider to the next generation of filmmakers. Curtiss, a Sarasota native now working in LA, returned to the gulf coast to promote the film “Summertime,” which was featured in the Sarasota Film Festival. “Summertime” is a cinema verite film that chronicles the days of LA poets, directed by Carlos Lopez Estrada, that will be released in July.

Curtiss, who directed and edited a behind-the-scenes series called “Road to Summertime,” Zoomed in with film students to offer inspiration and pro-tips for navigating the world of filmmaking as up and coming film artists.

Curtiss worked with Booker students in 2018 to produce a film about Newtown while he was the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Sarasota Film Festival.

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