Monday, April 2, 2012

Hermitage Artist Retreat's Greenfield Prize Dinner

"We don't create art, we create the environment for art to be made", said Executive Director, Bruce Rodgers about the Hermitage Artist Retreat (HAR) at their Greenfield Prize Dinner last night.  And what an environment it is!  On eight and one half glorious acres, in a lush Manasota Key setting on the Gulf of Mexico, sit several historic houses that is the HAR, where up to five artists are in residence for two - six weeks at a time.  This year there will be over 1,000 artist days at the retreat.  In a video that Bruce put together, it showed renown artist after renown artist who had been in residence at the Hermitage, and their work that was created there, which is now being shown or performed all over the world.  I couldn't be more proud, honored, and privileged to be a HAR trustee.

The Greenfield Prize is a $30,000 commission given by the Greenfield Foundation yearly and administered by HAR.  The selected artist has two years to complete their commission.  The 2010 winner, Sanford Biggers debuted his work, Codex, at the Ringling Museum on Friday.  This year's winner is Grammy-nominated composer, Vijay Iyer.  His work will debut in 2014 at La Musica. 

Vijay describes his work as "jazz - an expressive and critical take on reality, at once tough and fragile, culturally and historically grounded yet perilously unstable, miraculously existing in the most unlikely circumstance and simply devasting in its effect on one's worldview."  He played a piece immediately prior to accepting his award and that's exactly how I felt about his work, too.

Linda Golding, chair of the Greenfield Prize Jury, presented the award to Vijay and said "The Hermitage Artist Retreat is seeding the present, as well as seeding the future." 

Joseph Melillo, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, in his introduction of keynote speaker, Robert Spano, said that he loved coming to Sarasota because it "is the epicenter of creativity".  Pretty high praise, I must say.  In his keynote, Robert Spano, said, "Music (and art as a whole) serves a purpose to make "community" and as a way to engage each other."

As the Greenfield Prize Director at the Hermitage, Patricia Caswell did a top-notch job pulling it all together. Joy Rogers was the dinner chair, with great help from Rebecca Donelson, and I don't think I have seen the Michael's On East ballroom look quite so lovely in a long time.  It was truly a sea of blue reminiscent of the Greenfield Prize itself, which is a big wave.  Blue up lights bathed the walls in cool, clear blue and blue lights rimmed the top of the columns.  The centerpieces were also reminiscent of the sea with a big white shell filled with flowers and all sorts of sea-related items. 

Let me mention the food, since it was quite unusual for an event.  The main dish was lamb shank, which I absolutely loved!  It was such a nice change from chicken or beef.  It was so tender and literally fell off the bone - yum!  The dessert was a pear tart topped with ice cream.  I appreciated the chocolate treble clef that decorated the plate.  Now that's the way to incorporate the theme into dessert!

As we left, HAR's Miss Everything, Sharyn Lonsdale, handed out Vijay's CD, which was underwritten by the Community Foundation.  What a terrific treat!

Others attending and not pictured below were: Flora Majors, Gia Ventola, Albert Joerger, Stephen Miles, Kathy Killion, Piero Rivolta, Ilene Denton, Margaret Pennington, John and Janet Hunter, Karen Solem, Diana Lager, Bev Koski, Howard Millman, Kathye Faries, Jim Braun, Teri Derr, Amb. Jeanette Hyde, Vivian Kouvant, Michael Scott, Joy Naylor, Chris Caswell, and on and on.

Louise and Bob Greenfield

Bill and Joni Greenfield with Vijay Iyer

Dinner chair Joy Rogers, Arthur Lopes, and Jim Rogers

Joe Melillo and Bruce Rodgers

Carol White and Larry Bold, HAR board president

Matt and Margaret Callihan

Joel Elkes, Sanford Biggers, and Sally Lucke Elkes

Isabelle Wright and Sally Faron

Bruno Giuranna and Derek Han

Veronica Brady and Gayle Guynup

Linda DeMillo and husband, George, with Joan Golub

Rebecca Donelson and Barbara Toll

Jan Chester, Bobbi Lorry, and Gerri Aaron

Roxie Jerde and Ina Schnell

Susan Brainerd and Stephen High

Brian Lipton and Scott Anderson

Christopher McConnell and Kelly Gettel

Linda DiGabriele and Flori Robers

Charlie Huisking and Ellen Berman

Drs. George and Sarah Pappas

Nancy Roucher and Debra Jacobs

Caroline Andrus, Bob Peterson, and Chari Isaacs

Becky Ruthkl and Dr. Paul Jaworski

Elisabeth Waters and Felice Schulaner

Lisa Rubinstein and Carolyn Michel

The ballroom in all its blue glory

The table

 The centerpiece

The dessert

1 comment:

  1. Hi Debbi,
    My name is Jane and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about Manasota Key to share on our site and I came across your post...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you :)