The 2011 Ringling International Arts Festival is behind us. The third annual Festival met with positive reviews and enthusiastic audiences, but now the sets are packed away and the artists have all gone on to other venues. As the excitement and energy fades, we want to thank all of the artists and visitors who made it all possible. Without the artists, the Festival cannot challenge and enlighten audience members. Without the audience, the Festival cannot continue to bring compelling and innovative work to life in Sarasota. Think of your favorite memories and know that we will be back again next year! Here is a favorite memory from Dwight Currie, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Programs for The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art:
With all the sights and sounds of RIAF 2011 still fresh in my mind, I want to share just one out of a thousand special moments that made this year’s festival so meaningful and memorable.
It came when the mesmerizingly beautiful Meklit Hadero began to sing, “Walk up, walk up straight through the roof. Straight through the hole in the ceiling, take your place in the sky.” She seemed to be soaring – and she was taking us with her – - right up to that “place in the sky” where all great art gives us the power and perspective to see and live our lives more fully.
RIAF 2011 was filled with moments like that. What was yours? Will you share with us that instant when you were lifted to “your place in the sky?” I hope you do. It will help keep the spirit of RIAF alive until we gather again next October.
And between now and then? Well, you should know that Meklit’s song Walk Up was inspired by the work of James Turrell – the extraordinary artist who has created a Skyspace for the Ringling Museum. As Meklit puts it, when you enter a Turrell Skyspace “you have the sense that you’re going up into the sky, as well as sinking into yourself at the same time.” If you want to be among the very first in Sarasota to have that experience for yourself, I urge you to join us on the Winter Solstice (December 22) when the Ringling Skyspace will open to the world – and we’ll gather together in a new “place in the sky.”
To learn more about that opportunity: www.ringling.org/solstice