Page 1



Eleanor Merritt empowers the matriarch. PAGE 2



Best of Sarasota’s homemade pasta PAGE 8



Going for the Gold ‘The Golden Lotus’ PAGE 9 by Robert Plunket | Contributing Writer

In the dining area a quartet of Brno chairs by Mies van der Rohe surround a Saarinen table. The triptych by painter Gene Davis adds graphic impact.

Heather Merriman


SETTING A stylish St. Armands home showcases a lifetime of collecting fine art and design. HOME&GARDEN COVER STORY CONTINUED ON PAGE 6


by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor


Mallory Gnaegy

“My whole life has been involved in art — teaching art, making art, being an artist,” Eleanor Merritt says. “It’s my life, and that’s just the way it’s been.”


Janet and Curt Mattson Owners

In her work as an experimental contemporary artist, Eleanor Merritt focuses on the matriarch.


espite how it may sound, Petticoat Painters isn’t a group of women artists gallivanting in floor-length day dresses with underskirts. Although it probably was when it was founded in 1953. Instead, it’s an all-women arts group that supports Sarasota-based artists. The group formed because, in those days, women weren’t well represented in exhibitions. Although that’s not as true these days, group members still find importance in their mission of exhibiting women’s work. Today, the group is known for its prestigious and selective nature. There are only 20 Petticoat Painters at a time, and members can only join by invitation. In addition, the only way the group invites new members is if one the current members retires or dies. This way, the work represented in the group’s one big exhibition a year is always of a high caliber. Contemporary artist Eleanor Merritt joined the exclusive group in 1996. Merritt has two pieces featured in the annual exhibition opening May 9, at Selby Gallery, a Division of Ringling College of Art and Design. She, like the rest of the artists in the group, is showing new work in the exhibit. On a Tuesday morning 10 days before the exhibit opens, Merritt works to finish her second piece.


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// ARTS&ENTERTAINMENT The piece she’s working on today is full of blue hues and bright pink ink without any fabric or paper — working solely with ink is unusual for her. You can see an abstract expressionist influence in her brush strokes. In college, her teachers were famed abstract expressionists such as Mark Rothko, Ad Reinhardt, and James Ernst at Brooklyn College (CUNY). Merritt usually works in the mornings in her tiled-floor studio with great natural light. The white walls are covered with family portraits. One whole wall is full of her granddaughter, Amara Merritt’s art. Where there’s room, Merritt’s own paintings are on display. They span from throughout her career. The pieces from her early days in Sarasota are vastly different from the piece she’s working on now. Her early work used earthy colors and clean lines. It’s less abstract. But her work has always been bold. These days, it’s usually mixed media typically involving ink or acrylic, paper and fabrics. Sometimes there are African themes. Most times there’s a subtlety referenced matriarchal figure or three; three is the lucky number. Throughout time as Merritt has aged, her work has become more experimental. For instance, you have to look for the figure to find it inside the piece. She focuses much more on texture, color and movement than her early days. Her work stands

“The Prophet”

“The Conversation”


“Dance to the Music”

out. She has always stood out. In elementary school, her teacher called Merritt’s mother in for a meeting. The teacher was unhappy with her constant “disruptive” doodling, despite Merritt’s best efforts to keep her doodling out of detection under her desk. “But she’s still getting A’s on her report card,” Merritt’s mother said to the teacher. “So, you must not be giving her enough work.” Some teachers were more conducive to her special talent, and had her use it to draw maps for the rest of the class. But by high school, she was admitted into an arts school with likeminded creative brains — the High School for Music and Art. It’s the school on which they based “Fame.”

She lived in New York where she taught art and practiced it on the side for 30 years. In 1983, Merritt moved from her native New York City to Sarasota. She showed her contemporary work here for the first time at Art Center Sarasota. Her piece starkly contrasted the birds, palm trees and traditional Florida landscape paintings featured there. Her piece hung away from others near the bathroom — it didn’t fit. In the center of that work is an orange figure. Once you’ve found her, you realize she’s accompanied by two other female figures in warm blue and purple hues — the three goddesses. It’s spiritual in nature. It has the kind of restless energy one might get on a hot Sarasota summer night just

as the sun sets. The images come from me, Merritt says, pointing to her heart. “Women of my family have always been my symbol of strength, so I guess a lot of women and females are all the time emerging (in my work),” she says. Merritt says although that piece seemed misplaced nearly two decades ago, she found that as the arts scene began to develop, more Sarasota artists started taking risks with their work. It became more sophisticated. Merritt points to 1987 when Sarasota Ballet was founded. Arts Center Sarasota grew and expanded beginning in the late ’90s. Around this same time, Sarasota Orchestra (then the Florida West Coast

Symphony) became a fully paid professional orchestra. In 2000, Florida State University began stewarding The Ringling. “Things started happening here culturally,” she says. It was in the late ’90s that Merritt was invited to join the Petticoat Painters. Petticoat Painters might draw thoughts of little old ladies who lunch and drink tea — but that’s not the case. They’re ages 55 to 85, all as bold as Merritt in their own special ways. She says every artist involved is an individual doing the same work she’s been doing her whole career. Some are more traditional. Others more experimental, like Merritt. “I think a lot of the work is very provocative,” she says. “It’s always a good show.”

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by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

Orchestra’s Pops series ends with a bang

Molly Cherryholmes


John Wesolowski is the guy donning a clipboard and walkie-talkie whenever Sarasota Orchestra sets up for a concert. As the director of operations, his job is to oversee everything and everyone involved in the production, from setup and teardown to sound and lighting. He’s the go-to man for making sure everything is done according to plan. When Wesolowski started working here in October, one of his first responsibilities was planning the final Pops series concert — Spirit of America. The Saturday, May 10, concert is special, because for the first time in Sarasota Orchestra’s 65-year history it Courtesy photos will perform at Ed Smith Stadium. John The concert is part of Wesolowski the Orioles’ inaugural art and entertainment, family-friendly series, “Arts in the Ballpark.” “We think that we’re going to be the highlight of their series this year,” Wesolowski says. Like the other Pops concerts, Maestro Andrew Lane will direct the orchestra in recognizable popular music such as, “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas,” the “Star Wars” theme and works from “West Side Story.” The guest artist of the concert is bluegrass singer Molly Cherryholmes — she’s been nominated for five Grammys. It’s the same high-quality musicianship you’d expect at any orchestra performance, but, unlike traditional concerts, it has the added bonus of a beer and a hotdog, and it features a fireworks display for the finale. Wesolowski says they expect the event to sell out. Tickets start at $15. The musicians will play by the home team dugout just on the edge of the grass

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and face the third-base section where 2,800 seats will be partitioned off for the audience. It’s a concert requiring a lot of coordinating. For Wesolowski, the hardest part comes the morning of the concert. His team will start at the Symphony Center, loading all the chairs, music stands and percussion equipment into a semi-truck. The stage and lighting will also arrive around the same time. A company out of Tampa, ESI Audio, will provide the sound equipment. He says his biggest job is coordinating the timing of when the equipment, stage and lighting comes in and out of the venue. His biggest worry isn’t one he’s used to — grass. “It’s extremely important for everyone not to drive on the grass,” he says.

IF YOU GO Spirit of America When: 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10 Where: Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th St., Sarasota Cost: Students from $5; adults starting at $15 Info: Call 953-3434 or visit

SEASON The O bser



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Thursday, June 5 Reach more than 150,000 combined readers in the summer issue of SEASON Magazine, inserted in the Longboat Observer, Sarasota Observer, Pelican Press and East County Observer and also as a page-flip format on SEASON Magazine is the area’s go-to calendar of summer events, from June through September, including the performing arts, gallery and museum exhibitions, events, outdoor festivals, summer activities AND MORE!


Please contact your OMG representative, call 941.366.3468 or email Season is a publication of the Observer Media Group. 140929






FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS 2 — Number of times performed “Birthday Offering,” “Façade” and “Illuminations”

// Sir Frederick Ashton Festival — ‘Illuminations,’ Divertissements and ‘Les Patineurs’ The final gala evening of the Sir Frederick Ashton Festival confirmed that the Sarasota Ballet is one of the premier ballet companies in the United States, if not internationally. The Sarasota Ballet dancers performed Ashton’s choreography as if they had been trained by the choreographic great himself. That is also true testament to the ballet’s leaders — Director Iain Webb and Assistant Director Margaret Barbieri — who have coached the dancers with the love and devotion clearly demonstrated by their admiration of “Sir Fred.” The dancers, albeit surely exhausted from the intense week, performed with such passion and gusto as if they knew, just knew, how impeccably the entire week was going and, hopefully, reveling in the international recognition they had received — and more that is surely to come. Webb has reached for this international recognition and most certainly achieved it. Bravo, sir. Sarasota is lucky to have Webb for another 10 years. We can’t wait to see what’s to come. The final evening of the festival opened with a reprisal of “Illuminations,” which is set to music by Benjamin Britten and performed live with the Sarasota Orchestra conducted by Ormsby Wilkins along with the beautiful voice of tenor Matt Morgan. Dancing the lead role of The Poet, Ricardo Graziano seemed to dance this role with more fervor than previously. It was if the torment he was experiencing, while loving both Sacred Love danced by Amy Wood and Profane Love by Ellen Overstreet, was real. His emotions expressed at the betrayal by Profane Love when two officers shot him were purely tragic and emotionally raw.

Standout Stand-ins — Due to an injury, Victoria Hulland had to step out from a few pieces. Her replacements did extraordinary jobs — Amy Wood in Monotones II and Ryoko Sadoshima in “Sleeping Beauty.”

Logan Learned in Ashton’s “Les Patineurs” The company performed five Divertissements, which were all equally impressive and enjoyable. However, “La Chatte” may have been an audience favorite. Kate Honea was absolutely incredible as a white fluffy cat that perfectly embodied the movements of lithe cat. From playfully pawing at the back of a chaise to her final meow at the end, she was captivating and hilarious. Overstreet was seductive and elegant in “Jazz Calendar” while dancing in and out of a large red “O.” Standing in for Victoria Hulland in “The Awakening Pas de Deux” from “Sleeping Beauty,” Ryoko Sadoshima performed a technically clean pas de deux with Ricardo Rhodes with a lovely stage presence. Edward Gonzalez was an expert

Frank Atura

partner of Danielle Brown in “‘Meditation’ from Thaïs.” He kept her aloft during the pas de deux as if she floated on air. And Jessica Cohen and Ricardo Graziano were buoyant and precise in “Voices of Spring.” One could not think this performance could get any better, but it did with “Les Patineurs.” This incredibly difficult ballet in choreography, technique, stamina and control was performed with effortless ease and the largest of smiles by the Sarasota Ballet dancers. Logan Learned stole the entire production with his impish personality and extraordinary tricks. From his multiple pirouettes, leaps, over-the-knee jumps, nohanded cartwheels to the many à la seconde chugs performed en tournant, Learned simply wowed as the Blue Boy. His cohorts

Ruling Roles — Nicole Padilla in the “Elaine Fifield” solo in “Birthday Offering,” Polka in “Façade” and Blue Girl in “Les Patineurs;” Ricardo Graziano as The Poet in “Illuminations;” Kate Honea as the Milkmaid in “Façade,” “La Chatte” and Blue Girl in “Les Patineurs;” Juan Gil and Ricki Bertoni in “Popular Song” in “Façade;” Amy Wood in “Monotones II;” Ricardo Rhodes in the third movement of “Sinfonietta;” Logan Learned as the Blue Boy in “Les Patineurs.” the Blue Girls, Nicole Padilla and Honea, were equally impressive dancing in such sync that they seemed they were twins. The two closed out the show with incredible turning feats — Honea with a fast-paced piqué turn manèges and Padilla with 32 fouetté en tournants with double pirouettes in between. This festival was a magnificent end to an excellent season for the Sarasota Ballet. One would think that Webb couldn’t create another season that could compare, but he can! Next season is also exciting with world premieres and more choreographic greats such as Michel Folkine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Paul Taylor and Rudolf Nureyev and, of course, Ashton’s “La Fille mal Gardée.” We can’t wait! — Anna Dearing

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by Robert Plunket | Contributing Writer (continued from page 1)

THE PERFECT SETTING A stylish St. Armands home showcases a lifetime of collecting fine art and design.

Photos by Heather Merriman

At left from top: A wood and rubber sculpture by Chakaia Booker was purchased at auction in 2008. Prints by mid-century artist Charlie Harper decorate the living room. A low Mies van der Rohe table sports a custommade top from Florence. The small sculpture is a found piece of molten glass. Above: In the living room, a Dunbar sofa by Edward Wormley and two small tables by Eliel Saarinen. The bookcase was designed by I. M. Pei.

Casual Waterfront Dining


lifetime of collecting 20th century art and furniture means you need a special setting in which to display it. And when Dan Snyder and Tom Breit moved in 2004 to Sarasota, they couldn’t seem to find the perfect place. They looked at several houses, but none of them was quite right. So, with the help of designer Norman Hervieux, they created their own — and with it, a classic example of sophisticated beach living with an urban twist. “Our home is a combination of the Sarasota School of Architecture plus Miami Modern,” Snyder explains. The Sarasota side of the equation means lots of glass doors looking out on pocket-size gardens, all detailed in a crisp, refined manner. The Miami side adds a hefty dose of tropical glamour — white walls punctuated with bold colors, curves here and there to break the geometry and a pool area that invites you to spend the day in sunny comfort, listening to the water cascade down a wall of blue-hued mosaic tile. The home was not built from scratch. It is a renovation — a transformation, really — of an old St Armands beach house from the mid-1950s. Not in good shape when they discovered it, the home did have a few interesting features. The construction was poured concrete, with no loadbearing interior walls. And those curves were there — a rounded wall in the sunroom and another

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curved roof over what was then the entranceway. But the lot was tiny, the roof was leaking, and the bedrooms were small and inward facing. In other words, there was a lot of work to be done. Today the house that could have been a teardown has been reborn. Though it keeps the same footprint, it has a new personality. Certain things were kept — the terrazzo floors, for example, which are embedded with bits of terracotta that give them a hint of red — but the atmosphere is now that of a romantic, low-keyed glamour, made personal by the owners’ collection of extraordinary mid-century furniture and art. *** Both Snyder and Breit know their way around modern architecture. One of the masters of the style, I.M. Pei, designed their home in Washington, D.C., and another master, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, performed renovations. The home was light and elegant, with a barrel-vaulted roof and

In a guest room, period travel posters and a garden view of citrus and bromeliads.

exposed brick walls. Viewed from the exterior, it had an imposing presence. Their Sarasota home takes a different approach. The light touch of mid-century modernism is still there, but the house unfolds as a series of rooms and spaces, each self-contained and different. To get this effect, Hervieux opened up each room to face the outside. Before, the bedrooms had high clerestory windows, which only made the smallish rooms seems smaller. Now, the rooms open to the garden that flows around the perimeter of the house, with the glass walls each framing a different view. The master bedroom looks out on a tiny oasis of succulents and cacti, barely 7 feet wide. The study at the rear of the house faces a little grove of plants and sculpture-like walls, all perfumed by Confederate jasmine. The home is not large, perhaps 1,800 square feet. What surprises the visitor is how well the art and furniture fit into the space. Though there is a lot to see and

study — “every piece has a story behind it,” Snyder says — the effect is not cluttered. The objects have been edited and distilled. Each serves a functional purpose yet is beautiful in its own right. The furniture the men chose all has a common theme. This is the mid-century look at its most elegant and refined. In the living room a pair of armchairs designed by Eliel Saarinen flank an Edward Wormley sofa for Dunbar. Against one wall runs an egg crate bookcase Pei designed specifically for their Washington, D.C., home. It’s filled with hundreds of books, mostly on art and design. And in the adjacent dining area, a quartet of Brno chairs by Mies van der Rohe surround a glass-and-steel table designed by the “other” Saarinen, Eero. But it is the carefully collected art that gives the Snyder-Breit house its intimate, gallery-like feeling. A triptych by color-field painter Gene Davis animates one wall, with the artist’s famous vertical lines arranged with an al-

In the mosaic-covered pool, a “beach” provides a lounging area with a pair of Philippe Starck chairs.

most musical sense of rhythm. A rubber-and-wood sculpture by Chakaia Booker breaks the mood with a wild and dynamic 3-D feeling. But the scene-stealer remains the set of prints by mid-century artist Charlie Harper — increasingly acknowledged as one of the geniuses of American graphic design. As with every good collection there are a few wild cards. Perhaps the most notable is Julia Child’s own cutting board, affectionately autographed by the great chef. It’s a reminder of the men’s friendship with the woman who changed the way America cooked. Snyder and Child served on the board of the American Institute of Wine and Food. “She was always so generous with her time,” Snyder recalls. “Very witty and very smart.” Snyder spearheaded the drive to install Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian Institution, where it remains as one of the museum’s most popular

exhibits. But for all the glories within, the real magic of the Snyder-Breit house lies outside. With no room for a pool in any of the logical places, Hervieux put it in the front yard. It’s an unorthodox choice but one that works perfectly. Carefully hidden from the street by walls and landscaping, it’s a glorious living space all its own. By day it has the stylish resort atmosphere of a villa in St. Barts or Mexico. But when evening falls and the fire is lit in the outdoor fireplace and the dining table is set with classic china, it’s a potent reminder of just how seductive the Sarasota lifestyle can be. A marble-topped table displays a small sculpture from Japan.


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hen it comes to pasta, there are guys who know what they’re doing and there are guys who rely on dried pasta from a box. If you’re dishing out the dough for a nice dinner, ask: Is the pasta made fresh? From where is it imported? When it’s fresh, you can tell the difference. When the pasta is made in-house (or if a restaurant buys from a local pasta maker) the entire experience changes. Imagine the server sets it in front of you. Without having to pick up a knife, you cut through the pasta easily. As you take a bite, the lights dim. Out of nowhere a man with an accordion and a bushy moustache named Luigi comes to your table just to accompany your bite. He sings, “That’s Amore.” And after that bite, you now magically speak Italian fluently. Does that only happen to me? OK, so while your story of handmade pasta might vary slightly, one thing remains true: The pasta is so delicious that you never want to go back to the boxed stuff. So, to give you a hand, we’ve found some of the guys (and gal) in Sarasota who make it by hand in-house.

by Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor

PASTA LA VISTA Andrea’s Sarasota 2085 Siesta Drive, Sarasota | 951-9200 andreassarasota. com

As soon as chef and owner Andrea Bozzolo starts speaking, you know this Italian is the real deal. He’s from Piedmont, Italy, a place known for its food. Bozzolo grew up with homemade pasta, but he didn’t learn to make it until culinary school. He imports his flour from Italy and uses only the freshest eggs he can find.

Andrea Bozzolo For his 50-seat restaurant, he doesn’t need the big equipment, and has a small electric pasta roller and cuts it all by hand. His favorite on the menu? The ravioli, which changes flavor almost daily.

Chef and co-owner Barbara Cremonini Ronchi Bologna is from Bologna, Italy (a Café city known for its pasta). 3983 Destination She says that in BoloDrive #102, U.S. 41, gna, when it comes to Osprey | 244-2033 pasta, you don’t learn it bolognacafe. — you grow up with it. She says to Bolognese, making pasta comes as naturally as drinking a glass of water. At Bologna Café, there’s a preparation kitchen on the floor above the standard kitchen. It looks like a science lab with clean white walls and huge, shiny machinery. It’s the necessary size for the restaurant that hand-makes all of its pasta and even Photos by Mallory Gnaegy its mozzarella. Barbara Cremonini Ronchi


it at the Sarasota Farmers market, 20 Whole Foods stores in the region, Peperonata and from their newly Pasta opened retail store. 4141 S. Tamiami Trail At the farmers’ market No. 13, Sarasota alone, they sell around 870-2729 250 pounds of fresh peperonatapasta. pasta in a morning. He com says he has the best gnocchi in America, but 50% of sales come from the simple cut linguini, fettucini, spaghetti and angel hair. Plus, when area restaurants don’t have the space or equipment to produce their own hand-made pasta, Adrian Fochi Fochi does it wholesale for them. Adrian Fochi is the pasta man in You’d be surprised how many estabtown. He and his family, Italian im- lishments in town get it fresh from migrants from Argentina, produce him — he’s practically the only guy 50-plus varieties of pasta. They sell selling wholesale pasta in Florida. Not all of the pasta you find on the menu is made in-house —  you need a lot of space to do that, and Salute’s kitchen is small for seating 200. But chef and co-owner Laszlo Bevarbi makes all the gnocchi, ravioli, agnolotti, lasagna and pappardelle by hand. The Hungarian, whose ancestors are from Sicily, has been making pasta for more than 15 Salute! years. Ristorante His favorite thing to Enoteca play with is gnocchi. He 23 N. Lemon Ave. often plays with flavors 365-1020 creating red beet, spinsalutesarasota. ach, butternut squash or com ricotta flavored. He creates

Laszlo Bevarbi new shapes. He combines colorful sauces. It’s why the specials change almost daily — Bevarbi likes to have fun with his pasta.

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INSIDE: Sir Frederick Ashton Festival Closing Night Gala PAGE 11

Guests enjoyed an evening of themed entertainment, such as The Levitating Guru.

David and Joanna Pace-Brackett with Ed and Robyn Marin


Terri and Michael Klauber

 Co-Chairs Merrill Bonder and Pat Martin

by Heather Merriman Black Tie Assistant Editor It was an evening of color and spice for YMCA Foundation of Sarasota’s 23rd annual Going for the Gold, themed “The Golden Lotus” Saturday, May 3, at the Frank Berlin Branch. The annual fundraising event was Indian-themed — rich colored silk drapery lined the walls and ceilings, large tapestries of Indian cities hung in the ballroom, and colorful lanterns and more transformed the Frank Berlin Branch into a magical celebration. As guests entered the venue they were greeted by Co-Chairs Merrill Bonder and Pat Martin, YMCA Foundation of Sarasota President Jennifer Grondahl,

Chairman Paul Bowman and CEO Kurt Stringfellow before making their way into “Lotus Garden,” which featured lounge seating, a Henna artist offering tattoos to guests to add flair to their attire and “The Levitating Guru” silently hovering over his magic carpet (one guests actually screamed when he suddenly moved). During cocktail hour, guests enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while browsing more than $150,000 worth of silent auction items. Guests then made their way into the ballroom (or the gym as it’s known any other day) for an IndianAmerican-inspired dinner catered by Michael’s On East. As the night continued, guests enjoyed more theme-inspired

entertainment, including a vocal performance by School House Link student Danielle Ackermann and Indian classical dances and fusion performances by Orlando’s Ameya Groups dancers. Following the live auction, an Indian DJ and Dhol Drummer in traditional dress taught guests some bhangra steps, as well as how to play the dhol. “Pat, Jennifer and I were so overwhelmed by the generosity of our guests Saturday evening. I think people were as touched by the stories of kids in Y programs that were shared as we were,” said Co-Chair Merrill Bonder. “What we are doing really is life changing, and we are so proud to be able to support those who need us through Go James and Jennifer Dawes

Margaret and Bill Wise with India and Bruce Lesser

Angelica Wolf and Jessica Rogers

Photos by Heather Merriman

Jennifer Craig and Jennifer Robertson

Heloisa and Charles Jennings with Marcia Scully

The colorful décor at YMCA Foundation of Sarasota’s 23rd annual Going for the Gold: “The Golden Lotus”

Blake and Amanda Foltz, Kenny van der Bent, Selina Ray and Jim Barnacz






by Black Tie Staff

Heather Merriman

The New York Times’ Jack Anderson, Dance International, Canada’s Michael Crabb and The New York Times’ George Dorris



ritics get a word in at The Observer … It’s not often reputable national newspaper critics come to town. But for Sarasota Ballet’s Sir Frederick Ashton Festival, critics from as far as London and Scotland and from papers as internationally recognized as the New York Times and Wall Street Journal came to town. Before the second night’s performance, The Observer hosted a critic cocktail party to welcome them to Sarasota. It was interesting to learn that most of them started with a dance background rather than a journalism degree. And how’d they get their positions at their prestigious papers (aside from great talent)? Luck. For instance, a friend recommended Robert Greskovic as the dance critic for the Wall Street Journal. Many were well educated about Sarasota Ballet — they’ve heard about our circusthemed Nutcracker. They were surprised to learn that the holiday performance this year would be of “La Fille mal Gardee.” In fact, every critic mentioned how special “La Fille” is.

‘Give me something brilliant’ … According to Anthony Dyson, chairman of the Frederick Ashton Foundation, that’s what the great choreographer asked of his dancers. And “brilliant” along with “technically superb” and “that Ashton feeling” is how Dyson summarized the Sarasota Ballet’s Ashton Festival, which ended Saturday. Local balletomanes could not have agreed more; a request for a one-word summary elicited “awesome,” “absolutely fabulous,” “incredible,” “uplifting,” “glorious,” “spectacular” and “satisfying” — recognizing the troupe’s accomplishment over recent years. Attendees reported themselves “speechless,” “stupefied,” “gobsmacked” and “thrilled.” Jean Weidner Goldstein, who founded the ballet 20-plus years ago, dubbed Director Iain Webb an “impresario.” Outside the opera house after the performance, Webb said simply, “They did so well; I am so proud of them. What’s so different from other companies is that they’ll do anything for me.”


ay 4 saw not one but two surprise parties … The Big 90 … Philanthropist Gloria Moss, who frequently pronounces that age is just a number, is notching up a new one this month. Daughter Marion, friend Janet Hunter and Saks Fifth Avenue, represented by Sally Schule, successfully surprised her at brunch for 50 guests at Michael’s On East. Friend Linda Solomon recalled celebrating Gloria’s 70th in Beaune, France, with their late husbands, Gilbert and Marty. Janet and John Hunter told of her 80th at Chewton Glen, England, with Scott George and John Mason present. The three Moss daughters (Marion, Judy and Peggy, in birth order) were at both, and they will sweep their mom off to Newport this weekend. Commissioner Suzanne Atwell read a proclamation designating Moss a “favored citizen.” Joel Elzey, Gloria Good, Chantelle Ryan and Paula Weissman were there from Saks along with Schule. Christine Jennings, Tosca Strong and Nate Jacobs (who serenaded the birthday girl) represented Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, and Dolly Jacobs and Pedro Reis were there for Circus Sarasota. Friends included dance instructor/partner Jim Helmich, Mike Ash, Betsy Bagby, Tana Sandefur, Betty Schoenbaum (who owned up to being envious of Moss’ legs), Ursula Essex, Zoltan Karpathy, Pat and Gerald Phillips, Phil King and Dennis Stover and Jimmy Neal. Much in the spirit of things, Moss volunteered, “You’re all invited to my next one.” The big 20 … LeeAnne Swor was shocked to find more than 60 guests gathered at The Francis


, e r e Wh




Molly Schechter

Birthday girl Gloria Moss with her grandson Jeffrey Album (left) and her daughter Marian Moss (right) to celebrate her 20 years in the retail business. Swor first opened L’Asia in 1994 in Atlanta — a 1,000-square-foot cottage with two employees, which later became L. Boutique in Sarasota. Her store now boasts 6,000 square feet and 25 employees. After being lured under the idea that she was attending a program graduation with Crystal Stephens (who planned the soirée with Elaine Briggs), Swor was greeted by her son, Ryker, and family, including Doris and David Swor, Dr. Mike Swor and Brenda Haenel-Wix. The celebration continued through the afternoon with toasts and surprise out-oftown guests Reginia Browning, Shane and Meredith Petsch, Tamara Whatley and Alicia Balius, as well as 30 L girls (past and present) and friends Fabiola Beckmann, Marsha Panuce, Kristi Dorman and Dini Russell. Stephanie Hannum

 LeeAnne Swor with her son, Ryker

THE CALENDAR CALLS … BT is collecting events for the 2014-2015 Black Tie social

calendar — if we don’t know about it, we can’t cover it! Email the following information to name of your event; group hosting; group benefiting; time, date and place; ticket price; chairperson; contact name; phone number and email; website and event description.



? Where ? ?

Looking for a copy of the Observer or Pelican Press?


Visit and use the interactive map to find one of our 1,500 distribution racks at a location near you.




// BLACK TIE: CAMERA READY SIR FREDERICK ASHTON FESTIVAL CLOSING NIGHT GALA Benefiting Sarasota Ballet Saturday, May 3, at Sarasota Opera House

Photos by Heather Merriman

Matt Morgan and Iain Webb

Peter and Judy Carlin

Marcia Jean Taub, Eduardo Anaya, Sara Sardelli and Jim Brooks Chairwoman Sydney Goldstein and Vivian Kouvant

Rod and Katie Hollingsworth with Retta and John Wagner

Richard Farrell and Claudia McCorkle

Bob and Ginger Bailey with Lynda Doery

Marsha Johnson, John Simon, Mary Anne Servian and Dick Johnson

Mother’s Day Brunch


Sunday, May 11, 2014 10:30 am to 3 pm

Just in time for Mother’s Day

35% OFF all in stock

Treat the “Mother” in your life to an elegantly delicious buffet brunch at the legendary L’Europe!

Bellarri pieces until May 17th Applies to in stock pieces only not on special orders.

Adults: $39.95 | Under 12 $16.95

St. Armands Circle 22 N. Blvd of Presidents Sarasota 941-383-3711 | Bay Street Village 3976 Destination Dr. Osprey 941-966-5878 140588

431 St. Armands Circle,Sarasota, 34236 941-388-4415


Our Mother’s Day buffet brunch menu features: waffle and omelette stations, and a chefs’ carving station, along with Eggs Benedict, Oysters Rockefeller, Lobster and Shrimp Salad, homemade desserts, and more palate pleasing dishes.




// BLACK TIE: CAMERA READY A FASHIONABLE GALA: SOUTHERN CHARM Benefiting Designing Daughters | Friday, May 2, at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Ashley Guttridge and Courtney Adams

Matt and Beth Manly

Nikki Taylor, Ashley Dooley and Shelley Lister

Jake Smith, Nick and Amy Stine and Ben Smith

Brittany McCollum and Amanda Pasik

HOT SALE, COOL JEWELS! 20 - 60 OFF!! Storewide %

Co-Chairs Lauren Glassman and Ashley Gruters

Photos by Heather Merriman

Worth Graham and Erin Evanson

What If You Could Look Years Younger And Still Look Completely Natural? Rejuvenation Exclusively for the Face & Neck The Skill of a Surgeon  the Eye of an Artist  and theUnderstanding of a Woman


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For everyone age 30 & under.

For performances through May 11 only.

Just in time for Mother’s Day, Shop early for the best selections

Available by phone or in person at the box office. Must show ID. Some restrictions apply.

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book & concept by AARON THIELEN music & lyrics by MICHAEL MAHLER directed & choreographed by DAVID H. BELL


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// BLACK TIE: CAMERA READY 13TH ANNUAL CELEBRATION OF HOPE DINNER Benefiting Center for Building Hope | Wednesday, April 30, at Fête Ballroom

Photos by Heather Merriman

Matt Aresary and honoree Dr. Mary Koshy

Amy Bouwer, Stacie Briggs, Bridgette Forgette and Jamie Golden

Dr. Elizabeth John with Raji and Dr. Matthew Koshy

John and honoree Patty Madsen with their son, Craig

Kelly and honoree Dr. Scott Engel

Carol and Carl Ritter paint circles on Gail Fulton Ross’ “Circles for the Center of Building Hope.”

THANK YOU! Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County

- 2013 - 2014 CL Sponsorships Leverage Partner JCI Jones Chemicals, Inc. Commodity Partner Mark Kamin & Associates, Inc. Publix Super Markets Charities


Dividend Partner Kate & Warren Coopersmith Karen & Alton Fessel Greenhouse Fabrics Johanna Gustafsson & Chris Pinckney, Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management Icard, Merrill, Cullis, Timm, Furen & Ginsburg, P.A. Nickel Communications Observer Group, Inc. Donna Brace Ogilvie

Sarasota Magazine Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP Shutts & Bowen LLP Tervis Tumbler Table Partner 360 Degrees PR Al Purmort Insurance, Inc. atLarge, Inc. Bouchard Insurance B. W. Saba Construction, Inc. and Instinct Matters The Community Foundation of Sarasota County Susan Dweck Fifth Third Bank Kathy Francoletti, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management

201 S. Tuttle Ave Sarasota, FL 34237 Gulf Coast Community Foundation Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC Valerie Leatherwood Cherie Leetzow Susan D. Lewis Misdee Wrigley Miller Nikki Nilon Jim & Susan Schell The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota Saks Fifth Avenue Sarasota Family YMCA Take Care Home Health Taubman Company LLC Tropex Plant Leasing

Sherry & Dan Watts – The Renewal Point U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management Dream Harbor Boutique Partner Judith L. Bell and Carisa Campanell Fresh Salon.Spa.Style Gettel Automotive Group Goodwill Industries of Manasota, Inc. Hotel Indigo Jimmye L. Reeves Betty Schoenbaum Barbara Somma *As of 03/06/14




// BLACK TIE: CAMERA READY SIR FREDERICK ASHTON FESTIVAL OPENING VIP LUNCHEON Benefiting Sarasota Ballet | Tuesday, April 29, at Bijou Café Photos by Heather Merriman

 Claire Segall and Hillary Steele

Sam Alfstad, Steve High, Susan McLeod and Dr. Larry Thompson

IT’S A WRAP! SEASON OF SCULPTURE WRAP UP PARTY Benefiting Season of Sculpture | Sunday, May 4, at The Francis Photos by Heather Merriman

Marvin Albert and Gerri Aaron

Terri Vitale and Freshta Sawyer

 Myrna and John Welch with Suzanne Atwell

Betty Schoenbaum and Sally Yanowitz

Lois Stulberg and Brenda Terris

Pat Baer and Sharon Frankel

David Wyant and Dottie Baer Garner

Get Ready for Summer at Swim Mart

Gigantic Spring Swimwear Clearance Sale * Discounted up to

Forward Festival WHEN: May 6 through May 11


WHERE: Venues vary COST: $100 festival pass, or $25 per performance

Great buys for the entire family

Celebrate Forward Festival, the world’s first portable chamber music concert featuring five performances by world-class musicians in five Sarasota venues. Performers include Sybarite5, Abe Feder, The Chroma Quartet and more.

Men, Women & Children


For a list of local ev ents, or to submit your own, visit ThisWeekI nS da


Sale at the 4223 S Tamiami Tr location ONLY





4223 S Tamiami Tr






by Heather Merriman | Black Tie Assistant Editor

by Heather Merriman

Black Tie Assistant Editor



oms are the most deserving of appreciation and pampering — so what are you doing for your her this Mother’s Day (May 11)? When it comes to actual gifts, Mother’s Day occurs during the prettiest of seasons for gift giving. Between spring and summer, uplifting colors, floral and summery items make the best presents to make anyone smile. So, where do you start when buying a Mother’s Day present? First, it depends on

what type of gift you want to give — are you a gift giver who prefers gifts that are personal and sentimental? Are you a gift giver who enjoys giving gifts that you can experience with that person? Or are you a gift giver who just gives downright fabulous gifts? Whatever your style, Black Tie has found the most gift-able of gifts around town.

 Take mom out for a spa day at L. Spa. Manicures and pedicures always serve as a relaxing treat and great way to unwind.  Boca Terry robes will make anyone feel like a queen. Comfortable, practical and a pampering gift that keeps on giving, these robes are great gifts for a great mom. Available at Say it With Stitches, these robes can also be monogrammed.

 If buying gifts isn’t your thing, enjoy a walk over the Ringling Bridge with your mom before treating her to brunch downtown. Not only is the walk beautiful, but it also provides a great time to catch up with each other.

 Moms love nothing more than photos with their children. Find a great photo of the two of you and put it in a nice frame, like these from Main Street Traders, to add to her home or office.

 Archipelago candles, found at Main Street Traders

 Layer up with these gold Zodiak pendant necklaces. Found at Addison Craig, they are stylish and equally personal. They can be worn alone or layered with other necklaces.

 This Tory Burch bag found at Addison Craig is not only stylish, but unique too. The wooden clutch has golden elephants as clasps — and a gold chain, making it a shoulder bag, too.

 This just in: the new Bon Bon perfume by Viktor Rolf. Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, this new scent is fresh and your mom is sure to not have it yet.

YOUROBSERVER.COM // Visit our website for more Mother’s Day gift ideas.


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P r e PA r At i O n . PA S S i O n . P e r F O r m A n c e .

The road to glory starts here.

For the first time in more than four decades, the ultimate challenge of skill, agility and discipline will hold its international championship on American soil. Spectators of all ages are invited to experience the excitement, as world-class athletes come to Sarasota Bradenton to compete for their place in the Olympic spotlight. Take your seats‌ it’s going to be a thrilling ride!

2014 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Final June 5 - 8, 2014

Thursday, June 5, 2014

OPening ceremOny The Ringling Museum of Art 6:00pm ~ 8:00pm

Competition Events June 6-8, 2014

SelBy AquAtic center Fencing | Swimming gates open 7:45am games begin 8:00am

SArASOtA POlO cluB At lAkewOOd rAnch Fencing | Riding | Running | Shooting

gates open 11:30am games begin 12:15pm

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Visit for Opening Ceremony and Competition Event tickets

2014 World Cup Final | Sarasota Bradenton

Sponsored by: Observer Media Group (Gold Medal Sponsor) ~ Visit Sarasota ~ Manatee Convention and Visitors Bureau Gulf Coast Community Foundation ~ Nathan Benderson Park ~ DART ~ Schroeder Manatee Ranch ~ Sarasota Polo Club at Lakewood Ranch Semkhor ~ Rolls Royce ~ Gold Coast Eagle ~ SRQ Media Group ~ Sarasota Herald-Tribune ~ Sarasota Magazine ~ Sun Coast Media Group Bright House Networks ~ Williams Parker Harrison Dietz & Getzen ~ Suplee & Shea ~ Scene Magazine Design Sponsor : Grapevine Communications Advertising Agency



Diversions 5.8.14  

Diversions 5.8.14