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STARs come out for an evening of art at the Hermitage

From left: Elizabeth Vitale, Erin Bess, Jeff Byers and Joy Hawkins. Not pictured is Adalberto Yanes.

From left: Eliz­a­beth Vitale, Erin Bess, Jeff Byers and Joy Hawkins. Not pic­tured is Adal­berto Yanes.

Sub­mit­ted by The Hermitage

ENGLEWOOD, Fla. – The Her­mitage Artist Retreat will present the work of their STARs – the five Florida arts teach­ers who were awarded the State Teacher Artist Res­i­dency this year – on Thurs­day, July 28.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. with open stu­dios and open house tours of the his­toric cot­tages that make up the Her­mitage Artist Retreat his­toric cam­pus at 6660 Man­a­sota Key Road. At 7:15, the pro­gram moves to the beach for a read­ing of prose and poems accom­pa­nied by music. All ends at sunset.

The res­i­den­cies are pro­vided through a part­ner­ship between the Her­mitage and the Florida Alliance for Arts Edu­ca­tion (FAAE).

I can hardly believe it’s been five years since we ini­ti­ated this pro­gram,” Her­mitage Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Bruce E. Rodgers said in a press release. “This year’s STARs include a com­poser, two visual artists, one pho­tog­ra­pher and one writer. They are from five dif­fer­ent Florida coun­ties that stretch from the Pan­han­dle to Dade County. They are cre­at­ing won­der­ful art and are really invig­o­rated by our tran­quil set­ting and the oppor­tu­nity to be only artists for these few weeks. It’s our gift to Florida Arts Edu­ca­tion and it’s as reward­ing to us as these artists/teachers, who give so much to our chil­dren day in and day out. We look for­ward to intro­duc­ing them.”

Begin­ning at 6:30 p.m., there will be three open stu­dios where STARs will show and tell about their work.

In the Her­mitage House study, pho­tog­ra­pher Erin Bess will dis­play some of her pho­tos and paint­ings and show a video of her work. Bess teaches art at Turner/Bartels K-8 School in Hills­bor­ough County.

Jeff Byers, an art teacher at Tay­lor County High School in Tay­lor County, will be in the 3D Stu­dio, giv­ing a talk about his work which will fea­ture a dis­play of fin­ished and unfin­ished pottery.

In the Tom Dig­nam Beach Cot­tage, Eliz­a­beth Vitale will dis­play a col­lec­tion of her abstract paint­ings, mixed media and stitch­ing. Vitale teaches two-dimensional design at Nova High School in Broward County.

At 7:15 p.m., the pro­gram relo­cates to the beach where Joy Hawkins, the Hermitage’s first STAR from Man­a­tee County, will read his­tor­i­cal fic­tion based on a mem­ber of her fam­ily. It’s a story she has car­ried with her for years and is finally get­ting a good chunk of time to work on this novel. Hawkins is a read­ing and lit­er­a­ture teacher at Buf­falo Creek Mid­dle School.

She will also read poems she wrote dur­ing her res­i­dency. The plan is for her to be accom­pa­nied by fel­low STAR Adal­berto Yanes on the key­board. Yanes teaches Music at Doral Acad­emy Prepara­tory Char­ter School in Dade County. Fol­low­ing that, Aldal­berto Yanes will talk about his music and play a lit­tle more as the sun sets over the Gulf.

Bring your beach chairs and any refresh­ments you care to enjoy. Her­mitage com­mu­nity pro­grams are free but reser­va­tions are strongly sug­gested in case the pro­gram needs to move indoors to the Hermitage’s Palm House, 6630 Man­a­sota Key Road, where space is lim­ited. Reserve by call­ing 941−475−2098, ext. 8, or by email­ing your name and num­ber in your party to reservations@HermitageArtistRetreat.org.

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