RINGLING RECIPIENTS HONORED WITH FLORIDA ASSOCIATION OF MUSEUMS AWARDS
Sarasota, FL —Sept. 12, 2012 — The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art today announced that Dr. Matthew McLendon, curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, is the recipient of the 2012 Florida Association of Museums’s “Outstanding Achievement Award”. Ringling Museum volunteer Dave Emison garnered FAM’s “Outstanding Volunteer Award”. A representative of the Museum has been honored by the not-for-profit professional organization for Florida’s museums and museum professionals five of the last eight years.
“The FAM Award reflects Matthew’s truly outstanding achievement with the Beyond Bling exhibition in bringing new art, new energies, and perhaps most important of all, new audiences to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art,” remarked Steven High, executive director. “As a relatively new curator at the Ringling, Matthew proved himself to be a visionary and supportive colleague as he led our staff of museum professionals in the realization of this wonderful project. Beyond Bling became the ‘talk of the town.’ A large contingent of Sarasota’s youth population paid their first visit to the Museum to experience it and that helped the Ringling set new attendance records for a summer exhibition.”
In May 2011, The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art launched a new initiative, Art of our Time, with the opening of the exhibition Beyond Bling: Voices of Hip-Hop in Art. The exhibition served as the launching point for the cultivation of contemporary arts, both visual and performing. Beyond Bling was comprised of works by ten internationally renowned artists each of whom has been influenced by hip-hop culture. All of the work exhibited was produced in the first decade of the 21st century.
For the first time the Ringling Museum galleries showcased a monumental hip-hop mural that was originally created for the streets of New York’s Times Square. Muralist Sofia Maldonado joined forces with local skateboarders, two area schools, P(a)yne Skate Park, and the City of Sarasota to transform the local skate park into a magical work of public art. In the Historic Asolo Theater, Rennie Harris Puremovement from Philadelphia and the Hip-Hop Theatre Festival from L.A performed and sold-out crowds attended screenings of the film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. The exhibition formed the nucleus of a larger exploration of hip-hip culture that reached across the museum and community.
“Dave Emison clearly epitomizes what it means to be a Ringling volunteer,” noted High. “The FAM’s Volunteer Award is reflective of his knowledge and passion for the Museum. As Chair of the Volunteer Services Advisory Council’s Orientation & Communication Committee, he helped reinvigorate a critical orientation program for new staff and volunteers. Currently, Dave volunteers for six assignments in four departments, all of which benefit from his diplomacy, courteousness, and ability to see the big picture. The Museum and our visitors are the beneficiaries of the more than 500 hours Dave donated during the 2011/2012 fiscal year.”
When David Emison moved to Florida with his wife in 2006 from Connecticut he joined the Ringling Museum as both a member and volunteer. His more than 25 years of professional experience in Human Resources has proven invaluable with regard to his many roles. He promotes the Museum’s exhibitions and programs as a Community Outreach volunteer, Speakers Bureau Ambassador and Media Escort for the Marketing and Communications Department. As a Docent he shares his love of art and history with visitors who tour John and Mable Ringling’s palatial Gilded Age Mansion, Ca’ d’Zan. As a Tram Operator, he familiarizes visitors with the Museum’s 66-acre estate and ensures they arrive at their destinations in a safe and timely fashion.
The Annual Museum Service Awards Program is sponsored by the Florida Association of Museums. The purpose of the FAM Awards Program is to recognize outstanding contributions to the museum profession in the State of Florida. Museum Service Awards may be given to museum staff, volunteers, or trustees, as well as to individuals outside the museum profession who make significant contributions to the advancement of Florida’s museums, either locally or statewide. The Florida Association of Museums is the not-for-profit organization of Florida’s museums and museum professionals. The mission of the Association is to represent and address the needs of the museum community, enhancing the ability of museums to serve the public interest.
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