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Director's Welcome

Welcome to The Ringling

I am continually amazed at the diversity of experiences one can have when visiting The Ringling. A thorough visit of The Ringling can easily take the larger part of a day to experience the offerings at the museum of Art, Circus Museum, Ca’ d’Zan, and Bayfront Gardens. The exhibitions and programs of The Ringling are constantly changing too, so every visit to The Ringling campus will bring new experiences, programs, or learning opportunities for our guests.

This Fall, The Ringling will host exhibitions and programs of significant cultural and geographic diversity, bringing the global to Sarasota. Behind Closed Doors explores collecting and presentation in the Spanish Colonial home from the 16th through 19th centuries. This exhibition highlights the great wealth of the Spanish and indigenous elite in the colonies and demonstrates how these objects reflected the collectors’ social and ethnic identities. Our education team has put together a mini-conference featuring Florida scholars on the Spanish Colonial period to discuss how the exhibition opens unique windows onto this time. Seeing the Unseen, in a neighboring Searing Wing gallery, highlights the work of contemporary Chinese artists in photography and video exploring history and memory and the conflicts of tradition and commercialization. One of the artists in the exhibition, Li Wei, will be in residence at The Ringling in November to develop two performance works which will take place on our campus.

To explore the diversity of our world in performance, look to the Ringling International Arts Festival. As always, this year’s festival will feature performers from many different cultures, including Israel and Palestine in the work of Duo Amal, Latin America with the Pedrito Martinez Group, and Germany and Italy with the dance performance Tangram.

This past summer the board of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation, Inc. underwent a change of leadership. Cliff Walters served The Ringling with distinction over his two years as Chairman of the Board. A resident of Bradenton, Cliff was a mentor and consensus builder, his careful listening and thoughtful reasoning guided us many times as we evaluated strategic planning issues, construction projects, and board roles within the organization. I am honored to have had the opportunity to work with him and am pleased that he continues on the board. Tampa resident Michael E. Urette follows Cliff as Chairman. We all look forward to working with Mike on the many opportunities ahead of us. You can read more about the officers and new members of the board at ringling.org/board-directors.

Steven High
Executive Director

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