Please join us for a Sarasota memorial celebrating the life of John Sims, a brilliant conceptual artist, writer, musical savant, educator and social justice activist. The event will uplift how Sims created art and curatorial projects that set a standard for arts activism, inspiring artists and organizations to reach deeper to confront and reflect on the complexity of his impactful work.
This memorial will be held on Sims’ birthday, the same date he traditionally celebrated a Valentine’s Day adjacent gathering that inspired participants to answer the question, “What is the square root of love?” Sims believed in asking the hard questions, often confronting and exposing the pain of unhealed social wounds and dilemmas, but always in the spirit of ultimately finding the common ground of love and dignity to repair division.
Honorary Co-Chairs for this event are Larry R. Thompson, President of Ringling College of Art and Design; Steven High, Executive Director of The Ringling Museum of Art; Mayor Kyle Battie; and Andy Sandberg, Artistic Director and Chief Executive Officer of Hermitage Artist Retreat.
The event will be free and open to the public and include tributes from Sims’ family, friends, colleagues and artistic collaborators to his life and prolific and expansive body of artistic work and social practice that engaged all sectors of the Gulf Coast arts community and beyond.
This event will be live streamed. All remote audience must register for instructions HERE: https://watch.eventive.org/sff2023/play/63d54ea72a3baa00921463db
The Historic Asolo Theater is located at 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, Florida 34243. For driving and parking instructions, consult HERE.
If you require special wheelchair or accessibility accommodations, please contact the HAT Box Office at 941.360.7399.
About John Sims:
John Sims was a conceptual artist, writer and social justice activist, who created art and curatorial projects spanning the areas of installation, performance, text, music, film and large-scale activism, informed by mathematics, design, the politics of white supremacy, sacred symbols/anniversaries, and poetic/political text.
Sims was an internationally recognized artist whose practice manifested in a spectrum of modalities and communities dealing with themes ranging from mathematics, Confederate iconography, American policing and visual terrorism. Through installations, sculpture, journalism, community collaborations, short film and animation works, performance and gallery exhibitions, he set a standard for arts activism that galvanized artists and organizations to reach deeper to confront and reflect on the complex topics of his work. His work was recently presented and exhibited at the Exploratorium (San Francisco, CA), La Mama (New York City), The 701 Center for Contemporary Art (Columbia, SC), The Ringling (Sarasota, FL) and Austin Film Society/DadaLab (Austin, TX), among many other prestigious venues.
He was a forerunner in the interdisciplinary field of math art, work that eloquently depicts the interplay of patterns in the natural world that lend themselves to artistic interpretation, such as the infinite digital sequence of π. Sims’ work is featured in “The Art of Pi,” the first chapter in the book Math Art: Truth, Beauty, and Equations by Stephen Omes. His work has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, The Guardian, The Root, Think Progress, Al Jazeera, Guernica, Art in America, Transition, Sculpture, Fiber Arts, Science News, and the science journal Nature. He wrote for major publications such as CNN, Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, Guernica Magazine, The Rumpus and The Grio.