The Ringling opens modern and contemporary art galleries

"Pathless Woods," by artist Anne Patterson.

The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has opened new and exciting galleries as a part of its ongoing efforts to bring vibrant, high-quality art to the state of Florida. This is the first time space at the museum will be permanently devoted to modern and contemporary art.

Affiliated with Florida State University, The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida.  Located in Sarasota, it is one of the largest university art centers in the nation.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of The Ringling’s Art of Our Time initiative, which presents and commissions new works by contemporary artists in the visual and performance fields. A selection of works collected under this program are now displayed in two galleries in the Ulla R. and Arthur F. Searing Wing of the Museum of Art.

To honor the five-year anniversary of The Ringling’s initiative, the museum received a $500,000 gift from Keith Monda, former President of Coach, Inc., and his wife, Linda and named a new gallery – the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery for Contemporary Art. This prominent 2,400 square-foot gallery space will showcase exciting new projects by living artists whose work moves beyond traditional practice.

The Monda Gallery’s inaugural exhibition Pathless Woods by artist Anne Patterson will be on view through the end of April. This interactive, multi-media installation experience invites visitors to find their path through a forest of hanging ribbons. The work engages many of the senses as guests walk through 8,472 satin ribbons, reflecting light and projections. The musical piece “The Garden of Cosmic Speculations” by Michael Gandolfi is played throughout the gallery and on Thursday evenings a scent evocative of a forest and created specifically for the installation is sprayed in the gallery. Patterson believes the experience will leave visitors feeling as if they are, “swimming through color.”

Beginning in February, Art of Our Time programming includes three new productions in “New Stages: New Serenity,” a series exploring new approaches of performers communicating with an audience in a new and innovative way.

The Art of Our Time initiative is supported by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which recently awarded a grant of $50,000 to present cutting-edge programming and engage audiences with new work.

With a long-standing history of bringing high-quality art to Florida, along with its new galleries, there is no question that The Ringling is the prominent and permanent place for world-class modern and contemporary art.

The Ringling is a center for art, history, and learning situated on 66 acres on Sarasota Bay. It is built on the legacy of circus entrepreneur, collector of art and financier John Ringling and his wife Mable.

The Ringling inspires visitors with an acclaimed collection of Old Master paintings, explores with them the diverse cultures and art of Asia, delights them with the story of the American circus and transports them to the Roaring Twenties during a tour of the magnificent Ca’ d’Zan mansion.

The Ringling is also committed to exhibiting the work of an emerging community of living artists that moves beyond traditional practice and features dynamic and engaging contemporary visual and performing arts, including a diverse roster of theater, music and dance.

The Ringling is the State Art Museum of Florida. Affiliated with Florida State University, it is one of the largest university art centers in the nation.