Sarasota FL, for those of you who don’t know, is a city on the West coast of Florida, near Tampa. The first mention of the settlement was on a sheepskin map Spanish map with the name “Zarazote” way back in 1763. It wasn’t for another 139 years, however, until the town was finally incorporated and included on official maps of the state.
Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Sarasota became famous for two things: its stunning seafront and its importance in the world of art and culture. Today, the city is home to more than 30 galleries, showcasing practically every kind of art that you can imagine.
Why Did Sarasota FL Become So Art-Focused?
Back at the beginning of the twentieth century, one of America’s wealthiest families, the Ringlings, decided to make Sarasota their winter home. The couple frequently traveled to Europe, and during their tours, they amassed a substantial number of pieces of artwork.
After a while, the number of pieces in their collection grew so much that they ran out of space to put all of them on display in their Sarasota home. When they died, the Ringlings gave their estate to the State of Florida, including all of their artwork.
Florida immediately set about creating galleries in which the public could view the couple’s collection of Baroque and Modern art, supercharging interest in art in the city. Ever since the mid-1920s, Sarasota has been famous for being a local center for the arts.
What Does Sarasota FL Do To Stay Involved In The Arts?
The state of Florida founded the Ringling College of Art and Design during 1931 at the height of the Great Depression. The college provides private art tuition and programs in modern artwork, including the use of computer software for animation. The nature of art has changed substantially since the Ringlings were alive, but their legacy continues to this day. Sarasota is one of the most valuable places in the world for churning out keen graduates, determined to use their skills in the entertainment industry.
If you stay in a hotel in Sarasota, where should you visit?
First place on your list should be the Rosemary Historic District. Here you’ll find a hub of design-focused businesses. For those who love interior design, there’s a showroom at the nearby Home Resource. There’s also the Sarasota Architectural Salvage which allows you to walk around a series of well-constructed showrooms.
Next on the list is Gillespie Park. Here you’ll find the Artful Giraffe which is both a shop and a studio to the rear where local artists show off their work. You’ll also find a place where you can paint your own pottery to the back of the building if you want a hands-on experience.
Finally, you’ll want to pay a visit to Towles Court. The Towles Court Artist Colony is in downtown Sarasota and is an experiment which attempts to bring artists together from all over the city and surrounding state. You can visit the colony between 11 am and 4 pm, Tuesday to Saturday.