MARA Art Studio + Gallery to present BLACK + WHITE

MARA Art Studio + Gallery will present “black + white”, featuring monochromatic works by nine artists: Grace Howl, Jack Shapiro, Jana Millstone, Ralph Berger, Lisa DiFranza, Craig Palmer, Dan Wilkerson, Sam Wuerfel and MARA Torres, the May 1 -31. The opening reception will take place on Friday, May 6, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. The gallery is located at 1421 5th Street, Rosemary District, Sarasota. For more information, call (941) 914-8110 or visit

MARA Torres González, who opened MARA Art Studio + Gallery in Sarasota’s downtown Rosemary neighborhood in 2020, said all of the works, which include 2D and 3D multimedia pieces, will be in black and white. She adds that one of Grace Howl’s works, “Homage to Lee Krasner,” which is part of her “Urban Series,” was recently used for a thesis presentation on Lee Krasner, who was an American Abstract Expressionist painter from prominent (and married to Jackson Pollack). Molly Nevis, a student at USF, Sarasota-Manatee, compared Howl’s technique of using gestures painting, characterized by energetic and expressive brushstrokes deliberately emphasizing the sweep of the painter’s arm or the movement of the hand, to Krasner’s bold graphic canvases that embraced a cut-out collage style and luminous, gestural brushwork.

Jack Shapiro’s sculptures celebrate the art of the human form, inspired by dance. Shapiro will present two of his works in this exhibition and a portion of his sales will benefit Sarasota Contemporary Dance and Doctors Without Borders. The artist says he likes “find compositions where the shapes of the body play with light and dark, so the use of white clay offers this opportunity.” Her work, “From Dance”, was created from the observation of a dance improvisation that resulted in three sculptures, while “Arch Back” shows the whole body as a composition, taken from a more static pose with the soft clay manipulated into a strong arch.

MARA Art Studio + Gallery offers rotating exhibitions throughout the year. Torres González says she’s particularly excited about an upcoming exhibit (opening Oct. 28) that she’s coordinating with Halo Arts Project and a local antiques dealer that will showcase her collection of artifacts dating from 4000 BCE to the 19th century.

“We have the opportunity to exhibit works that date back almost to the beginning of art history,” she says. The exhibition will include works from the Neolithic and early Mesopotamia. Fifteen artists from across the country will be selected to create a modern piece inspired by an artifact.

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