Ringling College of Art & Design
Three new state-of-the-art facilities this year set higher standards
Within a couple mile stretch on US 41 near the airport is a series of higher education schools, at least one is nationally recognized for their programs in the arts. The Florida State University in Sarasota has long established itself on the Ringling Museum grounds with its FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training curriculum. Another college in that strip is making an emergence as one of the best schools for training professional artists, and is solidifying its progress with state-of-the-art classrooms. Within the year the Ringling College of Art & Design will complete its series of additional classrooms and production studios.
The Alfred R. Goldstein Library opened in January with a ribbon-cutting ceremony that marked a historic date in the school’s timeline of events. The unusual design of this 46,000 square foot facility allows students to interact with each other for lively discussions. As any library should, there are many spaces in the building where students can study independently in quiet settings with over 65,000 books and periodicals at their disposal. Students also have access to audio, movies and even digital games.
The philanthropic Goldsteins have contributed to the school with many donations over the years. Ann and Alfred Goldstein donated over $1 million in 2005 for the express purpose of creating a curriculum that included business art classes of accounting, management and marketing. The Ann and Alfred Goldstein Center was named in their honor. The retired Realtor from New York contributed to schools in that state and Sarasota programs including one at Mote Marine and Laboratory. The library was the third building on campus named for the couple, as was the Ann & Alfred Goldstein Hall with rental apartments available to students. The 93-year-old Alfred attended the opening ceremony of the library.
A stunning building of sleek design is the Richard & Barbara Basch Visual Arts Center, nearing completion on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Way. Set to open this spring, visitors will be able to view students working on projects in printmaking, photography, woodworking, sculpture and digital fabrication. The Visual Arts Center will be home to one of the campus galleries that display the work of students as professional artists.
Set to open this summer is an amazing complex that is to be one of the most advanced production facilities, where students will collaborate with professional film makers and musicians. This is a cooperative adventure between the school and a private company, Semkhor Network, Inc. and its development and production division, Semkhor Productions. In the agreement, the college will lease the land to Semkhor which will build the studio with a combination of its own money and a county economic development grant.
The Sound Stage & Post Production Facility in construction is next to the wonderful setting of Martin Luther King Park on Cocoanut Boulevard. The complex will be an array of stages, post production work areas, dubbing bays, editing suites, a private screening room and sound stage for sound effects, or Foley stage. A Foley stage is used to dub in everyday sounds in the film production process. There will be eight sound stages in 25,000 square feet of the total 30,000 square-foot space, one of which is leased to Ringling College for a 20-year period, then turned over to the college for ownership.
The Ringling College of Art and Design was started in 1931 as a remote branch of Southern College in Orlando. The institution qualified to issue degrees with its accreditation in 1979 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and in 1984 received accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Art. It has grown as a private institution with an enrollment of 1,300 from over 40 states and countries. Before graduation each student has the opportunity to work on at least one professional project. There is more about the Ringling School of Art & Design and other area colleges in this September 2016 REALTALKplus™ article.
Ringling College President, Larry R. Thompson, is hoping these new facilities will continue to set higher standards for film and art education in order to stay ahead of some of the finest schools in the United States such as Florida State University and New York University. They’ve already set the standard high to help Sarasota remain as one of the top cultural arts cities in the nation.
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