El Verona

C Fi 9966

From 1926 to 1957, the El Verona Hotel was located in the premium spot downtown on Sarasota Bay where the Ritz-Carlton now stands. The hotel was built by Owen Burns to honor his wife Vernona. This painting recreates the invitation to the festive opening of the hotel – complete with a grand ball – on New Years Eve of 1926.

Only four years later, hotel ownership had a cash crunch. John Ringling stepped in and purchased the property, modestly renaming it the John Ringling Hotel. After Ringling died, the Hotel passed to John Ringling North, who took advantage of the opportunity to market the circus. Trapeze artists and other aerialists could be found swinging from the rafters of the Hotel’s dining room in the late 1940s and 1950s. It must have made for an exciting dining experience.

The Hotel closed in 1957 and reopened in 1964 after a conversion to an apartment building. The John Ringling Towers retirement community closed in 1980, the last time the building was in use. It was demolished in 1998 to make way for the Ritz.

Source image:

Artist

Mandy

Mandy Fulton

Mandy Fulton is completing her final year at Ringling College of Art and Design, studying fine arts. In Sarasota, she runs a local tie dye business where you can find her on Instagram @thetiedyeria. Her art work is primarily experimental. She uses mediums such as mold that allow room for chance to come into play, while incorporating elements of control herself. Mandy is currently interested in the art of abstraction through nature, but she used to work more figurative-based.

I wanted to be a part of this experience to bring art to the community, and do so with fellow friends. I think sidewalk art is such an exciting way to view art, getting to walk up directly on what you are looking at is a fun way to experience seeing art work. The variety of different artist's styles is something else that I love about this experience. Each piece is so diverse in style, and as you walk from square to square you can recall seeing an artist's hand you have already become familiar with. This project also brought a lot of people together in a positive way. Families gathering on a hot sunny day to paint together was very heart warming.

First, a clown. Then, Sarasota's Citrus Growers Association. An old drive-in movie theatre. Then, a map of the state, surrounded by native plants. I even had the pleasure of painting Elvis! I completed an alligator in Myakka State Park. And finally, an illustration-based piece of an old railroad.

Written By

Nanette Crist

Nanette Crist is a retired lawyer who began blogging when she moved to Florida. It was an online diary of sorts, a way to keep track of her new life. It was also a good way to share her discoveries with friends and family outside the area. Over time, Nanette realized her writing makes her experience the world differently. She keeps an eye out for interesting things to write about and then delves more deeply into them as she crafts her words. It's all about telling the story. Nanette's blog can be found at http://nanettesnewlife.blogspot.com.

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