Dozens of New College students attended Ringling Underground’s kick-off event this past Thursday, Sept. 3, helping to make it the most attended Underground since the monthly events began in the spring of 2012. During the program’s first couple of years attendance hovered around 300 while last Thursday more than 900 guests filled the courtyard.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art started the Ringling Underground program with the intention of drawing Sarasota’s more youthful crowd to the world-renowned museum. The first Thursday of every month, the museum opens up the Museum of Art Courtyard after-hours and provides guests with live music, art and drinks.
September’s event provided a stage for three local bands: PLEASURES, FayRoy and Gringo Star. Along with the live entertainment outdoors, guests were free to wander around the two visiting exhibitions in the Amicus Foundation Gallery.
The first exhibition was titled “EMIT: What the Bringback Brought” and was the work of Trenton Doyle Hancock. In this exhibition, Hancock creates a loose narrative inspired by the horror films and action figures of his childhood.
The second exhibition, “Appalachia USA,” showcased the work of photographer Builder Levy, and was a documentary project spanning decades that attempted to capture the lives of coal miners and their families.
“I think it’s really touching, you can tell that the artist is personally invested in these people’s lives,” thesis student Carolina Shin said. “It’s interesting that some of the photos are taken decades apart but you can’t tell.”
First-year Evan Teal was visiting the Ringling Museum for the first time that night and was impressed. “The music is really good and the paintings are awesome…I definitely want to come back,” Teal said.