M. Leo Elliott - Former Sarasota High School
M. Leo Elliott Building – Former Sarasota High School
Photo: City of Sarasota


Governance & Leadership

Sarasota Art Museum is governed by the Ringling College Board of Trustees with support from the Museum Advisory Committee.

Museum Advisory Committee

Dean Eisner, Chair
Larry Thompson, President, Ringling College of Art and Design, ex officio
Virginia Shearer, Executive Director, ex officio
Ravindranath Akhoury
Warren Colbert
Elaine Crouse
Linda Dickinson
Robert A. Essner
Joe Fig
William M. Kahane

Michael Klein
Tom Koski
Flora Major
Frank Martucci
Mary Ann Meyer
Rosemary Oberndorf
Sam Samelson
Lois Stulberg
John Suhler

Mission & Vision

Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation and understanding of the art of our time. As a platform for education, exposure and experimentation, the Museum inspires new ideas and new ways of being through an endless rotation of transformative, relevant, and pioneering exhibitions and programs designed to elevate and empower all by cultivating discerning visual thinkers and ethical citizens.

The Vision

In 2003, a group of 13 forward-thinking Sarasotans came together to further their goal of enhancing Sarasota’s rich cultural landscape with a contemporary art museum. After a two-year dialogue with area arts, educational, and community leaders, the Sarasota Art Museum partnered with Ringling College of Art and Design to transform the historic Sarasota High School into an art museum and visual arts educational center.

As the region’s first museum dedicated to contemporary art, the Museum offers visitors a place to see thought-provoking, boundary-pushing exhibitions and participate in dynamic educational programming with global thought leaders. The facility is a resource for learning about global art discourse and deepening appreciation for 20th and 21st century art and artists through exhibition gallery spaces, an auditorium, an outdoor sculpture garden, a bistro, retail store, and extensive grounds for performance, happenings, sculpture, site-specific and site-responsive installations, movement classes, and gatherings. Sarasota Art Museum is an ideal “third space” for friends and family from the community, the region, and around the world to gather, learn, be inspired, and experience the power of art to transform society.

Museum Founders

Dr. Richard Basch

Brooke Callelen

Koni Findlay

Bill Hartman

Mark & Irene Kauffman

Murray Bring

Linda Dickinson

Dottie Baer Garner

Christine Isaac

Elaine Keating

Tom Koski

John Meyer

Kat Schuetz

Wendy Surkis

Flora Major

Keith Monda

Lois Stulberg

About the Museum

Sarasota High School, M. Leo Elliott Building

M. Leo Elliott – Former Sarasota High School
Photo: Dick Dickinson

Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza, Photo: Ryan Gamma

Marcy & Michael Klein Plaza
Photo: Ryan Gamma

Anchoring the Ringling College Museum Campus, the Museum has 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition gallery space, Bistro, Shop, auditorium for educational events, performance and film, a sculpture courtyard and extensive grounds and facilities where one can engage with site-specific and site-responsive art experiences.

Diversity and Inclusion at Ringling College

We are a community comprised of beliefs and backgrounds from every corner of the world.

That’s why we elevate, support, and empower our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and supporters to celebrate their differences in an environment of trust and respect.

Art and design exists and thrives through diversity. Diversity of thought and perspective shapes cultures and conversations. It comprises the foundation on which Ringling College is built.

Every member of our community adds to who we are: a dedicated, curious, quirky, and talented blend of creatives. We are relentless in our pursuit of brilliance and uncompromising in our values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
And you are welcome here.