Governance & Leadership
Sarasota Art Museum is governed by the Ringling College Board of Trustees with support from the Museum Advisory Committee.
Museum Advisory Committee
Larry Thompson, President, Ringling College of Art + Design, ex officio
Virginia Shearer, Executive Director, ex officio
Robert A. Essner
Mary Ann Meyer
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.
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 + 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.
Diversity and Inclusion at Ringling College
We are a community comprised of beliefs and backgrounds from every corner of the world.
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.