State of the Art 2020: Constructs Comes to Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota, FL – April 13, 2022 – Sarasota Art Museum of Ringling College of Art and Design today announced State of the Art 2020: Constructs will open at Sarasota Art Museum from April 24 – September 11, 2022. State of the Art 2020: Constructs comprises 33 artworks from 21 artists who live and work across the United States—many of whom come from locations outside of traditional art centers. This exhibition is an exploration into how contemporary art reflects the present moment. The exhibition was organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and curated by Lauren Haynes, Allison M. Glenn, and Alejo Benedetti.

Ronald Jackson, In a Day, She Became The Master of Her House, 2019, Oil on canvas, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2020.85
Ronald Jackson
In a Day, She Became The Master of Her House
Oil on canvas

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2020.85

State of the Art 2020: Constructs invites audiences to explore how contemporary artists living and working throughout the country in a wide variety of forms are capturing the American experience at this time,” said Sarasota Art Museum Executive Director Virginia Shearer. “We hope the works of art in this exhibition will bring our community together physically — in our galleries — and culturally, to start a conversation, to inspire reflection, and to foster connections that transcend our differences.”


The exhibition arrays a wide range of media, including video, neon, installation, painting, photography, textile art, and performance. “State of the Art 2020: Constructs has something for everyone. Whether it is your first time in a contemporary art museum or you are a regular museum-goer, you will experience something new, captivating, and thought-provoking. These artists are on the cutting-edge of new techniques and their work explores the ideas that affect our shared humanity most in this present moment,” said Assistant Curator Emory Conetta. “I’m particularly excited by the works that address human impact on the environment. This is a theme we have not yet explored in-depth through an exhibition but is something incredibly important for us as a coastal city to reflect upon.”


State of The Art 2020: Constructs is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. The national tour of State of the Art 2020 is sponsored by Bank of America with additional support from Art Bridges. State of the Art 2020: Constructs represents one-third of the complete State of the Art 2020 exhibition along with State of the Art 2020: Locate and State of the Art 2020: Record.


About State of the Art 2020: Constructs

Sarasota Art Museum
April 24 – September 11, 2022

A construct is a summation of parts. It’s the relationships between a network of small ideas coming together that build any single, weighty concept. The artworks in this show tackle extremely complex topics—from those affecting humanity as a whole to more personal but no less complicated questions of self. The exhibition begins at a macro level: looking at artists concerned with environmental issues on a global scale. From there, the lens narrows, focusing on artists investigating specific locations and their relationships to people. In the final section, all eyes are on the individual, with artworks that explore personal identity.

In the current era, humans are responsible for the biggest impacts on the environment. The artists grouped in this section emphasize our outsized impact on the world. While all of the artworks investigate the interwoven relationship between humanity and our planet, the methods and tone vary widely. For some artists, their works function as somber reflections on the current moment. For others, their works speculate on the future, looking back on the mistakes of recent years.
Locations often carry threads of memory and tradition. This links people and objects to specific places and frequently aids in the creation of identity. The artists in this section re-contextualize objects, highlight particular details, and explore changing histories, but always with a connection back to a specific place. For these artists, the sites they reference are more than just a spot on a map. Each one is the summation of ideas, sounds, people, and stories—the small parts that collectively reveal the fullness of a place.
For the most part, we control our identities. While we can’t alter certain aspects of our origins, part of being human means having the agency to build your own sense of self. For the artists in this section, the construction of identity plays an important role in their work. For some, their work reflects their relationship to cultural norms and how they incorporate or deflect those influences. For others, this construction takes the shape of an additional façade or persona—a chance to bring out certain elements through their practice.

State of the Art 2020 debuted at Crystal Bridges and The Momentary in February of 2020. Due to the implementation of COVID-19 restrictions shortly after the opening, two performance artists were not able to fully realize their works during the run of the exhibition. Sarasota Art Museum is pleased to partner with Crystal Bridges to support artists Jody Kuehner and Joanna Keane Lopez as they perform with their works for the first time at various points throughout the exhibition, including the opening weekend (April 24, 2022) and closing weekend (September 10 and 11, 2022).

About Sarasota Art Museum

Sarasota Art Museum is a catalyst for appreciation and understanding of the art of our time. As a platform for exposure, education, 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.

Sarasota Art Museum is Ringling College of Art and Design’s dynamic laboratory for the exploration and advancement of contemporary art. Sarasota Art Museum shares the Ringling College Museum Campus with Ringling College’s Continuing Studies program comprised of the non-credit Studio and Digital Arts program and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Ringling College.
Located in the historic Sarasota High School, Sarasota Art Museum opened to the public in 2019 in the beautifully reimagined building by K/R Architects. The new Museum is comprised of 15,000 square feet of dedicated exhibition space, a plaza court, the Great Lawn featuring temporary sculpture and site – specific installations, Bistro, and SHOP.
As Sarasota’s only museum solely focused on contemporary artists and their work, Sarasota Art Museum offers visitors a place to see thought-provoking exhibitions and participate in education programs that start conversations and amplify the city’s creative spirit.
SHOP, located in the Museum’s lobby, features an eclectic collection of exhibition-related merchandise, art and architecture books, contemporary jewelry, and gifts.

Bistro at Sarasota Art Museum is located on the Museum’s campus in Paul Rudolph’s Sarasota School of Architecture 1959 Vocational Shops building. The Bistro fare is inspired by Florida’s regional fruit stands and farmer’s markets and emphasizes local produce, healthy proteins, and artisanal specialty items brought to you by Executive Chef and general manager Kaytlin Dangaran.

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Media Contact:

Ashley Parker
Phone: 941-713-9821