Ringling School of Art and Design, a respected incubator for animation talent, is merging with the Sarasota Museum of Art [SOMA]. SOMA will operate as a division of the college and its 15-member board of directors will serve as an advisory board to the schools president, Dr. Larry R. Thompson.
Ringling and SOMA first joined forces a year ago to propose a renovation of the historic Sarasota Highschool as the Visual Arts Education Center. The museum will be housed on the first floor with Ringling classrooms and studio space occupying the second level of the 1926 Collegiate Gothic-style building.
"The establishment of this partnership furthers our institutional mission, which focuses on transformational and innovative arts education," says Thompson. "This collaboration provides an opportunity for this community to see exhibitions of the highest quality contemporary and modern art while also providing a venue for the education about, and creation of, such art."
Located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, Ringling School of Art and Design is a fully accredited, private, not-for-profit college offering Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in computer animation, fine arts, graphic/interactive communication, illustration, interior design and photography/digital imaging. The addition of the visual Arts Education Center, the institution will increase its space by 60,000 square feet. More information on the school can be found at www.ringling.edu.