Plymouth Harbor, is excited to announce its new arts education and exhibition programs in conjunction with the Ringling College of Art + Design. This partnership is the first relationship of its kind and will kick off with a talk hosted by Dr. Larry Thompson, President of the Ringling College and Chair of the Sarasota County Arts Council alongside Jim Shirley, Executive Director of the Arts Council on Thursday, February 25.

The series of events was inspired by the new mural commissioned by Plymouth Harbor resident Robert Barkley from local artist Jeff Schwartz to adorn the sixteenth “colony” at Plymouth Harbor. Schwartz was impressed by the art-first approach the residents took when bringing him in: “They cleared all the fixtures and everything out of the space and agreed to let the work dictate the feel of the space rather than trying to choose art to match the paint, which is usually the case.”

After the unveiling of Schwartz’ mural, Dr. Ann Albritton, professor of art history at the Ringling College will be hosting a series of talks in March at Plymouth Harbor called “Viewing Modern Art,” followed this fall by an exhibition curated by Mark Ormond of the Ringling College Galleries.

Robert Barkley is a longtime resident of Plymouth Harbor and member of the Ringling College of Art + Design’s Board of Trustees. After a successful career in insurance and benefits, Barkley moved from Indiana to Sarasota in 1992 and began to nurture his love of fine art after experiencing the amenities of the cultural coast. Barkley is dedicated to sharing his passion with the residents of Plymouth Harbor and the Sarasota community.