When explorers like Christopher Columbus sailed the world, they would plant a flag to proclaim their ownership and connectedness to a land — the same could be said for Lewis Colson who drove a stake in Sarasota at the eventual Five Points.
In Sarasota fashion, Rosemary District and Five Points residents were invited to plant their flags in a unique communal art project that will debut this week.
The Sarasota-based project is called The Distance Between where people in the Rosemary District and Five Points area are asked to make their own flags and plant them where they have a personal connection to or feel that the little patch of grass has significance.
A reception for The Distance Between will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, at the 421 Central Avenue Gallery, 421 Central Ave., Sarasota. The exhibit is free and open to the public.
The flags, which will start appearing this week, provide a visual cue of local ties and diversity, according to the organizers, and show the relationship of distance between neighbors and the places they treasure.
The Sarasota project is part of an international collaboration between students and faculty from Ringling College of Art and Design with Belgian and Finnish counterparts working in Antwerp for Mapping a Site.
The two-week project involves intensive workshops at selected sites in both cities bringing together four colleges and various cultural backgrounds into a collaborative creation.
The prjoect aims to provide an interactive interpretations of the history and artistry of these communities.
The Sarasota project much like the other sites has displays at the conclusion of the project and the works could be published one day and lead to further exhibits.
Participating Institutions, students and faculty include:
Ringling College of Art + Design, Sarasota
Faculty: Thomas Carabasi (Department Head of Photography & Digital Imaging)
Students: Karen Arango (Photography & Digital Imaging, Senior)
Kasia Dybek (Graphic & Interactive Communication, Senior)
Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp, Belgium
Faculty: Kris van t’Hof (Teacher of Insitu3)
Students: Eva Betjes (Insitu3)
Charlotte Grandgaignage (Insitu3)
St. Lucas Art School, Antwerp, Belgium
Faculty: Kurt Vanbelleghem (Coordinator Communication & Presentation)
Students: Sarah Hendrickx (Artistic Research)
Andrea Koll (Graphic Design)
Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland
Faculty: Markku Hakuri (Professor of Environmental Art)
Students: Salla Salin (Environmental Art)
Harri Piispanen (Environmental Art)