With its Art of Our Time initiative, the Ringling Museum has ventured a long way from its roots as a repository of John Ringling’s Baroque and Renaissance paintings. Keith and Linda Monda (he is the retired COO of Coach) are championing this effort with their recent $500,000 donation, which will help the museum present new works by contemporary artists in a 2,400-square-foot space scheduled to open in October. It will be named the Keith D. and Linda L. Monda Gallery of Contemporary Art.
“We started to go to The Ringling and view the art and we appreciate it a lot. Steven [High, executive director] and I started talking about a fixed visible commitment to contemporary and modern art, which is critically important for the community. This was our way of helping them create that. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see a diversity of art.”
“There’s such interesting, vibrant art appreciation developing in this community. It’s important, educationally, for young people to have the opportunity to see contemporary and modern art, to be motivated by it, and maybe dream things they wouldn’t otherwise dream.”
“I have always been interested in art; it’s something I’ve followed for decades. I have a modest contemporary collection of my own, which includes works by Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Roy Lichtenstein, Jimmy Dine. I know what I like, and I hope to learn more.”
“The gallery will open with a new piece by [visual artist] Anne Patterson. That’s the caliber of terrific, innovative, thought-provoking art, and it will create a basis for a dialogue.”