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As Sarasota grows into a younger and more urban community, so does its creative population. It’s no longer uncommon to see artists hunched over a computer screen or a sketchbook at a trendy coffee shop.
For all the creatives descending upon Sarasota, the region has much to offer. It boasts one of the nation’s top art schools, Ringling College of Art and Design, and some of its best museums, including the Sarasota Art Museum and the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art. And when it comes time to get your beloved creative a gift, there are plenty of options to choose from. We narrowed in on a few that might surprise even the most well-acquainted with Sarasota.
Book and Alarm Clock from Architecture Sarasota Local
265 S Orange Ave., Sarasota
You can’t talk about art in Sarasota without talking about the Sarasota School of Architecture. A legion of architects put this region on the map and created a unique architectural school of thought that would go on to influence the industry’s leaders for decades to come. What creative person wouldn't want a little bit of that history on their coffee table or nightstand? For the real architecture buff, we recommend The Iconic American House by Dominic Bradbury ($40), a book that spotlights the 50 most important residential designs in the United States in the last 100 years. Discerning eyes will note that two are located in Sarasota.
And for someone who just wants a taste of architecture sprinkled into their everyday life, why not buy them an alarm clock designed by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen? Jacobsen’s Station alarm clock ($149) has a look so unique you’ll feel like you’re waking up in the era of Mad Men.
Journal Cover and Sketchbook from The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime Local
821 Apricot Ave., Sarasota, (941) 445-1938
Every artist finds themselves using a pen at some point in their lives, whether it’s to jot down their thoughts or their next new design. The Bazaar on Apricot and Lime has any creative covered — look no further for their next canvas. Choose from handmade journal covers by Deb Serbouswk ($20) with a woven design or sketchbooks with hand-drawn inspiration ($18) at the start.
T-Shirt and Water Bottle from Project Coffee Local
538 S Pineapple Ave., Sarasota
Project Coffee has quickly become a Burns Court staple for the artist and professional alike. Walk in on almost any day of the week and the cafe is buzzing with conversation and excitement. It’s a welcome respite from the routine of daily life—and now you can wear that vibe on your shirt or water bottle. The shop has dreamed up a long-sleeved t-shirt ($45) and Nalgene bottle ($30) that will make you feel like you’re at Project Coffee no matter where you are. Both items can be found in-store only, so make your way!
550 Central Ave., Sarasota, 941-951-7860
What creative person wouldn’t want to know more about the world’s best food? And yes, in this case, we are talking about cheese. Good thing Artisan Cheese Company is back to offering in-person Cheese 101 classes ($60). Not like your typical 101 college course, these one-and-a-half-hour sessions will teach visitors about eight different cheeses, their backstories and the best wine pairings. Your cheese boards will never be the same.
5401 Bay Shore Rd., Sarasota, (941) 359-5700
James Turrell’s Joseph Coat: Skyspace ($10 per person) is a highlight in the Sarasota arts scene but one that is often missed because a viewing has to be scheduled. Buy the creative person in your life tickets to the next Skyspace experience and your lives may never be the same. Watch LED lights transform the feeling of an atrium-like space with an opening to the above and turn a night sky viewing into something else altogether.