HOWARD TIBBALS TO RECEIVE AWARD FOR HIS INSPIRATIONAL ART IN SARASOTA
Sarasota, FL – Jan. 12, 2012 – Howard Tibbals is being honored with The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota’s 2012 Luminaire Award at their Celebrate the Arts luncheon on Monday, January 16 at the Sarasota Yacht Club. The 75-year old retired business man, circus historian, philanthropist, and master model builder is perhaps best known locally and globally for The Howard Bros. Circus Model, which is on public display at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. He will be presented with the award by Deborah Walk, the Ringling Museum’s Tibbals Curator of the Circus Museum.
In a prepared statement, The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota said the Luminaire Award recognizes excellence in creativity, philanthropy and advocacy, the elements that are keys to the future growth of the Arts in Sarasota. It pays tribute to an individual who, by shining example, inspires others to follow in their lead. The Luminaire Award is the highest honor bestowed by the Society.
“Howard’s talent, vision, and philanthropic efforts are a boon to the Ringling Museum and greater Sarasota/Bradenton area,” said Steven High, executive director of The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. “He brings so much pride to our community, and joy to our visitors, helping further our mission to educate, entertain and share our community’s circus heritage.”
Walk added, “I have worked with Howard for more than 20 years. To this day, he continues to educate me about the circus and inspire the Ringling Museum to achieve great heights. It is such a privilege to be presenting this prestigious award to Howard, who packaged his big dreams for Sarasota and the Ringling Museum in a tiny circus, known as The Howard Bros. Circus Model, in the aptly named, Tibbals Learning Center, which he generously helped fund. He, along with John Ringling and many others, helped earn Sarasota the moniker of Circus City U.S.A.”
Tibbals’s circus miniature, which is a replica of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus during in its heyday, has been a huge draw and crowd pleaser for the Ringling Museum. It has delighted millions of families since opening in 2006. The model resides in the Tibbals Learning Center, which opened in 2006. It houses the Ringling Museum collection, and part of Tibbals’s collection, including circus memorabilia, posters, and costumes.
The Luminaire Award kicks off a busy week for Tibbals. He, his wife Janice, and their family, will be joined by Center Ring circus stars, musicians, clowns, and jugglers, and other performers for the Grand Opening of the Tibbals Learning Center’s expanded interactive galleries, which celebrate circus history and its Center Ring performers. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held in front of the Tibbals Learning Center’s expanded galleries at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 21. The exhilarating drama of the circus then unfolds. Its Center Ring performers -- the acrobats and aerialists, circus clowns, daredevils, and ringmaster -- virtually come to life in the new space’s interactive exhibits that spotlight the art of circus performance, including gravity and death-defying feats.
About The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota
The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota provides cultural and education opportunities for its members and organizes projects which benefit the entire community and its many visitors. Each year the Society plans and promotes events to support their education, community outreach, and scholarship programs. The Society’s art collection is on public display at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. The all-volunteer Society is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.