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'The FENCE' Traveling Photography Show Returns To Sarasota

A photo of the fence exhibit at Nathan Bendeson Park
The 'FENCE' exhibition is located near the finish tower at Nathan Benderson Park. Cathy Carter/WUSF Public Media

Seattle and Sarasota have at least one thing in common: each are just one of eight cities to host the largest public photography exhibition in North America.

'The FENCE" presents a series of large-scale images printed on vinyl mesh and displayed on an 800-foot fence beside the lake at Nathan Benderson Park. The traveling show is back in Sarasota for its second year.

The photographs are displayed in a series of up to five pictures that tell a story. Each series shares a thematic connection in categories including home, people, nature and food.

Artwork from photographers was selected by a jury that included professionals from National Geographic as well as curators from museums and art centers around the world.

The free exhibit comprises more than 200 works and is the same in each host city.

However, “The Gulf Coast of Florida Regional Photographers Showcase” is unique to the Sarasota exhibit. This portion of the show features images by eight area photographers from cities like Tampa and Sarasota.

Photo of The FENCE exhibit in Sarasota
Credit Cliff Roles
Sarasota based photographer Cliff Roles is one of eight local artists included in the exhibition.

Professional events photographer Cliff Roles is among the local artists included in the exhibition. The Sarasota resident said he spends the off-season with a backpack and a camera. His landscape photographs taken last year on a trip to Nordic countries are featured in a series called "Nightless Summer In South-East Iceland."

Roles likes that the exhibit exposes the arts to a wide audience.

“I think the idea of the FENCE is more innovative than a gallery or indoor exhibit, as it will be viewed by far more people in a relaxed environment,” he said.  “And if people stop to read my bio and look at my photos, it’s far greater recognition.”

The FENCE is on view through February 8, 2020.

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.
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