University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

BFA Alumna Laine Nixon Receives the Ringling Towers Individual Artist Award

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bachelor of Fine Arts Alumna Laine Nixon is the winner of the 2016/2017 John Ringling Towers Fund Individual Artist Award for her painting series Assent.

With the award, Nixon will debut four large paintings as a continuation of Assent at her upcoming solo exhibition at Gallery 221@HCC titled Becoming Unfinished.

"I call the series Assent, another word for agreement, revealing my belief in making an active choice about what we keep, crop, or omit, and taking care to ensure that we are pleased with the final results," said Nixon. "This award will unequivocally make a significant contribution to my work. It will allow me to bring a new level of experimentation and production quality to the series and to take it in a whole new direction."

The John Ringling Towers Fund Individual Artist Award — administered by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County — is designed to recognize practicing professional artists in Sarasota County. The award supports artists through a significant cash reward as well as a three-week residency at the Hermitage Artist Retreat.

As a working professional artist, she uses what she learned in Real World, a class that encourages student artists to explore opportunities available to them after graduation. It is taught by Academic Advisor in Art Richard Olinger.

"I often think of discussions from this class as I navigate my artistic pursuits," said Nixon.

Nixon found the right environment at the College of The Arts to become herself as an artist and to find her unique strengths.

"There's oversight but there's an openness to finding your own way, and I really appreciated that," said Nixon. "I really didn't know that's what I would find."

To learn more about the John Ringling Towers Fund Individual Artist Award, visit

Becoming Unfinished is on view May 15 - June 29. There will be an opening reception and artist talk from 5-7PM on May 18, 2017. To learn more about Nixon's upcoming exhibition, visit or call 813-253-7386.