On May 20th, 2016, Jill Amy Kaplan died at the age of 64, after a long and valiant battle with breast cancer.
Ms. Kaplan, who graduated from the Pratt Institute of Art, had been a prominent promoter of the arts in Sarasota, where she had made her home for 22 years.
Perhaps her most important accomplishment was spearheading the movement to transform the Sarasota Bayfront into a public art space. The Sarasota Season of Sculpture, which she co-founded in 1998 along with sculptor Bruce White, was inaugurated in 1999 at Selby Library with a preview show of maquettes of the artwork selected for the bayfront exhibition. Kaplan was the executive director of this highly successful public exhibition for four seasons. In conjunction with the bayfront exhibition Kaplan assisted in organizing international sculpture symposiums, docent tours of the exhibitions, collaborations with Ringling College of Art and the Ringling Museum, and educational programs such as the Middle School Art Program.
Jill Kaplan's contribution to the arts in Sarasota area have been extensive, and she left the city a more beautiful place. There are many visible reminders of her influence, such as the popular Seward Johnson's "Unconditional Surrender" and John Henry's "Stargazer" among many other public art works in the city.
Privately, she founded the Kaplan Group which was dedicated to the promotion and sales of art, and also owned J. Kaplan Contemporary Arts, a small gallery in the Burns Court Historic District.
Ms. Kaplan is survived by her loving mother Carol Kaplan, two brothers Jim and John Kaplan, beloved nieces Molly and Emma Kaplan, Aunt and Uncle Marian and Jay Grossman, beloved cousins Deborah, Paul and Peter Kaplan, and cousins Susan Connors and Bobby Grossman, and many beloved friends.
The Kaplan family wishes to express their gratitude to the Tidewell Hospice House and staff for their compassionate care and many kindnesses.
Kay Waites at Sound Choice Cremation & Burials
With deepest condolences to the Kaplan family from Kay Waites at Sound Choice Cremation & Burials.
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