A long overdue recognition of many forgotten women of the arts will take place at the next installment of Academia Hernando’s spring community learning series. Historian Sheryl Long will dive into the lives of these women when she presents “They Created What?” at 10 am on February 10 at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd., Spring Hill.
“Who was the first person in ancient history to sign their name to their work? Who carved 100 faces on a cherry pit? Who included tiny reflections of herself in many of her still life paintings? How old was the youngest woman commissioned by the US government to create a public statue? Find out more about these women in the visual and literary arts, and many others that you never learned about in school,” read an event notice.
Academia Hernando is a not-for-profit lifelong learning organization providing quality instruction and learning experiences for adult students throughout Hernando County and beyond. Their goal is to inform, educate and inspire adult learners through a series of weekly lectures on a wide variety of topics.
Presenter Sheryl Long is a retired communications and marketing manager with a BA in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida. Previously, she managed a bookstore on Sanibel Island, was an artist assistant to Robert Rauschenberg and produced a TV series for WEDU, among other jobs.
Long explained, “A woman named Laurel Ulrich wrote a book titled, ‘Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History,’ and in that book, she examines the ways that women shaped history. Ulrich said, ‘History just isn’t just what happens in the past. It is what later generations choose to make of it.’ This, and my granddaughter, inspired me to share more stories about amazing women.”
Indeed, Long hopes that the stories and remembrances she shares as a part of her presentations will, in turn, be shared by those who hear them. “Most of the folks who attend my talks are grandparents, and I always encourage them to tell their grandchildren – girls, and boys – about these incredible women and what they accomplished,” she said.
Among the gifted historical female artisans to be featured in Long’s presentation is Vinnie Ream, who, at age 18, sculpted the statue of Abraham Lincoln, which resides in the U.S. Capitol, and Phillis Wheatley, an African American enslaved teenage girl whose moving poetry furthered the cause of abolition in England.
Sharon Printz, a board member of Academia Hernando, looks forward to welcoming the return of this popular presenter to the Academia Hernando stage. “Sheryl Long specializes in bringing us important information about what women have done throughout history,” she said. “Their important work has been ignored throughout history. It’s important that we remember these amazing women.” Printz emphasized that this program has a creative bent. “These women were the artists,” she said.
Academia Hernando presentations begin promptly at 10 am, and they last two hours with a 15-minute intermission. The spring series continues via presentations of “The Crisis in Ukraine,” presented by Damien Austin on Feb. 17; “Spies, Lies and Betrayal,” presented on Feb. 24, by Col. Mike Pheneger; and finally, “Simon & Garfunkel” will be presented by Bruce Gobioff, 10 on March 3.
Walk in admissions are available at $15 per presentation. Visit https://www.academiahernando.org/ for more information or call (352) 345-8345.