About Ann Darling

Ann McDowell DarlingPotter and artist Ann Darling is founder of the Darling Pottery Studio, which she has operated in the Gulf Gate area since 1974.

Her Sarasota roots go back to an uncle, Thomas Glenn, who was a prominent figure in the development of Sarasota in the 1930s and 1940s. Ann’s late husband, the architect Sumner Darling, designed and restored such landmarks as the Sarasota Arts Center.

Darling has studied pottery since middle school, and continued her interest after marriage. She taught art at local schools, and eventually opened her own studio.

When her husband, the late architect Sumner Darling, passed away in 1975, Ann’s studio, designed by her husband as a gift, was only partially finished. Local architects that included Bob Morris, Stewart Barger, Carl Abbott, Jack West, Tolyn Twitchell, Don Wilkinson and Dick Allen donated weekends to finish the school building.

Darling has a degree in psychology from Stetson University in Deland and completed graduate work in art at Illinois State University. She worked in pottery with Frank Colson in Sarasota and has also worked with Cynthia Bringle, Paulus Berneshon and Toshiko Takaezu in Penland, North Carolina. For several years, she was an art therapist at Gulf Gate School for Adjustive Education, combining her psychology and art education to work with emotionally disturbed children. She has been an adjunct art professor at Manatee Community College South Campus in Venice.

Darling has had solo exhibitions at the Hilton Leech Gallery in Sarasota and at the Manatee Community College South Campus Art Gallery. Her work has been shown at the Ringling Museum Crafts Festival, the Las Olas Art Festival, the Miami Grove show and the Winter Park Art Festival. Of special note was her work at the Lowe Art Museum’s exhibition of Women Artists in Florida. A number of her pieces have been accepted at the International Competition of Ceramic Arts in Faenza, Italy.

In addition to her wheel-thrown and hand-built works in clay, including the high-fired stoneware and raku, Darling also works in printmaking and photography.