Bradenton-Sarasota, FL – Blalock Walters, P.A., colleagues, friends, and family joined together to watch the dedication of the Johnson-Blalock Education Center at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in honor of Robert G. Blalock and Senator Robert M. Johnson. The dedication ceremony was held Thursday, October 7, 2010 where the newly constructed building’s name was unveiled.
So grand are the contributions of Senator Johnson and Mr. Blalock to the community that their formal introductions at the ceremony could only highlight their respective roles. Both Senator Johnson and Mr. Blalock are seen as community icons whose dedication to the community and the Museum resulted in a strategic alliance with Florida State University. The Ringling-FSU strategic alliance secured the Museum’s grounds restoration and future with ongoing funding and an administration dedicated to preserving the educational institution within the community.
Sharing in the celebration was Senator Robert M. Johnson, who stated, “I am honored to be associated with Bob; my friend for over 40 years. Bob Blalock is the kind of person everyone wants to know and stand beside as an attorney and friend. He has the highest values, ethics, and standards of law practice.”
The name of the building is not the only tribute to Johnson and Blalock. The Education Center will provide the facilities and resources for supporting their long-term goal of making Sarasota the center of arts and education. The Johnson-Blalock Education Center houses one of the largest and most comprehensive art museum libraries with over 85,000 holdings, including the personal library of John Ringling, the Robert MacDougall Exhibit, and the Museum’s Conservation Lab.
A native to Sarasota, Florida, Bob Blalock said, “I’ve always loved this museum and I believe we owe the lineage and the concentration of arts in this area to John Ringling.” Mr. Blalock closed his speech by indicating his mutual respect for his colleague and friend Senator Johnson noting he could not think of a better name to be tied to for eternity.