As a young man Pappy Saunders studied ballet; illness forced him to give it up in favor of art. Saunders was head of the design department at the Art Institute of Chicago for three years. He designed costumes for Chicago theaters, night clubs, ballet, and the Marshall Fields Department Store. In 1935 Saunders designed and supervised construction of most of the costumes for Wings of a Century, Oriental Village, and The Bowery, for the Chicago Century of Progress. He joined the faculty of the Ringling School of Art in 1936 and remained a perennial figure on campus for the next forty years. As Chairman of the Costume Design Department, Saunders helped revive Sarasota’s legendary Beaux Arts Ball. His energy and talent made the ball the social event of the year in Sarasota during the 1950’s. Rising to Professor of Art at Ringling, he was known affectionately to the students, as “Pappy.” (Trade name “Guido.”) Born: 1902, Anita, Iowa. Died: 1978. Education: Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Membership: Ringling School of Art; Sarasota Art Association; Florida Federation of Art; Art League of Manatee County; Long Boat Key Art Association; Florida Artists Group. Exhibits: Tampa Art Institute, Municipal Auditorium, one man show, January 1945, watercolors; Ringling School of Art, Faculty Exhibit, February 1948; Art Club of St. Petersburg, November 1948, six Ringling School of Art instructors exhibit, Autumn Etude, Angel Wing Begonia; Florida Artist Group, 6th Annual Circuit, Palm Beach Art League, April 1955, Melancholy Adventure; Art League of Manatee County, All Members Exhibit, October 1955, 209 Ninth St. W. Bradenton, watercolors, Arcady-Not Iowa, Fete E’eau; Art League of Manatee County, 1955, one man show; Tampa Realistic Artists Gallery, Fifty Watercolor Interpretations of Great Classical and Ballet Music, April 1957, including Marshland Festival Music; Sunshine Festival Painting and Sculpture Competition, 3rd Annual, St. Petersburg, April 1957, award of merit; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park, 1958, 200 Watercolor Interpretations of Classical and Ballet Music; Sun Art Theater, St. Petersburg, 1958, ballet watercolors; Miami Ballet, December 1958; Contemporary Arts Gallery, Creative Arts Group of Tampa Bay, January 1960, 2nd prize, naturalistic division; Creative Arts Group of Tampa Bay Area, Drawing and Print Competition, January 1961, Contemporary Arts Gallery, Pinellas Park. One man shows, Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach; Art Club of St. Petersburg; David Howell Gallery, California; Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina; Pasadena Art Institute, Pasadena, California.
Guy Saunders, Sarasota, Ringling School of Art, Dancer, 12 by 8.5 inches, watercolor and ink, signed lower left.