Betty & Howard Isermann

Visionary Supporters
of Art Center Sarasota

Art Center Sarasota acknowleges the Isermanns as Visionary Supporters. Howard and Betty have consistently been involved with the Art Center over the years through Annual Appeals, project renovations such as the gallery lighting, classroom windows, new airconditioning and Betty's participation in workshops.

It is through Betty's talent as an artist, their love of the visual arts and Howard's devotion to his wife that we are able to have such wonderful and caring people connected to the Art Center.



As a lifelong scholar, Betty Isermann continues to refine her talent as an artist through participation in workshops and classes at Art Center Sarasota. She enjoys attending workshops to grow artistically and connect with other artists. Betty’s watercolors are rich with color which she says “inspires and excites” her. Her work has been shown in Art Center Sarasota’s juried exhibitions and in other galleries, corporations and is part of private collections.


Howard Isermann knew very little about art until Betty, his wife of over 60 years, opened his eyes to the world of painting through her love of art. Originally Betty wanted to be a writer and worked in New York City editing and writing for romance magazines. After taking her first art class, she discovered a passion for watercolor painting. Betty studied in New Jersey with Nicholas Reale, who also taught at the Hilton Leech Studio in Sarasota.


The Isermanns made their first trip to Sarasota in 1981 so Betty could attend a workshop here. During their visit, Howard, an avid tennis player, enjoyed the beautiful tennis courts at The Colony on Longboat Key. They were impressed by the art scene and decided to purchase a home in Sarasota. For many years they commuted to Florida from New Jersey, and when Howard retired they moved to Florida permanently. They made many friends in Sarasota and became active in the community. Howard was invited to become a member of the Sarasota Memorial Foundation Board. As an ardent supporter of education, Howard funded construction of the The Betty Isermann Fine Arts Building at New College in honor of his wife, Betty. Recently, he was the Chair of the New College Foundation.



Howard Isermann is by profession a chemical engineer, having earned his degree at the prestigious Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In his career at Van Dyk & Co., which he later acquired, he developed an ultraviolet absorber that became the most effective and widely used sunscreen in the world. This development, in addition to preventing sunburn, has contributed to significant progress in skin cancer prevention. Active in fragrance research organizations, he founded Novarome Inc. in 1980, manufacturer of fragrance compounds used in a wide variety of consumer products, from soaps to perfumes. Isermann served as both chairman of the Chemical Engineering Advisory Council and was a generous benefactor of fellowships and professorships at RPI. In 1989, the Institute renamed the department the Howard P. Isermann Department of Chemical Engineering.

The Isermanns have been generous supporters of Art Center Sarasota over the years, initiating a $25,000 Matching Gift Appeal many times. Howard also served on the Board of Directors. They have recently provided for the installation of new windows in the classroom. In the Atrium Gallery they have funded replacement of all the lighting as well as a new air conditioning system. The Atrium Gallery is the largest of the galleries at Art Center Sarasota and is used for opening receptions, classes, performances, lectures and also as a rental space for events. 


We are very grateful to the Isermanns for their enthusiasm and assitance in making Art Center Sarasota a wonderful place to learn and visit.


Painting by Betty Isermann