Itís hard to overlook the influence that art has on Gulfport, the beachy area that borders St. Petersburg and Boca Ciega Bay. Besides the funky, colorful architecture and artsy vibe, the community has been a haven for artists for ages, and they have two art walks a month. This weekend, you can get up close and personal with some of the artists thanks to the ArtJones Open StudioTour happening Saturday-Sunday. The free, self-guided tour introduces you to 12 artists, including ceramic artist Brenda McMahon, whose work is pictured, poster artist Ray Domingo, sculptor Tom Pitzen and photographer Larry Busby. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and
11 a.m.-4 p.m.Sunday. Download a map at artjonesstudiotour.com or pick one up at any downtown Gulfport business and follow the signs.
Though art is usually a personal purchase, many art lovers will appreciate any gift made by an artistís hand. Knowing this to be true, many art galleries hold holiday shows, like the one that opens Saturday at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass Etc. in Safety Harbor. The gallery has a large collection of paintings and other 2D artwork, including Gray Tess Fusion #2 by Dasha, which is pictured. They also have a sizable offering of cut, carved and blown glass art, a very popular medium. Theyíve also just received the latest items from the Borowski Glass Collection, a wonderful gift for anyone who collects the work from the Polish family of glass artists. Certainly not to be forgotten is the galleryís selection of artist-made jewelry, better than a diamond any day, I say. And of course, itís always okay to look or shop for yourself while youíre out thinking of others. An opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Saturday at 247 Main St., Safety Harbor. (727) 725-1808. sydentelgalleries.com.
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