Friday, November 17, 2017
Features and More

Get a little twisted at St. Petersburg's Abnormality art show

RECOMMENDED READING


Curiosities wait around every corner in Casey Paquet's house. There are teeth, skulls and Victorian medical equipment cased in glass domes. There's a taxidermied turkey and a pheasant in the garage. There's even an honest-to-goodness stuffed bobcat.

"I've never seen a bobcat aside from at the zoo," he said. "But I go out in the garage and see one every day."

He wanted other people to see it, too, to put his collection on display, to meet other people who liked to get a little weird. A little abnormal.

Saturday, Paquet and glass artist Josh Poll are hosting an art show, called Abnormality, under the roof of an old fire station.

Paquet and Poll started talking about hosting an art show this year, never knowing how large it could get. They thought about Station Number Three on Fifth Avenue S, a grand, decommissioned fire station with professional gallery lighting in St. Petersburg's burgeoning Warehouse Arts District. The owner agreed.

"It's awesome," said Paquet. "It looks like it was in the process of disintegration and someone came in and shellacked the whole thing. It's like it's paused. It's one of the coolest places in town."

Paquet and Poll started asking friends and artists to participate. They sent out fliers, made a slick promotional video featuring a set of soiled fingers pasting pictures of gas masks, physical deformities, creepy babies with the eyes scraped out, circus sideshows. They mailed little wooden boxes to news organizations, and inside set one of Poll's glass eyeball rings resting on a bed of teeth.

They reached out to performance artists 20 Penny Circus, fresh off a stint at Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights. Would they do up-close live magic for guests? They agreed, too. Everyone wanted in. Now, at least 35 artists are set to show at the free event.

They're all abnormal, whatever their definition.

"When you say abnormal, everyone thinks of something different," said Paquet, 35, who works in marketing and Web services at Eckerd College.

Paquet grew up near Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm in California. He went to theme park Halloween events and became enchanted by the Haunted Mansion ride, the macabre beauty of it all. He wasn't scared. He just liked to stare.

Today, he has a whole leg covered in Haunted Mansion tattoos. He goes to Halloween Horror Nights and studies the actors while they're trying to scare him. He collects oddities from the Internet and builds them into art. He loves bones and dioramas, stuffed ravens, things that could be found in natural history museums but can also fit in a cabinet.

All art at Abnormality will be for sale, from $10 necklaces to large works at investment prices. Bartenders from the now-shuttered Independent in St. Petersburg will serve drinks for donations. You'll see works from Dysfunctional Grace Art Co., Christian Zvonik, Daniel Mrgan and Joe Boccia. You'll see bearded lady photography, Poll's eyeball jewelry, skeletons contorted into different poses.

And when you grab a beer, you'll be grabbing it from — what else? — an autopsy table.

 
Comments
Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

TAMPAWhile her teenage daughter and 6-year-old son glided effortlessly across the outdoor ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park on Friday, Danielle Engram, 35, stood nervously on her rented blades.This would be the lifelong Tampa resident’s first time on the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy’s balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.   From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Ideas for sidesThese recipes go beyond the traditional, with a corn casserole, Brussels sprout salad and moreSee what our food ed...
Updated: 6 hours ago
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Updated: 8 hours ago
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Published: 11/17/17
How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

As far as we’re concerned, anything you can make in advance of actual Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, and this make-ahead gravy fits the bill. Plus, Tucker Shaw of America’s Test Kitchen says it tastes just as good as if you made it wi...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts. New York Times Put some thought into the menu What leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they t...
Published: 11/17/17