Things used to start slowing down on the arts scene once summer hit. Not anymore. Five events over the next five days offer a range of visual experiences. Lennie Bennett, Times art critic
Opening reception, Macdonald Training Center Art Gallery, 5420 W Cypress St., Tampa
Among the many programs MTC offers to adults with developmental disabilities is an art studio as an outlet for creative expression. It is also a source of genuine talent, with some of the clients producing excellent examples of what we often call Outsider Art. The center's summer show opens at its on-site gallery today at a free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open on weekdays but you might want to go sooner rather than later; at previous openings, most of the art was sold and replenishing takes several weeks. (813) 870-1300 or macdonaldcenter.org.
Opening Reception, Crochet Coral Reef at Florida Craftsmen Gallery, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg
For more than a year, men, women and kids, amateurs and experts in the Tampa Bay area, all volunteers, have been crocheting thousands of pieces that will make up the gallery-sized interpretation of a coral reef. It's a monumental local effort and part of an even larger international project called the Worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef based in Los Angeles created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim in the early 2000s to raise awareness of marine conservation. Since then, "satellite" reefs such as this one have gone global. The reception from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. is free. (727) 821-7391 or floridacraftsmen.net.
Warhol Community Day, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs
In conjunction with the exhibition, "Works by Warhol," the museum offers activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that include printmaking, face painting, docent tours, refreshments and live music. Wes Cochran, who owns the collection of prints in the show, will also be on hand. All events are free with admission of $5 adults and $4 seniors. Students and kids are free. (727) 712-5762 or spcollege.edu/central/museum.
Duncan McClellan Gallery Talk for "Global + Local: Studio and Contemporary Glass," Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE
Tours by docents, curators and the museum's director are always excellent but this one by Duncan McClellan brings its own special qualities. McClellan is an accomplished glass artist with a huge fan base locally and nationally. He knows hundreds of other glass artists and has curated exhibitions. So he'll have a lot of personal and professional knowledge and anecdotes to share about this show, which includes his own glass. The walk-through at 3 p.m. is free with museum admission, which is $17 adults, $15 seniors and $10 kids 7 and older and students with ID. Also note that the museum offers family-oriented docent tours every Saturday at 11 a.m. (727) 896-2667 or fine-arts.org.
Opening Day for "Stripped Bare and Bathed: The Preservation of Dali's Masterworks," Dalí Museum, 1 Dalí Blvd, St. Petersburg
This is not a typical art exhibition though four of Dali's large-scale paintings, also called Master Works, will be on display including The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus, shown. Beginning Monday, they will undergo conservation in the Hough Family Wing, which means they will be cleaned and damaged areas repaired as gently as possible by eight top conservators. The process is usually done in labs, out of sight, so this is a rare chance to see how art is cared for professionally. It's often low-tech, involving cotton swabs and magnifying glasses, as you will see. You can watch during museum hours Monday through Friday and the conservators will take a break at 3 p.m. daily to answer questions. (727) 823-3767 or thedali.org.