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Art abounds in the bay area

We have our own version of March Madness in the local arts community. New exhibitions in lots of galleries throughout the Tampa Bay area have just opened or are about to, representing a range of tastes and styles. The Weekend calendar listings tell the full story. Here are a few highlights.

"The Second Coming" at Pale Horse Gallery,

19 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. S, St. Petersburg

Many of the artists in this group show are getting national attention and are of a school I call Earnest Pop: They work in the pop art tradition, its cool irony tempered by a philosophical perspective, unlike its progenitor. A number of them are also graphic and graffiti artists. The group includes Kathie Olivas, Brandt Peters, Bask, Rob Schwager, Hydro 74, Red Labor, Jarrod Eastman, Steak Mountain, Horsebites, Dan Mumford and Josh Taylor.

A free opening reception is from 8 to 11 p.m. Saturday; the show continues through March 29. Gallery hours: (727) 823-6202;

"Kim Radatz: Thinking Out Loud" at the Galleries at Salt Creek, 1600 Fourth St. S, St. Petersburg

"Introverted" may be an odd word to apply to Radatz's well-known conceptual versions of dresses, painted and embellished with metaphoric accessories. But accompanied as they are here with installations of small vanity mirrors, plastered with soul-searching questions and answers, it's like visiting the walk-in closet of an introspective clotheshorse who cares about appearances. Shown is Safe, mixed media.

An opening reception is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday; gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free. (727) 894-2653;

"Contemporary Folk Expressions XII" at Clayton Galleries, 4105 S MacDill Ave., Tampa

Every year, Cathy Clayton and Jeanne Kronsnoble take a road trip around the South collecting folk art for this group show, now in its 12th year. You'll see perennial favorites, including O.L. Samuels' Seagull, shown, and new finds in this large, flamboyant exhibition.

The show runs through April 26. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. (813) 831-3753;

"Dominique Labauvie: Constellations and Acrobats" at Bleu Acier,

109 W Columbus Drive, Tampa, and Michael Murphy Gallery M at

2701 S MacDill Ave., Tampa

Labauvie's recent metal sculptures aren't large and they're definitely not fussy, but they command any space they inhabit with a self-assured sense of form and balance. They and a collection of drawings and prints, such as The Golden Fleece, a lithograph and woodcut, shown, are divided between Bleu Acier and Gallery M.

A free opening reception will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Michael Murphy Gallery M. The show continues there through March 29. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (813) 902-1414;

The show at Bleu Acier continues through April 19. Hours are 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday or by appointment. (813) 272-9746;

"Yvonne Petkus: Processing the Figure" at Brad Cooper Gallery, 1712 E Seventh Ave., Ybor City

Petkus has always made the point in her figurative paintings that something can be beautiful without being pretty. She continues to embrace the flesh-as-raw-meat aesthetic associated with Lucian Freud, and her colors are disturbing and terrific. Many in this collection have a new insubstantiality, crumbling rather than dissolving into their surroundings in brittle and monumental resistance.

The show continues through May 10. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and by appointment. (813) 248-6098;

Peter Max at Syd Entel Galleries, 247 Main St., Safety Harbor

Peter Max is a much-loved international artist who continues to pitch the good vibrations of the 1960s in his uncomplicated and colorful paintings and prints. The artist will attend two free receptions, from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday. Reservations are requested; call (727) 725-1808.

This is a two-day-only exhibition. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. (727) 725-1808;

St. Petersburg Studio Tour, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday

Mark your calendars for this new event. Nine artists, most in the Grand Central District, will open their studios to the public. It's a chance to see how they work and chat about processes, with finished art and pieces in progress at every stop. It's organized by Jeff and Stephanie Schorr, owners of Craftsman House, a cafe and gallery that is also home to Stephanie Schorr's ceramics studio. Shown is a selection of her work. For a list of participating studios, go to

Lennie Bennett can be reached at or (727) 893-8293.

Art abounds in the bay area 03/12/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 5:06pm]
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