Choose vintage photos or contemporary art

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On Olympic overload?

Then check out the local art scene, where two venues offer something old, something new.

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is presenting the vintage photos of New York City street photographer Mel Finkelstein.

Those with contemporary tastes may want to sample "Fresh Fish II," works by a new generation of artists at the Painted Fish Gallery.

The intriguing Leepa-Rattner exhibit pays homage to the 40-year career of Mel Finkelstein, a newspaper and magazine photojournalist who documented the lives of celebrities, politicians and public events from the 1950s through the 1980s.

One of his four daughters, Tarpon Springs photographer Susan Geier, helped to organize the show of about 90 black and white photos, most of which are vintage gelatin silver prints.

It's been very well received, said Lynn Whitelaw, museum director.

"We opened the exhibit this past Saturday night and had over 320 people attend — a record for us," he said. "People are just loving it."

Finkelstein (1932-1992) spent more than 20 years with the New York Daily News and then as photo editor for the New York Post. Some of his photos, taken as he roamed the streets of New York City, appear in magazines like Life and Time.

Finkelstein chronicled race riots, crime scenes and slices of everyday life. He snapped the mugs of presidents and political leaders.

The exhibit includes his Pulitzer Prize-nominated photograph of Chinese delegates grinning as they were seated for the first time inside the United Nations.

His good luck and great hunches netted him iconic photos of Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow.

"He wasn't intrusive like today's paparazzi," Whitelaw said. "He was patient and courteous and loved writing captions to the photos; he loved the play on words."

• • •

At the Painted Fish Gallery in downtown Dunedin, three up-and-coming artists demonstrate their contemporary verve in "Fresh Fish II."

The exhibit, now in its second year, was coordinated by Christine Renc-Carter, registrar at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art in Largo and daughter of artisans/gallery owners Bill and Linda Renc.

"Through our art, we're expressing what is going on in our minds and lives as we enter this period of adulthood," said Renc-Carter, 33.

Some of her works are mythical and light-hearted, while others have a more serious tone.

Her vibrant mixed media monoprint, Remedy the Burn, depicts a houseboat on fire as two seabirds try desperately, and fruitlessly, to dash out the flames.

"It has an undertone of alarm," she said, "especially for the environment."

Noah Deledda, 30, of Oldsmar will explore new drawing and painting techniques using painted paper and grease pencil.

Simon Boses, 33, of Seminole will display his metaphoric and cartoonlike earthenware figurines, part of a mythology he has created.

In Single Sighted Diversity, he taps into themes of intolerance as a "creator" holds four rabbits, each identical except for their coloring.

"In their single-sightedness, the rabbits think they are completely different from each other," Boses said.

Terri Bryce Reeves can be contacted at treeves@tampabay.rr.com.

>>if you go

Mel Finkelstein: Playing a Hunch

Where: Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road, on St. Petersburg College's
Tarpon Springs campus.

When: Runs through Oct. 19.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, open until 9 p.m. Thursday. Open 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $5 adults; $4 seniors. Free admission and docent tours on Sundays.

For information: Call (727) 712-5762 or visit www.spcollege.edu/museum

• • •

Fresh Fish II

Where: The Painted Fish/Clay and Paper Gallery, 350 Main St. near the Pinellas Trail, Dunedin

When: Runs through Oct. 26.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, open until 8 p.m. the second Friday of each month.

For information: Call (727)
734-5060 or visit www.paintedfish
gallery.com.

Choose vintage photos or contemporary art 08/21/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 26, 2009 1:57pm]

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