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Enjoy the genius, or use your own, at Morean Arts Center's latest Colorpalooza exhibitions

Neil Matthiessen, Untitled, 2011.

Morean Arts Center

Neil Matthiessen, Untitled, 2011.


Times Art Critic


Colorpalooza, a program of colorful summer events, continues at the Morean Arts Center with two new exhibitions, one created by you, the visitor, and another by Neil Matthiessen, assistant professor of graphic design at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

"Color Inspired: A Community Exhibition" began as a blank slate but is evolving as people contribute their own creative impulses to a gallery wall. It's hung with colorful frames outfitted with string and clips to which you attach your work. A table is filled with paper and stencils so you can cut and paste, then take your masterpiece with you or "frame" it for public enjoyment.

The second show, "Recontextualizing Aesthetics," has an intimidating, cerebral title that gives no hint of Matthiessen's vibrant abstractions. Two walls are painted with puffy shapes suggesting cloud banks that extend across part of the floor in colored sand. (Not a good idea to consider it a sandbox, however; there are plenty of interactive features at the Morean but this isn't one of them.) Matthiessen's smaller prints line other walls.

His designs come from computer programs based on the chaos theory, which is based on random, unseen patterns that, he says, "emerge into an order if you allow the program to run long enough." By the time he's finished, though, they can simply be enjoyed without thinking about them.

The artist is having a Color Explosion workshop Saturday in which a large-scale mural will be created using stencils. It's all hands-on, no computer skills required. It's from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., costs $50 and is novice-friendly. For information, call (727) 822-7872.

And the Art Lounge and Make Space have been transformed into inviting places to linger. Comfy chairs, lots of interesting books and piles of art materials (and aprons) let you absorb yourself quietly or get active and doodle around.

All perfect for a summer day.

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

Recontextualizing Aesthetics

Color Inspired: A Community Exhibition

The exhibitions are at the Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, through Aug. 21. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Free (galleries only, not the Hot Shop). (727) 822-7872;

Enjoy the genius, or use your own, at Morean Arts Center's latest Colorpalooza exhibitions 07/27/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 27, 2011 4:30am]
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