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Florida International Museum exhibits former Gulf Coast Museum of Art collection

BY LENNIE BENNETT

Times Art Critic

ST. PETERSBURG

Change is inevitable and making it positive rather than negative is often the challenge. We'll see the metaphorical lemons transformed into lemonade with the opening of "In a New Light" Saturday at the Florida International Museum in St. Petersburg.

More than 100 works will be exhibited, the choicest pieces from the Gulf Coast Museum of Art, which closed earlier this year. That event represented bushels of lemons, a sad demise for a museum that once held so much promise, a victim of circumstances and bad decisions made through most of its history.

But we can raise a symbolic glass of lemonade, appropriately bittersweet, to the survival, intact, of its collection, which is mostly by contemporary artists from the southeastern United States with a high concentration of Floridians.

St. Petersburg College acquired it from the museum so it would not be dispersed.

Which led to another rebirth of sorts for the Florida International Museum, which has been mothballed for about a year. Always more exhibition hall than museum, it, too, has had a spotty history. It's currently part of the St. Petersburg College Downtown Cultural Center that includes the Palladium and the soon-to-open American Stage.

So for now, let us praise lovely art. It will be on view through Oct. 4 so you have time to plan a visit. But do visit. After the show closes in the fall, there are no specific plans for the collection being exhibited in its entirety.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lennie@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8293.

Preview:

In a New Light

Featuring selections from the St. Petersburg College acquisition of the Gulf Coast Museum of Art collection. The show opens Saturday at Florida International Museum, 244 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg. Through Oct. 4.

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Admission: $8 adults, $6 seniors and military, $5 students 7 and older.

Florida International Museum exhibits former Gulf Coast Museum of Art collection 05/20/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 8:56am]

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