Two very different art shows deal with the bizarre: One dresses up in unusual materials, the other takes it all off to reveal the surreal. Kelly Smith, Times staff writer
Closet Artists: Art to Wear >>
This fashion and accessories exhibition pays tribute to everybody who has been digging into the toy box and under the couch cushions to clear out for the new year. Who knew all that junk could look so fabulous? Think garments made of rubber gloves, Ikea bags and hardware, wire shirts and pants, hats made from vintage dresses and funky redecorated shoes. Plus it's set against Ikea storage solutions, so you can get organized. The groups affiliated with the show are the International Academy of Design & Technology (students and faculty), Bayshore High School and Arts Academy (shoes), Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild (hand-dyed fabric panels) and independent garment and accessory designers. The free opening reception is at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Florida Craftsmen Galleries, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. The exhibit continues through Feb. 26. (727) 821-7391.
n Cirque du Surreal
A peep show of nude and erotic art. A tuba solo. Belly dancing. Show tunes. None of these is too bizarre on its own, but the combination certainly feels surreal. Welcome to the fourth annual Gulf Coast Artists' Alliance event that celebrates all forms of art in every way. There will be some 20 artists with more than 100 works, much of it surrealistic in nature — and that includes the artists, who tend to dress up like Salvador Dalí or characters in his paintings. The eclectic performers include the Dancing Dalís accompanied by Toffer Ross (founder of the Fallopian Tubes); Loud Zoo belly dancing; Addie Spicuzza (Ms. Florida Senior America 2004) doing Broadway song and dance; emerging band Dominators of the Sandbox; Lydia Swystun on American Indian flute; poets Brad Morewood, Barry Moses and Boo Ehrsam and erotic poet Diane Browning; and DJ Back Bone. Parent alert! The peep show, which includes erotic paintings and sculptures, will be a section of the gallery separated with a curtain. The event is from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Salt Creek Artworks, 1600 Fourth St. S, St. Petersburg. $5 advance, $8 at the door (2 for $15). (727) 738-8010; gcaa-fl.org.