Happy Birthday, Ken Rollins!
Most people, reaching an important year, celebrate with wine, dinner and song. Maybe a cruise. Rollins has organized a free art exhibition at the Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Rollins, who turns 70 this month, was a museum man for more than 30 years. He was director of four Florida museums, including the Tampa Museum of Art, which he led as interim director before he retired in 2008.
A ceramics artist himself, Rollins was especially interested in promoting Florida artists. He is largely responsible for the permanent collection that concentrated on them at the Gulf Coast Museum of Art that, sadly, closed in 2009. That collection is now owned by St. Petersburg College and the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.
This show, "Florida Focus," features 32 of them. The list reads like an honor roll as well as a scroll through past decades and so many good exhibitions. It's also a reminder of all the talent we have in our state.
These days, he is president of his consulting company, Rollins Fine Art. But he still has his curating chops.
We're the ones getting the birthday presents this year. Shown here are a few of them. Images are from the individual artists.
"Florida Focus" continues through March 17. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. (727) 895-6620 or studio620.org.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic