BY LENNIE BENNETT
Times Art Critic
Summer will be known as the season of color at the Morean Arts Center. Friday launches almost three months of exhibitions and activities with a rainbow connection and a hands-on agenda under the fanciful rubric, Colorpalooza!
The center is redoing some of its first-floor gallery space to encourage visitors to draw on a wall (you read that correctly), rewrite Shakespeare (that, too), lounge around with a good (art) book, inhabit a self-designed virtual space, take a seminar on color and create a postcard (the arts center will mail it for you). There's plenty of art to view, too, with a new exhibition by Dolores Coe, a painter and photographer, who's, yes, very colorful also.
The inspiration comes from the multihued glass by Dale Chihuly, which is featured at the Morean's Chihuly Collection at 455 Beach Drive NE, about a mile away from the center, and the popular Hot Shop at the center with daily demonstrations of glassblowing. Both ventures have been so successful, the center's executive director Katee Tully wants to bring people back to the mother ship at 719 Central Ave. to appreciate the range of arts opportunities available there beyond glass.
"Each of these summer events is designed to entertain your senses and encourage creativity," she said.
A few will venture beyond the Morean's walls. Some will be at St. Petersburg Clay Company, 420 22nd St. S, which houses the center's ceramics program.
When you're downtown throughout the summer, keep your eyes peeled for the 100 "glass" tickets hidden at secret locations. (They're nonbreakable acrylic, FYI, and you get to keep them as a souvenir.) Find one and get a free admission to the Chihuly Collection and Hot Shop, a savings of up to $20.
We're highlighting a few of the dozen choices here. Go to moreanartscenter.org for a complete list.
Lennie Bennett can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 893-8293.
COLORPALOOZA! KICKOFF See the unveiling of all the fun new spaces from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Morean for free. Plus, buy a $35 ticket ($30 in advance) for the cocktail party at the Chihuly Collection at 6:30 p.m.
INVENT WITH FREEFALL THEATRE Have fun with stage lighting, changing the colors illuminating the costumes from the company's recent production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Then, on a gallery wall, contribute a line (or illustration) to a play inspired by the costumes. Regular days and hours Friday through July 17. Free.
VIRTUAL SPACE Digital artist and designer Margaret Penney creates projections having the illusion of 3-D spaces in a gallery corner; sign up for a seminar and learn how to use the computer for your own digital art. Regular days and hours Friday through July 17. Free.
INTERACTION OF COLOR WORKSHOP
Join artist Bruce Marsh as he leads activities that emphasize the properties of color from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. $50.
FATHER'S DAY SPECIAL Purchase a combination ticket to the Chihuly Collection and Hot Shop and your dad gets in free; noon to 6 p.m.
>> July 9
NINTENDO WII ROCK BAND NIGHT So you wanna be a rock star? Get your "band" together for the first Nintendo Wii Battle of the Bands from 5 to 8 p.m. You need to have a color reference in the name or musical selection. Bands, $10; fans, free.