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Portraits that pop

BY LENNIE BENNETT

Times Art Critic

ST. PETERSBURG — Pop artist Andy Warhol famously said that everyone will get 15 minutes of fame. For $15, your child might be able to extend that timetable with a hands-on program at the Morean Arts Center and the Museum of Fine Arts. (That's the new name for the Arts Center, by the way, in honor of its generous patron, Beth Ann Morean.)

Their Portrait Factory begins Saturday at the Morean Arts Center and continues on Saturdays through Aug. 8. It will be set up at the Museum of Fine Arts on July 31 and Aug. 14 from 6 to 8 p.m. Members of both organizations save $3 per portrait.

The Arts Center's former gift shop has been transformed into a kid-friendly version of Warhol's Factory, the huge New York studio where the artist worked and hung out with his equally eccentric inner circle, a legion of famous folks and the inevitable wanna-bes. (One of then, Valerie Solanas, tried to kill him, which naturally put a damper on the Factory, but I'm straying.)

At the center's Portrait Factory, kids can create their own version of Warhol's screen-printed portraits of famous people. His style — bold, graphic colors, minimal details — is good inspiration. Your child (or you — adults are welcome to participate) sits for a photograph that is converted via computer to a large screened print. Art supplies are provided so you can customize it with your own artistic flourishes, just as Andy did.

You can see real Warhol prints at the nearby Museum of Fine Arts and, as a budding genius, your child will get a free pass to the museum (savings of $6) with a paid adult admission and a 50 percent-off coupon from Davidson Fine Art, also nearby, to have it framed.

Will it all lead to fame?

Probably not.

But it'll provide more than 15 minutes of quality family time.

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

. IF YOU GO

Make like Andy

The Portrait Factory is Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. No reservations required. It will continue on Saturdays through Aug. 8. It will also be at the Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, from 6 to 8 p.m. on July 31 and Aug. 14. Portrait at both venues, $15; members of either organization, $12.

Portraits that pop 06/24/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 24, 2009 5:30am]

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