The annual Cool Art Show plays with its name because it's during steamy July in an air-conditioned auditorium and goes for a cool artistic vibe.
Now the Professional Association of Visual Artists, which organizes the event, is expanding its play on words with 2Cool Art Show during a cooler winter month.
The show is Saturday and Sunday at the Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd. S, with about 40 artists and fine craftsmen. Which means it isn't a big show; Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, for example, coming up March 3 and 4, has about 300 artists. Which also means that there are still many media represented, just not as many artists in each category. So you can stroll and shop at a leisurely pace and still see everything.
The great thing about this venue is that the historic casino is part of the charming Gulfport waterfront district, which abounds with shops, galleries and — most famously — some wonderful independent restaurants. Those eateries got Gulfport into the 2011 finals for Best Food in Rand McNally's Best of the Road contest.
There is plenty of art at the 2Cool Art Show and plenty more besides to fill the good part of the day. The show is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission and parking are free. For information, go to pava-artists.org.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic