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Cirque du Surreal offers art, dance and poetry in Clearwater this weekend


If the post-holiday season has you feeling a bit down, here's a lively little antidote to help you lose the blues. The Gulf Coast Artists' Alliance, a nonprofit organization of artists including visual artists, poets, musicians, actors and authors, will present its third annual Cirque du Surreal, an art exhibition and multimedia gala event.

"It's a celebration of the arts — everything that is fun, strange, unusual and bizarre," said Boo Ehrsam, one of the organizers who said she has no formal title. "We're artists, darling. We don't have all those rules."

The cirque takes place at the new Beaux Arts gallery, 709 S Missouri Ave.

The gala reception is 6 to 10 tonight. Expect music, dance, poetry, arts and crafts vendors — and whatever else might happen.

The companion visual art exhibit consists of about 100 works by some 20 artists and includes painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, pottery, jewelry and mixed media. The art will be on display tonight and remain from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

"Most of them are on the far-out, surreal side," said Judy Vienneau, alliance director.

Parental alert: There also will be a "peep show" in a walled-off area. It will feature nude sculptures, paintings, drawings and photography. There also will be pencil holders, candlesticks and other items in the shape of, well, male private parts.

"It's more of an adult event, and we encourage parents to use good judgment if they do bring their children," Vienneau said.

This year's Cirque du Surreal is dedicated to the late Tom Reese, founder of Beaux Arts, a Bohemian-style gallery and coffeehouse in Pinellas Park and later St. Petersburg, which was a mecca for artists, poets and musicians.

Jack Kerouac, author of On the Road, was a regular there. Jim Morrison, lead singer of the Doors, read his poetry at Beaux Arts in the 1960s when he was a student at St. Petersburg Junior College.

Marilyn Monroe is said to have bought art there.

Tonight's affair begins with the Surreal Parade of costumed artists and entertainers, led by the "Dancing Dalis," Judith Curtis and Addie Spicuzza, Ms. Florida Senior America in 2004.

Music will be provided by Toffer Ross, founder of the Fallopian Tubes band, who will play Hello Dolly make that Hello Dali on a tuba.

Loud Zoo, a dance troupe from Hip Expressions, will add some unique twists to the event.

There will be a caricature artist, a scavenger hunt and a raffle for a mystery box full of all kinds of artistic creations.

If the mood strikes, you can create Dada poetry, the nonsensical sort created by drawing words from a bag.

Guests are encouraged to wear costumes and join in all the fun. There is a $5 donation at the door for tonight's event. Children under 12 get in free.

"It will stimulate all the senses," Vienneau said.

Have a Diversions idea? Reach Terri Bryce Reeves at


Cirque du Surreal

The Gulf Coast Artists' Alliance presents the third annual Cirque du Surreal, an art exhibition and multimedia gala event.

Where: The new Beaux Arts, 709 S Missouri Ave., Clearwater

When: Multimedia gala event with a parade, music, belly dancers and such from 6 to 10 tonight. The artwork remains on display from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Cost: $5 for tonight's affair, children under 12 get in free. Saturday admission is free.

For more information: Visit or call (727) 738-8010.

Cirque du Surreal offers art, dance and poetry in Clearwater this weekend 01/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, January 7, 2010 9:06pm]
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