With all the nostalgia for the 1980s and '90s lately, it's not surprising that cassette tapes are making a comeback, and this weekend brings a music-themed art show dedicated to the sometimes annoying but highly personal mixtape.
But for all of their down sides — like when the tape would break and have to be spliced back together to salvage it, or when it came unspooled and had to be rewound with a pencil — and maybe because of them cassettes were media that you really felt connected to, especially in making a mixtape.
That culture is being celebrated Saturday in a new art show by artist and designer Chad Mize, also known as Chizzy, in the aptly titled exhibit "Mixtape," which also refers to the mix of artists in the show.
Mize partnered with St. Petersburg's Black Amethyst Gallery, giving more than 40 artists a wooden cutout of a cassette that he designed to put their "artistic mixes" on. The cutouts were larger than life, 20 by 13 inches, to allow some room for expression. The results are as diverse as people's musical tastes.
A few of the pieces in the show aren't cassettes but relate to music. Artist Jennifer Kosharek went with a ballet theme and made it appear to be a tape of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, and the artist known as Aurailieus Artist turned his mixtape into graffiti. Mize is doing a boom box.
The opening reception at Black Amethyst, 689 Ninth St. N, St. Petersburg, is from 7-11 p.m. Saturday and will feature '80s music by DJ Re:Pete and live T-shirt screen printing. See blackamethysttattoogallery.com.After the opening, pieces from the show will rotate between Black Amethyst and Daddy Kool records throughout April.