The Gulfport of my youth and young adulthood was a quiet, uneventful place. Now, wow. It's still pretty and low-key but it's also cool, filled with restaurants, boutiques, galleries and a bustling market. An annual event that's cool, too, is the (coincidentally named) 2Cool Art Show on Saturday and Sunday at the Gulfport Casino.
It's a young arts festival, just three years old, launched by the Professional Association of Visual Artists to complement their 25-year-old Cool Art Show in July. This is a small show, with 38 artists and fine craftsmen. But its lesser size also means you can look longer and more deeply at all the art and spend time chatting with the artists; that isn't easy at the big shows. Its central location in the historic Gulfport Casino, 5500 Shore Blvd., gives you access to downtown Gulfport's many charms as well as the waterfront. Admission and parking are free. Hours each day are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. pavaartists.org.
Lennie Bennett, Times art critic
Clarification: Susan Livingston curated an exhibition at Florida Craftsmen Gallery that includes her sculptures using clay and fossils.