BEETLEJUICE: CULT CLASSIC AT DALÍ
More reasons to take advantage of the Dalí Museum's extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday and admission of $10 after 5 p.m.: Its Cult Classic series features a free screening of Beetlejuice, the 1988 creepy-fun film starring Michael Keaton, above. It starts about 8:30 p.m. in the Avant Garden. But come early to see the superb permanent collection and a new exhibition of photographs by Horst P. Horst at a discount (admission is usually $24) inside the museum. Beginning at 7 p.m., food trucks (Hott Mess, P.J. Rick's and Krepelicious) will be parked outside, and garden games and costume contests will be in the garden. Craft beer tasting tickets are $1. This is the last Cult Classic event for the summer at the Dalí, 1 Dalí Blvd., St. Petersburg. (727) 823-3767. thedali.org.
LAUNCH PARTY: SPF16 COMING UP
September is Arts Month in St. Petersburg with a bevy of cultural events. So why am I writing about it in early August? Because you're invited to a free launch party from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday at Green Bench Brewing, 1133 Baum Ave. N, St. Petersburg. This is the second year for the event; SPF15 was pulled together quickly and most events, with the exception of the SHINE Mural Festival, were already scheduled, so it was basically a calendar of arts events around the city. Organizers say this year there will be more events specific to SPF16, including Pop-Up Performance Weekend in area restaurants and hotel lobbies and a bigger, better Chalk Walk. SHINE, wildly successful last year, will also be more ambitious with more wall murals and one painted on a downtown street. The annual Central Avenue Solstice, celebrating the day that the sun rises and sets on Central Avenue, will feature art, performances, family activities as well as shopping and dining.
The launch party features live entertainment and previews from Mayor Rick Krisemen and members of the Suncoasters, who are the event presenters. Information about how to participate will be available. Note that beverages won't be free but those who sign up as volunteers will receive discounts. spffestival.com.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: ST. PETE is A TOP CRAFT TOWN
For the past six weeks, craft aficionados have been voting on American Craft Week's website to determine America's favorite places to enjoy a vibrant craft scene. The winner was Berea, Ky., a city that's nearly synonymous with craft for its rich history of that culture. But St. Pete came in at a respectable No. 2 and should still be proud, as last year the city was voted No. 1. And runnerup is no slouch, considering we beat other craft meccas like Asheville, N.C., in at No. 7.
It's not surprising, with the 'Burg being home to many fine craft galleries, including Florida CraftArt, left (501 Central Ave., floridacraftart.org), a gallery that represents the fine craft artists of Florida and has the exhibit "A Well-Crafted Tale" through Aug. 13., and Michele Tuegel Contemporary (320 Central Ave., mtcontempo.com), which features a curated collection of contemporary craft from local and national artists. Both galleries are great for finding handmade jewelry, furniture and just neat stuff in general. If you're into glass, you can find some of the nations's best at the Duncan McClellan Gallery (550 24th St. S, dmglass.com), which also includes a hotshop. The Morean Arts Center (719 Central Ave., moreanartscenter.org) has got a few craft bases covered, whether it's glassblowing demonstrations at the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio and Hotshop (719 Central Ave.) or ceramics at the Morean Arts Center for Clay (420 22nd St. S), which offers studio space, classes and a gallery in the cool setting of a historic train station.
These are just a few suggestions; there are a plethora of other craft galleries in town. Find a list at stpeteartsalliance.org.
Maggie Duffy, Times staff writer
ALLYN GALLUP: SUMMER ABSTRACTIONS
Curator Mark Ormond has organized "Summer Abstractions" gathering paintings, prints and sculpture by abstract artists at Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art Gallery, 1288 N Palm Ave., Sarasota. Among them are John Chamberlain, Syd Solomon (his painting is shown at left), Richard Roblin, Josette Urso, Sonia Smith, David Shapiro, Helen Shulman and John Henry. Enjoy wine and light hors d'oeuvres at a free opening reception on Friday at the gallery from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Also enjoy a talk by John Howey, architect and author of The Sarasota School of Architecture, about the city's rich architectural history. The relevance of Howey's subject, wrote gallery director Sheila Moore in a news release, is "the interesting parallel between abstract art and modernist and mid-century architecture. Both try to distill form to its essence." (941) 302-2941. allyngallup.com.