GROWING TREND: ART SHOWS IN CAFES
I admit it: I have always been a snob about fine art in restaurants. It's bad for the art with all the fumes and people coming and going with no means of mitigating those destructive elements. And how do you really get to see the art when it's hanging over an occupied table? But … I cede the notion after learning of so many cafes and pubs exhibiting art, some with robust sales of it. Unlike the past, in formal restaurants, these venues rotate the art in and out quickly. And if the artists like it and it helps them, then yea! I also see the fun in having a coffee or brew with friends and having cool art to look at while you're there. And maybe those alcoholic beverages loosen the wallet. So have a good time commingling art and recreational eating.
Two examples come to mind.
The Ybor City cafe the Bunker features oil paintings by Francine Bauer, left. She's self-taught, but obviously has had a lot of exposure to art. Folk art it isn't. Abstract it is. "Perception of a Landscape" opens Sunday, which happens to be free music night. The Bunker, 1907 N 19th St., Tampa, is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (It will stay open later on this Sunday for the reception.)
Bamboozle Tea Lounge showcases the realist paintings of Lynn Rattray, above, through Aug. 25. Note that the venue is at 109 N 12th St. in Tampa's Channelside district, not in Bamboozle Cafe in downtown Tampa. (I have been to the downtown cafe and loved the pho.)
IT'S HOT OUTSIDE: GO TO A GALLERY
Aptly named "Dog Days of Summer," the juried group show at Art Uptown Gallery is an annual event that continues this year through Aug. 25. It features artists not affiliated with the gallery as well as those who are. This year's winner in the two-dimensional category is Joanne Pattison for her watercolor Sandpipers. Susan Shaffer won in the three-dimensional category for her Tropic Vessel, right, ceramic with encaustic.
The gallery, 1367 Main St., Sarasota, is open Tuesday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. (941) 955-5409. artuptown.com.
USF POYNTER LIBRARY: JOHN HARTE BOTANICALS
You can't grow much at this time of year, so botanical watercolor paintings by John Harte are lovely compensation. A collection of them is near the entrance of the Nelson Poynter Memorial Library at University of South Florida St. Petersburg through Sept. 30. Harte has had a distinguished career and his work is in many public and private collections. His botanicals have a lyrical original quality to them. The library is on the campus of USF, 140 Seventh Ave. S, St. Petersburg. Hours for much of August vary so go to usfsp.edu for information. Free.