Girl Power: Female Persuasion
This week is St. Petersburg's Second Saturday ArtWalk. Among the many offerings is the opening of the Female Persuasion exhibit at the Cider Press Cafe, 601 Central Ave. The exhibit features concise bodies of work from four local women who represent a range of techniques and styles. Linda Costa Cheranichit is a "light painter," employing a long exposure photography technique that creates great bends and swirls of light, like brushstrokes in the photos. Tessa Moeller is a figurative painter and muralist, whose work can be seen on American Stage's Raymond James Theatre in downtown St. Pete. Above is her piece titled Violetta. Sophia Renee is a published photographer specializing in male portraiture. Sue Woodall-Metas is an abstract, mixed-media painter who also works in encaustics. The free reception is 6-9 p.m., but make sure to be there from 7-8 p.m., when the artists will give a talk. The exhibit is on display through Feb. 26. (727) 914-7222.
Bird is the Word: Flights of Fancy
Brooklyn-based artist Duke Riley is known for his projects that investigate historical and cultural phenomena, sometimes using subversive performance as a demonstrator. The new Flights of Fancy exhibit at USF's Contemporary Art Museum showcases two of Riley's intensive projects, both involving, of all things, pigeons. The museum has reconfigured Riley's Trading With the Enemy project from 2013, which references the United States' trade embargo on Cuba. Riley raised and trained 50 homing pigeons to make the 90-mile round trip from Key West to Cuba, half smuggling Cuban Cohiba cigars and the other half strapped with video cameras. Only 11 returned. The exhibit includes the footage from the birds and visual elements include printmaking, mosaics and small paintings that he made for each bird.
The second part of the exhibit includes photographs from Riley's most recent project, Fly by Night. Riley turned a former naval ship into a floating loft for 2,000 pigeons, which he strapped LED lights to and trained to fly in orchestrated performances above New York City's East River.
"Flights of Fancy" opens Friday, and Riley will be on hand to discuss his fascinating work at 6 p.m. in the USF School of Music Barness Recital Hall. The reception runs from 7-9 p.m. in the Contemporary Art Museum, 3821 Holly Drive, Tampa. Admission is free, but parking costs $5. (813) 974-4329. ira.usf.edu.
Big Fish: Alan Bennett at Clay and Paper
Artist Alan Bennett's love for sea creatures inspires his work, on display at the Clay and Paper Gallery of Art in Dunedin. The clay forms he creates, called Animated Fish Sculptures, are certainly big in the personality department. What's more interesting is his intricate process that involves hand carving the forms, which are then hollowed out and built upon. He uses a variety of glazes and firing techniques, including one he calls a "fish glaze" that achieves the scaly look. Bennett is from Bath, N.Y., but he will be at Clay and Paper from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Saturday, with a new body of work that he will discuss. 362 Main St. (727) 736-0934. claypaper.com.