FESTIVAL TIME: TAKING IT TO THE STREETS
Not street art but art in the street: That's the annual Florida CraftArt event, now in its 18th year, this weekend outside its headquarters at 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. More than 100 craft artists will present their handiwork that includes the purely whimsical and the whimsically utilitarian.
The Central Arts District, in which the festival is located, is one of the most vibrant and eclectic retail areas in the downtown, packed with shops, restaurants and galleries so there's plenty to do while you're there. On site will be artist demonstrations and make-and-take activities. Inside Florida CraftArt are more holiday shopping possibilities from its galleries converted to a boutique for the season.
The CraftArt Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free. (727) 821-7391. floridacraftart.org.
A bit west and an easy walk away is "There is No Time Like the Presents," The Morean Arts Center's annual holiday show and sale. It features work by its members who are a prolific bunch, filling its galleries with almost 2,000 works in a variety of media and price ranges. (For example, you'll see paintings here which you won't at Florida CraftArt because it isn't considered a craft.)
Also at the Morean, a new exhibition of photographs by Kim Turner-Smith, charming, playful portraits of her daughters. The Morean, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Free. (727) 822-7872. moreanartscenter.org.
NEW AT MFA: READING AND REMEMBERING
"Carrie Schneider: Reading Women" and John Scott's "I Remember Birmingham" are two small shows that opened recently at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 255 Beach Drive NE.
In the permanent collection, "Birmingham" has been seen before but it's always a moving experience. It commemorates a church bombing in Birmingham, Al. in 1963 in which four young girls died. The late artist John Scott created glass blocks mounted on pedestals and lit from within and inscribed with text and images. They're accompanied by relief prints hung on the gallery walls.
The title of Carrie Schneider's video and photographs, "Reading Women" has a double meaning. All picture women reading a book by a another woman — that's the literal take on the title — but the group is also an exercise in the viewer's "reading" the content of the works visually.
Also on view are the permanent collection and "Marks Made: Prints by Women Artists from the 1960s to the Present," a major exhibition organized mostly from the permanent collection.
Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $17 adults, $15 seniors, $10 students and free to children younger than 7. Admission is $5 after 5 p.m. Thursday. (727) 893-8293. fine-arts.org.