Monday, July 16, 2018

Art Planner: Glass pumpkins, art walks in Tampa and St. Pete


It's that time, to start thinking about visits to pumpkin patches to select your favorite gourd. Think of visiting a different kind of patch, the Glass Pumpkin Bash in which Susan Gott and other artists craft them from glass. You also can make your own! This annual fall event has several dates beginning from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday in conjunction with the monthly First Friday Seminole Heights Art Walk. Other dates are Saturday and Oct. 22, both from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At all of them you may watch the professionals blow the pumpkins and fall leaves free or participate in a workshop for $75. Either way, you'll walk away with a feel for fall. The studio is at 811 E Knollwood St., Tampa. Advance registration is recommended for a workshop. (813) 237-3473.


Seeing art and fine craft is interesting and fun. Seeing them in the studios of the artists who created them is even more so. About a dozen of these creative people will be in their studios in North Pinellas County — Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Clearwater — Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for Studio Waltz. They represent a range of media including painting, ceramics, jewelry, textiles and furniture. More will be at outdoor locations painting murals and en plein air.

It's spread out, of course, but there are some great dining and sight-seeing options along the way. Free. Find a map and artist information at


Second Saturday ArtWalk reprises this week when dozens of St. Petersburg galleries stay open until 9 p.m. Spreading over five arts districts, it's no longer a walkable affair but trolleys ferry you around and depart from central locations that offer free parking. It's also no longer possible to visit all the arts districts in one evening, so be strategic. One suggestion is to explore the Warehouse Arts District, southwest of the heavily populated and oldest district, the Central Arts District.

It's an up-and-comer in a gritty area that is becoming an interesting destination trip with 25 arts-related business and studios including MGA Sculpture Studio, the Train Station Center for Clay and, probably the most famous, Duncan McClellan's glass studio and gallery.

Soft Water Studios is also there, home to artists and a large gallery/classroom space. For the ArtWalk, the featured artist is Saori Murphy but other artists will be on hand, too. Soft Water Studios is at 515 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg.

Find information about the walk, a map and trolley stops at


With all the development, water woes and transportation gridlock, we often hearken back to times when none of that existed. As an old-timer from St. Petersburg, I'll also point out that during my early childhood, air-conditioning didn't exist, either. But still it's fun to think about the past, which is what Joseph Arnegger, Tim Jaeger and Tom Stephens do in "Old Florida: A 21st -Century Interpretation" which opens Friday at the Longboat Key Center for the Arts, a division of the Ringling College of Art and Design. The center's director, Jane Buckman, wrote in a news release, "This exhibit will capture the vibrancy of Florida today interconnected with the intuitive, nostalgic and romantic notions equated to times past."

The few images of the work sent for preview range from the literal to the interpretive. The painting by Jaeger, shown, is a somewhat abstracted portrait of a mother and child which would not have an obvious association with the show's theme. But its title, The Farmer's Wife, references the farmland, once so abundant, vanishing under the march to go forth and populate with more housing and malls.

The center, 6860 Longboat Key Drive S, Longboat Key on Sarasota Bay, hosts a free reception Friday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. (941) 383-2345.


An event I wrote about last week, "A-Maze-Me," ingenious mazes by Mark Stuart Gagnon, opens Thursday at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor campus. Mark your calendars for an opening reception Oct. 13 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. and meet the artist. The art gallery is at Palm Avenue and 15th Street, Ybor City, Tampa. Free. (813) 253-7674.

Good news for the St. Petersburg Museum of History: "Experience Cuba," scheduled to have closed Sept. 30, has been such a hit with the public, the museum is extending the show through Oct. 16. Its most popular draw is probably the gorgeous Clyde Butcher photographs of its natural areas. The museum, 335 Second Ave. NE, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Adult admission is $15. (727) 894-1052.

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