MOREAN ARTS CENTER: FOUR NEW SHOWS
Lots of new art is on view at the Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, beginning Saturday with a group show and three solos. "Orange State" is curated by Katherine Gibson of ArtHouse3, an outfit that highlights the abundance of talent in Central Florida, from photography to folk art. The diverse group includes Ruby C. Williams, Bud Lee, Gary Borse, Diana Lucas Leavengood, Carl Knickerbocker, Suzanne Camp Crosby and Margaret Ross Tolbert.
The other three are single artist shows, each with a unique point of view. Kendra Frorup, an art professor at the University of Tampa, creates sculptures, prints and mixed media works that reference her life growing up in the Bahamas, using an array of disparate materials that form an evocative fusion. Nancy Cervenka has devoted herself to one material, film. She isn't a video artist; she uses rolls of film, wrapped intricately, to form minimalist sculptures. Cuban painter Esteban Machado Diaz works in a more realist style but his luminous landscapes still have a dreamlike quality.
The free opening reception Saturday is from 5 to 9 p.m. and the shows continue through June 24. Parking and admission are free. (727) 822-7872. moreanartscenter.org.
Note that the opening is part of the Second Saturday ArtWalk. More than 40 more galleries will stay open until 9 p.m., many with new shows. The ArtWalk area is a big one, so free trolleys shuttle you around so you can just park and ride. The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance website has a map and trolley stops. stpeteartsalliance.org.
RINGLING MUSEUM: CENTER FOR ASIAN ART OPENS
Part of the Ringling's new Center for Asian Art has been open for a few weeks but Sunday heralds its completion with a community festival from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can't miss the 25,000-square-foot facility. It includes a new building sheathed in green ceramic tiles evocative of the roofs of Asian temples. Inside are galleries housing the museum's permanent holdings in Asian art, lecture hall, study room and — this is cool — open storage spaces the public can look into.
Throughout the day, activities include Taiko drumming, Bollywood dance, a performance of the Hindu epic Ramayana, Indian kirtan music, yoga and martial arts classes, Ikebana flower-arranging demonstrations, tea samplings, a live exhibit of silkworms, storytimes, craft workshops and a scavenger hunt.
It's all free with museum admission, which includes Ca d'Zan, the Ringlings' historic mansion, and the Circus Museum at 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. $25, $20 seniors and $5 students with ID. For the celebration, 17 and younger get in free with a paid adult admission. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (941) 359-5700. ringling.org.
TAMPA MUSEUM OF ART: FINAL DAYS FOR JAUME PLENSA
Sunday, the big guys are packing up and moving on. The exhibition of Jaume Plensa's monumental sculptures, which have added such interest to the exterior of the Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, closes after Sunday. Seeing the ones on the terrace of the museum has been a free community gift, but it's worth buying a ticket to see more in the galleries plus Plensa's beautiful works on paper. Staying put: Plensa's Laura With Bun. The contemplative sculpture that's part of the outdoor installation is being purchased by the museum. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $15; $7.50 seniors, Florida educators and active military; and $5 students. Kids younger than 6 free. (813) 274-8130. tampamuseum.org.
MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS: A WELCOME ADDITION
Thanks to the Collectors Circle, the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg has a new work in its permanent collection. Woman Sitting at a Table by Richard Miller was selected by the group at its annual Collectors Choice event April 29. It's a fun and unusual process. Acquisition decisions are usually made by staff and a special committee. In this case, the Collectors Circle, a group of members who take study trips and raises funds for the collection, are given three choices that have been selected by staff and will fill voids in the collection. On the night of the dinner, they vote. This year's winner is by an American impressionist who was a friend of Claude Monet. The museum, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg is open 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. $17, $15 seniors and $10 students 7 and older. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.