THE RINGLING: TWO SMALL BUT GOOD SHOWS
Art museumgoers sometimes overlook another museum on the John and Mable Ringling grounds: The Circus Museum and Tibbals Learning Center (included in admission) houses an extensive collection of circus memorabilia, including the personal train car used by the Ringlings when they traveled with the circus. The learning center features an extraordinary scale model of a circus with about a million pieces, built by philanthropist Howard Tibbals. Those are on view all the time, but the Circus Museum also features changing exhibitions. On view through June 20 is "Cirque/Cyrk/Cirkus: Circus Posters Across Europe." They advertise circuses throughout Europe during the 20th century and some have the quirkiness reflective of their regions.
But there's plenty to keep you busy at the Ringling Art Museum. In addition to its exceptional permanent collection and the big temporary shows that get a lot of attention are smaller ones such as "Exposure: Naked Before the Lens."
Photography was a big factor in changing the portrayal of the naked body. For most of art history, it was painted or sculpted in idealized interpretations. In the early 20th century, photography introduced the possibility of direct and real observation, though there could be, from the beginning, manipulation in the process. So a great debate has ensued between the idea of naked versus nude, prurient versus aesthetic. The photographs in the exhibition explore the different ways 20th and 21st century photographers present the unclothed body.
The John and Mable Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission, which includes the art and circus museums and Ca d'Zan, the Ringlings' historic mansion, is $25, $20 seniors and $5 students with ID and youths 6 to 17. Free admission to art museum only every Monday. (941) 359-5700. ringling.org.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: BLOOM ART CENTER
The Bloom Art Center collective, located in a repurposed warehouse, has a lot of pluck and creativity and has just passed its second anniversary. Of course a blitz of new art is part of the celebration, with photography and mixed-media installations inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.
In addition to artists' studios, Bloom has a stage where local bands can rehearse and perform as well as events, classes and community projects. It's at 910 Fifth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. You can't miss it; the building is covered in murals by more than 30 artists, the most on a single site in the city, its members claim. The art center is open to the public Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Free. startbloomin.com.
IT'S HOT OUTSIDE: VISIT A GALLERY
Gallery owners, please help!
I want to do a recurring small feature in this space spotlighting galleries. Some gallery owners regularly send me notices (thank you!), but I would like to expand coverage.
Please send me the name, address, contact information for the public and hours of operation plus a description of artists and the works you showcase. If you have changing exhibitions, please include their dates. This is important: I need at least one high-resolution image (300 dpi is good). I need your information two weeks before the section publishes. I can't promise I can include you, but I'll certainly try if you provide the information I have requested.
Dabbert Gallery, 76 S Palm Ave., Sarasota, is a worthy example. "Summer Showcase" is a group show with artists from near and far (Sarasota to Sydney, Australia). Most of the artists are painters, but sculpture, photography, pastel and prints are also represented. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free. (941) 955-1315. dabbertgallery.com.