HAPPENING IN TAMPA: A LOT
Tampa has lots of art opportunities beginning Friday. Notable ones are in Tampa Heights, Seminole Heights and South Tampa, three different neighborhoods for three different events. I can't recommend choosing one over the other; they all sound great. But consider that Palehorse's Lucha Libre in Tampa Heights is a two-night gig; First Friday Seminole Heights is one night only, but it does return each month; and Shark Toof's art at Cass Contemporary gallery in South Tampa has a longer run. But the gallery's opening reception will be a good time.
Toothsome: Shark Toof at CASS
The Los Angeles-based artist known as Shark Toof has been an important presence here with his murals. The huge shark he painted on a building for the 2015 SHINE Mural Festival, for example, became one of the most popular places for selfies in downtown St. Petersburg. He also has a presence inside the box, in galleries and museums.
"Red Everything," a solo exhibition of new work, opens Friday at CASS Contemporary Gallery and Studio, 2722 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. Yes, there be will images of the fearsome shark but in this collection, the artist seems to be more interested in exploring the color red as a metaphor for social and political concerns. Meet the artist at a free reception beginning at 7 p.m. Appetizers and beverages will be served. The show continues through Dec. 30. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. casscontemporary.com.
It's Back: Palehorse's Lucha Libre
Chris Parks, known professionally as Palehorse, had a rousing, successful multimedia art experience in 2015 and is reprising it — even bigger — Friday and Saturday. The venue has moved from St. Petersburg to the Rialto Theatre, 1617 N Franklin St., Tampa. The riff on the popular lucha libre wrestling, which originated in Mexico, is based on Palehorse's narrative of an epic battle between two opponents and includes new characters and costumes, video installations, original music, photographs and more. See it both nights from 8 p.m. to midnight. Admission is $20 and you're encouraged to order tickets online, as space is limited. palehorselucha.com.
Seminole Heights: First Friday
The growing cool factor in Seminole Heights means this monthly event keeps getting bigger. Art galleries are the big attraction, but so are the shops and restaurants in and near the area. Cleanse Apothecary and Urban Bungalow, Cunst Haus, Disco Dolls Studio (fashion design), Phoenix Glass Studio and Gallery, Red Door No. 5, Smoke Signals and Tempus Projects have new shows up and some offer entertainment and food trucks from 7 to 10 p.m. facebook.com/ffseminoleheights.
DFAC: LET THE HOLIDAYS BEGIN
Galleries and art centers throughout the region will be offering new shows focused on holiday gift-giving. One of the first opens Saturday at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin. "Joys to the World" features several dozen artists, their work displayed among decorated trees and handmade ornaments. Also on view is "Synesthesia," curated by Catherine Bergmann, with works by an impressive lineup that includes Trisha Brown, Elisabeth Condon, Kate Cummins, Kendra Frorup, David McKirdy, Leslie Neumann, Charles Parkhill and Josette Urso. Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Free. (727) 298-3322. dfac.org.
NEW TRIP AT THE RINGLING: PATHLESS WOODS
In conjunction with the first full-time dedication of a gallery to modern and contemporary art, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has commissioned Pathless Woods, an installation by Anne Patterson, left. This site-specific multimedia installation is impressive. Hanging from the ceiling are 8,472 strands of satin ribbon — more than 24 miles — through which viewers walk while experiencing original music and projected images. On Thursday evenings, a forest-like scent, created for the exhibition, will waft through the installation. Hours at the museum, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, with extended hours to 8 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $25 adults, $23 seniors, $5 college students with ID and youths 6 to 17. (941) 359-7400. ringling.org.