ART WALK: NEW YEAR, NEW SHOWS
It's time for the monthly Second Saturday Art Walk in St. Petersburg and, as always, galleries will be offering up new shows. The walk keeps getting bigger, with dozens of venues stretching ever farther west of the downtown core and parking is a lot easier beyond the bustle of Beach Drive. Shops and restaurants let you make an evening of the event along with trolleys to ferry you around. Most galleries in the city's five arts districts stay open until 9 p.m., so make it a date night!
Michele Tuegel Contemporary, 320 Central Ave., is a charming example. Tuegel was the founding director of Florida Craftsmen Gallery, now Florida CraftArt, and has a deep knowledge of the regional (and national) arts scene as well as being an artist herself. She stocks her gallery with unique examples of craft art in all price ranges. She also regularly features individual artists in depth. Opening on Saturday is a show of paintings by Brooksville artist Clovis Dean Rusk. He was a graphic designer until his recent retirement and now spends his time and talent creating figurative works. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. An opening reception Saturday is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Free. (727) 823-1100. mtcontempo.com.
Like Tuegel, Leslie Curran has been a presence in the arts for decades and was a strong advocate for them during her tenure on the St. Petersburg Council. Her gallery and framing shop, ARTicles, has been a mainstay on Central Avenue for years. Recently, she opened a satellite gallery, Leslie Curran Gallery at 1431 Central Ave., that allows her more room to focus on individual artists. Opening Saturday is Rare Form: Charles Parkhill. Anyone familiar with our outdoor art festivals will know his work using reclaimed materials, mostly wood, coaxed into evocative, minimalist forms. He has won too many awards, including Best in Show, to count. In conjunction with the art walk, there will be a free opening reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. (727) 898-6061. articlesstpete.com.
LIFE-SAVING: ANNA KIUBER AT SILVER METEOR
Most of the time I'm not interested in the back story behind the art, but Anna Kiuber’s is too compelling to ignore. The press release sent by Silver Meteor Gallery owner Michael Murphy recounts the harrowing years when Kiuber dealt with "mental health problems, substance abuse, a court-mandated drug program and an incarceration that might have saved her life." During rehab, she produced a series of drawings to express her feelings. Many are self-portraits. I wish this gifted artist all the best. A free opening reception is from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sunday. 2213 E Sixth Ave., Ybor City. The show continues through Jan. 17. Gallery hours are by appointment. (813) 300-3585.
THINK SMALL: 20X16 AT CASS
The Contemporary Art Space and Studio, 2722 S MacDill Ave., Tampa, features small-scale work by 40 artists, none measuring more than 20 inches by 16 inches. Those from the Tampa Bay region include BASK, Jujmo, Pale Horse and Chris Valle. The studio will also offer limited edition prints of some of the work. Friday, the public is invited to a free opening reception from 7 to 9 p.m. It isn't the prime reason for attending but the menu sounds like a good time: food by Ichicoro Ramen, cocktails by Haven and craft beer from Coppertail Brewing. casscontemporary.com.