SARASOTA CRAFT SHOW:WORTH A TRIP SOUTH
You have many good arts reasons to visit Sarasota year-round — exhibitions and theater at the John and Mable Ringling Museum and concerts at Van Wezel Hall, for example — but there are often once-a-year events that dictate a timetable. The Sarasota Craft Show, Friday through Saturday, is one of them.
Now in its seventh year, it features 100 artists and fine craftsmen from our region and farther afield. While this is a local show, it is part of a network of them nationally organized by American Art Marketing, which has an impressive resume of shows in locations such as the Brooklyn Museum and the Wadsworth Atheneum.
It offers ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, mixed media, paper, wood, painting (technically not considered a craft), sculpture (ditto), furniture and photography. The point is, there will be lots of works and variety.
Unlike most not-for-profit shows — Mainsail, Cool Art, Gasparilla are examples — this one charges admission, so plan for that. Tickets per day are $11 adults, $10 seniors, $6 students, children younger than 10 free. Three-day tickets are $13. Parking is free. Weather doesn't matter because it's housed in Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota. The venue is close to downtown so you can take a lunch break and return for more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. (845) 355-2400. sarasotacraftshow.com.
SYD ENTEL GALLERIES: YES, A DRESS
You know those Project Runway challenges in which "unconventional materials" strike fear and defeat in the hearts of many designers? "Art Dresses2," opening Saturday at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass, embraces that idea with gusto in frocks made purposefully from any medium except fiber or cloth. Consider most of them as sculptures rather than wardrobe enhancers because you likely could never wear the dresses. Estella Fransbergen sculpts a clay bodice and adorns it with natural embellishments such as feathers, branches, leaves and gemstones. Technically, you probably could wear one but it would be like having a body cast applied and then cracking it open to undress yourself. Jennifer Box's cast bronze on metal examples aren't in your size, whatever that is, because they're tiny. However, some of Donna McCullough's work looks as if it would be a winner on Project Runway. Also on view are works by Tanya Lyons, Susan Freda, Katarzyna Karbownik, Cathy Broski, Craig Alan, Pezhman and Carmen Simmonds, which include paintings and photographs.
Syd Entel Galleries, 247 Main St., Safety Harbor, is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. A free opening reception Saturday from 6 to 8 p.m. will feature informal modeling of wearable dresses from Dillard's. (727) 725-1808. sydentelgalleries.com.
CHARLES DOAN AT SILVER METEOR: RAISING THE BAR
Charles Doan has been a fixture in Ybor City for decades, as an artist and bartender (which pays the bills). "Little Bar Stories" is his visual chronicle combining both vocations, looking at the scene from behind the bar during the last 10 years.
Silver Meteor Gallery, 2213 E Sixth Ave., Ybor City, hosts an exhibition of Doan's paintings beginning Saturday and continuing through Dec. 27. A free opening reception Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. features story-telling by local raconteur David Waterman. Gallery hours are by appointment. (813) 300-3585.