FESTIVAL NEWS: ART WITH A BARK
You may assume a few givens about an art festival: Many artists and craftsmen will fill their booths with a plethora of media; the event will be free (though not the art); and the weather will be either good or bad. All of that is true of the fourth annual Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival, which features 130 artists from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 801 Gulfstream Ave.
This festival offers an unexpected amenity, the presence of the Humane Society of Sarasota County's mobile adoption center with candidates for your love and companionship on site.
A food truck will be parked, but organizers also encourage visitors to dine at nearby restaurants. Street and city lot parking are free. paragonartevents.com.
KARA WALKER: BLACK AND WHITE
Kara Walker has been a lauded as well as controversial artist since 1994, when she debuted a huge mural made of black silhouettes on white gallery walls that has been described as "an old-timey South filled with sex and slavery." She has worked in other media but her silhouettes are her most famous.
How fortunate we are to have one of her series come to Hillsborough Community College's art gallery on its Dale Mabry campus. It includes 15 prints from her "Works From Harper's Pictorial History of the Civil War (Annotated)." It was created in 2005 and has been exhibited in prestigious galleries and museums including the Museum of Modern Art.
Walker used enlarged prints from the Harper's book, published in 1866, that provided visual reports of the war as documentary photography does today. She overlaid them with silhouettes of often stereotypical black figures that subvert the conventional historical accounts.
As with many college and university art galleries, Gallery 221 has no street presence. It's located on the Dale Mabry campus, 4001 W Tampa Blvd., Tampa, which is across from Raymond James Stadium. The gallery is on the second floor of the library. It requires some effort to get there, but it's worth it.
The show opens Tuesday and continues through March 3. A gallery reception is Jan. 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. with a gallery talk at 6 by Randall Martin, professor of philosophy at HCC. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Free. (813) 253-7386. hccfl.edu/gallery221.
SYD ENTEL GALLERIES: PETER MAX STOPS BY
One of the original pop artists, Peter Max's work was instantly recognizable for its psychedelic imagery beginning in the 1960s. He has stayed true to his aesthetic but has incorporated softer lines and less graphic imagery in later work. A collection showing the breadth of his career will be on view and for sale opening Friday at Syd Entel Galleries, Susan Benjamin Glass, 247 Main St., Safety Harbor. Max, a charming and articulate man with loads of great stories, will be at the gallery on Jan. 22 from 6 to 9 p.m. and Jan. 23 from 2 to 5 p.m. Free. (727) 725-1808. sydentelgalleries.com.
DFAC DOWNSIZE: MINIATURE ART
This is a jaw-dropping number: 700 works in a new show at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd. It's okay, though, because this is the International Miniature Art Exhibition in which the best artists working in small format are presented. It has always fascinated me. Included during its run are artists on hand for demonstrations and chats about their practices. It opens on Sunday and continues through Feb. 7. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Artists will be at the center beginning Monday. (727) 298-3322. dfac.org.
ALSO OPENING: THE GRAY LADY AT STUDIO@620
"The Gray Lady" has been the nickname of the venerable New York Times for decades because for many years it didn't use color photography. It does now but the old name persists. Artist Jimmy Baumgartner has used it for inspiration in this show of mixed media works. Meet him at a free opening reception Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, is an eclectic venue hosting visual arts, literary events and performances so it doesn't keep regular gallery hours. During the week, though, the office staff is there, allowing for a visit. But a call is first suggested: (727) 895-6620 for an appointment. Check out studio620.org for a list of all events.