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Art Planner: Tour de Clay and Russell Young at the Polk Museum




This annual event coming up Saturday and Sunday requires wheels — on your car, not your bike, because it's spread over a good swath of territory. Ceramic artists band together at four pottery studios to demonstrate, explain, show their work and, hopefully, sell it to you.

Tour de Clay's 25 artists from near and far represent abundant variety in techniques and aesthetics. Progressive kiln openings Saturday produce new work fresh out of the oven and if you want to see them, they're timed for a journey from south to north. If you visit all the studios, have your Passport to Pottery stamped at each to be eligible for ceramic prizes. All studios are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday with San Antonio Pottery open to 8 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For a map, more information and examples of the artists' work (which is fabulous) go to


The line-up


Pottery Boys Clay Studios, 30 Bogie Lane, Palm Harbor, hosts Jennifer McCurdy, Fong Choo, Zan Barnes and Teresa Testa with studio owners Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand. Kiln opening at 9 a.m. (727) 504-6200.

Hidden Lake Pottery, 16705 Hutchison Road, Odessa, hosts Jonathan Barnes, Chuck McGee, LC McGee and McKenzie Smith with studio owners Kim Kirchman and Mark Fehl. Kiln opening at noon. (813) 920-4341.

Wellman and Welsch Pottery, 17202 Whirley Road, Lutz, hosts Kimberli Cummings, John Kellum, Laurie Landry, Katherine Mathisen, Charlie Parker and Matt Schiemann with studio owners Harry Welsch and Kim Wellman-Welsch. Kiln opening at 2 p.m. (813) 961-7106.

San Antonio Pottery, 11903 Curley Road, San Antonio, hosts Ira Burhans, Ken Jensen, William Kidd, Michele Ginouves with studio owner Jack Boyle. Kiln opening at 4 p.m. (352) 588-4228.




The British artist Russell Young makes his U.S. museum debut Saturday at the Polk Museum of Art, 800 E Palmetto Street, Lakeland, with "Forever Young: A Retrospective." Young began a decades-long career as a celebrity photographer when he was commissioned to shoot the album cover for George Michael's Faith in 1986. He also directed more than 100 videos for MTV in its heyday.

Then in 2000, Young did a 180, ditching the commercial business to become a serious artist. He still likes the celebrity theme but has chosen to consider its complexity and ambiguity instead of its surface glamour.

He references Andy Warhol in his screen prints with saturated colors and a graphic quality. Works from several series will be on view through March 26. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free. (863) 688-7743.




The Florida CraftArt Festival, organized by Florida CraftArt, has come and gone as have its fine craft items, many probably going home with you. This adorable little critter and dozens of others won the Raymond James Best of Show Award for Ehr-Ping Tsai, who creates the whimsical jewelry with his wife, Cynthia Chuang. They're made from fired porcelain and studded with other materials.

Many of the other winners can be found in regular rotation at the CraftArt Gallery, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Alas, you won't find Tsai's work there because all of the regularly exhibited artists must be members who live in Florida which he doesn't.

Because this is a page committed to helping you plan your weekend with suggested things to do, you might wonder why I mention him here. Because you can shop at the couple's web site! That's definitely a thing to do, right? Go to for a look.

And a drumroll for the other winners ...

Awards of Excellence: William Kidd, ceramics; Miguel Fonseca, ceramics; Kristin Holeman, jewelry; Robyn Pelszynski, fiber; Obayanu Ajanaku, jewelry; Nicholas Beaman, glass; Bill Slade, glass; Rick Austin, glass; Steve Palmer, glass; Mark and Wendy Zoschke, jewelry.

Emerging Artist Award of Excellence: Heley Swanson, ceramics.





Art Planner: Tour de Clay and Russell Young at the Polk Museum 12/09/15 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 1:19pm]
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