Make us your home page
Instagram

Miniature art show at Leepa-Rattner Museum is big in scope

TARPON SPRINGS

Small is large at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Almost 800 works, mostly paintings, comprise the Miniature Art Society's annual show, which makes it gigantic.

The subjects tend to be conventional: portraits of people and animals, landscapes, interiors and still lifes that require no deep analysis or conceptual thinking. The pleasure of miniature art is in the details we see only with magnification. They ask us to lean in and take a close look — magnifying glasses are provided — to study the techniques. In general, they never measure bigger than five inches, some even less.

Luann Houser, for example won Best of Show for A Woman's Touch, which portrays an elderly American Indian being helped into his ceremonial finery by a young woman, presumably a daughter. It's sweet and sentimental. Its bravura lies in the beautiful treatment of the feathers and beading in his headdress and the blue trim on her dress, in the facial expressions and subtly mottled background.

Four portraits of children by Ewa Buksa-Klinowska are charming personality studies. Krzys, a little boy with tousled blond hair and a dress shirt collar that refuses to be tamed by a tie, won Best Work by a First Time Entrant for the exquisite pointillism she employs with enamels.

A note here about the categories: There are a lot of them and they can be confusing, sometimes suggesting an arbitrary generosity in the desire to reward good work. Most juried shows divide art by medium — oil, mixed media, print, for example. This one does, too, but it also give awards based on subject matter such as Historical or Mythical, Human Figure and Marine. There is also a category called Birds and Animals.

And then, one just for cats? Brenda Morgan took first place for her cat, a depiction of Nala from The Lion King with fur so finely rendered one wants to stroke it.

Wood Lasts, Janet Laird-Lagassee's first-place winner for transparent watercolor, is one of the more psychologically interesting works in the show. It has a dreamlike quality we associate with surrealism (though another work, A Mystical Night by Demaris L. Olson, took the top honor in the Abstract and Surrealism category). In it, a varied trove of wooden objects is arranged in wooden boxes set against a darkening landscape of sky, field and leafless trees.

The Miniature Art Society of Florida, which organizes the exhibition, has scheduled artists to create works and chat with visitors during museum hours except on Thursday when the museum stays open late, from 5 to 8 p.m. I was there with a group of elementary school students who were enthralled watching the artists, hearing about their materials while they worked.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

>>if you go

Miniature Art Society of Florida

The society's 38th annual show is at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, 600 Klosterman Road on the Tarpon Springs campus of St. Petersburg College, through Feb. 10. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 adults, $4 seniors, free to children and students with ID and

free admission to military personnel and their families with ID. Sunday admission is a suggested donation of $5 and free docent tours are offered

at 2 p.m. spcollege.edu/central/museum or (727) 712-5762.

Miniature art show at Leepa-Rattner Museum is big in scope 02/02/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 5:36pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Taste test: Unsalted butters

    Taste Test

    Even good things should be tasted in moderation. That's why we divided the columns for our tasting of salted butters. Last week, our judges shared their favorites from the first eight of 16 varieties found at local grocery stores. Here, they review the other eight. We spread the butters on unsalted saltine crackers in …

  2. For Fourth of July, an American feast inspired by founding father Alexander Hamilton

    Cooking

    Are there a million things you haven't done? Is one of them throwing a patriotic party inspired by one of the founding fathers?

    Caribbean Pork With Potato Salad makes for the perfect Fourth of July meal.
  3. 'Baby Driver' literally turns heist movie genre on its ear, set to slick soundtrack

    Movies

    Buckle up for Baby Driver, a movie so full throttle cool that you want to fist bump the screen. Style is the substance of Edgar Wright's inventive heist flick, a fresh, masterful synching of music and getaway mayhem, as if La La Land's traffic jam was moving, armed and dangerous.

    Baby (Ansel Elgort) is a getaway driver for heist arranger Doc (Kevin Spacey). Plagued by tinnitus, Baby tunes out his distracting “hum in the drum” by listening to music while he drives.
Sony Pictures
  4. Canada Day is coming to Tampa's Latin District

    Events

    TAMPA -- Ybor City is Tampa's Latin District, known for showcasing Cuban, Spanish and Italian cultures.

    Toronto native Bryan Grimsdale at the Seminole Heights Grocery Store. He is hosting a Canada Day celebration in Ybor City to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. The event held at The Dirty Shame will feature games, Canadian treats and Canadian music. MONICA HERNDON   |   Times


  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 26-July 2.

    Events

    Vans Warped Tour: The festival returns Saturday to St. Petersburg's Vinoy Park, featuring shock-metal icons Gwar, hardcore punks Sick Of It All, ska band Save Ferris and indie-pop group Never Shout Never ($39.50-$49.50). vanswarpedtour. …

    Crowd for the Motionless in White band at the 2014 Vans Warped Tour at Vinoy Park, Friday, July 25, 2014.  CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times