07/29/15 Visual Arts
MUST SEE: PORTRAITS AT STUDIO@620
After seeing the one shown here that came with a news release, I had to go to Kristin Beauvois' website to see more. They're terrific! These aren't conventional renderings of people. She defines them as abstractions, and indeed, reality is greatly distilled in them. In some ways, they can be related to Frank Auerbach's better-known, wonderful works, though Beauvois uses watercolor and ink, making them softer and more ephemeral. You're invited to a free opening reception at the studio, 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday. Also featured will be collaborative works by Beauvois and artist Tyler Staggs. The show continues through Aug. 28. The studio is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday or Thursday or by appointment. (727) 895-6620. studio620.org....
07/24/15 Visual Arts
ST. PETERSBURG — The planned $70 million Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement already has a collection, will soon have a completed parking garage and now is expecting the arrival of its first director.
Kevin Tucker, senior curator of decorative art and design at the Dallas Museum of Art, has been hired as the museum's director.
"When considering this most important position, I couldn't think of a more qualified, capable and knowledgeable museum professional to lead this effort," said Rudy Ciccarello, a retired businessman who owns the collection and is building the museum to house it. "His understanding of the Arts and Crafts Movement, the objects and the artists who created them, is exemplary and is based on his 25 years of experience working in the decorative arts field."...
07/22/15 Visual Arts
“The American Spirit: Painting and Sculpture From the Santa Barbara Museum of Art" would be a good standalone exhibition but, lucky visitors, it's but one of two very fine ones now at the Tampa Museum of Art.
Several weeks ago, I reviewed "In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking," also at the Tampa Museum, which by itself is worth the admission. While the word "bargain" isn't usually associated with museums, you're getting one, especially when you factor in the ever-present antiquities from the permanent collection....
07/22/15 Visual Arts
MEMBERSHIP'S PRIVILEGES: AT THE MOREAN
The Morean Arts Center is almost a centenarian but maintains an ever-lively spring in its step. Much of the energy comes from its ever-evolving membership rolls. Imagine the thousands of individuals who have been involved through the decades, most of them artists, both professionals and amateurs! It opened as the Arts Center in a small downtown St. Petersburg building in 1917 and since 1918 has had an annual Members' Show. It's a way to say thanks for the support and let the collective talent shine. ...
07/20/15 Visual Arts
Beth Reynolds, award-winning photographer, popular instructor and long time area resident who left us to move north several years ago, is returning. Everyone who ever worked with her here is probably doing a happy dance. She'll be director of photography at the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Petersburg and begins soon. I'm looking forward to a lot of new programs under her creative direction. Welcome home, Beth. ...
07/15/15 Visual Arts
SHOW AND SELL: COOL ART SHOW
There's the obvious reason the big outdoor arts festivals are never in the summer. Duh! But artists, like most of us, don't have the luxury of shutting down through heat, thunder, lightning and rain and thus, the Cool Art Show Saturday and Sunday, the preeminent art show of the summer, which gives area artists a venue for selling their work and us one for buying it in the air-conditioned comfort of the Coliseum, 535 Fourth Ave. N, St. Petersburg. It's smaller than its outdoor cousins, with about 80 artists, but that can be seen as an advantage: You can spend more time seeing everything instead of lurching (as I do anyway) through several hundred booths and not giving all the art its due....
07/15/15 Visual Arts
The title is long: "Five Decades of Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts Featuring the Dandrew-Drapkin Collection." So is the exhibition. Monumental in its aspirations, "Five Decades of Photography" delivers the goods through a comprehensive study of the medium in all its forms through almost 300 images, many of them famous examples by famous practitioners. • I don't get emotional about art exhibitions; I'm paid to be analytical. I was moved by this one, not because of its scope but because it was put together entirely from the museum's permanent collection. Not a single loan and no need for one. That is such a rarity....
07/08/15 Visual Arts
CONGRATULATIONS: HAPPY 5TH, CHIHULY COLLECTION
Five years ago, a beautiful gem of a gallery opened at 400 Beach Drive NE in downtown St. Petersburg, featuring the colorful installations of world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. A hot shop at the Morean Arts Center, southwest of the gallery at 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, opened to educate visitors about the process of glassblowing, even offering participatory classes....
07/01/15 Visual Arts
He may have top billing in "In Living Color: Andy Warhol and Contemporary Printmaking from the Collections of Jordan Schnitzer and His Family Foundation," but this excellent exhibition isn't exclusively Warhol or Pop Art. Warhol deserves the recognition, though, because of the 116 works, 50 are his and he is by the far the most famous of the group.
Know that the 17 other artists represented also are big names in the art world and contribute greatly to the discussion....
06/30/15 Visual Arts
A TRIP TO THE POLK: ENJOY THE SCENERY
For centuries, collecting art was a pastime only for the wealthy (including the wealthy church), but with the rise of the middle class in the mid 19th century, it became an aspiration many more could afford. Travel, too, became available on a broader scale because of the convenience of expanded railroad destinations. As travelers saw more of the world, or at least became arm-chair travelers, they wanted reminders of it, so among the favorite subjects in paintings were bucolic landscapes and exotic locales....
06/24/15 Visual Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg has always been a special place. But without equivocation, I say it's a better place today because of many individuals' hard work and generosity that have allowed it to grow. One of the most important architects of that growth — in its all-important permanent collection — is Jennifer Hardin, the Hazel and William Hough chief curator.
Museum director Kent Lydecker recently announced, "with sincere regret," Hardin's resignation after 20 years on the job. I will miss her. But I'm grateful for all she has accomplished and, in the process, the ways she has benefited the community through her work. I want to honor her in this farewell column....
06/23/15 Visual Arts
We think of puppets as playthings for children, but they have a history thousands of years old as adult entertainment. Almost every culture in the world has deployed them in some form from European hand puppets to Asian shadow puppets. A new exhibition at Florida CraftArt, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, which opens Friday and continues through Aug. 15, will stretch the definition we have of them....
They are the birds of a Featherstone that became kitsch history. One Donald Featherstone, to be precise, who invented the plastic lawn flamingo in 1957. Mr. Featherstone has died at 79, leaving behind one of the most memorable homages to one of nature's most memorable animals.
Floridians are possessive about plastic flamingos, believing they are unique to our peninsula, but in truth they have been sold by the millions nationwide. Madison, Wis., to the far north, designated the plastic pink flamingo its official city bird in 2009. It's probably the only lawn ornament to achieve such status....
06/16/15 Visual Arts
Summer shows at regional museums used to be small and quiet, a time to rotate works from a permanent collection into or out of storage or organize a middling show that wouldn't cost much. It reflected a drop in attendance as residents took vacations and tourists stayed away.
Population migration trends seem to have changed and so have museums' exhibition schedules. For several years, we have seen truly important exhibitions scheduled at this time of year and the new crop is no exception. ...
Bud Lee's career as an award-winning photographer took him around the world and into the presence of celebrities and world events. Just as much as for his great images, he will be remembered for the antic creativity, talent and energy to create an arts scene in Tampa both bohemian and purposeful that resonates today.
Mr. Lee, self-described "picture maker," died Thursday at a nursing home in Plant City. He was 74. ...