05/19/16 Visual Arts
We associate mandalas, especially the Buddhist sand ones, with ritual and serenity, created slowly with solemn ceremony.
Paula Brett's version relies more on chaos theory and the clash of shopping carts.
Using a $3,000 grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, the artist and her helpers have spent recent Saturdays whizzing them around vacant big box store parking lots in the predawn hours to form large mandalas. Yes, she does it with the permission of the stores; this is art, not a flash mob....
05/18/16 Visual Arts
They're the people we might encounter anywhere: those with dogs, those in casual or business clothes, those in uniform. We pass them every day, noticing some more than others. But do we really see them?
An exhibition organized by the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts, featuring large-scale photographs of our local population, asks you to stop and stare as you traverse Tampa's Riverwalk, where the center sits. It's the work of Daniel Chauche, who spent two weeks roaming the Tampa Bay area snapping portraits of people who mostly just happened by the white backdrops he set up in Tampa, Tarpon Springs and St. Petersburg....
Art planner: Harold Edgerton at MFA, Kalup Linzy at Tempus Projects, last chance for "Figure Examined"05/18/16 Visual Arts
HIGH SPEED: HAROLD EDGERTON AT MFA
Harold Edgerton, a professor at MIT, is most widely known for his photographs, though he wasn't a professional photographer. He invented the electronic stroboscope in 1931 and went on to use short flashes of strobe lights to capture on film movements that are too fast to be seen by the eye. The images were stunning back then and remain so; National Geographic dubbed him "the man who made time stand still."...
05/12/16 Visual Arts
You arrive for your stay at the Opal Sands Resort via the valet service and enter through large doors that lead to a staircase and massive escalator whisking you up to the lobby.
You may or may not have noticed the fountain at the entrance with seabirds etched on glass panels that seem to fly through clear, cascading water, but you definitely notice the large sculpture with more glass in myriad colors hanging above you as you ascend. Nor will a large horizontal painting of a beach scene hung behind the check-in area go unnoticed. And then your head turns to the right and you see what you have come for: an expansive view of the Gulf of Mexico bordered by white sand. ...
05/11/16 Visual Arts
MOREAN ARTS CENTER: FOUR NEW SHOWS
Lots of new art is on view at the Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, beginning Saturday with a group show and three solos. "Orange State" is curated by Katherine Gibson of ArtHouse3, an outfit that highlights the abundance of talent in Central Florida, from photography to folk art. The diverse group includes Ruby C. Williams, Bud Lee, Gary Borse, Diana Lucas Leavengood, Carl Knickerbocker, Suzanne Camp Crosby and Margaret Ross Tolbert....
05/04/16 Visual Arts
BENJAMIN DIMMITT: REQUIEM FOR A LANDSCAPE
Like many landscape photographers, Benjamin Dimmitt has had a mission to capture beauty, in his case that of his native Florida surroundings. And then he discovered the ecological damage at the Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge in Citrus and Hernando counties, caused by saltwater intrusion. The silver gelatin prints are beautiful and sobering. Where once there was a lush landscape, some areas have become barren zones of dead and dying plant life with ramifications for wildlife living there. The cause could be over-pumping fresh water from the aquifer, rising sea levels due to climate change or a combination. Either way it's not looking good, and Dimmitt has spent more than a year documenting the decline. ...
04/28/16 Visual Arts
Even though "The Figure Examined" at the Tampa Museum of Art has a specific focus, different tastes will be satisfied by this exhibition. With about 120 paintings, prints and sculptures by 70 artists, it's a big show, perhaps too big if you want to see all of it in a thoughtful way. But that's where its diversity is an advantage: Love realism? Prefer abstraction? You won't be disappointed either way....
04/27/16 Visual Arts
MOREAN ARTS CENTER: BE AN EXQUISITE CORPSE
The macabre name of this surrealist exercise has nothing to do with the fanciful nature of what is essentially a collaborative game. It's being played out by artists in "Exquisite Porch," an exhibition at the Morean Arts Center, which is partnering with the Dalí Museum for a fun event.
Some background: Exquisite Corpse began in the early 20th century with surrealist writers taking turns building on each other's words, not knowing what had been written before their turn. It created absurd combinations, including the name itself, which came from this collaborative example: "The exquisite corpse shall drink the new wine." Visual artists soon embraced the idea....
04/21/16 Visual Arts
Tampa International Airport is a place of wayfarers. By the millions each year, they pass through this way station. Probably more than anyone else, one woman has made it easy for all of them to find their path since the airport opened in 1971.
Jane Davis Doggett is a wayfinder.
Doggett, 86, is the legend you have never heard of. She has designed more than 40 "wayfinding" systems in major airports in the United States and dozens more in other large public venues such as Madison Square Garden. ...
04/20/16 Visual Arts
GO FIGURE: SHOWS CELEBRATE THE HUMAN FORM
You could call it a high form of navel gazing. Our fascination with ourselves, in the form of our forms, is centuries old and remains undimmed.
The best example here is "The Figure Examined: Masterworks From the Kasser Mochary Art Foundation" at the Tampa Museum of Art. It features 70 artists and more than 100 paintings, sculptures and works on paper that celebrate the figure as perceived by 19th and 20th century artists. They range from realist to abstract with marquee names represented. Among them: Picasso, Renoir, Matisse, Degas, Rodin and Warhol. The show continues through May 30. The museum, at 120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $15 adults; $7.50 seniors, Florida educators and military; $5 students; and free for children younger than 6. (813) 274-8130. tampamuseum.org....
04/17/16 Visual Arts
ST. PETERSBURG — Mainsail Arts Festival, as of Sunday morning, was going off without a hitch, according to Lisa Wells, a volunteer with the event for more than 30 years and its chair for many of those. The weather was fine, the crowds strong and sales were good, she said.
"We had a lot of new artists this year," she said, "and a lot of regulars commented on that. More just seemed to apply."...
04/13/16 Visual Arts
TAMPA — The monumental sculptures by Jaume Plensa on view at the Tampa Museum of Art have been a big hit, especially those that sit on the grounds outside the building overlooking Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. They will depart on May 15 when the exhibition ends. But one, museum leaders hope, will become a permanent resident.
The museum plans to purchase Laura With Bun, a cast-iron sculpture soaring 23 feet into the air and weighing more than 18,000 pounds. It presents a striking image of a young woman, stylized almost to flatness when viewed from certain angles, that greets visitors as they walk from the parking garage to the museum. It is one of the most serene works in "Jaume Plensa: Human Landscape," a contemplative portrait that reduces the woman's features to minimal suggestions. ...
04/13/16 Visual Arts
AHOY, ART LOVERS: MAINSAIL MAKES LANDFALL THIS WEEKEND
First and foremost, Mainsail Art Festival is about art and fine crafts. Over 40 years, it has evolved from a small exhibition for local artists to one that attracts national interest and, on average, more than 100,000 visitors during its two-day run in Vinoy Park on the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront....
04/06/16 Visual Arts
GOOD IMPRESSIONS: PRINTS ATSYD ENTEL GALLERIES
The Impressionists, a group of 19th and early 20th century artists, are among the most beloved in the Western canon. A group of about 40 prints by some of the big names will be on view and for sale at Syd Entel Galleries, 247 Main St., Safety Harbor beginning Saturday and continuing through April 30. Among the names are Edgar Degas, Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Mary Cassatt. They come from a dealer with whom the gallery has worked for many years, who acquired them over time through Sotheby's and Christie's auction houses and private collectors. All are authenticated, created during the artists' lifetimes and are part of the original printings....
03/31/16 Visual Arts
The sculpture titled Homeless Jesus was recently installed at the downtown Tampa campus of Hyde Park United Methodist Church. It's an emotionally charged image of Jesus huddled on a bench, shrouded by a blanket, his feet protruding to reveal the holes from the nails that affixed them to the cross during the Crucifixion. As in other countries and U.S. cities, the sculpture has invited praise and controversy but little critical commentary as a work of art....