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Seeing and being seen

Alexander's, a new gallery that opened Tuesday, offers a different way of seeing art.

On the walls and panels are works by a dozen artists from New York, Pennyslvania, California, Tennessee and Texas, as well as Phyllis LaCivita and Jack King from the bay area.

More of each artist's works are on view in a back room via slide projector. That's not unusual; the more sophisticated galleries offer the service.

What is unusual is the room itself: a zany theater setting, where Mae West presents a screen draped in burgundy velvet, Clark Gable manages the popcorn machine, and several familiar personalities _ Salvador Dali, Mona Lisa, Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol _ fill the front row. Three rows back, owner/director Chandra Alexander and owner David Novakoski oversee all. The likenesses, in paint, are the creations of area artist Shannon O'Leary.

"What I wanted to do was make it like an old-time Hollywood movie theater, a room where, if you wanted to see slides, you could do it, or a place where you could sit down and talk," says Alexander.

"People don't know that there's art that's accessible and affordable," says Alexander, who shows works ranging from $350 and averaging about $2,000. "But you know, what I want more than anything else is for people to come in here and have fun."

Alexander's is at 3225 S MacDill Ave. in Tampa, a location near several other galleries: Clayton at 4105 S MacDill, Nuance at 720 S Dale Mabry, Syd Entel at 3641 W Kennedy Blvd. and Galerie Nouvel Esprit at 2412 S MacDill.

EXHIBITING: Bay area artists now showing at the annual juried exhibition, Orlando Museum of Art, through July 4 include: Ed Caldwell, St. Petersburg; Nancy Cervenka-McLaughlin, Gulfport; Latisha Dawson, St. Petersburg; J. Scott Estes, St. Petersburg; Candace Garrett, Clearwater; Russ Gustafson-Hilton, St. Petersburg; Polly Holt, St. Petersburg; Candace Knapp, Brandon; Dan Meisner, St. Petersburg; Perri Neri, St. Petersburg; Shannon O'Leary, Clearwater; Charles Parkhill, Tampa; Thomas Schirtz, Tampa;Charlotte Schulz, Largo, and Patricia Yontz, Tampa.

The 55 works on display were selected from about 300 applicants by Terrie Sultan, curator at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

KUDOS: Palm Harbor artist Hal Stowers has received the Distinguished Landscape Architecture Award at the University of Florida for 1993.