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A retrospective of bay area artist

MARION BECKETT _ The paintings of Marion Beckett, one of the bay area's foremost artists from the 1940s through the 1980s, are gathered in a retrospective opening Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Eckerd College's Elliott Gallery. A gallery talk with friends of the artist takes place at 3 p.m. Nov. 19. The show runs through Dec. 5 during gallery hours, 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays; closed Nov. 27 and 28 for Thanksgiving. Free. Eckerd College is at 4200 54th Ave. S, St. Petersburg; 864-8340.

WALTER DARBY BANNARD _ "Art speaks for itself," says Walter Darby Bannard, whose paintings from the 1970s, '80s and '90s go on exhibit with a public reception today from 7 to 9 p.m. at the University of Tampa's Scarfone Gallery. The artist, who is department chair and professor of painting at the University of Miami, exhibits through Dec. 12 during gallery hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Call first to confirm hours, which can vary, and to get parking information. Free. Scarfone Gallery is at the corner of Brevard and North B streets; 253-6232.

He didn't draw; he dripped

NEW YORK _ "My drawing, I will tell you frankly, is rotten," wrote a glum 18-year-old Jackson Pollock to his brother in 1930. "It seems to lack freedom and rhythm. It is cold and lifeless. It isn't worth the postage to send it."

An exaggeratedly harsh self-critique, surely, by America's outstanding master of the painted line? Not at all. Pollock's youthful assessment was right on the money, and it is fully borne out by the strange, fascinating, ultimately revelatory exhibition "Jackson Pollock: Early Sketchbooks and Drawings," which runs through Feb. 8 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

. . . Pollock is the dark, liberating angel at the shoulder of postwar art: His drip paintings blew traditional notions of academic skill to smithereens, and he gave abstraction an edge of danger by both confirming and undermining its credibility once and for all. Seen in this light, the very fact of his early incompetence oddly increases him.

_ Holland Cotter, New York Times, c. 1997 New York Times News Service

Classes at Dunedin

The Dunedin Fine Art Center announces its second fall term: Nov. 10-Dec. 19. Offerings include painting, watercolor, drawing, clay and sculpture, jewelry, calligraphy and Chinese brush. Cost ranges from $68 to $73 for non-members, and $34 to $36 for children's classes. The center is at 1143 Michigan Blvd.; 738-1892.

Opportunities for artists

ArtSpace, a St. Petersburg institution renting studios to working artists, again seeks holiday decorations by bay area artists for its annual Deck the Halls sale. Proceeds will benefit Hospice of the Florida Suncoast for its work with AIDS patients. Works must be able to be used as an actual holiday decoration, such as a tree ornament, angel, wreath or Hanukkah menorah. Sale days at ArtSpace will be 5:30 to 9 p.m. Nov. 14 and 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 7 during a joint holiday open house with Florida Craftsmen; and 5:30 to 9 p.m. Dec. 5 during the annual Holiday Art Tour. Call Mary Klein at 823-1316 for information or to drop off items. ArtSpace is at 501 Central Ave., Suite 200, above Florida Craftsmen.

Fiesta Day Fine Art Show, Ybor City, Feb. 14. Juried outdoor show. Contact Fiesta Day Fine Art Show, Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, 1800 E Ninth Ave., Tampa, FL 33605; 248-3712. Deadline: Nov. 28.

Mainsail Arts Festival, North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, April 18 and 19. Major outdoor exhibition. Contact Mainsail Arts Festival Inc., P.O. Box 2842, St. Petersburg, FL 33731; 892-5885. Deadline: Jan. 31.

Very Special Arts and Youth Arts Corps programs, Pinellas County Arts Council, 400 Pierce Blvd., Clearwater, FL 33756; 464-3327. Part-time positions for visual, literary and performing artists to work with youth in school and community settings, Feb.-May. Artists will receive training. Deadline for letters of application and resumes is 5 p.m. Nov. 5.

e-mail: margersptimes.com

What's ahead

Note: See Art Calendar for this week's lectures and gallery talks.

Nov. 14-16 _ Festival of the Masters, Walt Disney World Village, Lake Buena Vista. All exhibitors have won prizes in other shows. (407) 934-6743.

Nov. 15-May 15 _ "Titanic: The Exhibition," Florida International Museum, St. Petersburg. For tickets, $13.95 (adults), $12.95 (seniors 65+), $5.95 (students), call (813) 821-1448 or (800) 777-9882.

Dec. 5-7 _ American Craft Council Craft Fair Tampa Bay, Tampa Convention Center. 281-0088 or (800) 836-3470.

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