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Juried U.S. show at Artists Unlimited

NATIONAL OPEN AT ARTISTS UNLIMITED: Artists Unlimited, Tampa's not-for-profit art center, hosts a reception for its National Open Juried Competition from 6 to 9 tonight. On view are works by 17 artists from throughout the United States, selected from 56 who entered. The show continues through Sept. 30 during business hours, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Free. 223 N 12th St. in the Channel District, Tampa; (813) 229-5958.

GULFPORT WALK: Beat the heat from 6 to 10 tonight as the Gulfport Art Village hosts its monthly First Friday gallery open house on Beach Boulevard S. Along the way, check out Kathleen Davis-Moran's unique photographic expressions at the Painted Pickle (No. 2826; through Sept. 1). Featured entertainment is 53rd and Park with Mark Fox and company. Enjoy food, drink and a free trolley ride as well. Free. Call (727) 321-7741.

HOT SUMMER AT CLAYTON _ The last of Clayton Galleries' three summer shows, each a group showing of gallery artists, runs Tuesday through Sept. 18. Clayton's artists are, not coincidentally, among the bay area's best. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Free. 4105 S MacDill Ave., Tampa; (813) 831-3753.

YOUNG ARTISTS AT SALT CREEK _ Expect to see lots of children's art as summer programs wind down and close. The Academy at Salt Creek holds an open house honoring its young artists and showing off their work throughout the weekend, from 5 to 8 p.m. tonight and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Salt Creek Artworks is at 1600 Fourth St. S, St. Petersburg; (727) 894-2653.

Quote of note

From Michael Kimmelman, commenting on the Venice Biennale in the New York Times:

". . . we now have a new species of art geared specifically to the circus environment of the big international survey show, and video is a part of it. The art happens to encapsulate the spirit of the moment.

"Artists having caught on to the nature of these extravaganzas, their strategy is to accept, rather than fight against, the short attention span and impatient gaze of people meandering among hundreds of disparate works. What we get are the visual equivalents of sound bites, quickly digestible and user-friendly.

". . . contemporary artists have finally learned how to adapt to the peculiar demands of this sort of exhibition. The art may or may not be marketable outside the festival context, but its true value has to do not with collectibility but theatricality: a capacity to command a stage, at least briefly.

"From having been a place where different kinds of art from around the world is gathered, the biennale, along with the other big international art surveys, has turned into an art form of its own . . ."

Fame game

St. Petersburg artist Michael Tearney's wall sculpture, Charlotte Harbor Sunset, was dedicated recently by the Charlotte County Board of Commissioners. The stainless steel work, on the facade of the new Justice Center, is the county's largest public art commission to date.

Competitions for artists

Images 2000, A Festival of the Arts, New Smyrna Beach, March 11-12. Brochure: Images 2000, P.O. Box 1585, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170; (904) 423-4733. Outdoor show. Deadline: Oct. 31.

Holidays at the Crosley, Sarasota, Dec. 3-5. Prospectus: send SASE to Fine Arts and Crafts at the Crosley, Monty McMullan, coordinator, 109 24th St. W, Bradenton, FL 34205; (941) 747-9585. Show is part of the holiday festival at Crosley Museum. Deadline: Nov. 26.

Leesburg Art Festival, P.O. Box 492857, Leesburg, FL 34749-2857; (352) 787-0000. Outdoor show, March 11, 12. Deadline: Dec. 30.