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NINE ARTISTS, A LOT OF ZIP

(ran North, South editions)

Beverly Hills has 90210, a ZIP code where a collection of interesting people live.

Tarpon Springs has 34689, a ZIP code where a sizable number of professional artists live and/or work.

Thus the name of the show opening today at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center: "Artists of 34689 _ Small Town, Big Talent."

"There are so many wonderful artists here in Tarpon that I decided we should start showing together," said Lin Carte, an Eckerd College instructor who put the show together and is exhibiting her work in it.

The result is a diverse, multifaceted show: copper etchings, metal sculptures, glass stencils, oil paintings, and, perhaps most unusual, artistic but functional diving helmets.

After all, this is Tarpon Springs.

Perhaps the best known of the nine participants is Christopher M. Still, whose historical paintings of Florida hang in the Governor's Mansion, the Smithsonian Institution, Ringling Museum of Art and the Florida Capitol and in Japan.

"Chris has a triptych of three different versions of a young girl with a sunflower," Carte said of Still's work in the show. Each section is 16 by 20 inches.

Award-winning glass artist Robin Saenger is showing 12 hand-cut stencils in glass, each showing a face embellished with metal scrolls, jewels or leaded colored glass.

"These are things that have meaning to me that are (put) into these faces," Saenger said. The 6- by 12-inch creations aren't made to hang in a window, but to hang free over a table, desk or computer, she said, "like a mobile."

Landscape architect Robyn Hillary has entered a free-standing abstract metal sculpture that "alludes to figures in nature," Carte said. Dunedin Fine Art Center instructor Mitch Kolbe has entered his bronze sculpture Cracker Cowboy, a sizable figure of a cowboy on horseback herding scrub cows in a typical Florida setting. Kolbe has been commissioned to do sculptures for Universal Studios, Disney-Epcot and the Astronauts Hall of Fame at the Kennedy Space Center.

Mixed-media sculptor Rocky Bridges is exhibiting a wall hanging of "found objects," such as a car bumper, Carte said.

Elizabeth Indianos, whose huge, nine-panel work showing an undersea scene was suspended in Airside A at Tampa International Airport until recently, is showing two large etchings on copper and three monotypes, which are painted on Plexiglas.

"They have very rich, wonderful quality, very, very colorful," Carte said.

Jack Rosemon, the founder of the Iron Horse music venue and former owner of Fusion Fine Crafts Gallery and the Emporium Fine Craft Gallery, submitted a free-standing piece showing a Japanese kimono in front of a window. He's also showing smaller glass pieces in color abstracts.

Nick Toth's copper and brass diving helmets are also in the show.

Carte herself is exhibiting two engravings on copper based on Greek mythology.

"One is Daphne and Artemis, the other Adam and Eve in Florida," she said. She also entered her "Serene Women Series," a collection of 12 etchings in copper plates that are 13 by 17 inches each.

"They show women in the quiet moments of their lives," she said.

The pieces in the show are for sale, from $50 to $15,000, Carte said.

A reception honoring all nine artists will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Cultural Center.

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