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SUMMER OF REFRESHING ART

The summer season is under way officially in about a week-and-a-half (a.k.a. Memorial Day). Our thermostats, however, acting like radar, are alerting us to its earlier stealth arrival with the drone of air conditioners. And by the arrival of group art shows. For some reason, we see them more in the summer. Maybe they're related. I prefer them when the weather's hot, the way I like a tossed salad of many parts. They're refreshing. Here are three to chew on. All are free; check with them for gallery hours.

Lennie Bennett can be reached at lennie@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8293.

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New Talent

Brad Cooper Gallery 1714 E Seventh Ave., Tampabradcoopergallery.com or (813) 248-6098

Brad Cooper has a group of artists he regularly represents but he'll often build a summer show around those not shown as often in the Tampa Bay area. He introduces us to six: Cherie Dacko, Darwin Leon, Craig Morris, Beth Shadur, Susan B. Wood and Vincent Amicosante, whose painting, Plum, Orchard Perfect, is shown. Through Sept. 24.

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Possibilities in Pastels V

Dunedin Fine Art Center1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedindfac.org or (727) 298-3322

Pastel artists from the Southeast display their talent in this tricky medium. There are 65 works with about as many artists, chosen by pastel master Doug Dawson, including Tatyana Igumnova Hankinson'sMy Kitchen. And there's also an exemplary one-person retrospective of pastels by Brooke Allison, who has taught hundreds of students at the center the fine art of chalk on paper. Through June 26.

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Generations: USF Artists Past and Present

Clayton Galleries4105 S MacDill Ave., Tampaclaytongalleries.net or (813) 831-3753

The visual arts program at the University of South Florida has nurtured many fine artists as students and teachers, and this show highlights its success over the years with work by current and former students and faculty such as Swirl House, a screen print by Bradley Shanks. Through June 4.

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