1. Visual Arts

What’s happening in Tampa Bay art: Basquiat at Tampa Museum of Art, Dunedin Fine Art Center fall exhibits

In addition to two masterworks from Jean-Michel Basquiat, TMA also opens exhibitions of Haitian flags and works by artist Purvis Young.
"Untitled (Word on Wood)" by Jean-Michel Basquiat. The piece is one of the iconic artist's masterpieces on display at Tampa Museum of Art. [Courtesy of Jeremy Scott]
Published Sep. 11


It was huge when the Tampa Museum of Art got the opportunity to show two masterpieces from iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. After all, we don’t see many Basquiats around here. But the best thing is the way museum curators cleverly tied the pieces in with other artworks to present a vibrant, thought-provoking experience. “Ordinary/Extraordinary: Assemblage in Three Acts,” opening Thursday, links three exhibitions together with found objects and socioeconomic influences. Themes of race, identity, spirituality, survival and hope are explored. “Jean-Michel Basquiat: One Master Artist/Two Masterpieces” will only be on display through Nov. 10, so act fast in learning the artist’s visual vocabulary. Discover elaborate and ornate ceremonial flags made from repurposed materials in “Sacred Diagrams: Haitian Vodou Flags from the Gessen Collection” (through Jan. 26). And in “Purvis Young: 91," 91 works by the self-taught artist held in the museum’s permanent collection will be on display together for the first time (also through Jan. 26). 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday. $15, $7.50 seniors, military and Florida educators, $5 students, free for college students with ID, children 6 and younger and members. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Friday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday with pay-what-you-will admission after 4 p.m., 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Fourth Fridays. 120 W Gasparilla Plaza. (813) 274-8130.


Now that summer is almost behind us, fall exhibits are opening everywhere around Tampa Bay. The galleries of the Dunedin Fine Art Center are filled with five separate shows opening this weekend. “Vista” is the result of a curatorial trip to New Mexico seeking contemporary Native American and regional artists. Curators found some incredible ones, including Holly Wilson and public artist and activist Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds. In Wilson’s exhibition “On Turtle’s Back,” the Cherokee artist tells stories through her figurative sculptures. “Georgia O’Keeffe: By Her Hand” is a limited-edition portfolio of the legendary artist’s lesser-known early drawings. And artists have a ball exploring color in both “Hue and Me” and “'Round the Wheel.” An artists’ talk with Wilson and Heap of Birds at 6 p.m. Friday precedes the opening reception for all of the exhibits. Heap of Birds returns with video screenings and a lecture about his worldwide public art interventions on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. And bring the kids for the center’s Kids Art Fest. Free. 1143 Michigan Blvd. (727) 298-3322.

Work from public art activist Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds is part of the Dunedin Fine Art Center's "Vista" exhibit. He'll give a talk at the opening reception on Friday. [Courtesy of Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds]


  1. Tampa Museum of Art features this work and others on display as part of the exhibition "Purvis Young: 91." Courtesy of  Philip LaDeau
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