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Exotic insects are art at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

‘The Grasshopper and the Ant,’ an exhibition made with dried insects, also opens. Plus, a roundup of exhibits and wearable art on display.
Artist Jennifer Angus has created installations of exotic dried bugs for her exhibit "'The Grasshopper and the Ant' and Other Stories, as Told by Jennifer Angus" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Jennifer Angus]
Artist Jennifer Angus has created installations of exotic dried bugs for her exhibit "'The Grasshopper and the Ant' and Other Stories, as Told by Jennifer Angus" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Jennifer Angus]
Published Oct. 9, 2019

BUGGIN’ OUT: THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT

Exotic insects aren’t the most common objects in art, but the practice isn’t all that rare either. Considering their color variations, feathery wings, organic forms and delicate legs and antennae, they’re the very definition of natural beauty. Artist Jennifer Angus makes them the focus of her installations, arranging them into Neo-Victorian-inspired wallpaper patterns. They’re installed at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg in “'The Grasshopper and the Ant’ and Other Stories, as told by Jennifer Angus,” opening Saturday. It’s the Canadian artist’s largest installation in her 20-year career, filling the 22-foot walls in the museum’s 7,000-square-foot Hough Wing. The insects mostly come from farms in Madagascar, Malaysia, Thailand and New Guinea, and Angus recycles them as often as possible. This exhibit is inspired by Aesop’s Fables and includes a Cabinet of Curiosities gallery and a whimsical, Victorian “animal dinner party." Angus will give a process talk from 2-3:30 p.m. Saturday. Included with museum admission. $20, $15 seniors, students, military and Florida educators, $10 ages 7-17, free for 6 and younger and members, $10 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday. 255 Beach Drive NE. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.

WEARABLE ARTISTS: GARDEN FAIRIES

Anyone who has attended the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Wearable Art event in the past few years has seen the work of the prolific Garden Fairies, artists and designers who create elaborate ensembles with headdresses and wings. They’ve just returned from showing at New York Fashion Week. Now, there’s a retrospective of their designs featuring 100 creations at the Creative Pinellas Gallery. The opening reception for the Wearable Art Exhibit will feature models, a photography wall, bar, student wearable art exhibit, gift shop and special performance by Kapok Aerial Arts Gallery. While none of the designs are for sale, the artists rent their pieces for events and custom designs can be commissioned. Free. 6-9 p.m. Saturday. On display from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 16 through 20, with a fashion symposium and gala Oct. 19. 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo. creativepinellas.org.

Elaborate designs from the Garden Fairies are part of the Wearable Art Exhibit at Largo's Creative Pinellas. [Courtesy of James Caulfield]

BUSY WEEKEND: ST. PETE ROUNDUP

This weekend is filled with art openings and art walks in St. Petersburg. Here are a few to check out:

Kick off the weekend with the opening reception of “Creep” at Mize Gallery. Artists including Bekky Beukes, Nick Kekllas and Calan Ree, whose work is pictured, get in the Halloween spirit with eerie and spooky work. Free. 6-10 p.m. Friday. 689 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. chadmize.com.

The Morean Arts Center opens multiple exhibitions, including street artist Bask’s 20-year retrospective, a focus on Tampa-based muralist “Jujmo: ROYGBIV” and “Kodi Thompson: XYZ,” showcasing the personal alphabet he created through die cuts. Free. 5-9 p.m. Saturday. 719 Central Ave. moreanartscenter.org.

Historic Kenwood is getting public art finials featuring the work of 16 artists from the Kenwood Artists Enclave to go atop signposts. The unveiling and reception is at Woodfield Fine Art. Free. 5-9 p.m. Saturday. 2253 Central Ave. woodfieldfineart.com.

Calan Ree's creepy-cute sculpture is on display in the "Creep" exhibition at Mize Gallery in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Chad Mize]

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Pablo Picasso's scene design for Pulcinella is part of the "Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, which will open on Jan. 25. [Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg]
    ‘Art of the Stage’ opens at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Tampa Museum of Art opens ‘White Gold,’ plus Art Festival Beth-El returns.
  2. Photographer Griff Davis captured the first meeting of Vice President Richard Nixon and Martin Luther King, Jr. and their wives, Patricia Nixon and Coretta Scott King, on Independence Day in Accra, Ghana on March 7, 1957. [Courtesy of Griffith J. Davis Photographs & Archives]
    A famed photographer captured Martin Luther King Jr. and Nixon in a conversation that was incendiary at the time.
  3. Roberto Gomez, of Puerto Rico, dressed as Darth Vader, attends the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Dec. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. [CHRIS PIZZELLO  |  Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]
    The massive fandom was built on the strength of a universe that continues to expand beyond the movie theater.
  4. A photograph by Anastasia Samoylova from the "FloodZone" series, on view at USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa through March 7. [Courtesy of USF Contemporary Art Museum]
    Plus, check out site-specific installations from the Morean Center for Clay.
  5. Demetri Martin will perform at Tampa Theatre on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]
    'A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’ and ambitious Florida Orchestra collaborations round out the list.
  6. Ai Weiwei's "Zodiac (2018) Lego" is on display through Feb. 9 at the Ringling Museum. [Courtesy of the Ringling]
    Ai Weiwei’s ‘ Zodiac (2018) Lego’ is the big draw, but four other exhibitions each hold their own.
  7. Janna Doughty's "Friends" is included in "Please Stand By," which will open on Jan. 10 at Mize Gallery in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Chad Mize]
    Plus, a quartet of new openings and an artist’s talk with contemporary Chinese artist Sun Xun.
  8. A crowd watches Tibetan Buddhist monks from India's Drepung Gomang Monastery dissolve their sand mandala during the Sacred Art Tour at Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg in 2018. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times (2018)]
    Plus, ‘Halloween in January’ features work by the Peach Moon and there’s an outdoor photography exhibit in Sarasota.
  9. Audio of the artist reciting a poem plays while visitors explore the Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling exhibition in the Tampa Museum of Art on September 26, 2018. [Times 2018]
    With new museums, world class exhibitions, arts districts and an abundance of murals, Tampa Bay has grown into an arts destination.
  10. Helen Hardin's "Mimbres Kokopelli" is part of the "Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings" exhibit at the James Museum in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of the James Museum]
    Plus, St. Petersburg gets a politically-charged ceramic exhibition and dystopian sculptures invade Ybor City.
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