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See Ai Weiwei’s Chinese zodiac made of Legos at the Ringling Museum

Plus, Tampa Museum of Art presents “the Making of a Museum” and Karen Lamonte takes over the Imagine Museum.
"Ai Weiwei: Zodiac (2018) LEGO" will be on display at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota starting Nov. 16. [Courtesy of Jason Schmidt]
"Ai Weiwei: Zodiac (2018) LEGO" will be on display at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota starting Nov. 16. [Courtesy of Jason Schmidt]
Published Nov. 13


Contemporary Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has previously explored the animals of the Chinese zodiac in gold and bronze sculpture, the latter of which were on display at the Ringling Museum from 2017 to 2018. Now the prolific artist’s work returns to the Ringling, except this time the animals are rendered in Legos. “Ai Weiwei: Zodiac (2018) LEGO” opens Sunday, the first time it has been shown in a museum. He told Art Daily that he was inspired to do the series because he is a collector, and the zodiac was historically rendered in a number of materials, including jade. And animals, he said, are relatable to children and people outside of the art world. The sheer feat of assembling that many small bricks into a recognizable form will inspire. On view through Feb. 2. While you’re there, stop in to see “Remaking the World: Abstraction From the Permanent Collection.” $25, $23 seniors, $15 active duty military, $10 Florida teachers, $5 college students and children 6-17, free for children 5 and younger and select college students. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; open until 8 p.m. Thursdays. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. (941) 359-5700.


The Tampa Museum of Art traces its roots back 100 years to a small arts organization in 2020. A celebratory exhibition, “The Making of a Museum: 100 Years, 100 Works,” opens Thursday. The selection from the museum’s permanent collection will include works from its eight sections: classical antiquities, prints and photographs related to classical antiquity, the C. Paul Jennewein Archive, painting, decorative arts and sculpture, photography, works on paper and new media, video and installation art. The exhibit will also highlight the museum’s history. $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.

"Zito's Bakery" by Berenice Abbott is part of the Tampa Museum of Art exhibition "The Making of a Museum." [Courtesy of Tampa Museum of Art]


Among Imagine Museum’s floors of art from the studio glass movement is a special exhibition, “Floating World,” by artist Karen LaMonte. The artist went to Japan to study the construction of kimonos and the role of the garment in society. When she returned, she cast a series of life-sized ones in glass, clay and bronze. It’s incredible how she captures each fold and crease to create fluidity with such solid materials. LaMonte will be on hand for a number of events, including a Japanese-themed dinner on Friday, an artist’s reception on Saturday and a brunch and book signing on Sunday. Events are $55-$150. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday. $10-$15. 1901 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 300-1700.

Karen LaMonte's kimonos will be on display in her "Floating World" exhibit at the Imagine Museum in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Imagine Museum]


  1. Matthew Wicks' "Crosshairs" is part of the exhibition "X: A Decade of Tempus Projects," which will hold its opening reception in Tampa on Dec. 14. [Courtesy of Tempus Projects]
    Tampa’s Clayton Galleries also hosts a farewell sale, while a new gallery comes to St. Petersbug.
  2. Blown glass jewelry by artist Harold Cooney will be available during Zen Glass' holiday show and sale in St. Petersburg on Dec. 7. [Courtesy of Zen Glass]
    Zen Glass also holds its holiday show and party this weekend.
  3. Glenn Woods, 62, shapes a decorative bottle made with a blend of porcelain clays at Palm Harbor's Pottery Boys Clay Studios. Woods and his partner, Keith Herbrand, 56, have created dozens of pieces for the Tampa Bay Tour de Clay this weekend. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    Plus, Dunedin Fine Art Center is having a pottery sale.
  4. Art by Mele's resin sculptures and home decor are available at the Florida CraftArt Holiday Boutique in St. Petersburg starting Nov. 30. [Courtesy of Florida CraftArt]
    Enjoy loads of local art as well as discounts and activities.
  5. Amber Parker sells her Loudmouth Lip Attire during the Tampa Indie Flea in 2018. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times (2018)]
    More than 250 local companies assemble for Shopapalooza in St. Pete, Indie Flea pops up at Black Crow Coffee, Oxford Exchange’s gift bazaar and a shop hop in Seminole Heights.
  6. The store at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg. [MARTHA ASENCIO-RHINE  |  Times]
    Sunday is Museum Store Sunday, with discounts on everything from ornaments to local art to high-end jewelry to handbags.
  7. Garry Winogrand's "Laughing Woman with Ice Cream Cone",1968, on loan from the Kemper Museum in San Francisco. © The Estate of  Garry Winogrand. [Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco]
    “Controversial” is just one adjective applied to these black-and-white photographs at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts.
  8. The Holiday Open House at Syd Entel Galleries in Safety Harbor will feature Estella Fransbergen's glittering gold clay torso with a skirt of crystals on Nov. 23. [Courtesy of Syd Entel Galleries]
    Plus, a fire sale at the store inside USF CAM and a Trans Fashion Expo.
  9. Joan Miro's painting "Peinture" is on display in the "Midnight in Paris" exhibition at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of the Centre Pompidou, Paris]
    Plus, ‘Icons in Transformation’ by an acclaimed international artist and an announcement from the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.
  10. A mermaid attraction at the Shine mural festival finale is an example of what to expect at Fairgrounds, an immersive art attraction coming to The Factory St. Pete. [Courtesy of Liz Dimmitt]
    Two art compounds include hands-on ways to appreciate art, plus breweries that encourage visitors to make a day of it.