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‘Spirit Lines’ showcases Native American female artists in St. Petersburg

Plus, St. Petersburg gets a politically-charged ceramic exhibition and dystopian sculptures invade Ybor City.
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]
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]
Published Dec. 24, 2019

ON VIEW: SPIRIT LINES

An exhibition focusing on women artists is open at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art. “Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings” focuses on the significant contemporary Santa Clara Pueblo artist, who died from breast cancer in 1984 at 41. She began as a painter, but switched to etchings because the intricate details in her works made painting take a long time. Hardin broke from Indian artistic traditions and is credited with forging a path for other Native American women artists who wanted to diverge from traditional styles.

Hardin’s mother and daughter were both artists, and their work is included in the exhibition. Her mother was the famous Santa Clara Pueblo artist Pablita Velarde, one of the first native American women painters. She was pushing boundaries, too. She ground her own pigments to paint scenes of pueblo life. Margarete Bagshaw, Hardin’s daughter, created abstract compositions. The exhibition is rounded out with bronze and gold leaf sculptures from fellow Santa Clara Pueblo artist Tammy Garcia. On view through March 1. $20; $15 students/seniors; $10 youth ages 7-18. Free for 6 and younger. $10 all day Tuesdays. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays. 150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 892-4200. thejamesmuseum.org.

TIMELY: THE GREAT DIVIDE

The Morean Center for Clay’s juried exhibition, “The Great Divide” brings in 42 pieces that were selected from 200 entries. Conceptualized and juried by Bruce Dehnert of the Peters Art Valley Craft Center in New Jersey, artists were asked to explore the divisions in our current culture — whether political, environmental or personal. Artists were not asked to provide explanations of their work, so in some cases it’s hard to know what issue they’re exploring. But it’s also refreshing to not have everything tied up with a bow. The pieces are varied, from functional to whimsical and technically incredible, and include artists from as far away as China and Australia. It’s on view through February.

It would be worth your while to take a tour of the facility to see of all the work being created there, including the artists-in-residence. Call to arrange one. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7162. moreanartscenter.org.

"The Great Divide" will explore the dynamics of political, environmental and personal relationships at St. Petersburg's Morean Center for Clay through Dec. 28. [Courtesy of Beth Reynolds]

DYSTOPIAN FIGURES: WASTELANDERS

Don’t be alarmed if you stumble upon some life-sized figures in the streets, balconies and sidewalks of Ybor City’s Seventh Avenue. They’re all part of artist Richard Hinger’s post-apocalyptic installation, Wasteland. Hinger is passionate about environmental concerns, so this exhibition is a realization of his manifesto, “Post Apocalyptic Visions.” Since he walks his talk, the sculptures are made from recycled materials and found objects. He calls them “fossilized stories of the future.” Take a selfie with them for posterity, as they’re moving on after December. hinger.studio.

Richard Hinger's dystopian sculptures are posted up in Ybor City as part of his "Wasteland" installation. [Courtesy of Richard Hinger]

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