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  5. Visual Arts

Environmental art exhibits open at the University of South Florida

Plus, check out site-specific installations from the Morean Center for Clay.
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]

IMPACTFUL: USF CAM EXHIBITS

The University of South Florida’s Contemporary Art Museum is committed to presenting exhibitions that seek social change, and two new openings focus on the environment.

With the ongoing project “FloodZone,” Miami-based photographer Anastasia Samoylova explores the impact of sea level rise in South Florida. Having moved to Miami in 2016, she began noticing how the city’s bright colors and sun-drenched light masked the fact that developers were continuing to build in high-risk flood zones. Her work focuses on the psychological state of living in a city that is steadily sinking. Remains on view through March 7.

“Sponge Exchange” focuses on artist Hope Ginsburg’s work with ocean ecology, and a decade-long study of sea sponges, featuring a four-channel video installation from a coral reef restoration project in St. Croix. It also includes a series of dioramas created with USF students, based on ones found at Tarpon Springs’ Spongeorama Museum, that illustrate how the health of marine life is tied to local economy. On view through March 3.

Hear a talk from both artists at 6 p.m. Friday followed by an opening reception at 7. Free. 3821 Holly Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2849. usfcam.usf.edu.

SITE SPECIFIC: STALLS

Find a unique art experience in the exhibit “Stalls” at the Morean Center for Clay’s Center Gallery. Curated by artist in resident Danny Dobrow, site-specific installations from five local artists inhabit narrow stalls fabricated for the exhibition. And each one couldn’t be more different from the next. Dobrow was looking for artists who take interesting approaches to sculpture, and he found them. Step up and peer into the giant eyeball in Sebastian Coolidge’s stall. Bask in Casey McDonough’s gold walled and floored stall strung with his geometric clay forms. Dobrow’s own stall has a refrigerator filled with clay, pictured, a nod to his exploration away from clay during his residency. Ashley Lester captures Dutch still life and her own rural upbringing with her tablescape full of cheeky references to household products. And go into deep space in Cynthia Mason’s stall, full of squiggly forms that combine porcelain and linen that could be aliens, or even planets. “It’s weirder than the kind of work the Morean Center for Clay usually shows,” Dobrow said. "Which is absolutely my goal and part of my mission. " On view through Feb. 7. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 420 22nd St. S, St. Petersburg. moreanartscenter.org.

Danny Dobrow filled a refrigerator with clay for his installation in the "Stalls" exhibition at St. Petersburg's Morean Center for Clay. [Courtesy of Danny Dobrow]

RETROSPECTIVE: CAROL DAMERON

Acclaimed St. Petersburg fine artist Carol Dameron makes luscious oil paintings on wood, predominantly focusing on allegory. A retrospective of her work featuring 50 pieces and spanning 25 years is opening at the Octagon Arts Center this weekend. Her European training is evident in her works, which share the qualities of master painters. Deft, swirling brushstrokes, plays of rich color and intriguing narratives make her paintings the kind you want to get lost in, like The Emperor’s Wife, pictured. On view through Feb. 19. Meet her at the opening reception. Free. 5-7 p.m. Friday. 2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater. (727) 531-7704.

"The Emperor's Wife" is included in the retrospective of Carol Dameron's work, opening at the Octagon Arts Center in Clearwater on Jan. 17. [Courtesy of Carol Dameron]

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