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What’s new at Tampa Museum of Art and 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.


Because the arts are so connected, it’s little wonder there is a long history of artists creating designs for the stage. That history is celebrated in the “Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney” exhibition, opening at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg on Saturday. Organized by the McNay Art Museum in Texas, the exhibit includes more than 100 studies for set, costume, curtain and program designs as well as maquettes and costumes from artists including Robert Indiana. The museum beefed up its programming to collaborate with local and national performing arts organizations for the run of the exhibition. On Saturday, it’s live sketching as dancers from the Sarasota Ballet Conservatory move through positions from 11 a.m.-noon. On Sunday, the Florida Orchestra performs from noon-4 p.m. Both events are included with museum admission. $20, $15 seniors, students, military and Florida educators, $10 children 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.


A thought-provoking immersive installation comes to the Tampa Museum of Art Thursday with “White Gold: Thomas Sayre.” “White gold” refers to cotton and Sayre explores the complexities of the material, American agricultural traditions and its link to the economic, racial and social history of the South. $15, $7.50 seniors, military and Florida educators, $5 students, free for college students with ID, children 6 and younger and members. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, military and their families get in free. 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.

"White Gold: Thomas Sayre" will open at the Tampa Museum of Art on Jan. 23. [ Courtesy of Tampa Museum of Art ]


The organizers of Art Festival Beth-El work hard to find more artists to exhibit each year so it’s always a fresh experience. And with new artists come new voices. One such artist is Jonah Fleeger, an artist-in-residence at the Morean Center for Clay. He explores his personal history and experience with Judaism. He grew up in Indiana where he was bullied for being Jewish. But he channels those experiences into works that blend his culture and ideas, forming his own stylized identity. His ceramic forms are based on the shape of the Torah and challenge some myths and stereotypes. To address the stereotype of Jewish people having an abundance of body hair, he applies fur and flocking to the forms. His “Tattooed Torah” challenges the notion that people with tattoos can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery. The festival kicks off with a cocktail reception at 7 p.m. Saturday ($35). The exhibit is free and open to the public. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday-Monday. A special performance from Marie and Rosetta, Freefall Theatre’s new show, is at 11 a.m. Monday. 400 Pasadena Ave. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 347-6136.

Jonah Fleeger's work, including "Tattooed Torah," will be on display at Art Festival Beth-El in St. Petersburg from Jan. 25 to 27. [ Courtesy of Jonah Fleeger ]