Dear Readers,

The coronavirus pandemic has caused widespread disruption to the lives of everyone in Tampa Bay and to so many businesses in our community. Here at the Tampa Bay Times, we continue to provide free, up-to-date information at as a public service. But we need your help. Please consider supporting us by subscribing or donating, and by sharing our work. Thank you.

  1. Arts & Entertainment
  2. /
  3. Arts
  4. /
  5. Visual Arts

Meet the artists behind Tampa Bay’s public sculptures and fine arts

You can see a multisensory art exhibition at Creative Pinellas, too.
"Crescent Lake Sunrise" by Robert Herbenick, one of the artists who'll participate in the 2Cool Art Show at the Gulfport Casino on Feb. 1 and 2. [Courtesy of PAVA]


The Professional Association of Visual Artists holds its Cool Art Show in the summer, in the air-conditioned comfort of the Coliseum. The weather doesn’t impact this weekend’s 2Cool Art Show at the Gulfport Casino. But PAVA continues to expose artists to the public in multiple venues throughout the bay. All the work is original and handmade fine art and fine craft. The 2Cool Art Show is smaller than the original, with a little more than 30 artists, giving it a boutique feel. It’s always fun to chat with the artists about their works. And you can find hyper-local art, like Robert Herbenick’s painting of a sunrise over Crescent Lake, pictured. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 5500 Shore Blvd.


It might seem strange for a fine craft gallery to have an exhibition about public art, but Florida CraftArt’s “Inside the World of Public Art” exposes how fine craft practices are often at the root of the works. It’s curated by Ann Wykell, who was manager of cultural affairs for the city of St. Petersburg for nine years and helps develop public art projects at the University of South Florida. It highlights artists with public art on display, including three who will have work at the new pier. Among them is Janet Echelman, whose large-scale pier sculpture is currently being taken down for adjustments. The exhibit features panels introducing the artists and includes small pieces from their bodies of work. Two artists, Mark Aeling and Catherine Woods, both have works at the new police station in St. Petersburg. They’ll discuss their process at the gallery at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Free. The exhibition remains on display through March 7. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7391.

Catherine Woods' "Community DNA," a public art sculpture at the St. Petersburg Police Department. [Courtesy of Catherine Woods]


Some paintings are hard to resist touching, especially if the paint has been applied in that thick van Gogh style. But artist Horst W. Mueller wants people to touch his paintings, with paint built into three-dimensional forms. His work is on display in “Art Sensation," a multisensory art exhibition at Creative Pinellas. Mueller believes that “even hands can see” and is a champion of making artwork accessible to people of all abilities. The exhibit includes pieces from Florida CraftArt’s “Experience” collection, a traveling exhibition with pieces designed to be touched or heard. Works created by Florida artists with sensory disabilities round out the exhibit. Free. Thursday’s opening reception from 6-9 p.m. includes a panel discussion. Remains on display through Feb. 16. 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo. (727) 582-2172.

A painting by Horst Mueller, whose work will be featured in the "Art Sensation" exhibit at Creative Pinellas in Largo on Jan. 30. [Courtesy of Creative Pinellas]