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Celebrate the roots of the Tampa Museum of Art

Plus, Carol Dameron’s retrospective in Clearwater round out the art highlights this week.


The Tampa Museum of Art traces its roots back to the Tampa Museum of Fine Arts, which held its first exhibition on Nov. 22, 1920. To mark the milestone, the museum opened “The Making of a Museum: 100 Years, 100 Works” in November. It shows that over the years, a consistently supportive arts community has contributed to the museum’s significant collection. Museum staff selected 100 works that best illustrate its breadth, which includes vast holdings of Greek and Roman antiquities and a strong amount of modern and contemporary works. The exhibition is laid out so some of those works intersect, and viewing it becomes an artistic treasure hunt. See Robert Mapplethorpe’s photograph from 1983 placed near ancient Egyptian objects. Find Theo Wujcik’s drawing of Yvonne Jaquette as a classical bust in the room with Greek antiquities. In other galleries, view works by art powerhouses Marc Chagall, Diego Rivera and Syd Solomon. Local art stars are represented, including Mernet Larsen, Bruce Marsh, James Rosenquist, William Pachner and more work by Wujcik. The selection of photography includes Aaron Siskind and Berenice Abbott. On view through March 15. $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.


St. Petersburg-based artist Carol Dameron has had a prolific career as a painter and shows no signs of stopping. Her robust retrospective exhibition at the Octagon Arts Center showcases her vivid imagination, artistic process and shifts in subject matter and style. She was formally trained in Amsterdam, where she not only learned vital painting techniques, but the city also became a muse that would pervade her works for years. Most of her characters wear Dutch clothing, and she made a wild series of drawings with UFOs hovering near ancient windmills. While she is painting in the style of the old masters, Dameron is also very influenced by Eastern cultures. She incorporates symbols to represent the duality of the seen and the unseen, or the male and the female, in her works. For example, the unseen woman in The Emperor’s Wife, pictured, is the bird. To further that notion, in her Dreaming Warrior series, Rubenesque women turn into birds, with wings and claws replacing their arms. Her command of color is so strong that she can make just two colors appear prismatic. In addition to her narrative scenes, there is a selection of her portraiture, still lifes and her latest works, inspired by Florida postcards. On display through Feb. 18. Free. 2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater. 9 a.m.-noon Tuesday-Friday or by appointment. (727) 531-7704.

"The Emporer's Wife" is featured in the retrospective of Carol Dameron's work at the Octagon Arts Center in Clearwater. [ Courtesy of Carol Dameron ]