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Tampa’s Gasparilla Festival of the Arts celebrates 50 years this weekend

The annual art event is packed with activities, including Carmada. Also expect a solo exhibit for L.A. artist Gregory Siff and an all-female art show in Tampa.

LEAP DAY: GASPARILLA FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts is a true Tampa tradition that’s celebrating 50 years. Quite symbolically, this Leap Day the festival moves across the river from Curtis Hixon Park to its new location, Julian B. Lane Waterfront Park. The space is about double that of Curtis Hixon, which allows for more activities, more food and drink vendors and better parking options. In addition to the 235 exhibiting artists, the Emerging Artist Showcase returns this year, with the addition of the inaugural Local Artist Spotlight, in which three local artists exhibit free of a booth charge. Favorite activities return, including the art car Carmada, and word has it that Chad Mize will paint his signature doodle style on a white 1983 Porsche. New this year is the Grady Goat Foundation’s Project G.O.A.T., which brings 50 artist-embellished statues of goats to the festival grounds, as well as live painting. Live music and entertainment will be emceed by Denis Phillips, chief meteorologist at ABC Action News. Free, $50-$60 VIP. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 1001 North Blvd., Tampa.

GREGORY SIFF: EVIDENCE OF LIFE

Cass Contemporary is known for exposing Tampa Bay to contemporary artists from around the world. For all of February, Brooklyn-born, Los Angeles-based Gregory Siff has been in residency at the gallery, creating a new body of work while immersed in Tampa culture. It culminates with a solo exhibition, “Evidence of Life, opening Friday. Siff paints a code of symbols to record his life’s journey, creating painted diaries that explore the human experience. The acclaimed artist only started painting about 10 years ago, made a splash on the L.A. art scene and is now in a long list of prestigious private and public collections, including the Moscow Museum of Art and the Damien Hirst Collection. He’s also reached the world of high fashion, commissioned by Helmut Lang and Marc Jacobs and collaborating with Yves Saint Laurent and Mercedes-Benz. Free. 7 p.m. Friday. 2722 S MacDill Ave. Tampa. casscontemporary.com.

Gregory Siff works on a 26-foot mural at Tampa's Hyde House. Siff is in residency at Cass Contemporary, which will culminate in a solo exhibition that opens Feb. 29. [TOBIN GREEN | Courtesy of Cass Contemporary]

ALL WOMEN: ART + MUSIC

Since 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote, expect a lot of female events and empowerment this year. Start at the female-owned Shuffle in Seminole Heights. The shuffleboard club celebrates its second anniversary with an all-female art show and music event. The roster of artists includes Bekky Beukes, Melanie Posner and Michelle Sawyer, whose work is pictured. NDO plays a DJ set starting at 8 p.m. The work remains on display through March, which is Women’s History Month. You go, girl. Free. 6-11 p.m. Saturday. 2612 N Tampa St. shuffletampa.com.

A piece by Michelle Sawyer, one of 18 artists who will drive the all-female art show at Shuffle on Feb. 29. [Courtesy of Michelle Sawyer]

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