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Sarasota’s Ringling Museum is the U.S. debut for Howie Tsui

Plus, contemporary fiber at Florida CraftArt and Spacecraft, an interactive public art space, opens in Oldsmar.

HOWIE TSUI: RETAINERS OF ANARCHY

Hong Kong-born, Vancouver-based artist Howie Tsui is the latest artist to bring a contemporary Asian perspective to the Ringling Museum. Earlier this year, Chinese artists Ai Wei Wei and Sun Xun each had thought-provoking and incredibly technical exhibitions there. “Howie Tsui: Retainers of Anarchy” looks similarly impressive. The piece is a 25-foot-long projection with sound created by digitizing and animating hundreds of ink drawings. It’s rich with Chinese history, inspired by the literature and art of the Song Dynasty, but critical of that period’s portrayal of a unified society. He sets the action in Kowloon’s “Walled City," an ungoverned tenement filled with oppressed refugees. He also draws from wuxia, a form of martial arts literature that was prevalent in 20th century pop culture. It’s filled with narratives and characters from lower social classes, dissidents that resist oppressive forces. Wuxia was banned in the People’s Republic of China but thrived in Hong Kong. Tsui will give an artist’s talk at 11 a.m. Friday in Chao Lecture Hall ($10, $5 for members). The exhibition opens to the public on Sunday. $25, $23 seniors, $15 active duty military, $10 Florida teachers, $5 college students and children 6-17, free for children 5 and younger and students of certain colleges. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursdays until 8 p.m. 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. (941) 359-5700. ringling.org.

NICE THREADS: CONTEMPORARY FIBER IN FLORIDA

After receiving acclaim in 2017 for the “Contemporary Fiber in Florida” exhibition, Florida CraftArt is bringing it back. Cindy Bartosek, a West Palm Beach-based fiber artist and educator, curated it again. With 67 pieces from 40 Florida artists, it’s as robust as the 2017 show. She culled artists who have pushed the craft’s boundaries, both in technical and conceptual ways. Nneka Jones’ fiber portrait, Dartboard Target (pictured), is an example of the latter. She seeks to inspire conversations about victimization of women through her work. The exhibition will be juried by Christine Renc-Carter, curator of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art. Remains on display through May 3. It opens with a reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday. 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 821-7391. floridacraftart.org.

"Dartboard Target" by Nneka Jones will be on display at St. Petersburg's Florida CraftArt through May 3. [Courtesy of Florida CraftArt]

INTERACTIVE: SPACECRAFT

A new project brings the joy of making art and other creative activities to public places throughout Pinellas County. Spacecraft launches on the grounds of Oldsmar City Hall on Saturday. Conceptualized by Carrie Boucher, Bridget Elmer and Mitzi Gordon, the traveling art project was funded by the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners from a recommendation by Creative Pinellas, the county’s arts agency. Made of two shipping containers, the project will include self-guided and instructor-led activities based on the concepts of make, play, read and grow. The activities include art, writing, music, horticulture, yoga and meditation. It will travel every eight weeks for two years. Free. Visit during the ribbon cutting at 10 a.m., with activities including sculpture making, a magnetic poetry wall and live music through 2 p.m. Or visit 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, with programming at 11 a.m. Mondays, 6 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturdays. 100 State St., Oldsmar. explorespacecraft.com.

A rendering of Spacecraft, the traveling interactive creative space that will launch on March 14 in Oldsmar. [Courtesy of Creative Pinellas]

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