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Tampa Bay arts make a strong comeback in October

Live performances return to stages; art walks and exhibits are on the menu. Virtual offerings include a workshop series and fashion shows.
"Grief and Compassion" by Jila Davoodi is one of the works on display during the return of Gulfport's First Friday Art Walk, themed "Metamorphosis: Art for Hope and Healing." It happens on Oct. 2.
"Grief and Compassion" by Jila Davoodi is one of the works on display during the return of Gulfport's First Friday Art Walk, themed "Metamorphosis: Art for Hope and Healing." It happens on Oct. 2. [ Courtesy of James Briggs ]
Published Sep. 28, 2020
Updated Sep. 29, 2020

Safety Harbor Art and Music Center

After being closed since March, the center reopens Oct. 1 with a display of B-Art-Bies, posable dolls embellished by a collective of artists, many of whom would have participated in the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s Wearable Art event that was canceled due to the pandemic. Watch the dolls strut their stuff in a runway show at

On Oct. 16, the center will launch the virtual Bike Your City Safety Harbor Scavenger Hunt. Through Oct. 31, residents can scout out 20 locations from a map and submit a selfie or picture of their bike at various landmarks using an interactive form on the center’s website. They can also add to a community mosaic mural of a bike at the Safety Harbor Art and Music Center.

Hillsborough Community College’s Public Art Project

Both HCC’s Dale Mabry and Ybor City campuses are being transformed by a public art initiative called Grounds4Art: N.E.S.T., an acronym for Nourishment, Education and Social Terraces. The project was inspired by a 2018 school project that established food pantries on campus. They’re working with environmental artist Tory Tepp to create “socially activated green spaces.” Phase 1 of the project features a series of virtual workshops, beginning Oct. 1 with “Urban Gardening and Sustainability.” These will follow: “Designing Public Spaces With Tory Tepp” (Oct. 15), “Inclusivity in Public Art: The Power of Community” (Oct. 28) and “Root Camp With Rooted Resistance” (Nov. 12).


The studio offers a variety of live and virtual dance, art, literature, comedy, music and radio theater experiences in October: Momentum Choreographers Showcase: A Body(less) Dance Exhibit (Oct. 1-4); “Celebrating Herb Snitzer: A Photographic Legacy," a group show curated by Snitzer (Oct. 10-Nov.4); “Orilla,” the musical collaboration of Ona Kirei and Alejandro Arenas, presented as a livestream on the studio’s Facebook page (Oct. 17); Radio Theatre Project’s Special Live Stream Presentation on Facebook Live (Oct. 19); and Dirty John’s Late October Surprise, a comedy fundraiser presented on the studio’s Facebook page (Oct. 30).

Gulfport Art Walks

The first Friday and third Saturday art walks that were a Gulfport staple for years are returning and have been revamped. The first one on Oct. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. was juried for the first time and is themed “Metamorphosis: Art for Hope and Healing” to fit the zeitgeist. The third Saturday event (5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 17) has been transformed into the Third Saturday IndieFaire, an outdoor arts market with live entertainment.

St. Petersburg’s Second Saturday ArtWalk

Things are still up in the air about whether a trolley will be available, but like last month, several galleries will be open Oct. 10 with special exhibits. Charlie Parker Pottery is having a 10-year anniversary sale and is presenting “Another Muddy Mess: Bea and Iggy’s Adventure in Sculptural Image,” featuring artists Beate Marston and Ignacio Meldrom" (5 to 9 p.m., 2724 Sixth Ave. S). Nearby at the ArtsXChange, it’s “2020 Vision: Focusing on 3D Art,” which includes Jim Swallow’s 3D photography and the work of 20 local artists. 5 to 9 p.m. 515 22nd St. S.