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You can see 22 art shows for free in Tampa Bay this fall

Themes range from climate change to robots to ancient monumental forms.
 
"Navigational Pull" by Jill Slaymaker is on display in her retrospective, "Alchemy and Other Magical Thinking," at Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa through Oct. 6.
"Navigational Pull" by Jill Slaymaker is on display in her retrospective, "Alchemy and Other Magical Thinking," at Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa through Oct. 6. [ Courtesy of Jill Slaymaker ]
Published Sept. 15, 2023|Updated Sept. 18, 2023

The arts flourish in Tampa Bay during the fall. The Shine Mural Festival returns Oct. 13-22, bringing the designs of another batch of international, national and local artists to the walls and streets of St. Petersburg, as well as many ways for the community to participate. And it’s all free to enjoy.

Some St. Petersburg museums are offering free admission with Arts Alive! Free Museum Day on Sept. 23 (there are some restrictions). And there are many other opportunities to see top-quality artwork for free this fall throughout Tampa Bay.

Here’s a selection:

Morean Arts Center

Three exhibits are happening at once at this downtown St. Petersburg center, making for a fresh experience. The “Shine 2023 Exhibition” gives the muralists painting in the festival a chance to display (and sell) their smaller works and lets the viewer understand their practices. The joyful “Art official Intelligence: The St. Pete Robot Exchange” is celebrating 10 years of “metallic mayhem” with pieces by locals and founders Aurailieus Artist, Zulu Painter and Jason Bromley. Bosnian-born Tampa artist Ermin Tabakovic’s solo show “Transcending Space” features his modern geometric paintings with clean lines and sharp edges.

All shows runs through Oct. 26. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. 727-822-7872. moreanartscenter.org.

Michael Murphy Gallery

The longtime Tampa gallery presents a retrospective of work by New York City-based artist Jill Slaymaker. “Alchemy and Other Magical Thinking” will showcase her work from 1985 to present day. Using a variety of media including oil, vinyl, watercolor, India ink, gold leaf and even beeswax, Slaymaker says of her work, “I am intrigued by the vastness of nature, and complex worlds that exist within each other” She has exhibited internationally, including at the Tate Modern in London, and her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in Manhattan.

On view through Oct. 6. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday. 2701 S MacDill Ave., Tampa. 813-902-1414. mmgart.com.

Hillsborough Community College

Ya La'ford's new body of work, "Henge," is on display at Gallery 114 at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor City campus through Nov. 2.
Ya La'ford's new body of work, "Henge," is on display at Gallery 114 at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor City campus through Nov. 2. [ Courtesy of Ya La'ford ]

The community college has shows in galleries at both its Dale Mabry and Ybor City campuses. In Ybor’s Gallery 114, it’s “Ya La’ford — Henge: Unearthing Ancestral Memory.” A renowned local artist, La’ford developed a new body of work inspired by ancient architectural forms, which she researched and interpreted as a source for post-pandemic mental healing. Listening to La’ford discuss her work and process is a treat, and she’ll do just that on Oct. 19 at 6 p.m., during the Ybor Arts Tour, which is also free.

On view through Nov. 2. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday. 2112 N 15th St., Tampa. 813-253-7674. hccfl.edu/gallery114.

At Gallery 221 on Dale Mabry, it’s “Touchy/Feely: Form, Function & Contemporary Fiber” (on view through Oct. 12). The exhibition includes work by Jessica Caldas, Saumitra Chandratreya and Emiliano Settecasi, and some of it is interactive — a rare opportunity to touch the art. Just upstairs in Gallery 3 is a showcase of the school’s permanent collection, “In Their Own Words” (through Feb. 29, 2024). It includes quotes and oral history transcripts for each artist, including beloved locals Akiko Kotani, Babs Reingold and Kirk Ke Wang.

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9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday. Learning Resources Center, 4001 W Tampa Bay Blvd., Tampa. 813-253-7674. hccfl.edu/gallery221.

Tempus Projects

You can always expect thought-provoking work at Tempus Projects, now perfectly located in the historic Kress building in Ybor City. It’s not too late to catch the current show, “Throw Them Bones on the Ground,” featuring artists Catalina Cheng, Chantel Foretich, Kalup Linzy and John Murdock through Oct. 12. The chock-full upcoming exhibition schedule includes “Ab Ovo,” a group exhibition with Franco Censabella, Hector Hernandez, Abbey Miller, Julissa Quinonez and Valerie Zuniga (through Oct. 12). “Drift” (through Oct. 26) featuring Kaylin Price and Erin Titus opens with a reception on Sept. 28 from 7 to 9 p.m., as does “Ten Days in Bodrum,” a solo exhibition by Andrés Ramírez (through Nov. 16). On Oct. 19, “What Did We Use to Say?” by Justin Myers and “Hobby House“ by Jenn Ryann Miller open with a reception from 7 to 9 p.m. Both run through Dec. 14. The gallery also hosts events like 33 1/3 Thursdays Bring Your Own Vinyl Night.

Wednesday by appointment, noon - 7 pm Thursday, noon-9 p.m. the third Thursday of the month, noon-4 p.m. Friday. 1624 E Seventh Ave., Tampa. 813-340-9056. tempus-projects.com.

GENERATOR: USF Contemporary Art Museum

Generator, the University of South Florida’s new art incubator, is opening its inaugural exhibition “SUPERFLEX: This Is the Tip of the Iceberg” at Harbor Hall at the USF St. Petersburg campus on Oct. 6. Superflex is a collective of Danish artists who use design and technology to combine art, science and activism to address social problems. Climate change is the topic of this exhibit, which will immerse viewers in two realms: the land that’s being affected by rising water and the ocean below. It includes a responsive animation, “Vertical Migration,” that features a relative of a jellyfish. It opens with a reception and artist talk from Superflex founder Bjorn Christiansen at 6 p.m. On Oct. 11, USF associate professor Dr. Joseph Dituri will discuss his experience being submerged underwater for 100 days.

On view through Nov. 22. Noon-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-4 p.m. Saturday. 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. cam.usf.edu/generator.

Dunedin Fine Art Center

Nancee Clark's "Hanuman With Mirror" is on display in her exhibition “Insights and Follies” at the Dunedin Fine Art Center through Dec. 23.
Nancee Clark's "Hanuman With Mirror" is on display in her exhibition “Insights and Follies” at the Dunedin Fine Art Center through Dec. 23. [ Courtesy of Dunedin Fine Art Center ]

Fall is looking playful at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, where five exhibitions themed A Toy Story: New and Beloved Favorites open on Friday, Sept. 15. “LOL: Funny Papers” features artworks incorporating comics, illustrations, zines and mixed-media collage (through Oct. 15). “PLAY On!” features artist-made toys (through Oct. 15). “At Home With City of Ghosts” explores the individual visions and work of the creators of the award-winning “City of Ghosts” animated series (through Dec. 23). “Nancee Clark: Insights and Follies” showcases paintings that “reflect a personal mythology” (through Dec. 23). In “Amy Santoferraro: Kowtow Mountain,” ceramic works combine kitsch and craft (through Dec. 23).

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. Saturday, 1-4 p.m. Sunday. 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin. 727-298-3322. dfac.org.

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

This important museum on St. Petersburg College’s Tarpon Springs campus has three exhibitions up this fall, opening on Saturday, Sept. 16. The “SPC Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition 2023″ features full-time and adjunct teachers and celebrates education in the arts. “The Hurricane Within: Vibrancy and Resilience of Hispanic Heritage” is held in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month but seeks to illustrate the vast experiences and histories of the people. “The Space Between: Donald Saff, The Constellation Series” showcases 15 etchings from the artist, art historian, educator, lecturer and founder of Graphicstudio that were donated to the museum.

All shows run through Dec. 17. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday. 600 E Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs. 727-712-5762. leeparattner.org.