In these uncertain, weird and often stressful times, music can provide sweet relief, whether because it’s a reminder of a simpler time or because it’s inherently healing.
So when Chad Mize put out the call for artists to interpret album covers for “Sounds Good,” opening Aug. 7, he got an incredible response.
It’s always fun to see how creative artists are in these big group shows. But with album covers being works of art unto themselves, the bar was raised. A sneak peek of some of the works proves that the artists are meeting the challenge.
The most poignant is from Ajamu Kojo, who riffed on David Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane cover picturing him shirtless, a lightning bolt painted across his face. Koju places a Black man — maybe a self-portrait? — in Bowie’s place, blood dripping down his chest. He has changed the title to “A Lad’s Been Slain.”
Jabari Reed, a.k.a. iBOMS, used the main concept of Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book, in which the rapper is bathed in a blue light against a rosy pink backdrop. Here, the main character is blue and floats through a pink and blue environment, holding a pole spear and surrounded by headless sea creatures. iBOMS’ works are deeply nuanced: Perhaps this references a song on the album, but it could also refer to any of the topics he explores.
Johannah O’Donnell’s portrait of Cyndi Lauper from a past show at Mize is a showstopper. Ditto for her take on Blondie’s album Denis, featuring lead singer Debbie Harry’s captivating gaze and incredible bone structure.
And that’s only scratching the surface. Other interpreted covers include albums by Dolly Parton, Bjork, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye and Lady Gaga.
The gallery will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If you go
“Sounds Good” remains on display through Aug. 29. Free. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays. 689 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 251-8529. chadmize.com.