1. Visual Arts

How to get into 13 Tampa Bay museums for $10 or less

With the addition of two Tampa Bay museums this year, we have even more opportunities to experience a broad range of incredible artwork. And what better way to spend a sweltering summer day than in the refuge of culture and air conditioning? Groundbreaking summer exhibitions are up or about to open, and many museums have special programs planned, too.

But visiting every exhibition that piques your interest could get awfully expensive. Thankfully, in the interest of accessibility, there are opportunities to visit most museums for $10 or less. Some museums are always that affordable, while others offer weekly discounts. So grab the kids, your friends and those visiting relatives and go look at some art.

Dalí Museum

1 Dalí Blvd. (Bayshore Drive and Fifth Avenue SE), St. Petersburg. (727) 823-3767.

Climb the double-helix staircase to peek inside the mind of Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí for $10 from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday.

On display

"Clyde Butcher: Visions of Dalí's Spain." The famed Florida landscape photographer traveled to Dalí's native region of Catalonia to capture its spirit and dramatic landscape. Through Nov. 25.


The museum offers Cult Classics, a free film series in the garden at 7 p.m. on select Thursdays. Tonight it's Grease, and Aug. 2 it's Die Hard.

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

255 Beach Drive NE. (727) 896-2667.

Immerse yourself in the museum's encyclopedic permanent collection and array of special exhibits for $5 from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday.

On display

Gallery Takeover: European Masterpieces from the Mellon Collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts" includes works by Eugene Delacroix and Raoul Dufy. Through March 2020. e_SDLqMagnetic Fields: Expanding American Abstraction, 1960s to Today" is the first American exhibition dedicated to female artists of color working in abstraction. Through Aug. 5."Can I Get a Witness: Photographs by Herb Snitzer" is a selection of images depicting activism as well as musicians committed to social justice. Through Aug. 5."Benny Andrews: Mix Master" is a selection of paintings and drawings that showcase the artist's innovative use of collage. Through Aug. 26. "We Do Not Work Alone: Japanese Contemporary Ceramics" is from the collection of Carol and Jeffrey Horvitz, one of the most extensive collections in the United States. Through Sept. 23.

Opening soon

"This is Not a Selfie: Photographic Self-Portraits From the Audrey and Sydney Irmas Collection." Aug. 25-Nov. 25.


1901 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 300-1700.

Discover the American studio glass movement at the fairly new museum for $5 from 5 to 8 p.m. every Thursday.

Opening soon

Stankard: Unseen Worlds" showcases the critically acclaimed artist and pioneer of the studio glass movement who's considered the living master of the paperweight. July 11-Jan. 13.

James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 892-4200.

St. Petersburg's newest museum transports you to the American West for $5 from 5 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday, with additional programming on those evenings.

On display

Art and the Animal" is the 58th annual exhibition of the Society of Animal Artists featuring paintings and sculptures, with select works for sale. July 28-Oct. 23.

James After 5 events:

Reel Western Movie Series: Join former Tampa Bay Times movie critic Steve Persall for a screening of A Man Called Horse (1970). 6-8 p.m. July 24.

Gallery Sketching: Local artist Douglas Land will offer tips and techniques to those inspired to draw. 5:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 7.

Guided Gallery Tours: Gain insight from museum docents. 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Aug. 14.

Tampa Museum of Art

120 Gasparilla Plaza. (813) 274-8130.

To encourage people to explore its growing collection of ancient, modern and contemporary art, the museum offers pay-as-you-can admission from 4 to 8 p.m. every Thursday and Fourth Friday. The museum also always offers free admission to university, college and higher-education students with valid IDs.

On display

"Having a Ball: George Sosnak's Striking Portraits From America's Pastime." Through July 22. "Inspired by Nature: Vases, Birds and Flowers." Through July 22."Vapor and Vibration: Larry Bell and Jesus Rafael Soto" juxtaposes the work of two groundbreaking artists and explores light and space. Through Sept. 30. "From Muse and Myth to Figure and Gesture: 50 Years of Prints From the Permanent Collection." Through Aug. 19.

Opening soon

The museum commissioned a New York-based sculptor for the Conversations with the Collection exhibition, Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite and the Lure of Antiquity Hours." Aug. 16-Jan. 6.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

400 N Ashley Drive, Tampa. (813) 221-2222.

You can always view important photographic art at the museum for $10 admission ($8 for students), but it offers pay-what-you-can admission with a suggested donation of $5 for monthly Fourth Friday events.

On display

View the 22 winning photographs from the International Photography Competition. Through Aug. 17. Bruce Dale: Beyond the Lens" features work from the National Geographic photographer, focusing on portraiture and his travels around the world. Through Sept. 30. Tampa Photo Laureates" showcases commissioned photos from the public collection that the City of Tampa's Art Program has amassed for the past 10 years. Through Sept. 30.

Coming soon

2018 Members Show. July 27-Aug. 31.

Fourth Friday events:

Opening Reception: The Members Show opening, 5-7 p.m. July 27.

Artist and Curator Talk: With Nathan Beard and Robin Perry Dana: 6 p.m. Aug. 10.

Artist Talk: With Bruce Dale:5-7 p.m. Aug. 24.

Ringling Museum of Art

5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota. (941) 359-5700.

Wander the galleries of the massive pink museum for free every Monday, taking in a permanent collection that spans from antiquity to contemporary to Asian art. The Kotler-Coville Glass Pavilion is free every day and remains open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays.


Parents of chatty or fussy babies may dig the Stroller Tours on select Tuesdays for $2. Learn about the collections without having your parenting judged. 10 a.m. July 31 and Aug. 28.

On display

"First Five Years of Art of Our Time" is an overview of the program that engages living artists, both visual and performing. Through November."A Kaleidoscope of Colors: The Costume Design of Miles White" pairs the designer's whimsical drawings with his costumes. Through Aug. 5.

Coming soon

"Volumes" is Ezra Masch's immersive audio and visual installation by which light responds to sound. Aug. 12-Sept. 9.

University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum

3821 Holly Drive, Tampa. (813) 974-2849.

It's always free to brush up on current cultural trends by viewing contemporary art from Florida, the United States and the world at the museum, but you'll have to pay $5 to park.

On display

"Restricted" features seldom seen but important works from the museum's permanent collection including pieces by John Cage, Mernet Larsen and Burt Barr. Through Aug. 4.

Coming soon

Raise the Flags: Pledges of Allegiance brings together the 15 artist-designed flags that were part of the year-long program presented by Creative Time. Aug. 3-Sept. 4. "Miki Kratsman: People I Met" contains the photographer's portraits of anonymous Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Aug. 20-Dec. 8.

Special events:

Art Thursdays: As part of "Restricted," the CAM staff discusses Tales From the Vault: Access vs. Preservation. 6-8 p.m. July 12. For "Raise the Flags," an event including spoken word, videos and a trumpet performance is from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 23.

Opening Reception: "Miki Kratsman: People I Have Met," 7-9 p.m. Aug. 31. An artist's talk with Kratsman is at 6 p.m. in the School of Music recital hall.

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art

600 Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs. (727) 712-5762.

A visit to the museum on St. Petersburg College's campus featuring the works of Abraham Rattner, Esther Gentle, Allen Leepa and their contemporaries is always $7, $6 seniors and free for children, students with ID and active military.

On display

"Selina Roman: A Liminal State." Roman's photographs present a juxtaposition between the vanishing glamor of old Florida and the temporary feeling the state possesses. Through Sept. 23. "The Museum Project" is a collection of photographs donated by an initiative to perpetuate photography as an art form. Through Sept. 23."Elemental" features a new installation of fine crafts from the museum's permanent collection based on the classic elements of the ancient Chinese tradition: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Through September 2019.

Coming soon

Made in Florida: The Art of Giving. Aug. 12-August 2020.

Great Explorations Children's Museum

1925 Fourth St. N, St. Petersburg. (727) 821-8992.

Admission to the hands-on museum is always $10 for ages 1-54, while seniors 55 and older get in for $9. Teachers, military, first responders and AAA members get discounts. The museum also participates in the Museum for All program, in which up to five family members get in for $3 each when an Electronic Debit Card is presented.

Glazer Children's Museum

110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. (813) 443-3861.

Kids can be the stars of their own adventures for free from noon to 7 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month.

The Florida Holocaust Museum will offer free admission all day July 12. This is an opportunity to catch the blockbuster exhibition "Operation Finale: The Capture and Trial of Adolf Eichmann" before it closes July 15. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with last admission one hour before closing. 55 Fifth St. S, St. Petersburg. (727) 820-0100.

The Chihuly Collection is celebrating its eighth anniversary July 14-15 with discounted admission of $5. In addition to the collection of glass art by the legendary Dale Chihuly, a special exhibit is on display. "Storytellers" features artists that utilize or imply narrative in glass. Through Oct. 31. 720 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 896-4527.

Many local institutions are Blue Star Museums, offering free admission to the nation's active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Participants: Florida Museum of Photographic Arts; Henry B. Plant Museum; Museum of Science & Industry Tampa; Tampa Bay History Center; Tampa Museum of Art; Chihuly Collection; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; and the Florida Holocaust Museum.

Library-Museum Partnerships

Library cardholders in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties can check out passes to participating museums and cultural venues, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Tampa Museum of Art and Great Explorations Children's Museum. There are limited quantities so they're lent out on a first-come, first-served basis, but you can check their availability. For information in Pinellas, visit For information in Hillsborough, visit

Contact Maggie Duffy at