Two art exhibits tackle social issues: #MeToo and Palestine

Courtesy of Kevin Grass Kevin Grass (American, b. 1968) \u201CNot #MeToo, No More Casting Couch,\u201D 2018 Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 14 ft. Courtesy of Kevin Grass
Courtesy of Kevin Grass Kevin Grass (American, b. 1968) \u201CNot #MeToo, No More Casting Couch,\u201D 2018 Acrylic on canvas, 7 x 14 ft. Courtesy of Kevin Grass
Published Aug. 30, 2018

Spotlight On: Not #MeToo:
No More Casting Couch

In response to the avalanche of sexual misconduct revealed by the #MeToo movement, artist and St. Petersburg College art professor Kevin Grass created a stunningly poignant painting depicting a lecherous Harvey Weinstein poised to violate a young dancer. He's interrupted by another dancer, presumably one of his other victims, as she gracefully points a can of pepper spray at him. Grass has entered Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch in the prestigious ArtPrize competition, happening in Michigan in September. But before it travels, it's on display at the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art, where on Sept. 5, Grass will give a gallery talk. He'll reveal his process, which included using SPC student dancers and a figure model, through a short video and will discuss the painting's loaded symbolism. Grass has another piece in the museum's current "Made in Florida: The Art of Giving" exhibit, and he will be featured in the SPC visual arts faculty exhibition, opening Oct. 7. The talk happens at 7 p.m. and is included with museum admission, $7, $6 seniors 62 and older, and free for LRMA members, children 17 and younger, students and active duty military with ID. 600 E Klosterman Road, Tarpon Springs. (727)712-5762.

Photography and Activism: People I Met

Photographer Miki Kratsman has dedicated three decades to chronicling life in Israeli occupied territories, much of which when he was working for the Israeli newspapers Hadashot and Haaretz. He amassed an archive of more than 9,000 portraits of anonymous Palestinians, "People I Met," which are now on display at USF's Contemporary Art Museum. Kratsman's quest to learn what happened to the people in the photographs involved uploading them to a Facebook page in 2011. The exhibit will include some identifying commentary, as well as selections from some of his other projects, including a video, 70 Meters ... White T-shirt, shot in a Palestinian village.

The museum has programmed a number of events around this exhibit, starting Thursday with a conversation between Kratsman and curator Christian Viveros-Fauné at 6:30 at Oxford Exchange (420 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa). They'll have another discussion Friday at 6 p.m. at the School of Music concert hall (3755 W Holly Drive, Tampa), followed by the opening reception at 7 p.m. at CAM (3821 Holly Drive). On Oct. 11, a symposium titled Politics of the Portrait: Photography as Activism will happen at the School of Music conference center (3755 USF Holly Drive).