ANIMAL TROPHIES: SISAL NOT CECIL
Our hearts are still breaking over the death of Cecil the lion, who was shot by a hunter several weeks ago. People who like to display big game animal trophies should take a cue from collectors, among them many celebrities, who show off the lifelike animal sculptures of Anne Andersson instead. The St. Petersburg resident creates life-size animals — lions are the biggest sellers — from sisal, a fiber made from the agave plant that is used to make ropes and rugs. She sculpts her animals using metal armature on which she builds a plaster form, then covers it with sisal matting and glues tufts of it over that to simulate fur. Siegfried and Roy commissioned a family of Bengal tigers for a Las Vegas hotel and Busch Gardens has some of her creations as well. Former professional football player and now talk show host Michael Strahan purchased two sisal lion heads recently, she said. Most of her animals are commissioned but several galleries throughout the country carry her work, including Sign of the Dolphin, a home decor and clothing store at 12999 Park Blvd., Seminole ( signofthedolphin.com). They currently have a tiger cub, a lion head and lion bust (with part of its torso) from $2,500 to $4,200. To see more of her work, go to anneandersson.com.
FOILED AGAIN: REYNOLDS WRAP HOUSE LIVES ON
Remember that fantastic art installation Piotr Janowski created when he enrobed his Tarpon Springs house in Reynolds Wrap? It came off in July but photographer Lily Evans shot photographs of the peeling process. It was accompanied by a performance by his daughter Flora, shown in Evans' photograph. That photo is now part of the members' show at Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. Members' shows are always fun. Any member can submit any work, no questions asked, no judgments made. The quality is never guaranteed but enthusiasm and sincerity are. The museum, 400 N Ashley Drive, is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10 adults and $8 students, military and seniors. (813) 221-2222. fmopa.org.
INCOMING: TWO NEW ART SHOWS
SARTQ is an artist collective in Sarasota with a cool name and mission. The letters are a combination of SRQ, the code of the Sarasota airport, and "art." Its mission is in part to provide venues for artists to exhibit their work and for us to see it. "Here and Now" opens Saturday with a free reception from 6 to 9 p.m. at 1525 State St. in downtown Sarasota. See work by Andrew Long, Cassia Kite, Caui Lofgren, Daniel Miller, Elena De La Ville, Javier Rodriguez, Jenny Medved, Laine Nixon, Larry Forgard, Morgan Janssen, Natalya Swanson, Nathan Wilson, Noelle McCleaf, Steven Strenk, Tim Jaeger and Zachary Gilliland. Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Free. sartq.org.
CUBA 3.0: NUANCE GALLERIES
If Rob Rowen's name rings a bell, here's a nudge: He's the Starbucks nemesis and handicapped parking advocate making the news lately. He's here on the arts page because Rowen has been known well for far longer as the owner of Nuance Galleries, 804 S Dale Mabry Highway, a South Tampa institution that displays a revolving roster of artists. (He's also well-known for recreating Civil War battlefields in miniature.) He has, for three years, exhibited contemporary Cuban artists and this year's show, which opened in July and continues through August, is culled from the hundreds in his collection. (813) 875-0511. nuancegalleries.com.