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  1. Visual Arts

Art this week: "Hobo Hieroglyphics, Seminole Heights's gallery tour and the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival

When artist Patrick Stickney was a boy in the 1950s, riding his bike on a bridge over the Erie Canal, he spotted some strange symbols. It was Hobo Code, a form of communication that vagabonds used as they traveled all over America in search of jobs. Started during the Great Depression and still in practice today, it warned of danger and recommended safe places. Stickney, who often uses Egyptian hieroglyphics in his work, now has a series of paintings that incorporate hobo code: "Hobo Hieroglyphics" is on display at the Pasco Fine Arts Council in New Port Richey. Stickney paints the symbols over colorful scenes, and includes a key to their meaning. For instance, the star and cross in The Hobo's Journey, pictured, mean "talk religion — get angel food." The exhibition's opening reception Friday is also a fundraiser to benefit the homeless. It's free to attend, but donations and proceeds from art sales will go to homeless charities. 5:30-7:30 p.m. at 4145 Fairford Drive, New Port Richey. On display through Nov. 10. pascoarts.org.

Tampa's Seminole Heights is a hotbed of studios and galleries full of fascinating and thought-provoking art. Saturday is a great time to visit them, during the Heights Art Studio and Gallery Tour. See studios that aren't usually open to the public, with exhibitions including "Year Zero" at Cunsthaus; "Classics" at Mergeculture Gallery; a Chair Show at LiveWork studios featuring the USF SACD Furniture Design Studio; and Quaid's "You Have a Beautiful Home." View Sad Tropics, pictured, at Tempus Projects (4636 N Florida Ave.), where you can also buy tickets and pick up maps on the day of the tour. Tickets are $20, $15 for Tempus Project members and $10 for children 12 and younger, students and seniors. They can be purchased from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday; tour runs noon-6 p.m. An after-party at Parallelogram (806 W Hollywood St.) is from 7-10 p.m. and features an installation by Gregory Green.

A fun part of visiting major cities like Paris and London is seeing the incredible chalk art on the streets. The way the artists play with depth and dimension is staggering. This Friday through Sunday, we'll get our own taste of Paris when the Clearwater Beach Chalk Art Festival happens. The event brings more than 35 local and regional artists to transform the Beach Walk with chalk. You can watch artists in process and then vote on a People's Choice Award, announced on Sunday. The festival also includes a kid's zone, arts and crafts and music. Free. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday. clearwaterbeachchalkwalk.com.

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