Make time for these can't-miss art events in Tampa Bay

Blue Dome, single strength plate glass, cut, drilled and fired with glass enamels, then hung by steel wire onto a steel form, 1995. Entry is encouraged.
Blue Dome, single strength plate glass, cut, drilled and fired with glass enamels, then hung by steel wire onto a steel form, 1995. Entry is encouraged.
Published Sep. 30, 2014

Arts people, the coming two weeks will be the most packed with things to do and see in my memory: five new exhibitions and several events that range from north Tampa through Pinellas County. Here's what's happening in the next week. Look for more in the Oct. 9 issue of Weekend. You can also find it all at

Lennie Bennett, Times art critic

Kait Rhoads at the Chihuly Collection

Through January

400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg

The Chihuly Collection's big draws have been, since opening in 2010, the permanent installations of the famous glass artist's beautiful sculptures. The nongallery areas were remodeled in March to create space for a big gift shop and a special exhibitions gallery to showcase other distinguished studio glass artists. Kait Rhoads doesn't have the big name recognition of Chihuly but she certainly has the chops, and her work is worth a visit to the collection even if you have been there before. I fell hard for the blue glass tent shown here, which you're encouraged to walk into. I plan on bringing my sleeping bag.

Feel Herd: Sculpture by Bradley Arthur

Through Oct. 30

Visual and Performing Arts Gallery at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor campus, Palm Avenue and 15th Street, Tampa

Bradley Arthur has built an impressive career using his conscience to guide his art. His evocative sculptures are often word-based, simple conceptually but provocative. This cast bronze work, for example, spells out "enough," crafted from small figures of soldiers who tumble and jumble as if airborne in a mine field. The exhibition presents past art as well as new sculptures and assemblages, all relevant and thoughtful. A free artist's reception is Oct. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. with Arthur giving a gallery talk at 6:15 p.m. (813) 253-7674.

Machine in the Ghost: A Group Exhibition

Friday through Oct. 18

Kirk Ke Wang Art Space, 5120 N Florida Ave., Tampa

We could get all wonk-headed about this exhibition that's based on heavy philosophical concepts (Google "ghost in the machine" and mind-body duality) but injected with wit by curator Danny Olda. The infamous Artists Statements, which often leave me scratching my head with their esoteric language, are for this show computer-generated and given to the six artists who used them as a basis for their contributions to the show. Selina Roman's "statement" is about as obtuse as one can get, but from it she pulled out the idea of couples, many on their wedding day, who must undergo an immigration process or examination, merging love and business. A free opening reception is Friday from 6 to 10 p.m. A free panel discussion is Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. For information, search Machine in the Ghost on Facebook.

22nd Annual Studio Waltz

Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Ozona artist studios

As we celebrate many new arts events, we also return with affection to the ones that have been with us for a long time, such as the Studio Waltz. It continues to reinvent itself in the most direct way possible: with new art. Its diversity ranges from the seriously beautiful Florida wildlife paintings of Ernest Simmons to the seriously whimsical mosaics and crafts of Carol Sackman and Blake White. The artists love having visitors in their studios to talk about their art and watch how they create it. Shown is a painting by Debra Weible. For a list and map of all participating studios, go to