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  1. Visual Arts

Morean, Silver Meteor and Florida CraftArt shows on spring art scene

Carrie Smith, Nascent, 2014, oil on canvas, at the Morean Arts Center.
Carrie Smith, Nascent, 2014, oil on canvas, at the Morean Arts Center.
Published May 5, 2015

Spring brings lots of new gallery shows. Here are three examples of the diversity you'll find throughout our region.

Lennie Bennett, Times art critic

SILVER METEOR GALLERY

2213 E Sixth Ave. between 22nd and 23rd streets in Ybor City, Tampa

Owner Michael Murphy shuttered his gallery in a historic casita, one of the little wood-frame houses in Ybor City, for 10 months to address major structural issues such as shoring up a sagging foundation. You won't see all that work but he has added fresh paint to spiff up the interior.

"It's Okay to Stare" is the first show since the hiatus, with painted portraits by Emiliano Settecasi. The work hews to Murphy's penchant for experimental and emerging artists such as Settecasi whose style he describes as "pop-grotesque."

Celebrate the reopening at a free reception Saturday from 6 to 10 p.m. After that, hours are by appointment. (813) 300-3585.

MOREAN ARTS CENTER

719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Three community-based shows open at the Morean. The main one is the All-Florida juried exhibition featuring 60 works culled from 250 by juror Wallace Wilson, chairman of the art department at University of South Florida. A free reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday will include an awards ceremony during which $2,500 will be given to winners.

Also on view are exhibitions with art by the center's instructors and a student exhibition highlighting the work of their students.

All continue through June 14 and admission is free.

MOTHER'S DAY SPECIAL

The Morean also is home to the Glass Studio and Hot Shop and owns the Chihuly Collection, 400 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg, which features a collection of sculptures by world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. In honor of Mother's Day, moms will be admitted free to both venues with the purchase of an Art Experience ticket for $19.95 for a companion. For details, go to moreanartscenter.org or (727) 822-7872.

FLORIDA CRAFTART

501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg

Amanda Cooper is the Morean Arts Center curator who organized the shows listed, a big job. So it was a surprise to learn she also curated "Boundary Lines," a new group show at Florida CraftArt.

Director Diane Shelly approached her to put together an exhibition with the theme of personal space, working in only craft genres.

"This wasn't an easy show to put together," Cooper said, "since for once I couldn't look at painting or photography! And while I know the Morean like the back of my hand, curating for a new space was challenging. . . . Installing two shows in one week, I'm thinking I should have my head examined."

She survived and the five artists Cooper selected, Raina Benoit, Michael Covello, Kathy Halper, Charles Hazelaar and Charles Parkhill, are excellent examples of blurring the lines between fine craft and fine art. The show continues through June 13. Free. floridacraftart.org or (727) 821-7391.

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Contact Lennie Bennett at lbennett@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8293.

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