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  1. Visual Arts

Three Dunedin exhibits shrink, stretch mind's eye

Janet Laird-Lagassee’s transparent watercolor on watercolor paper won her first place in the Birds and Animals category in the 41st Annual International Miniature Art Exhibition.
Published Jan. 27, 2016

DUNEDIN

Prepare to be amazed as creatives shrink the art and stretch the mind's eye.

Three new exhibits wintering at the Dunedin Fine Art Center include Rich Entel's "Cardboard Menagerie," an unconventional assemblage of beastly busts; the Miniature Art Society of Florida's annual exhibition of teensy-weensy art treasures; and a juried show of miniature valentines called "Love Magnified."

Rich Entel's Cardboard Menagerie

Never before has cardboard been so captivating, so classy, so fun.

When paired with broken musical instruments, found papers that mimic ancient text and the imagination of creator Dr. Rich Entel, cardboard and its corrugated innards bring a fresh new look to sculptured media.

Influenced by his travels and the indigenous art of Africa, Indonesia, Tibet and Alaska, Entel's cubist-style creatures hang like hunting trophies under spotlights in the darkened Gamble Family Gallery, all the while striking a humorous chord.

The neck of an old violin becomes a giraffe's extended tongue. The bellows of an accordion are fused into an elephant's ear. A buffalo chomps on guitar string in lieu of prairie grass. A violinist's bow pierces a stag's head and plays the strings attached to an antler.

Entel grew up in Dunedin and took art classes at the Dunedin Fine Art Center. He attended Mount Sinai Medical School in New York City and is an addiction physician in Portland, Maine. And a jazz musician.

During a recent talk at the gallery, Entel said he began experimenting with cardboard art decades ago, when he lived in New York City and encountered homeless people living in discarded boxes.

The last name Entel is synonymous with art around these parts. His mother, Syd Entel, is one of the founders of the Dunedin Fine Art Center and his father is retired radiologist Dr. Irwin Entel. His sister Susan runs the Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass studio in Safety Harbor.

This is his first solo exhibit in Florida.

The Miniature Art Society of Florida's 41st annual International Exhibition

This show of more than 700 pieces of small scale art by artists from around the globe is drawing big crowds to the art center.

The devil is in the details as viewers lean forward with magnifying glasses (provided) to admire the meticulously crafted imagery. Most are paintings, some are scrimshaw and sculpture, others are mixed media.

Beverly Abbott, an award -winner from Virginia who was giving a demo inside the Entel Family Gallery recently, explained that she starts by taking a photograph of the wildlife she wants to paint. She creates a detailed pencil drawing, then paints the background, working forward layer by layer. Since she's right-handed she must start on the left and work right as to not smear the paint.

Her pieces are small enough to hold in the palm of one's hand, yet may take 70 or more hours to complete.

Love Magnified: Juried Exhibition

An exhibit of miniature valentines created with maximum love. From naughty to nice, the show incorporates art, poetry and diary entries.

Reach Terri Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com

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