NATURAL BEAUTY: Clyde Butcher's Cuba
It's pretty much impossible to pass up the chance to see an exhibit of nature photographer Clyde Butcher's work. His epic black and white photographs of Florida's landscape have made him a state treasure. He captures other landscapes with the same drama, whether it's the rugged rocks of Dalí's Spain or the raw beauty of Cuba, the latter of which is the subject of Butcher's exhibit at Pasco-Hernando State College's Rao Musunuru, M.D. Art Gallery. "Cuba: The Natural Beauty" will open Jan. 9 with an opening reception from 3-5 p.m. It's doubly hard to pass up a chance to hear Butcher speak, which he'll do that evening from 6-7, followed by a book signing (books for sale from 5:30-6). 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey. Free.
Creative City: Artsy Dunedin
Dunedin is one of those special places where a hotbed of artistic activity happens in a single weekend. This is one such weekend. The Downtown Dunedin Art Festival returns Saturday-Sunday, bringing handmade, original artwork from more than 100 national artists. The mix includes paintings, photography, sculptures, ceramics and jewelry. It's set up all along Main Street, full of shops and restaurants, making it a wonderful way to spend an afternoon. It happens from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.
If you go on Saturday, make sure to stop in at the Clay and Paper Gallery of Art (362 Main St.), where the clay fish sculptures of Alan Bennett will be on display. Bennett's sought-after sea creatures are all hand carved and go through a number of firing processes and glazes, including raku and crystal glazes. Bennett is from Bath, N.Y., but he travels down with new work once a year, where, not surprisingly, he has a fan base. Meet him at the gallery during a reception from 5:30-8:30 p.m. claypaper.com.
Talk Amongst Yourselves: Coffee Talk
The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg's dual exhibits on jewelry designer Jean Schlumberger, "Jewels of the Imagination" and "Drawn to Beauty," are a must see. Beyond the stunning jewels, the exhibits showcase how the designer's work evolved after he started designing for Tiffany and Co. and highlights his relationships with iconic celebrities. Learn even more on Jan. 9, when Nan Colton presents a conversation from the viewpoint of a fictional Tiffany's concierge, dishing the dirt on who's buying what and other tidbits. Coffee Talk With Nan Colton: Drawn to Beauty happens at 10:30 a.m., with said coffee and refreshments served at 10. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg. Included with admission. (727) 896-2667. mfastpete.org.