What’s happening in art: Local photographers, works from Impressionist superstars, family fun at the James Museum

An exhibit in Lakeland showcases Degas’ talents as a draftsman and includes works on paper from other Impressionist icons. Local photographers get the museum experience and the James Museum teaches kids about art.
Published December 26 2018

Local Support: FMOPA’s Benefit Sale

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts showcases the work of some of the world’s best photographers in compelling and visually stunning exhibitions. But they are also very supportive of local talent, as evidenced by the more than 40 artists’ work on display in the Photography Benefit Sale, opening to the public Friday with a reception from 5-7 p.m. All of the works are for sale, and artists keep 100 percent of the proceeds. There will be free refreshments and gift shop discounts. Pay what you can. 400 N Ashley Drive. (813) 221-2222. fmopa.org.

Deeper Impressions: Degas and Friends

You may be aware of Camille Laurens’ recent book about Edgar Degas and his most famous work, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen. Laurens pulls no punches when it comes to portraying Degas — she writes about his misogyny, which was so extreme that he considered women “human animals.” It also describes the wretched conditions the young dancers worked and lived in. It’s easy to write Degas off. But Laurens suggests we do the opposite and dive further into the work.

That opportunity presents itself at the Polk Museum of Art at Florida Southern College with “Edgar Degas: The Private Impressionist. This exhibition also shows another side of Degas by focusing on his artistry as a master draftsman. The show includes drawings, etchings, lithographs, monotypes, photographs and a bronze sculpture. It also depicts Degas’ life in Paris and his artistic social circle by including more than 40 works on paper from Impressionist icons Mary Cassatt, Edouard Manet, Paul Cezanne and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. The exhibition will remain on display through March 24. Free. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. 800 E Palmetto St., Lakeland. polkmuseumofart.org.

A Family Affair: Art-Ventures at the James Museum

Since many families are probably on a break this week, the folks at the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art have come up with activities to help kids learn about art. Art-Ventures happens Thursday and Friday from 1-4 p.m. Kids will choose from three themed activity guides: cowboy lifestyle, wildlife and landscapes. Each guides families through the museum with scavenger hunts, matching games and a space for sketching. A children’s studio will feature art activities. $20, $15 students/seniors/military and $10 ages 7-18. 150 Central Ave. St. Petersburg. (727) 892-4200. thejamesmuseum.org.