ART AT BAY…the Magazine.

The cover of the upcoming ART AT BAY Issue 1.1 Artwork: Anthony Record, Similar Scars, 2013

Cover of the upcoming ART AT BAY Issue 1.1
Artwork: Anthony Record, Similar Scars, 2013

For about the past three months we here at ART AT BAY, joined by new contributors, have been working hard on a new project.  This January ART AT BAY the blog will be joined by ART AT BAY magazine – a print quarterly.

The magazine is really a natural progression of our original mission: we want ART AT BAY to be a catalyst to conversation  and ultimately encourage serious thought on art in Tampa Bay.  A magazine format seems to suit that goal well.  We wanted a format you could get comfortable with and take your time enjoying.  We wanted a format that befits the serious thought and attention we know our readers already give contemporary art.  This magazine was made with you in mind and I hope you feel that way when you read it.

We’re very excited.  Personally, I’m crazy excited.  The talented contributors, the fascinating subjects of their articles, and everyone’s hard work has given ART AT BAY magazine the beginning I hoped for and an awesome foundation for a promising year. However, it’s really your help that has made ART AT BAY possible and the main reason I’m so excited.

ART AT BAY Issue 1.1 is just about done and ready to print!  There will be many more details through the next week, so please stick with us as we get ready to kick off this exciting project.

Tampa Weekend Art Guide 9/14 – 9/16

REDUCED5 at Tempus Projects

These introductory comments are surprisingly hard to write.  Some weeks I honestly have very little to say before moving on to the recommendations.  It must be a lot like writing the monologue every week at SNL.  But with a much smaller audience.  Actually, it’s probably nothing like that.  Anyhow, on to the art.

Tempus Projects – REDUCED5

Opening reception – Fri 9/14  7:30pm – 10pm

Tempus Projects officially begins it 2012-13 season this Friday night.  REDUCED5 is the fifth incarnation of a multimedia juried exhibit.  Artists generally limit their palette to black and white, and the price tag to $500 or less.  Kurt Piazza, the guest juror, also created REDUCED while with the Gulf Coast Museum of Art.

Lately, some of the most exciting art nationally  has been relatively sparse in color.  The recent trend of expression in understatement is especially welcome.  I trust Piazza’s taste and anticipate at least a few exceptional pieces that illustrate this tendency.  Also, the potential for especially good art at a price the 99% of us can afford makes REDUCED5 worth a visit tonight.

Becky Flanders, Vince Kral, and Ryann Slauson are just some of the artists that will be exhibiting.

Tampa Museum of Art – Art on the House

Fri 9/14  4pm – 8pm

This is the last week to catch two of TMoA‘s exhibits: A Hundred Years – A Hundred Chairs and Art of the Poison Pens.

I’m not particularly attracted to design exhibits.  I guess it’s a character deficiency I’ve made peace with.  A Hundred Chairs, though, was surprisingly interesting and relevant.  The exhibit effectively highlight the cultural subtext of design, the sociopolitical implications of chairs.  It sounds like art-speak, but how chairs are made, who makes them, and what they’re made from says a lot about the society sitting in them.  The exhibit, on loan from the Vitra Design Museum, expressed this well and kept me engrossed overall.

Art of the Poison Pens, however, I did not get a chance to see.  I cannot fairly mete out judgement on this exhibit.  I will say I was reluctant to make the trip downtown – the show seemed to be curated for maximal non-statement.  I suppose political art that makes a statement exclusively on irrelevant issues seems like a win-win exhibit for the RNC.  Suffice it to say, though, that if you visit the exhibit tonight between 4pm – 8pm you won’t have to spend your money on it.

Box on 5th – Box:3

Opening reception – Sat 9/15  7:30pm – 10pm

Anthony Record, Prayin’, Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 in., 2012

Ybor’s newest and most exciting space will be hosting its third opening reception this Saturday.  If the pattern continues into this newest opening, you’re likely to find the entire Tampa Art scene squeezed into this great little space.  The three person exhibit will be featuring the work of George Anderton, Zesch Fallon, and Anthony Record.

While Fallon’s work tends toward the starkly minimal, Anderton and Record work playfully in the gap between representation and abstraction.  All three artists toy with our idea of images rather than actually provide any readily recognizable ones.  Though all three artists work under disparate styles, they each work within and around abstraction effectively.  This is saying something.  To my general annoyance, abstract art is perhaps the style most severely abused by bad art.  Saturday’s exhibit is primed to be an exercise in taking that style forward.

Two Friday Art Parties! 7/20/12

This summer, as most, has been relatively slow when it comes to art.  If you listen closely, though, you the hum of behind the curtain preparations for the upcoming art season.  I might be calling it early, but the action begins this  weekend with two Tampa art parties.

Box on 5th – Preview Party       Fri 7/20  8pm-10pm

My (quasi) expert suggestion: Grab some dinner at The Bricks then stop by the brand new Ybor City gallery, Box on 5th.  It’d be proper for me to mention that I’ll have a painting hanging at the night.  Does that influence my recommendation?  Yes!  Go see my painting!  However, I’m hardly the only artist that will be featured that evening.  The event will serve as a kind of sneak peek into the new galleries first season.  The gallery will be presenting deservedly hyped Tampa artists, such as Justin Nelson, George Anderton, and Anthony Record among others.  The Blue Bird Books Bus will also be making a stop at the new venue.  Start your night here, check out what’s to come, say hi, have a drink, then head to the next party!

Tampa Museum of Art – Art After Dark       Fri 7/20  8pm-11pm

The quarterly art party at the TMoA returns this Friday.  The party invites “culture crusaders” to celebrate the museums current design exhibit, A Hundred Years – A Hundred Chairs.  There is far too much going on at the museum that night to describe in full here, so I’ll give you the abbreviated version: music, film, dance, drink, lounge, art, food.  Several local artists, including Vincent Kral and Shanna Gillette, will be featured with chair themed work.  In addition to all of the downstairs fun, the upstairs galleries will remain open for a stroll.  I love and admire the Art After Dark series: it’s a real and concrete way to connect an internationally recognized exhibit with our community in a way that many museums fail to do.  If you don’t go for the crazy fun, at least attend on principle!

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check out this Weekend! 4/06 – 4/08

I’ve been thinking about changing the title of this series before no one’s wearing skinny jeans anymore.  How about “Slap on the Slap Bracelets, Kids” or “Lace Up the Renaissance Fair Shirts, dudes”.  Let me know if you have any ideas.  Anyhow,  April is turning out to be a busy month and this weekend we’re hanging out in Tampa.

Tempus Projects – Your Body is a Punishment: Anthony Record & Justin Nelson    Sat 4/07  8pm-10pm

Tempus Projects presents an exhibit featuring two Tampa Artists, Anthony Record and Justin Nelson.  The two share more than that, though: on the art continuum of abstract to representational they both land in the ambiguous middle-ground.

Justin Nelson, represented locally by St. Pete’s CEFA, lives and works out of Tampa.  I was surprised to hear he was a hometown artist, first running into his work far from home on a Canadian art blog.  This in itself says something about Nelson’s work – its easy to see why it could get viral with art nerds (like me) online.  It has a touch of the popular surrealism of the Low-Brow style without its low browishness.  Nelson consistently hides and abstracts areas that our eyes immediately scan for such as faces, eyes.  This forces the viewer to use hands or silhouettes as reference points.  It’s unsettling in a pleasant way.  Trust me: that makes sense.

Anthony Record lands a little closer to the abstract end of the spectrum.  However, his paintings don’t blur the line between abstract and representational a la Annie Lapin – Record’s work seems to have a foot firmly planted at either end.  His newer paintings resemble ancient ecclesiastical work such as stained glass (solid colors and heavy black outlines) and mosaics (dotting instead of painterly strokes).  These paintings honestly feel like they reference the representational and the abstract, the earthly and the heavenly, the concrete and the virtual. It reminds me of a Guy Debord quote: “The spectacle is the material reconstruction of the religious illusion.”   The gallery’s statement was right on.

It’s Anthony Record’s yarn work that I’m particularly looking forward to seeing.  If anyone has recently inherited any money, picking up one of these pieces for me would make me especially fond of you.  His yarn pieces seem to slip out of representation like lo-res photos or old Nintendo games.  The organic nature of the material juxtaposes well with the synthetic coloring.  This exhibit is set to be a larger market calibre show.  Indeed, both artists have exhibited internationally.  The fact that both artists are part of our local scene, though, gives the exhibit added value.

Also…

USF Centre Gallery – Obvious Truth by David Gabbard  closing reception    Fri 4/06  7pm-9pm

The Centre Gallery is fitted with an installation that more than resembles a little kid’s fort in a 1970’s living room.  What I would give to keep my dignity and crawl around gleefully through the installation!