Art Season Kick Off – Galleries to Check Out Saturday!

Justin Nelson, Trash Mountain, 2012

It’s finally here!  I’m not talking about the Republican National Convention.  Dust off your gallery shoes because the art season officially (according to me) begins this weekend!    A gallery on either side of the bay kicks off the season with an exhibit you need to see.

Box on 5th – Hypostasis: New and Recent Work from Justin Myers, Justin Nelson, and Danny Olda    Sat 8/11  8pm-10pm

That’s right – that’s my name in the exhibit title.  If you’re familiar with the blog, though, you know I’d be recommending this show anyway based on the other two artists alone.  I swear.  Read further if you need convincing.

Hypostasis, the show’s title is a philosophical term referring to a subject’s essential nature as opposed to its attributes.  I realize this may come off as pretentious art-speak from a usually smart-mouthed blogger.  Honestly, though, I chose the name of the exhibit because of aesthetics the three of us shared – a blend of abstraction and figuration.  Using both disparate techniques can allow an artist to open up interpretation on a subject and its concept.

Justin Myers is a Tampa artist regular – you would’ve last seen his work at the Box on 5th preview party or Tempus For the Spring.  Myers is also involved in the music scene as half of the project, Alien House, and though his amazing solo work as Diamond Man.  I’ve been a fan of Justin Nelson’s work before I was even aware he was a local artist – featured in (inter)national media such as Beautiful/Decay and Booooooom.  Nelson will be exhibiting brand new work for the Box on 5th inaugural exhibit.  I got a chance to see it this morning and was impressed: he makes use of a brighter color palette but a more austere composition.  I’ll be featuring work from a series of paintings based on magazine advertisements.  The series deals with the face and ways it’s tied to identity and language.  Also, the Blue Bird Books Bus will have a curated collection of books for you to peruse in while in the gallery.  If you’re in Tampa, the opening reception for Box on 5th’s first exhibit will definitely be worth an appearance.

 C. Emerson Fine Arts – Wicked Games    Sat 8/11  6pm-9pm

I wrote a preview for this exhibit at Articulate – check it out here.  There are a few things I’d like to add to that preview, though.  The opening exhibit for an art season is usually made to be an especially strong one for the gallery.  That makes a show like this one from a St. Pete heavy hitter like CEFA an essential visit.  In addition to the two artists I mention in the Articulate preview, an installation from artist Donna Haynes should make for a great exhibit.

Art Season Kick Off – Galleries to Check Out Saturday!

Look! 2nd Saturday Art Walk – 5/12/12

We made seven stops on Saturday night’s art walk!  Here is a slide show of our travels.  Photos of the Warehouse Arts District are scant here because I’m saving them for an upcoming post.

Scroll to the bottom of the page for Art at Bay’s prestigious top three art walk works of art (aka my three favorite)!  What were yours?

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Billy Cole, Absence – at Blue Lucy’s Scratching the Surface


Kristen Bellomo, Wolves Don’t Hate, Black copper paint on cardboard (at C. Emerson Fine Arts)

…and #1

Lorrie Fredette, The Great Silence, Beeswax, tree resin, muslin, brass, steel and nylon line, 74 x 194 x 68 in. (from Wax: Medium Meets Message at the Morean Arts Center)

Note:  After Ramblin’ Rose I had to head home and entirely neglected to take photos of work from artist Zoe Sierra Hill.  Check out her work here.

Look! 2nd Saturday Art Walk – 5/12/12

Off the Wagon – Your Weekend Art Binge 5/11 – 5/13

Lorrie Fredette, The Great Silence (detail), Beeswax, tree resin, muslin, brass, steel, nylon line
6′ 2″ H x 36′ 9″ W x 5′ 8″ D
suspended above the floor 8′ 6″
© 2011
(photo courtesy of Morean Arts Center)

Downtown St. Petersburg – 2nd Saturday Art Walk

St. Petersburg’s 2nd Saturday Art Walk has finally clawed its way out of puberty and into a fully developed art event.  Not only is the list of participating galleries becoming extensive, but  gallery attendance is ranging from full to packed for many.  Need help with your 2nd Saturday itinerary?  Here are a few of the stops I’ll be making.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Thought Coalition    6pm-9pm                  

Disclosure: I have artwork featured in this exhibit

The art collective, Thought Coalition, takes over CEFA this Saturday night.  The loosely bound group seems to intend for it to be that way: amorphous, held together by collaboration and process.  In the past, some Thought Coalition work seemed like it would fit in better in the Crislip Arcade rather than the Chelsea style walls like those of CEFA or Mindy Solomon.  I had the opportunity to walk through this exhibit early, though, and found it strikingly different.  I realize I’m in a bit of a weird position being included in the show, but being as critically unbiased as possible: this will be an exciting show.  The show is packed (over 20 artists!) but not crowded.  I was pleased to find some of the strongest work St. Pete will have seen this season.  Allot ample time to spend in this gallery – there is a lot of art to see and the better part of it will definitely hold your attention.

Morean Arts Center – CSA Share Pick Up and Wax Exhibition    5pm-8pm

It’s time to pick up the CSA shares at the Morean Arts Center (read more about the great CSA program here).  The boxes of art are priced to be bargains – Nancy Cervenka‘s work alone makes the box worth the money you’ll drop (check out a sneak peek her contribution here).  If you haven’t purchased your share yet there are only four left.  You may want to make the Morean Arts Center your first stop if you want to pick one up before they sell out.  While you’re at the Center check out their current exhibit Wax: Medium Meets Message.  The theme of the exhibit is tied to the medium – encaustic,  a wax based paint.  Sadly, I haven’t had the chance to see the exhibit yet.  It’ll definitely be interesting to see this ancient paint used in a contemporary context.  I’m particularly looking forward to walking under Lorrie Fredette‘s installation, The Great Silence (pictured at top of post).

Studio@620 – Staged Nature    7pm  $5

I’m going to be straight with you here and tell you this video art seems a bit creepy.  I really like video art though, so for the sake of the medium alone, a walk around the block to the Studio@620 is in order.  Christopher Steven Watkins presents a series of films titled Staged Nature.  I wasn’t able to find much regarding the work and its artist but the style does seem intriguing.  Eight short films will be screened.  The first four touch on Christian ideology and the last four on Romantic ideology.  All eight use nature as a starting point.  It’s easy to see how Nature (with a capital ‘n’) relates to Romanticism, but I’m interested to see how it is used in relation to Christianity.  Live music will be featured afterwards.  All this for five measly dollars!

Off the Wagon – Your Weekend Art Binge 5/11 – 5/13

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend! 4/13 – 4/15

This Saturday I’ll be taking my first ride on the Tampa Bay Monorail.  How better to see everything in St. Pete and Tampa on the same night?  I’m sorry to play such a cruel joke on you.  There is no monorail system.  The Bay area could sure use one, though.  Case in point: Disney World.  Did you ever visit Disney World before they got a monorail?  What a dump!  Anyhow, as I mentioned there are plenty of great events to check out on both sides of the Bay this week.

St. Petersburg – 2nd Saturday Art Walk     Sat 4/14

St. Petersburg’s popular 2nd Saturday Art Walk just got a guide upgrade.  Bay area art doers (it was that or ‘arts facilitators’) Reuben and Hunter developed the new website: check it out here.  The new virtual home has definitely increased the already busy buzz for the monthly event.  How cool would it be for everyone to meet for an art party at the Independent or Sake Bomb afterwards?  Anyhow, here are a couple of highlights for your walk.

Mindy Solomon Gallery – Explicit Content    Sat 4/14  6pm-8pm     18 and older only

Mindy Solomon Gallery

I opened the emailed flyer to this exhibit while at work.  I was dumbly shocked to find a photo of a naked woman wearing a bear mask in what appears to be the back of a car.  In retrospect, the exhibit title in the subject line should have tipped me off that it would be NSFW.  The fact that the art is sexually explicit seems to be the point of the Mindy Solomon Gallery‘s latest group exhibit.  The show that opens this Saturday features artists Scot Sothern, Christina West, Barbara DeGenevieve, Bart Johnson, Becky Flanders, Georgine Ingold, Leopold Foulem, Anne Drew Potter, and Bonnie Marie Smith.

I’m curious to see how this show is curatorially executed.  Luridness as the premise for an exhibit could quickly degenerate into a freak show – strengthening the stereotype of the deviant or the Other (with a capital ‘O’) rather than investigating it.  On the other hand, the theme also lends itself to a fair amount of potential.  You’ll have to stop by the gallery to see for yourself.  Regardless of how the exhibit ends up being presented, Mindy Solomon has rounded up some impressive artists.  There will be several pieces that should be the highlight of the art walk.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Marianne Chapel: Perceptions and Memories    Sat 4/14 6pm

Opening this Saturday, CEFA presents a solo exhibit of multimedia work by Marianne Chapel.  She is an abundantly awarded and well-traveled artist with studios apparently both in the Panamanian jungle and the mountains of Quebec.   However, Chapel also has local connections teaching in the past at the University of Tampa and Ringling College.

It’s clear from the little I’ve seen, that Chapel’s work deals with the way stories are told, the way they’re heard, and the in-between.  She uses materials that are reminiscent of personal ephemera, recalling past family mementos.  Chapel uses these personal seeming narratives to comment on something larger.  Her installation, Dirty Laundry warrants a stop over at the 900 block gallery.

Tempus Projects – Screening of PBS’ Art21: “Change”    Sat 4/14  7pm

If you’re reading this blog, you’re also probably a big fan of PBS‘ award winning documentary series, Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century.  If you haven’t heard of it before, remember that it is me, Danny Olda, that introduced you to the series.  The first five seasons of the series have been well made and absorbing.  The sixth season is set to top them all.

Saturday night Tempus Projects will be screening “Change”, the first episode of the new season.  The first episode focuses on artists Catherine Opie, El Anatsui, and Ai Wei Wei.  I will admit I cheated: I was able to get my hands on the DVD and watch the first couple episodes.  With the saga surrounding Ai Wei Wei of late I was especially anticipating the section focusing on him and his work.  Art21 touches on his recent run in with the paranoid Chinese state but thankfully focuses on his brilliant work.  It was with the portion on El Anatsui that I was pleasantly surprised with, though.  His ever fluid work, issues of labor, change, and post-colonialism add depth not often found on television (a thimble’s worth of which would’ve improved Morley Safer’s 60 minutes piece 100 fold).  I hope I’m wrong but from what I can tell WEDU and WUSF will not be airing this series (?!) so make sure you at least catch it at Tempus Projects.  There will be snacks and drinks but make sure you RSVP here.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend! 4/13 – 4/15

Art to Check Out Friday

Start up the Segway and double knot your shoes – there’s a lot of art to check out this weekend on both sides of the Bay.  Here’s your guide to Friday, 1/13.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Have Your Cake and Eat it Too…Remix Edition       Fri. 1/13  6pm-9pm

Disclosure (and/or self-aggrandizement): I’ll be showing a piece in this exhibition.

January is proving to be a busy month for CEFA.  This Friday they’ll be hosting the opening reception for Have Your Cake and Eat it Too…Remix Edition celebrating, the galleries 6th anniversary.  The exhibit highlights the gallery’s reputation for experimentation, unconventionality, and play.  There will be quality work from some CEFA regulars like Kim Anderson, Daniel Mrgan, Jason Snyder and your faithful blogger as well as artists Caui Andeson, Gil Demeza, Neverne Covington, Lew Harris, Regina Jestrow, and June Kim.  I was able to sneak a glance of June Kim’s work while setting up my piece –  her series of photographs I Wolf is touching and powerful.  I’m also particularly excited to see the textile work of Regina Jestrow.  She produces the type of  amazing crafty art one would expect to find down the street at the Craftsmen Gallery but fits in well with this exhibition.  Florida State University’s Working Method Collective will be performing Friday as well.  Little specifically has been said about the performance art of Working Method Collective but it sounds like it’ll be particularly interactive with the audience.  The exhibition runs January 13th through February 25th.

USFCAM – Mark Dion: Trouble Shooting      Fri 1/13 7pm-9pm
Mark Dion, The South Florida Wildlife Rescue Unit: The Uniforms, 2006 Two mannequins, clothing, custom patches, assorted gear; Dimensions variable Collection Miami Art Museum, gift of Lin Lougheed

If you’re spending your Friday evening in Tampa, the USF Contemporary Art Museum is throwing its opening reception for the upcoming exhibit Mark Dion: Troubleshooting from 7pm to 9pm.  Prior to that, at 6pm-7pm in USF Theatre2, will be a discussion with Mark Dion, Miami Art Museum Curator Rene Morales, and USFCAM curator Jane Simon.

I know what you’re wondering, and the answer is ‘yes’.  In case you didn’t know, you were asking “Is that the same Mark Dion from the PBS series, Art21?”  Again, the answer is yes.  Mark Dion, known for building incredibly detailed politically conscious installations, will be exhibiting work that address particularly Floridian concerns.  USFCAM has done an impressive job bringing an important contemporary artist and ultra-relevant issues to the Bay area.   With that in mind I’m going to shoot straight with you here: If I don’t see you in St. Pete Friday, I’m going to assume you’re at USFCAM, because you are abundantly awesome and an exemplary arts citizen.

Art to Check Out Friday

How to Write Poetry With Only One Letter – Roger Beebe

Last Light of a Dying Star

Optimus Prime: automaton or automobile?  An ancient (c. 1983) philosophical question, not unlike that of the increasingly complex role of the artist.  Speaking to Roger Beebe the role of artist as cultural mediator comes into focus (pun unavoidable).

Beebe is a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida.  However, he’s also a very active filmmaker screening in locales as varied as the MoMA, the Sundance Film Festival, the Times Square Jumbotron, and even Antarctica.  However, if you attend his show at C. Emerson Fine Arts on Friday 1/06/12 you’ll notice he’s not the average moviegoers’ average filmmaker.

In fact, watching Beebe’s films you get the feeling that not only is he aware of this, but it may be one of his starting points.  “Because of turning the cinema experience into this multiplex experience you go there and it has this kind of generic quality to it”, he says.  That isn’t to say, though, that he is attempting to turn cinema back to some golden age.

Many may consider Beebe’s work to be part of a tradition of expanded cinema (a term I was glad I could have a UF professor of film explain to me – and tuition-free, nerds!).  Expanded cinema is often taken out of the Muvico and into alternative spaces,  often experimental or made with unconventional equipment and/or techniques.  Really, expanded cinema deserves its own blog post.  Beebe’s approach and tools to film making are as diverse as the places he’s shown them.  His films glow from 16mm film, Super 8, and digital video, often all simultaneously.

“There’s an interesting democracy to this recycling aesthetic and picking up stuff that nobody wants anymore”, he says. “Using 16mm is interestingly democratic in how it has that DIY production method”.  Beebe was specifically referring to the democratic nature of outmoded tools such as 16mm film (actually, a class he teaches is called “16mm film production” – what’s more democratic than teaching someone?).   However, in a way this can also apply to much of the content of  Beebe’s work.  His use of familiar language and imagery as well as actually re-appropriating other films adds a democratic (and DIY) character to his work.

It seems one of his films that will be shown Friday, AAAAA Motion Picture, indirectly touches on this.  The description for this film on Beebe’s website reads:   The Manhattan phone book has 14 pages of companies jockeying to be at the start of the alphabetical listings. Capitalism triumphs over linguistic richness yet again. Our challenge: to learn how to write poetry when there’s only one letter left.  There’s hardly an art form that can be as commercial as film (what would be the art world’s version of Michael Bay? Jeff Koons?)  Regarding AAAAA Motion Picture Beebe says, “I think I was very specifically thinking about the way words and phrases get turned into trademarks and slogans”

He goes on, “Even the neutral phrase ‘it’s the real thing’ – you can’t think of that without thinking of Coca-Cola or the way that Donald Trump tried to trademark ‘You’re Fired’ or Paris Hilton tried to trademark ‘That’s Hot'”  With words and phrases losing meaning by being turned into commodities and visual phrases turning into visual clichés, work like Roger Beebe’s becomes refreshing.

We spoke about his film Last Light of a Dying Star (that uses eight projectors simultaneously).  And though the conversation was specifically about the perception of outer space and space travel, the idea of the artist as a cultural mediator came to the surface, where the role of the artist isn’t to produce a new object but a new experience.   “I think there is a level of desensitization and familiarity.  So, I guess the task of the artist is to de-familiarize that.  To produce the experience anew”

Roger Beebe will be presenting Films for One to Eight Projectors on Friday, 1/06/12 at 7pm

How to Write Poetry With Only One Letter – Roger Beebe

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!

Taco Bus, warm up my burrito because I’m coming to down to the ‘Burg this weekend!  With the winter holidays behind us downtown St. Pete is kicking off the second half of the art season.  Here are two things to check out this weekend.

C. Emerson Fine Arts – Films for One to Eight Projectors     Friday, 1/06 7pm

The show at CEFA this Friday is being described as  “multi-projector experiments by Roger Beebe“.   To say that Beebe will be showing five films is an understatement if not inaccurate.  Beebe acts as more than a film maker or even a video artist.  Using antiquated equipment and multiple film projectors simultaneously almost makes the event verge on performance art.  You can expect this to be a great show.  All of you Tempus people would definitely dig this.  Anyhow, its good to see some more not-hanging-on-a-wall art.  I spoke with Beebe and will be posting the interview shortly.

Mindy Solomon Gallery – Rock-Paper-Scissors     Saturday, 1/07 6pm-8pm

Oliver Lang, People, Series of 78, 2005, 60 x 80 cm, Lambda-print on aluminium (1mm) with mounting

Rock-Paper-Scissors is a group exhibit curated by Isabel Balzer of balzerARTprojects.  While the name of the show has a loose relationship with the work (as it seems every good group show does) it should tell you about how fun this exhibit promises to be.  To be fair, though, the show’s name really references the universality of art and versatility of paper.  balzerARTprojects is a great curatorial project/gallery based in Basel, Switzerland and known for exhibiting talented emerging international artists.  This exhibit will be featuring the artists Andi Bauer, Domenico Billari, Tom Fellner, EddiE haRA, Mimi von Moos, Nici Jost, Oliver Lang, Sebastien Meija and Olga Vonmoos.

Warm Up the Skinny Jeans, Kids – Art to Check Out This Weekend!