Swept Away & ORIGINS: A Docent Tour at Sarasota Museum of Art

Last Sunday I finally got the chance to venture to SMOA to experience two very fleeting exhibits, through an even smaller window of opportunity: a docent led tour of Lisa Hoke’s  “Swept Away”, and ‘ORIGINS’, a collaboration between Sweet Sparkman Architects and the Ringling College of Art & Design.

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Since I arrived early I decided to wander through Patrick Doughetry’s  Installation “Out In Front”, created for SMOA in 2013. Being the nitpicky artist I am, and that many of us tend to be, I was simultaneously enjoying my experience while also envisioning how I would have done it differently — a little bit more Richard Serra and Robert Smithson, and a little bit less Andy Goldsworthy and Tim Burton. Although, I have a feeling many’a visitor would completely disagree with me, and that’s the beauty of it.

These community engaging endeavors are being provided by the Sarasota Museum of Art in an ongoing effort to raise funds for what will be Sarasota’s first modern and contemporary art museum. I, for one, am really appreciative of these efforts as I feel  substantial impacts are already being felt within the community. Once SMOA meets its funding goal (they only have 13% left to complete the goal), the process of remodeling historic Sarasota High School into a highly anticipated museum will begin.

After wandering through “Out In Front”, and taking plenty of pictures, The museum doors were open and guests were greeted for the tour. After the docent introduced herself and talked about SMOA and it’s mission — including providing studio spaces for Ringling students on the first floor, and a gallery space on the second floor where viewers can look down through the floors to see what the students are working on — she led us through a conference room to get to an old classroom turned Lisa Hoke’s installation space, consisting of collaged recycled materials that envelop the whole space with explosive shapes organized by color. The materials used to create “Swept Away” were donated by members of the community — interestingly enough, much of the packaging was either candy or liquor (Sarasotans clearly know what the good life is all about!). IMG_5767

IMG_5771IMG_5775IMG_5776IMG_5777After we walked through the space and questions were addressed, we headed to the next exhibit: ‘ORIGINS’. Our docent explained that Sweet Sparkman Architects was contacted by someone from the Architecture Biennale in Venice, Italy to create  a piece for the event. The docent explained that Sweet Sparkman is a small business and this was such a big surprise that they thought someone was playing a trick on them, only to find out that they were chosen specifically because they’re a small business and someone involved with the Biennale saw a previous work by Sweet Sparkman Architects during a visit to Sarasota. SSA accepted the invitation and contacted the Ringling College of Art & Design to collaborate with students to generate ideas. What they came up with was a piece about sand from world-famous Siesta Key Beach. The finale piece is made up of a wooden cube that viewers are invited to walk into. In the center of the cube, sand from Siesta falls from a glass orifice into a pile on the floor of the cube, where it is then sucked through the floor with  a compressor and continuously cycles from ceiling to floor. Viewers are also invited to put their hands through the falling sand, illuminated by a light coming from the glass orifice on the ceiling, as well as illuminated from behind by cast glass bricks, created with sand from Siesta Key. IMG_5740

You can view both exhibits through April 19th, Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30-3:30 pm. Patrick Dougherty’s piece can be viewed any time until it deteriorates and goes back to the land… so you’ll have plenty of time 🙂

Sarasota’s ‘Unreal Estate’ at Two Columns Gallery [Photo Review]

Currently, there is an excellent show at Two Columns Gallery entitled ‘Unreal Estate’. Artists in the show include Zachary See, Maggie Moody, Natalie Lerner, and Jennifer Pappas. Unreal Estate runs through Feb. 21st.

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ART AT BAY Presents: Steven Kenny

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St.Petersburg, FLSteven Kenny‘s amazing portraits are a devout homage to old-school portraiture and the bizarre.  The surreal landscapes and the 17th century attire, the placements of dangerous animals in the presence of royal-looking children, and the outlandish but beautiful headdresses are all things that Kenny purposely installs in his artwork in order to intrigue, provoke and install imagination upon spectators.

According to the artist, these bizarre juxtapositions are to be read in two ways:

The first alludes to the fact that we are an integral part of the natural world and subject to its laws. This seems like an obvious statement until we step back and objectively assess our symbiotic relationship with each other and the Earth. Depending on your perspective, these relationships fall somewhere on the scale between harmonious and dysfunctional.

The second turns the lens around to look inward upon the stewardship of our own emotional, intellectual and psychological landscapes. The same pictorial subject matter allows me to make references to our individual journeys of self-exploration and discovery. Again, depending on who is holding the compass, we are either lost or on the right path.


To check out more of his work, you can visit his website or purchase his 24-page art book through here.

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Tampa and St.Pete art events 9/5 – 9/11

So here you go Lena Dunham: cool art events are in fact going on in Tampa this weekend (like always)- suck it NY (I still love you, though).

Art worth seeing                                                                                                                  

1. Looking Back Looking Forward -Sept.7th 7-10pm @ Eve’n’ Odd Gallery

This free event features the work of internationally acclaimed artist Picasso Gaglione. The artist founded the Rubber Stamp Museum and created “STAMPZINE” an early prototype of what we now know to be zines. His involvement with the Fluxus art movement in performance art is well documented from the mid 60’s to the present day.  He currently performs at art events in museums, galleries and art centers under the title “DADA machine FLUXUS”. Created with pen and ink, Gaglione carefully incorporates designs over old images — “a kind of Dada art graffiti that transforms the antique into a modern – it is witty dynamic,” says Eve ’n’ Odd Gallery’s curator Jennifer Kosharek.

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2. ‘We Fucking Forgot Again’ -Venture Compound Annual Group Show –  Sept. 11, 8 p.m. @ The Venture Compound

Although the Venture Compound is usually synonymous with hip music events, they too have a few art ‘fetes’ from time to time. The annual group art show returns for a second year with works of emerging local artists. In honor 9/11, ten percent of the proceeds of the door will go to a firefighter/first responder charity. This looks promising, plus it is a very, very cool venue. Don’t miss it!

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3. Collection of Deli Sacilotto and New Visions: Contemporary Artist SeriesEnds Sept. 8th @ The Florida Museum of the Photographic Arts

Feast your eyes on Edward S. Curtis Photogravures from the Collection of Deli Sacilotto, plus works by Jim Reynolds, Edmund Fountain and Sissi Farassat. Hurry and get your fix of this wonderful photo exhibit before it goes on Sept. 8th!

The New-Visions show is comprised of several world-renowned and cultural diverse photographers whose themes include Middle Eastern aesthetic and history, the legacy of modernism and contemporary consumerism, and local photojournalism.

The Edward S. Curtis Photogravues collection represents a portion of the twenty-volume photographic portfolio Curtis created as he traveled across the Southwest, where he photographed the daily lives and rituals of the Apache, Navaho, Zuni, and Yuma.

4. Wire, Paper, Steel by Dominique Labauvie – Reception and Artist talk -Sept.5th  5-7pm @ Gallery 221 at HCC

Come to Gallery 221@HCC Dale Mabry campus to enjoy a philosophical discussion of Dominique’s work between the artist himself and UT’s associate professor, writer and artist Gregg Perkins.

arts_listings_wire-steel_081513   From the exhibition ‘Wire, Paper, Steel’ at Gallery 221@HCC

Learn to make art

Both courses are taking place and arranged by Florida Museum of Photographic Arts- you can find more info about prices and other courses on their website.

1. Sunset Safari Sept. 5th– 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Instructor Chip Weiner shows students how to capture the sublime nature of the setting sun and the nighttime sky.

2. The Five-Minute Portrait Sept. 10th 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This class, taught by photographer and journalist Joseph Gamble, demystifies infrared and wireless lighting triggers for making portraits under pressure, often with only one speedlite.

Warm Up the Skinny Jean, Kids – Art to Check Out this Weekend! 3/02-3/04

The runt month of February has come and gone. I learned the hard way that things you do on Leap Day do count.  Anyhow, with the advent of March our art microcosm becomes much more interesting.  To kick the month off we have two closing receptions on one side of the bay and an opening on the other.

USF Centre Gallery – The Attic by Shanna Martin and Ben Berrett closing reception    Fri 3/02  7pm-9pm

Tempus Projects – Neil Bender: Purple Nurple closing reception    Fri 3/02  8pm-10pm

USF Centre Gallery - THE ATTIC

THE ATTIC is an installation/performance piece by artists Shanna Martin and Ben Berrett.  ‘Attic’ is one of those tired metaphors for the subconscious that more often than not dooms artwork to cliché-hood (think the cover of Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic).  If you’ve seen the performance in person or on YouTube, though, the stock symbol becomes disturbingly real.  The performance produces an honest sense of chaos as two monsters trudge around the space – a real life Id left to its own devices.  Cliché or not, THE ATTIC is likely to be the most interesting art you’ll see this weekend.

Tempus Projects is closing Neil Bender’s solo exhibit with a reception this Friday as well.  I wrote a review of the show that you can find here.  If you didn’t get a chance to make it to the opening, a trip Seminole Heights is worth it.  Bender’s paintings are surprisingly relevant – they engage in a way familiar to other mediums.  Check out the review if you want to know more about the exhibit.

Studio@620 – Florida Focus Exhibition: A Celebration of Contemporary Florida Art    Sat 3/03  7pm

The Florida Focus Exhibition is a group exhibit of 32(!) artists from around the state.  The force and focus behind the show is its curator, Ken Rollins.  Rollins’ name may sound familiar: he was the executive director for a few Florida art museums including the interim executive director of the TMoA  during its make over.  The exhibit celebrates his 70th birthday with the work of many artists he’s worked with throughout his career.

The roster is a long list of well-known and respected Florida artists.  That isn’t to say that it’ll be particularly exciting, though.  If you’re the type of art nerd that’s stoked about Mindy Solomon’s Explicit Content show, you may find yourself choking down a yawn at this one.  My recommendation is to take a friend and sharpen your critic skills.  You’ll find some art that you admire and art that you less than admire – articulate the particulars of what you think.  Regardless, the education on Florida artists makes the exhibit worth seeing.  The full list of artists is too long to name here but check out the full roster of artists here.

Also this weekend:

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts – Curtis Hixon Park     Sat 3/03  9am-6pm, Sun 3/04 9am-5pm

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this event.  However, I should send you off with the warning that the Festival comes with a reputation for being extremely tame.  I’ve heard the general style described as “hotel art” – so inoffensive that it’s offensive.  Now go enjoy the sunshine!