Sometime in the early ’90’s I constantly wore several slap bracelets on each arm. I did this to maximize the use I could extract from the bracelets before they inevitably fell out of favor with fashion. The Tampa Art scene seems to be packing events into the first half of October as if it were similarly about to go out of style, so to say. Seriously, though, its only an expression: good art will never go out of style. But just in case, you better head to all of these. Consider the line-up for the next three days.
MAZE Gallery, HCC – EMERGE Art Exhibition
Opening Reception Wed 10/03 4:30pm-7:00pm
Gallery 221 at Hillsborough Community College has emerged to be an important gallery in an art scene that feels like it’s just picking up steam. University galleries can often and easily be dismissed, with community college galleries hardly receiving any consideration at all. At HCC, though, skillful curating has kept the gallery relevant and interesting. Wednesday the school celebrates the opening of a brand new venue: MAZE Gallery. The space will exhibit the work of current students and HCC alumni. The importance of student galleries in colleges deserves a blog post unto itself. I’ll just say that this space was a surprising move for a school of this size, but a great decision. Stop by Wednesday evening to catch some student work in the gallery’s inaugural exhibit.
Tempus Projects – REDUCED5
Closing Reception Thur 10/04 6:30pm-8:30pm
The REDUCED5 juried exhibit ends this Saturday with a reception to close things out. the black and white themed show is juried by its creator Kurt Piazza. Honestly, in terms of quality, juried exhibits in our area are usually hit and miss at best. Perhaps it’s the parameters set on the work, but there is nary a weakling in the bunch here. Further, much of the work comes with a price tag that could likely fit your budget. While you’re there keep an eye out for the witty work of freshly gone Ryann Slauson among others.
Box on 5th – Vince Kral: FanAddict
Opening Reception Fri 10/05 7:30pm-10:00pm
The new gallery’s fourth exhibit is a solo exhibit featuring the work of local artist Vince Kral. Though I haven’t spotted an artist statement yet, I’m familiar with his art. Kral’s work often deals with complex ideas of pop-culture, consumption of images, authorship, and so on. However, his art is delivered with an intelligent humor making his work accessible. Kral often treads some conceptual ground that we don’t often see from local artists. For example, check out his Sponsor Vince Suit. Anyhow, you can expect to see an especially engaging exhibit at a venue that has been bringing crowded receptions since its opening.
For the second week in a row my recommendation is split by the bay. Some feasible public transportation would make seeing both exhibits so much easier. Have you ever tried taking the bus from Pinellas to Hillsborough? It’s a perilous journey that could last days or even weeks. Please just drive in your car to both shows – I don’t want to hear a month from now that you’re camping out on the Courtney Campbell.
Tempus Projects – VISIBLE/INVISIBLE Fri 3/09 7pm-10pm
Tempus Projects has been busy with two receptions in the space of a week. This Friday the art space shifts to the multidisciplinary work of three artists. Kurt Piazza’s moody high-contrast video art is somehow at once slick and gritty. This makes for the kind of ambiguous image-play that can make video work particularly engaging. The abstract painting of Edgar Sanchez Cumbas will also be featured at the exhibit. Past work, though thoroughly abstract, seem to imply a hint of a whisper of figuration (yeah, that subtle). Cumbas’ current work that will be displayed departs a bit from his past paintings. Large hard-edged fields of color cover the canvas as if Cumbas cleared a space to begin working or is covering over work he has already done. Daniel Williams is an artist working out of my hometown of C-Water (as we all affectionately call Clearwater, though it’s confusing because it sounds like “sea water”). I don’t know as much as I should about Williams – a good reason to head to the exhibit. From what I can gather, his work is generally mixed media with strong geometric abstraction that would definitely look at home over at BOOOOOOOM. You may have seen some of his recent work at The Bricks in Ybor. Any of these artists alone is worth the visit to this trusty Seminole Heights gallery, but the interplay between the three of them is what will make the show.
Salt Creek Artworks – Dual Show: Steven Kenny “Layers of Intention” and Kirk Ke Wang “Last Meal” Fri 3/09 6pm-9pm
I knew the name Kirk Ke Wang sounded familiar. It isn’t because he’s a professor at Eckerd College or his various shows at major galleries and museums – I walk past his studio every time I need a beer and head to Independent Bar after a show at Tempus Projects. Kirk Ke Wang is one half of a dual show opening this Friday at St. Pete’s Salt Creek Artworks. He’ll be presenting an installation titled Last Meal. Though the exhibit has been open since March 5th, I haven’t had a chance to see the installation yet. I’m interested in seeing if he draws from the idea of a prisoner’s last meal or the last meal of Christ. Though both ideas (and particularly the latter) are wildly overused, Kirk Ke Wang’s art has a wit that I’m confident will steer him clear of any clichés. His work is consistently impressive, that I anticipate will materialize well as an installation. Painter, Steven Kenny composes the other half of the dual show. Kenny’s paintings can be described as “surrealistic, symbolic”. I don’t want to ruffle any feathers here, but I’m really not that into Surrealism. To be honest, I really don’t like it at all past the 1930’s. However, I’m sure there’s a good percentage of you, readership, that do dig “neo”-surrealism. If you do, there’s a strong chance you’ll appreciate Steven Kenny’s work – he utilizes the style very well. Kenny’s technical skill is undeniable. With smooth and often imperceptible brush strokes as well as an expert depiction of the human form, the prevalence of the genre and his work is easy to understand.
Tempus Projects – Pale Blue Dot Fri. 12/16 7pm-11pm
Ok, there’s little art-wise to warm up the ol’ skinnies for this weekend. However, Tempus Projects has once again given me reason to put my pants on and head out the door. If you showed up to Tempus Projects’ last show you probably don’t need to read the rest of this post to be convinced to turn out again this Friday.
Pale Blue Dot is being billed as an art exhibition of the work of Ryann Slauson (of “southern shoegaze” outfit, Sleepy Vikings). While I can say Slauson’s music with Sleepy Vikings is great, I’ve never seen his visual art. However, if Tempus Projects is exhibiting him I’m sure its worth taking a look. (I hate to make blanket positive judgements like that but its true: Michael Bay gives us explosions, Polk County gives us meth labs, Tempus Projects gives us quality.)
The Animal Collective-ish “experimental pop” set Diamond Man will be performing. Diamond Man makes some exciting music that will fit well with the space.
A screening of video work from local artist Kurt Piazza is the real reason I’m lacing up the pants (that’s right, I tie my pants just like my shoes and tunic). Piazza will be showing his video PROJ(01)10:09. Piazza’s work in video conveys the connection between place and narrative strangely well. Not to mention the high contrast black and white work will look awesome projected outside on the wall at night.
In the words of Biggie Smalls, If you don’t know, now you know. The whole show will be free and you may also be able to find some PBR. If that’s not good enough for you, we have a bit of personal evaluation to do.