Sure, you had a good time at Art After Dark last week. Though, now you may be asking “Danny, is there another art party worth going to soon?” I’m glad you asked. I’m also sorry I started off this week like an infomercial. Anyhow, here’s another art party for you with one serious improvement: it supports an important cause.
CL Space – Tempus for The Spring Sat 4/28
VIP admission – $30 in advance or $35 at the door, 6pm-10pm
General admission – $10, student (with ID) – $5, 7pm-10pm
The cause behind the party should be mentioned first – The Spring of Tampa Bay. The Spring is Hillsborough’s only certified domestic violence prevention and emergency shelter agency. Tempus for The Spring is specifically supporting the creation of a new art therapy program for the agency. It’s only fitting that such a program is helped to be brought about with an art party. This is where you can do your bit to prevent domestic violence and support the arts this Saturday.
That being said, I won’t lie – the Bay area isn’t short on art parties. I can easily think of some regulars on both sides of the bay. Thus, if you have some sort of literal art party addiction you’re set. Like most things, though, the art parties actually worth your presence are few. These events can easily get heavy on the party side and light on the art, as in “Art Lite”. Tempus for The Spring seems to be a different sort of affair.
Firstly, two of the Bay area’s best painters will be showing and selling work: Theo Wujcik and Neil Bender. Additionally, up and coming artists such as Justin Nelson and Ryann Slauson will be joining the gang on the wall (not to mention Tempus Projects’ Tracy Midulla Reller and Bluebird Books Bus’ Mitzi Gordon among many other great artists). If you ever had hopes of owning art, Saturday would be a prime opportunity to make good on it. Work is being sold via silent auction which could possibly help you land a sweet price, especially if you take advantage of a sneak peek that comes with a VIP admission. More importantly, though, with cash you lay down for the auction you not only acquire awesome artwork but you also help out an awesome agency in a very real way. You could be an art collector and a philanthropist with one maneuver of the wallet: classy! Classy, but not snooty. With a $3 per drink cash bar (free drinks with a VIP admission) and DJ, fun is to be had, even by philistine non-art liking types.
Regardless of your interest, causes and art rarely fit so well together. Not often do venues like Tempus Projects exhibit in venues like the CL Space. And Seldom can you contribute to an important cause by collecting art.
Tarpon Springs has the sponge docks. Clearwater has the beach. Oldsmar has…I don’t know…a movie theatre. But Dunedin – beer, Scottish-ness, and art?! There’s a reason why everyone calls Dunedin “the Paris of North Central Pinellas County”. I call it that for a reason, at least. This weekend we’re heading to Dunedin’s art-heart: the Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Dunedin Fine Art Center – Contain It! 2/10 6pm-9pm, 2/11 9am-2pm
Quite a bit is going on Friday night, though I’m focusing on the DFAC’s Contain It! event. I’ll just mention that the $5 admission gets you a free Yuengling. Personally, I’ll be saving my sobriety for the Dunedin Brewery just a short ride away.
Though “crowd-pleasing” and “good art” rarely share the same article, the DFAC’s Contain It! shows are a regular exception. The exception begins with a good idea: the mobile storage company PODS donates units that are in turn transformed into installations by local artists. Big crowd pleasing art events tend to keep the art on the walls like boys at a middle school dance. That being said, what really makes Contain It! a good show is immersing visitors in an art form that many wouldn’t encounter outside of a museum.
The DFAC also knows how to pick ’em – the artists involved not only shine a spotlight on the local scene but also bring quality work. For example, check out this preview photo of Chris Musina’s installation. You’ll also find installations by Kelly Boehmer, Deon Blackwell, Jordi Williams, Mitzi Gordon, Alain Salesse, and Victoria Block.
The DFAC’s offering of engaging work from local talent definitely warrants a trip to the Paris of North Central Pinellas. The event is a promising one; you’ll be glad you parted with the fiver.
Other Events Worth Checking Out This Weekend
This Thursday the monsters of mobile art converge on Mermaid Tavern. Philanthropic Young Tampa Bay organized this event to raise money for the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts as they move to their new location.
Boxfotos, a gallery pulled around town in a shiny Airstream trailer, will be stopping by the tavern. The husband and wife team of Matt Larson and Rebecca Sexton Larson are the curators/artists for this traveling alternative space. Boxfotos features photographic work at a generally affordable price, making it easier for Joe Six Pack to become Joe Art Collector (and also to become Joe Philanthropist this Thursday). Additionally, if you’re feeling especially philanthropic and have been looking for a way to show your love for Art at Bay, you can pick me up one of Boxfotos’ awesome Starbucks pinhole cameras.
Bluebird Books will also be rolling in for the fundraiser. If you haven’t yet climbed into the bright blue short bus you’ll quickly notice Mitzi Gordon of Bluebird acts more like a book curator than a book seller. Bluebird serves up a particularly appealing selection of books in a visually pleasing arrangement (or rad books that look rad). There’s something about used books that culls money out of my wallet and if you’re reading this blog chances are you’ll feel similarly. The collection on the bus is chosen carefully and is likely to focus on photography this Thursday. The Sasha Rae photobooth will also be joining the fun for the Bluebird Undercover project.
I know it isn’t exactly the weekend but I encourage you to reach deep down into your Id and pull out the wild child that’ll bring you out on a Thursday. It’s encouraging to see the art scene support its own. Add to your art collection, your library, and long list of good deeds. The event takes place this Thursday, 2/09 at 7pm-9pm at the Mermaid Tavern.
Twenty years ago I would’ve been looking for books about dinosaurs. Though, I’m now thumbing through post-feminist titles the venue has a familiar feel: a short bus filled with books.
Bluebird Books is touring the Bay area spreading bibliophilia (yes, it itches). While you’re out weekending you may see the little blue bus with the color coordinated collection of books inside. Admittedly being thoroughly Kindle and Nooked out, seeing all the once loved and priced for the poor books in rainbow order was refreshing. Also, unlike some bigger cities, the Bay area is missing an info shop. While Bluebird Books isn’t exactly an info shop (and Mitzi Gordon [above] isn’t your average Weather Underground fugitive info shop employee), it still seems to have the same DIY feel (and a book about the Weather Underground). I was able to hop on at Tempus Projects’ Mix Tape show and hopped off with a copy of a Diane Arbus biography for only four(!) bucks.
While Bluebird Books is touring the Bay selling books, this is only part of its mission. Bluebird Books describes itself as “a mobile station for inspiration”. It does this through various non-profit cultural events within the community funded by the books you buy. You can do more than buy books to help out. Bluebird is accepting gently-used donated books. But we all know cash money is best. You can make it rain at their Kickstarter project.
You can check out the Bluebird Books bus on 12/23 at the Children’s Home Benefit/Creative Loafing Holiday Mix Tape Show!