ART AT BAY Best of 2013: This Year’s…Was Last Year’s…and Will Be Next Year’s…

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It’s a fun exercise: looking at trends over the past couple years and predicting how they’ll take shape in the coming one.  I suspect many feel similarly in hoping that art is some how above the sort of trend cycle fashion is subject to.  Still, some cycles are persistent.  Thus, it’s easy for this sort of thing to degenerate into a Joan Rivers style snark party.  To that end, I’ve included some lessons I’ve learned from the review and goals of personal improvement as an art appreciator.

This year’s James Turrell was last year’s Gerhard Richter and will be next year’s Paul McCarthy

Gerhard Richter and James Turrell are artists that have enjoyed a largely pleasant relationship with the art world for considerable portions of their respective careers.  However, over the course of a year the said art world seems to have overshot love and landed in obsession with each artist – a sort of reputation bubble, minus the popping.  It seemed, for a bit at least, Richter’s paintings couldn’t sell for enough then Turrell’s reviews couldn’t stop short of orgasmic.  So who’s up next?

I predict Paul McCarthy reluctantly.  “Reluctantly” because two other people would’ve nearly been a better fit.  Frank Lloyd Wright has upcoming exhibitions at both the MoMA and Guggenheim – that sort of cosmic alignment slash institutional validation is often all that’s needed to precipitate an art world freak out.  Additionally, the work of Mike Kelley has deservedly been gathering momentum over the past couple years.  It’s difficult to not tumble into thinking about what he would have accomplished had he been alive.  Regardless, he would’ve likely been one of the most important working artists for years to come.  That said, I went with Paul McCarthy because of the similar point in his career and his two high-profile pieces during 2013 – his giant balloon dog at Frieze and saucy Snow White of ‘WS’.  In the past McCarthy’s work may have perhaps been too irreverent to ever characterize him as an art world darling.  However, both of these pieces were both very well received.  If 2014 sees a genuinely great piece from McCarthy, he may enjoy the same critical near-infallibility recently afforded to Turrell and Richter.

The lesson I learn here is to be wary of getting caught up in my own words and the words of others.  These artists all create great work.  However, as a writer in a world of sound bytes and hasty judgement its easier to repeat whats heard than generate new discussion.

This year’s Bushwick was last year’s Williamsburg and will be next year’s Ridgewood

I believe the rise in awareness of hipsters can partly be tied to Williamsburg’s popularity.  The neighborhood is not unlike Haight-Ashbury to the hippies, just much less romantic and much more ironic.  Though the tide of hipsters hasn’t waned, gentrification has pushed back (though an argument can be made that hipsterdom is gentrification).  Many art galleries obviously arrived to Williamsburg with the low (relatively speaking) rent and influx of creatives.  Perhaps partially due to the aforementioned gentrification some importance in Brooklyn visual arts has since shifted to Bushwick.  Some of the off-Manhattan NYC art world already seems to be seeping into Queens.  Specifically, Ridgewood may soon find itself the inheritor of a considerable portion of Brooklyn’s art scene.  The recent closure of 3rd Ward is definitely ominous for those clinging to Kings county.

I mention this all because we have Tampa Bay neighborhoods that we hold dear.  Though the sluggish real estate market spares us from the sort of gentrification chasing the creative community out-of-town in New York, we aren’t spared entirely.  Last year’s battle between Seminole Heights’ locals and the Family Dollar chain highlighted this issue.  Perhaps more importantly, it underscored the nature of the fight and the near impossibility of artists ever winning in the long-term.  The way the rules are set, we are necessarily an exodus-prone bunch.  The rise and fall of New York’s neighborhoods illustrate this clearly.  The struggle against gentrification and being pushed out needs to start early and be thoroughly tenacious or just not be struggled against at all.

This year’s Marina Abramovic was last year’s Damien Hirst and will be next year’s…I have no idea.

This is a very specific sort of artist/set of circumstances and is why I didn’t think I could make this prediction well.  It requires a  respected artist making a series of poorly regarded decisions, followed by one surprisingly bad one.  Remember Hirst’s multi-Gagosian solo exhibit (aka Art Scavenger Hunt for the Rich)?  This year Abramovic produced a gala performance that seemed to unnecessarily denigrate the performers.  Her piece “The Artist is Present” seemed powerful to some, pretentious to others – caused uncontrollable crying in both.  Finally, there is her collaboration with Jay-Z – a marathon performance of his song Picasso, Baby.  However implausible, the performance seemed to cheapen both performance art and hip hop simultaneously.  This was followed by a Kickstarter project that was largely viewed as borrowing from the poor to build a vanity institution.  In the eyes of many, this left Marina at the end of the year bereft of much of the authenticity she had at the beginning of 2013.

Though I sincerely hate seeing reputations take a tumble like this, they are inevitable.  Thus, who has set themselves up to make a surprisingly bad call in 2014?  Well, the nature of it makes this prediction difficult.  Part of what makes these decisions so bad is that they come from artists that we were sure knew better.  That’s why Jeff Koons wouldn’t fit the prediction.  We weren’t surprised by his boring and tasteless Lady Gaga album cover.  Had Cindy Sherman, for example, produced that cover, we’d have next year’s prediction.

The lesson I learn here is that authenticity is valuable.  Further, authenticity squandered draws the ire of the critical art world.  Remaining authentic may be difficult but ultimately leads to success…whatever that is.

This year’s “sloppy” abstraction was last year’s geometric forms and will be next year’s figuration

No more crystalline shapes, no more stripes.  There was a moment in the recent past when you could not throw a stone at an art fair without hitting a triangle on a canvas.  This is the bizarre world of painting, where shapes fall in and out of style.  Seriously, though, this at least gave way to the paradoxically sloppy yet well thought out abstraction that seemed to dominate painting this year.  More importantly it made painting in general interesting once again.  Artists and viewers alike seem ready to explore the nuances of the medium, to take the medium seriously in a way that hasn’t been done in a very long time.  I may sound like I’m overstating it, but I don’t think I am.

It is because of this more deliberate approach that I think that fans of the medium are ready to consider figuration again.  For a long time figuration has been a sort of conceptual obscenity in painting.  Thus, I’m excited for its return.  This is the prediction I’m probably most confident with.  I’m pretty sure before you get to Miami in 2014 you can say something like “NADA is definitely going to be dominated by figurative/representational painting this year” and not look like a fool.  If I end up being totally off, send me angry email –  I’ll promptly read it delete it.

The lesson I learned here is how much a medium can conceptually blossom once given the consideration it’s due.  Great art seems to be the product of an animated give and take, the result of boring things like accountability, refinement, conversations, practice, persistence.

ART AT BAY Best of 2013: This Year’s…Was Last Year’s…and Will Be Next Year’s…

A Better Time Signature: Stacy Rosende at Gallery 221

In a way, I was glad I had missed the opening reception.  Instead, I walked the gallery for an hour alone on a Monday afternoon.  Stacy Rosende‘s solo exhibit subSURFACE speaks slowly and would likely rather wait patiently than shout over the din of a crowded art party.  This reveals something about the work itself – there is a peculiar sort of temporality running through it.

Initially, some of Rosende’s new work is reminiscent of the paintings of Todd Chilton.  However, the two artists tackle very different concerns.  Unlike Chilton’s opaque painterly style, Rosende creates a sort of abstract foreground and background.  Geometric patterns of color cover the panels.  Underneath, an arrangement of decorative flourishes can be dimly seen at times and disappear completely elsewhere.  This was inspired by a recent stay in Venice, Italy as the texture, patterns and layers of the city’s walls clearly influenced much of the work in subSURFACE.  The play between foreground and background does add a sense of depth to Rosende’s paintings.  However, a clear and strong sense of rhythm still dominates Rosende’s work.  The paintings may have come from an interest in surface, but seem to be very much about rhythm.

Vertical lines of color, irregularly sized and multi-colored without a discernible pattern, suggest a complex beat and a certain musicality.  Rosende doesn’t offer the eye a place to rest, instead forcing it to play through the composition, dancing over the colors left to right and back again.  In her statement, Rosende draws comparisons between tones in music and color, waves of sound and light, and arrangements both musical and visual.  Perhaps all of these comparisons are most easily discerned in Fertile.

At the center of the space, the sculpture occupies a significant amount of the gallery floor.  Twenty-nine differently sized stone-like objects (they’re actually plaster mixed with natural materials) are arranged in a ‘V’ formation from largest to smallest.  One side of each object is smooth and painted, the largest orange and gradually darkening with each piece down to the smallest painted black.

Fertile contrasts severely against the paintings and prints in the exhibit while offering a sort of respite.  Unlike the paintings which produce a sort of visual syncopation, the size, color and arrangement in Fertile all work in accord to produce a specific rhythm, a particular movement.  The piece draws your eyes front to back to front.  The movement is almost sexual.  The work’s title coupled with the movement suggest the womb, birth, or even the ascension and descent explored in the Cremaster Cyle of Matthew Barney.

Though I may be swayed by my particular gallery visit, what may be most valuable about this show is its slower pace.  Conceptual one-liners, needlessly showy and large work, parties badly disguised as art exhibits: each often coddle and cater to a critical laziness.  Rosende’s solo exhibit doesn’t do this.  Instead, the show makes apparent that it’ll take time.  If you are to honestly like or dislike the work, it’ll be after spending some time with it.  Ultimately, it may be this sort of “time signature” that is key to taking art seriously again.

A Better Time Signature: Stacy Rosende at Gallery 221

Tampa Bay and St.Pete Art Events: 9/27/13-10/4/13

ARTofficial Intelligence II: The Second Annual St.Pete Robot Exchange– Fri, Sept. 27th, 8pm at The Sake Bomb in St.Pete

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Come check out some art, music, and robots. Tampa bay most talented artists and musicians will be exhibiting/ demonstrating interesting works to appease intergalactic robots bent on earth’s destruction! $2 cover

The Observatory– Closing Reception on Fri., Sept. 27, 7 p.m at the William and Nancy Oliver Gallery USF

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This exhibition by Genevieve Godcharles and Julia Rose Fowler explores personal identity through real and surreal occurrences using the mediums of photography, video, and surveillance. Tensions arise when taking on the role of the viewer or the one being viewed, enforcing a confrontation of personal identity or the unknown identity of others. Unveiling of an individual’s personal space allows the audience to observe these intimate situations. Free.

Tomás Marais: A Retrospective at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art  (Tarpoon Springs)

The exhibition explores the works of Tampa artist and Cuban native, Tomas Marais. His work is known for its bold colors and stylized, elongated forms.

Pulp– Opening reception on Wed.,Oct. 2 at 4:30 p.m. at the Maze Gallery @ HCC-Ybor

Pulp, a visual art exhibition at MAZE Gallery in the heart of historic Ybor City. Pulp is an exhibition of paper-based works from HCC art students working in 2D and 3D paper media. Pulp is a lignocellulosic fibrous material prepared by separating cellulose fibers from wood, fiber crops or waste paper.

Evening Curator’s Tour: SubRosa– Oct 3rd, 6-7pm at the Contemporary Art Museum

Join curator Noel Smith for an evening tour of CAM’s fall exhibition, SubRosa: The Language of Resistance. Free

Icons of Style -Opening Oct.4th at the Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota)

Icons 2007.828Image Credit: Ringling Museum of Art

Drawing on the MFA Boston’s rich collection of costumes, fashion illustration, and photography, the exhibition will explore the process of creating icons of style from design concept to runway and finished image. The show includes works by John Galliano for Dior, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, Arnold Scaasi, Christian Lacroix, and others.

Tampa Bay and St.Pete Art Events: 9/27/13-10/4/13

Let’s Get a Room: Time for a Tampa Bay Art Fair

LETSGETAROOMTampa Bay: I think it’s about time we got a room…or rooms.  I’m not talking about an affair but more of a…fair.

Tampa Bay seems to have hit its cultural center puberty over the past few years.  While we may not be the mature visual arts destination that is New York, Miami, or even San Francisco, we’re clearly and progressively developing.  There’s a particular benchmark, though, that we have yet to meet: the art fair.

Why?

I’ll preemptively ask it: What about the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, the Mainsail Art Festival, or any one of the other innumerable local art festivals?  Sorry, but they don’t meet our ‘art fair’ benchmark – festivals are not fairs.

The distinction may seem trivial, but it’s fundamental.  While sales are an integral part of festivals and fairs alike, the latter serve a critical function that the former are not intended to.  Fairs are a time for artists, curators, dealers, and gallerists to bring out the best they have – on the micro level it allows visitors to browse the best art of several galleries in one location.  On a macro (and more important) level, though, it serves as a survey of contemporary art – it allows us to determine the progress visual art has made over the past year and where the future will take it.  This can be especially helpful for our twin scenes of Tampa/St.Pete.

As discussed before on Art@Bay, we have a tendency to stick to our home scene – it is surprisingly difficult to cross the Howard Frankland for an art show.  However, an art fair would afford us an opportunity to evaluate and enjoy the latest and best contemporary art of Tampa Bay at a single location and date.

How?

The reality is that a fledgling contemporary art fair is a logistical challenge and holds out little to no profits for its organizers.  A strategy that may make an art fair more financially and organizationally plausible, though, is the Hotel Fair.  That is, in short, a fair that would be based in a hotel in which artists and galleries would each be assigned a room.

I suppose this kind of fair could sound a bit dumpy.  However, some of today’s most critically acclaimed and exciting art fairs are precisely this kind of fair.  Consider New York’s Dependent Art Fair.  Despite taking place in a Comfort Inn on the gritty Lower East Side, the fair consistently enjoys enthusiastic reviews from critics and bloggers (critic/artist Will Brand called it “hands-down, the most interesting, highest-quality fair in town.”)  Also consider Washington D.C.’s (e)merge Art Fair, San Francisco’s ArtPadSF, or Miami’s Verge Art Fair among many others.

A grant(s) and sponsors could secure rooms for juried individual artists to use for installations or simply to exhibit work.  Galleries, collectives, and other artists would simply pay a fee equal to that of the cost of the hotel room in order to participate.

This type of fair would not aim to replace or even be an alternative to international contemporary art fairs or local arts festivals.  However if scheduled nearby in date and location to the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, for example, it could be an exciting, popular, and surprising event for visitors of both the festival and the fair.  

Such an event would furnish us with the opportunity appraise our local contemporary art, artists, and galleries and enjoy the best of what we make.  Would you support such an event with attendance or participation?    

Let’s Get a Room: Time for a Tampa Bay Art Fair

Art@Bay on Articulate: The Starving Artist’s Guide to Funding Your Project Locally

a little helpThe unending march of articles detailing the art world’s obscene materialism tends to undercut its more altruistic segments. Whereas “free money” is more elusive than the Skunk Ape in the world at large, in the art world it can be rather easy to find (albeit not entirely easy to procure).

That’s right: There exist people who want to give your awesome ideas the money they need in exchange for … well, basically nothing. Further, many of those people live and support the arts right here in Tampa Bay.

If you have an idea that will make people happy (or at least do us all some good) and are looking for funds to keep it alive, here are a few places to start.

Click here to check out the suggestions on Articulate

Art@Bay on Articulate: The Starving Artist’s Guide to Funding Your Project Locally

NYC Doesn’t Want You as Much as We Do.

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It is an eventuality nearly as certain as death: artists end up in New York City.

Most art events outside of Kings and New York counties (save for fairs and biennials) are like trees that fall in a forest.  Alright, that’s a bit hyperbolic, but only a bit.  Art critics seem to enjoy detailing the downfall of NYC to make way for the nebulous dominance of the internet.  However, Art critics also enjoy being contrary just for kicks.  Be assured, New York is still the fulcrum on which the art world turns and the final resting place for most talented artists.

Many MFA grads seem to quickly jettison themselves toward the Big Apple the moment the thesis exhibit is taken down.  With hopes of Chelsea representation and a relatively livable wage, New York dreams are difficult to resist. The rolling exodus of Florida artists to a New York Promised Land is a major reason our scene may seem comparatively stunted.

The pro/con list for artists to move to New York admittedly sags heavy on the pro side. Its easier to get paid as an artist in New York.  Artists are likely to get paid more in New York.  Granted, it is difficult to garner attention in a city saturated with artists.  However, the only thing more difficult than getting attention as an artist living in New York, is getting New York’s attention living elsewhere.

I had intended this article to be a convincing argument filled with reasons to call Tampa Bay’s art scene home.  The fact is, I could hardly come up with any beyond “It’s the right thing to do”.

Our art scene is small.  To be clear, I don’t mean it’s small compared to the New York or LA art scene.  Rather, it’s small compared to how large it should be.  I realize the numbers of artists and galleries in the Bay area have leapt in recent years.  However, the number of gallerists and artists relevant to the national contemporary art discourse has largely stagnated.

Don’t fret: it’s not our fault, this is just an economic reality.  Minor art markets, such as ours, need to bow under commercial viability just to stay afloat.  I like to think that any scene will make the best art that it can insofar as that it will sell.  Unfortunately, in the Bay area, little sells beyond decorative substanceless work.  Fortunately, there are artists and gallerists that are exceptions to this: they make and exhibit work without the hope of ever selling much or even any of it locally.  These ‘exceptions’ are also the type of artists that generally tend to migrate to a market in which they’re no longer ‘exceptions’ i.e. New York.  This pool of ‘exceptions’ is precisely the population we need to grow.

Further, an artist’s cultural value, like monetary value, is variable.  Whereas a major arts center such as NYC may dilute the cultural value of each artist, a smaller center such as Tampa Bay would inflate it.  That is to say, good artists are worth more to us because we don’t have as many of them.  Perhaps the conclusion is obvious, but it is this: quality artists do more good here than in NYC.

However, my intention is not to chastise those that choose to move to New York.  I understand your position: I haven’t decided to remain in Tampa Bay out of a sense of art-scene-virtue as much as the fact that I simply don’t want to move away from my awesome family.

Rather, for those with any sort of personal investment in our art scene: I’m only encouraging you to continue investing.  I’m not saying that we need to get all ‘Desperation’ on these artists and gallerists, but it is in our best interest to keep them in town.

NYC Doesn’t Want You as Much as We Do.

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.

Tampa Weekend Art Guide 9/14 – 9/16

Art@Bay at Sarasota Visual Art: Melting Metaphors and the RNC

West Tampa Center for the Arts – Common Sense – 8/27

Sometimes the most contentious relationships can be the most productive ones.  Artists’ and politicians’ mutual suspicion (and at times outright disdain) of each other often serves as fodder for both groups: artwork for the former and budget cuts for the latter.  Although this scuffle between art and professional politics has been playing out internationally over the course of decades something special is unfolding in Tampa Bay at the moment.  With the Republican National Convention set to descend on the area within the next couple weeks, a sort of case study of the interplay between art and politics will present itself.

Click here to read the rest of the article

Art@Bay at Sarasota Visual Art: Melting Metaphors and the RNC

Before We Get Started …

Ol’ Blackrims looking unto the bright future that is the next art season!

I was going to write a really sentimental piece on this past art season.  It totally would’ve made you cry.  No time, though.

You’re likely putting finishing touches on your latest masterpiece, tying up loose ends before the next exhibit, taking care of the last edits on your preview blog post, or just totally hyped for the art to get going again.  Now that I’ve got my first art season as a blogger under my belt (sort of – I got started half way through) I’m looking forward to my second.

A lot has happened in our little art world over the course of the last year.  Specifically, I feel like a few developments have changed or clarified the role Art at Bay should play.  With the goal of keeping you informed on Tampa Bay art, I thought I’d let you in on what I’ve been thinking.

The Tampa Bay art scene blogosphere (admittedly, a very specific sphere) has blown up this year along with the rest of the Bay area art world.  Alright, maybe “blown up” is overstating it a bit.  In regards to finding words on our art scene now, here’s where I go for what:

So, doing a quick look-over of the local blogosphere and my blog I’ve come up with a couple of conclusions:

  1. With local art information aplenty I should offer less this season – there isn’t exactly a shortage of it.  Assuming, we’re all informed, its time to begin talking about how we feel on issues unique to our scene and act on it.
  2. Though Art at Bay may have comparatively few readers – looking over the FB ‘like’ list you guys seem to be our art world who’s-who: each of you appear to have some sort of hand on the wheel steering this crazy thing.  I intend for Art at Bay to focus more on the conversation of how and where it should be steered.

Anyhow, I hope you stick with me for the upcoming season.  More importantly, I hope you join the conversation.

Before We Get Started …

The Starving Artist’s Guide to Bay Area Museums

Change for the new Biggers' exhibit, sir?

For all the vulgar excess and catering to the 1%, art love can be relatively friendly for the cash strapped (though being cash strapped in itself isn’t all that friendly).  Gallery receptions and exhibit openings are generally classy yet free affairs – something that can’t exactly be said regarding film or music.  The museum visits may require prying the wallet open.  If well-timed, however, you can stroll several local museums with your wallet pleasantly tucked away.  With that said, here is a quick museum guide for the frugal art nerd.

Tampa Museum of Art – every Friday evening – This is the first program I learned about and perhaps my favorite.  Every Friday TMoA presents Art on the House – free admission between 4pm and 8pm.  I should give a mention to Hill Ward Henderson for making the program possible.

Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburgfirst Saturday and Sunday of each month…sort of – I should start by saying that this deal also applies to the MFA as well as the TMoA and the Florida Holocaust Museum (which has respectable art exhibits of its own from time to time).  You can get free admission to the museums on the first Saturday and Sunday of each month by presenting your Bank of America debit or credit card (or Merrill Lynch credit or debit card) and a photo ID.  If the Saturday or Sunday falls on the last day of the month, the deal will apply the following weekend.

Ringling Museum of Art – every Monday – $25!  That’s how much you don’t have to pay if you visit the Ringling on a monday.  This includes free admission to their permanent collection as well as the special exhibition galleries which currently houses Sanford Biggers’ new installation.  Call in sick to work, bring two dollars for the Skyway, and how about some falafel for lunch – sounds like a rad Monday.

Polk Museum of Art – every Saturday morning –  Not to be left out is the runt of the museum bunch.  You can save your five bucks if you stop by on Saturdays from 10am to noon.  Interestingly, local favorites Theo Wujcik and Krik Ke Wang will be exhibiting at the PMoA in a couple of months.

I’m obligated to mention that visiting the museums at these times is free of charge but not free of cost to the museum.  I’m sure any of these venues would appreciate a donation if you find yourself less poor than usual.  Regardless, whether you plan on making your way to a gallery or museum, it can be done on the cheap.  Being sans-cash shouldn’t be an obstacle to enjoying art in and around the Bay.

The Starving Artist’s Guide to Bay Area Museums