Hillsborough has a lot worth your time this week! At the moment I’ve got a few really exciting projects eating up all of my time (I’ll elaborate on them later this month) so I won’t be able to detail these events. However, this is not a listing – these are my earnest recommendations. Of the all of the events happening outside of Pinellas county this week, these are the ones you need to see.
Don’t let the rain keep you in this weekend. If the wet won’t slow you down, the art will keep pace this weekend. Just drive safely. We’ve got a recommendation on either side of the Bay this weekend.
Saturday night the Morean Arts Center opens Leave a Message: Urban Art in Florida. With the recent quasi-drama of the Warehouse District’s murals, this exhibit couldn’t be timelier. In fact, the artist at center of the sort-of-controversy, Akud-Acut, will be among the group exhibited This making the cities initial stance all the more silly: you can pay Akud-Acut to paint on your walls, but only certain ones. I get the uneasy feeling the city wants Miami’s money draw without turning into the Wynwood district. It’s like ordering your McNuggets while asking them to hold the chicken. But that’s neither here nor there.
Street Art stopped being edgy about seven years ago. However, rather than get boring it just grew up. It’s like putting down Rage Against the Machine to listen to Fugazi. This is why the Morean Arts Center’s exhibit is timely in larger sense – Street art has grown into a mature form worth spending some time considering. Directly and indirectly, urban art now tackles heavy issues such as property, permission, and class concerns among others. The aforementioned Warehouse District goings-on gives the work a concrete relevancy that I wish happened more often.
If somehow this exhibit hasn’t yet reached your cool threshold, there is also an after party down the street at Sake Bomb.
USFCAM – In Residence, Reception and Panel Discussion Fri 6/08 6pm-9pm
The USF Contemporary Art Museum is exhibiting the work of four Miami based artists in the show In Residence. Expect this show to be much more cerebral than the above mentioned.
I wrote my latest editorial for Sarasota Visual Art prior to reading about this exhibit. Oddly, the last three paragraphs of the article describing a peculiarly Floridian art culture reads like a preview to this exhibit. In Residence addresses the relationship between people and place, humans and nature. At times the relationship is depicted as a power struggle, other times as nearly sexual. For example, consider Christy Gast’s video work. A figure in a Tuxedo taps along the Herbert Hoover Dike – an enormous example of civilization attempting to exert control over nature (and a reminder of nature’s ability to overwhelm civilization). It’s difficult to tell if Gast’s dancer is celebrating the environment and the structure, or it she is being sarcastic.
The drama of the natural world and the city is not exclusive to Florida. However these artists show how the state uniquely typifies it. The scenes and ideas should be familiar but innovatively presented. Please, don’t miss this exhibit.
Perhaps, it was the closest I’ve come to foraging. I don’t make it to the USF campus as often as I’d like. I was lost looking for the USF Centre Gallery, ready to give up, and about to set up camp for the night at the bus stop in front of the Sun Dome. However, USF is once again impelling me to make the trip and I intend to brave it. This time we’re heading to the USF Contemporary Art Museum.
USF CAM – Sand in the Vacuum – MFA 2012 Graduation Exhibition Fri 3/30 7pm-9pm
This Friday USF CAM and the USF School of Art and Art History will be introducing the 2012 graduating MFA artists through a group exhibit. I see that reluctant look on your face (that’s right, I can see you through your webcam). You’re worried this could be a show of almost-artists. You can be at ease, though – this isn’t like your elementary school graduation exhibit. Rather, these MFA graduates are (or should be) artists in their own right and some already have rather impressive and long CV’s. For example one of the exhibitors, Biff Bolen, brings some of the most exciting painting locally with past work being featured in New American Painting‘s MFA issue. Also, look out for work from Cynthia Mason and Serhat Tanyolaçar among others.
You can expect the exhibition to be an interesting and engaging one. Other than churning out degrees and massive student loan debt, MFA programs also allow artists to experiment without being hampered by saleability concerns. The MFA 2012 Graduation Exhibition will likely include style and mediums we encounter less often, particularly from area artists. I strongly suggest attending, enjoying the work, and attempting to convince the artists to stick around the Bay area and help out with the cause.
RINGLING COLLEGE AUDITORIUM – “SPEAKING OF MY WORK” TALK BY SANFORD BIGGERS FRI 3/30 3:30PM FREE ADMISSION
The artist Sanford Biggers will be giving a free and public talk this Friday afternoon. Biggers creates beautiful, politically and culturally aware installations. Biggers’ talk coincides with a new installation opening the same day at the Ringling Museum and being the 2010 recipient of the Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat. I know it’s a bit of a drive for many of you, but the installation/talk combo should make the ride worth it. You know you’re going to stop by the Ellenton Outlet Mall on the way anyway.
If you’ve read the recent post “How to Take Brooding to the Max“, you know I’ve been brooding over active engagement. I’m aware “active engagement” sounds like a left over from a PTA meeting. But because you’re too awesome to sit idly and let the art happen to you, this weekend is your chance to engage actively to the max.
I understand this may seem to be a strange recommendation given that Contribute isn’t exactly an art event. If you’re worried about not getting your art fix (either because your fresh out of methadone or you just like checking out art every weekend) don’t stress: you’re not missing much. The only reception I could find going on this weekend (USF Centre Gallery) had little information a lot of man cleavage.
Contribute is a public forum on community action: a panel discussion! I love panel discussions. For fun I call having dinner with my wife a panel discussion. My dog enjoys it because he gets to be the moderator. Anyhow, Contribute specifically addresses community action and participation in regards to St. Petersburg and the rest of the Bay area. Each Contribute event has a different theme, this Saturday’s being “collaboration”.
The panel speakers will be (hang in there for this long list of creds) Hampton Dohrman, director of Creative Pinellas and founder of Hampton Arts Management; Larry Biddle, the principal at Sweet Spot Ads and director of the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival; James Howard, publisher of Creative Loafing and Ybor City Museum Society Board of Directors member; and John Morrow, the president of Morrow Consultants, LLC. The moderator will be Mitch Perry, Creative Loafing’s News and Politics Editor.
It’s easy to see that though this isn’t an art event, this list has some notable friends of the art scene. No doubt, the discussion will veer in arts & culture direction during the discussion. It’ll be interesting to see if any collaboration is born out of this forum. You’ve been informed art-nerds – get your networking shoes on and head to the ‘Burg. Also, if this event leaves you public-forum-hungry, word on the streets (i.e. Facebook) is that Creative Pinellas will have a press conference on Tuesday 2/28 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.
If Your Starting You’re Art Weekend Tonight:
USFCAM – Mark Dion Gallery Talk and Scavenger Hunt Not only does this sound like fun but among other things there’s a Taco Bus gift certificate up for grabs. The event is free, open to the public, and 6pm-8pm.
This Thursday (1/26/12) the USF Contemporary Art Museum will be hosting a performance by Christian Marclay and Shelley Hirsch. If Christian Marclay’s name is sounding familiar it may be for a couple reasons. Marclay is featured in Tempus Projects’ Things Not Seen Before exhibit but you may know him from winning the Golden Lion at the 2011 Venice Bienalle. If you’re unfamiliar with the Golden Lion, that’s like winning the World Series of art (if by ‘World Series’ they really meant the world and not just the US and Toronto).
Vocalist/composer/performance artist Shelley Hirsch will be interpreting and performing Marclay’s Manga Scroll (above), vocalising the onomatopoeic piece. The two artists will also perform Zoom Zoom (I bet you’re already thinking of Mazda) where Marclay displays images of onomatopoeia’s generally found in advertising and packaging while Hirsch vocally responds.
A night of out-loud onomatopoieas – you know this is more fun than what you had planned for Thursday. If you’re planning on going tickets are $15, $10 for staff, and free for students with an ID. I heard the tickets are selling quickly so pick them up as soon as you can and have a great time…POW!
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.
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
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.