Feb 262024
 

Willie Cole, “American Domestic”, 2016, Digital Print

Tom Laidman, “Broadway”, 1993 and “Bois Ma Petite”, 1999, Lithograph on paper

Currently on view at Akron Museum of Art is RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore, a collection of art from the Wesley and Missy Cochran collection, organized into themes exploring aspects of African American history and culture. The show features many well known and lesser known artists including Amiri Baraka, Beverly Buchanan, Willie Cole, Trenton Doyle Hancock, William Pope.L., Tom Laidman, Jacob Lawrence, Alison Saar and more.

From the museum about the exhibition-

African folklore has been around as long as humankind, and the African diaspora in America has added new dimensions to its rich history. African American folk stories teach about culture, the mysteries of life, and the survival of a race of people bought and sold who continue to thrive in an unjust society.

“RETOLD: African American Art and Folklore” focuses on four themes: Remembering, Religion, Racialization, and Resistance. These themes provide a comprehensive retelling of the works featured in the exhibition. In many of the pieces, the artist’s muse connects closely with stories that have been told generation after generation. Folklore texts are featured throughout the space as a means to retell a richer, deeper story of African American culture.

There are more than forty artists represented in this exhibition, all holding one similar truth: their story of joy and struggle in the African American experience.

In addition to the artwork, there is also an educational video produced by Josh Toussaint-Strauss of The Guardian that explores the misconceptions about Haitian Voudou that is worth a watch.

How ‘voodoo’ became a metaphor for evil

Jan 292024
 

Whimzeyland, the “Bowling Ball House”, is a local landmark located in Safety Harbor, Florida, created by artists Todd Ramquist and Kiaralinda.

About the house from their website

In 1985, they purchased the beige house on Third Street in Safety Harbor, Florida. They traveled everywhere, actively seeking out inspirational and unusual places. Inspired by these travels, they began transforming their house. One of the earliest additions were the wooden triangles to the eaves of their house. The beige house became bold in color, too.

One day, they went to a flea market and saw a sign that said that anybody could take 10 free bowling balls. They took the bowling balls and began painting and placing them around the property. This is how they became known as the bowling ball house of Safety Harbor.

Todd and Kiaralinda even branched out of decorating their home, creating two different art cars, designed a restaurant, and making public sculptures, among other things. They began calling themselves the Whimzey Twinz because they work together on all of their projects.

Their travels soon included visits to folk artists and artists that they met at their shows. These friends visited them, too. Todd and Kiaralinda’s bowling balls inspired many of them. They would create bowling balls for Todd and Kiaralinda, who got so many of these works from artist friends that they started a gallery in their home. They created a “Call for Balls” which made a lot more of these art works roll into their home. Today, they have over 80 bowling balls from various artists around the world and people still bring them bowling balls as gifts.

If you are in the area, make sure to also stop by Safety Harbor Art and Music Center (SHAMc), a nonprofit they opened in 2017. It has an art gallery and shop, and hosts music events and art classes as well.

 

Dec 172023
 

The Arts Annual at Creative Pinellas is always a great way to see what the artists in the area are creating. For 2023’s larger than ever edition, there is also a separate space for a video program that includes short films, theater productions, poetry readings, musical performances and more.

Artists included in the exhibition-

Tatiana Baccari, Elizabeth Barenis, Christina Bertsos, Daniel Barojas, Chomick + Meder, Courtney Clute, Neverne Covington, Sheila Cowley, Patricia Kluwe Derderian, Nikki Devereux, Javier T Dones, Dunedin Music Society, Sara Ries Dziekonski, Sarah Emery, Roxanne Fay, Jean Blackwell Font, John Gascot, Denis Gaston, Mason Gehring, Donald Gialanella, Jim Gigurtsis, Kevin Grass, Sheree L. Greer, Jason Hackenwerth, Steph Hargrove, Patrick Arthur Jackson, Reid Jenkins, Kenny Jensen, Charlotte Johnson, Victoria Jorgensen, Steven Kenny, Candace Knapp, Akiko Kotani, Teresa Mandala, Cora Marshall, Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse, Miss Crit, Mark Mitchell, Chad Mize, Desiree Moore, Zoe Papas, Gianna Pergamo, Rose Marie Prins, Gabriel Ramos, Babs Reingold, George Retkes, Heather Rippert, Ashley Rivers, Marlene Rose, Ric Savid, Tom Sivak, Sketzii, Emily Stehle, Rachel Stewart, Erica Sutherlin, Takeya Trayer, Judy Vienneau, Kirk Ke Wang, Angela Warren, and Joseph Weinzettle

The show is on view until 12/31/23.

Below are some additional selections from the exhibition.  

Reid Jenkins, “Holding Court”, Acrylic

Candace Knapp, “What the Blue Heron Sees” and “The Light Within” Acrylic on canvas

Daniel Barojas, “Future Ancestor”, Gouache, acrylic, gold leaf on canvas and “Future Ancestor #3”, Gouache and resin on paper

Rachel Stewart, “Caribbean Currents” Colored pencil, oil stick and collage on Archers archival paper; “Under a Different Sky”, Wall installation Painted relief wood construction with cooper and mixed media materials; Printing Ink and collage on rice paper

Mark Mitchell, “The BurgHive”, Acrylic on Hexagonal canvases

Sketzii,”Out of the Pink Concrete”, “Reclamando Mis Raices” and “A Señora’s Dream”, Acrylic on canvas

Steph Hargrove, “Catch You Later”, Acrylic paint, paper on canvas

Marlene Rose, “Three Bell Tower”, Sandcast glass and “Map Triptych” Sandcast glass

Heather Rippert, “Shakti” (center) and “Hawk 1, 2, and 3”, acrylic on canvas

 

 

Dec 072023
 

In the Deep Space of the Sea I Have Found My Moon by Ales Bask Hostomsky aka BASK was created for the 2020 edition of the SHINE Mural Festival in St. Pete, Florida.

You can also see his work at his exhibition B.A.S.K.: Because Art Should Kill at The University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, on view until 12/15/23.

Nov 292023
 

Kimowan Metchewais, “Cold Lake Fishing”, 2004/06

Koyoltzintli, “Gathering Roots” and “Spider Woman Embrace”, Abiquiú, New Mexico, 2019, from the series MEDA, 2018/19, Archival pigment print

Alan Michelson “Hanödagayas (Town Destroyer): Whirlwind Series”, 2022 Archival pigment prints and “Pehin Hanska ktepi (They Killed Long Hair)”, 2021 Single-channel video installation: wool blanket and video projection; 1:05 minutes (looped), no sound

Currently at the USF Contemporary Art Museum is Native America: In Translation curated by Wendy Red Star and organized by Aperture. The work included offers viewers a chance to discover new perspectives on the Native American experience.

From the museum-

“The ultimate form of decolonization is through how Native languages form a view of the world. These artists provide sharp perceptions, rooted in their cultures.” —Wendy Red Star

Native America: In Translation assembles the wide-ranging work of nine Indigenous artists who pose challenging questions about identity and heritage, land rights, and histories of colonialism. Probing the legacies of settler colonialism, and photography’s complex and often fraught role in constructing representation of Native cultures, the exhibition includes works by lens-based artists offering new perspectives on Indigenous identity, reimagining what it means to be a citizen in North America today.

Works included in the exhibition address cultural and visual sovereignty by reclaiming Native American identity and representation. Honoring ancestral traditions and stories tied to the land, Koyoltzintli (Ecuadorian-American, b. 1983) reflects on how the landscape embodies traditional knowledge, language, and memories. Nalikutaar Jacqueline Cleveland’s (Yup’ik, b. 1979) photographs of contemporary tribal communities in western Alaska document Native foraging and cultural traditions as a form of knowledge passed through generations. Revealing stories of trauma and healing, Guadalupe Maravilla (American, b. El Salvador, 1976) communicates autobiographical and fictional narratives informed by myth and his own migration story.

Expanding Indigenous archives and collective memory through photographic means, works by the late artist Kimowan Metchewais (Cree, Cold Lake First Nations, 1963–2011), drawn from his personal archive of Polaroid photographs, construct self-realized Native imagery challenging the authority of colonial representation. Excavating repressed colonial histories of invasion and eviction, Alan Michelson (Mohawk, Six Nations of the Grand River, b. 1953) reinterprets and repositions archival material to redress history from an Indigenous perspective. Marianne Nicolson’s (Musgamakw Dzawada’enuxw First Nations, b. 1969) light-based installation projects Dzawada’enuxw tribal symbols of authority and power onto colonized spaces to contest treaties that imposed territorial boundaries on Indigenous lands. Duane Linklater (Omaskêko Ininiwak from Moose Cree First Nation, b. 1976) reconfigured the pages sourced from a 1995 issue of Aperture, featuring Indigenous artists, creating space for artistic improvisation and reinvention across generations.

Reflecting on performative aspects of Indigeneity and the colonial gaze, Martine Gutierrez’s (American, b. 1989) series of photographs reinterpret high-fashion magazine spreads with a revolving roster of identities and narratives to question Native gender and heritage. Working across performance and photography, Rebecca Belmore (Anishinaabe, Lac Seul First Nation, b. 1960) creates powerful reenactments of past performances incorporating organic materials that reference knowledge, labor, and care of the Earth in defiance of state violence of Indigenous people.

This exhibition closes 12/1/23.

Rebecca Belmore, “matriarch”, 2018, and “mother” from the series “nindinawemaganidog (all of my relations)”, 2018, Archival pigment prints

Photos by Rebecca Belmore and Installation by Marianne Nicolson

Marianne Nicolson’s installation detail

Marianne Nicolson’s installation detail

Nalikutaar Jacqueline Cleveland, “Molly Alexie and her children after a harvest of beach greens in Quinhagak, Alaska”, 2018 and “There are two main Yup’ ik names for crowberries or blackberries in Alaska, “paunrat” and “tangerpiit””, 2017, Archival pigment prints

Guadalupe Maravilla, “I Crossed the Border Retablo”, 2021, Oil on tin, cotton, glue mixture, wood

Guadalupe Maravilla, “I Crossed the Border Retablo”, 2021, detail

Duane Linklater, “ghost in the machine”, 2021, Archival pigment prints

Duane Linklater, “ghost in the machine”, 2021, Archival pigment prints

Martine Gutierrez, “Queer Rage, Dear Diary, No Signal During VH1’s Fiercest Divas”, and “Queer Rage, THat Girl Was Me, Now She’s A Somebody”, 2018. digital chromogenic print

One of Kimowan Metchewais’ polaroids from the slide show

 

 

Nov 282023
 

Lisa McCarthy “Joy Ride”, 2023, mixed media on paper (left) and Georgia Vahue, “Peacock”, 2023, mixed media

(clockwise from upper left) Georgia Vahue “Isn’t it Romantic”, 2022-3 mixed media; Lisa McCarthy “Awkward Attachment”, 2023, mixed media on canvas; Georgia Vahue “Time to Finish My Hand”, 2023, mixed media; Lisa McCarthy “Shot Gun”, 2023, mixed media on paper

Lisa McCarthy “All the books I bought and never read”, 2023, mixed media on paper (left) and Georgia Vahue “Turquoise”, 2023, mixed media and “Las Vegas”, 2023, mixed media

Clockwise from left- Georgia Vahue’s mixed media works- “Felicitations” 2023, “Travel Log”, 2023 and “Robert Browning”, 2023

Currently on view at HCCFL’s Gallery 221, located on their Dale Mabry campus, is Leftovers- assemblages by Georgia Vahue and mixed media paintings by Lisa McCarthy.

From the artists about the exhibition-

Things that are “left over” in our lives speak to our priorities. Regardless of their composition, the fact that something remains after a time can elicit strong reactions of nostalgia or urgency. Whether they are collectibles, old books, identities, leftover meals, or simple mementos, these things can be prized just as easily as they can be neglected. Even though tastes and perceptions change over time, we find ourselves drawn to the past for novelties and material to create with something new.

Leftovers are a loaded source, full of possibility and untapped potential. Their hold on us can remain for one second, a minute, an hour, day, or century. As leftover items sit, hide, or are abandoned for whatever reason, they mature into something else. In the context of art, the act of examining these elements closer, again and again, makes the artist aware of qualities one did not see or appreciate beforehand. Only with this careful attention can we help these leftovers transition into the future.

Although very different in medium, the works play off each other well, creating interesting conversations between the pieces. McCarthy has even created drawings on the pedestals based on objects and elements from Vahue’s work.

The closing reception for the exhibition on Thursday (11/30/23) will include an artist talk beginning at 6pm.

Below are additional paintings by McCarthy including the incredibly detailed wall length mural.

Lisa McCarthy “Enter Here”, 2022, mixed media on mylar

Lisa McCarthy “Enter Here”, 2022, mixed media on mylar (detail)

Lisa McCarthy, “Bon Marché”, 2023, mixed media on paper

Lisa McCarthy “Passers by the window”, 2023, oil and acrylic on canvas

Nov 142023
 

One of the two Creative Liberties spaces in the Limelight District

On the second Saturday of every month artists from the Sarasota Studio Artists Association open their studios around Sarasota, Florida. One place to stop is the Limelight District where you can find Creative Liberties, Palmer Modern, and The Bazaar.

Founded by artists Barbara Gerdeman and Elizabeth Goodwill, Creative Liberties opened its first location at the end of 2021 and the second in February of this year. Along with the artist studios, the space hosts exhibitions and classes for children and adults.

The exhibition space and tables from a finished class from September 2023

If you go make sure to also check out the delightful Free Little Art Gallery. Created by artist Judy Robertson and modeled after the Free Little Libraries, you are encouraged to take a piece of art, leave a piece of art, or sometimes just admire what’s been donated. There is one for work by adults and for children’s art work.

Below are images from a few of the artist’s spaces in the Creative Liberties buildings.

Paintings by Lisa DiFranza

Paintings by Adrienne Watts

Paintings by David Sigel

Photography by Henry Martin

Work by Sandra Wix

Paintings by Cheryl Taub

Paintings by Ava Young

Work by Creative Liberties founder Barbara Gerdeman

Work by artists Traci Kegerreis and Sandy Koolkin

On the next page- Palmer Modern and The Bazaar

Nov 092023
 

The University of Tampa’s Scarfone/Hartley Gallery is currently showing the creatively displayed B.A.S.K.: Because Art Should Kill, work by Aleš Bask Hostomsky aka BASK. The exhibition also allows visitors a chance to participate by adding their own marks to a wall in the show.

From the gallery-

Known for his iconomorphic revisitation of contemporary images, BASK’s work highlights the transformative ability of hybridization. Offering layered deconstruction and reconstruction, each piece pushes viewers to look anew at culturally infused images and text, in order to consider what they say about the viewer and the culture that developed them.

BASK’s bricolage style takes the known and familiar, the distressed and destroyed, and merges them to create windows through which visitors can explore places of unanchored interpretations and ask a multitude of questions of the piece and of their interpretations.

This exhibition closes 12/15/23.

 

Nov 072023
 

Featured artist at Art Harvest- Michelle Mardis

Paintings by John Maurer

Paintings by John Maurer

The weather this past weekend was perfect for enjoying two big outdoor art events in the Tampa Bay area- the annual Art Harvest juried art show in Dunedin and the autumn edition of the biannual Art in the Yard event in Gulfport (the next one is next year in March).

Wendy Boucher’s collages made entirely of paper on canvas

More work by Wendy Boucher

Linda Heath’s work

Linda Heath (work above) uses the Gyotaku technique to make prints from the fish she catches in the Gulf of Mexico.

Below are a few artists from Art in the Yard-

A homemade sign from Art in the Yard

Art in the Yard is a great way to interact with local Gulfport artists and to see their creations. Stopping at the home of The Oiseaux Sisters (Susan Andrews and Carolyn Fellman), is a journey into their whimsical world. The head above was filled with little cards with their website and a different word, like a fortune, on each. My card read “Surrender”. All around their property you can find work hidden among the vegetation, on walls, and in among tables of materials they use for their work.

Outside at The Oiseaux Sisters’ home

Outside at the The Oiseaux Sisters’ home (the upper left work is a recreation of an image of Tallulah Bankhead turned into a movable figure)

Mixed media works by Dorian Angello

Jayne van der Voordt’s house had lots of fun decorated mannequins and mannequin body parts

 

Nov 042023
 

Jenn Ryann Miller’s charming creations, seen above, are currently on view at Tempus Projects in the Kress Contemporary building in  Ybor City for her solo exhibition, Hobby House.

From the gallery-

Hobby House– where art meets self-indulgence, subversion meets humor, and creativity meets absurdity. With ceramics, sterling silver, a little photography and a lot of gemstones Hobby House presents objects that are meticulously crafted for no good reason other than looking fabulous. Hobby House contemplates the places and practices of art making with humor, irony, and a little wit.

Jenn Ryann Miller explores materiality and aesthetics through sculpture and painting. With a background in functional ceramics, her work subverts tradition and process through the experimentation with oblique materials and forms. Miller has been part of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Florida and the United States. Originally from Connecticut, she received a BFA from the University of Connecticut and MA from the University of South Florida. Miller currently teaches ceramics at the University of South Florida.

In another of the Tempus Projects gallery spaces is Justin Myers‘ exhibition, What Did We Use To Say, seen below, which uses collage along with a video and sound installation to explore the concept of memory.

From the gallery and artist-

What Did We Use To Say? Trying to remember things from the past from distorted and fragmented memories. Is that really how it happened? With intention, the mind has the ability to erase just as easily as it does create. The mind decides what stays and what gets purged for the new. Are you in control? Or is the subconscious doing as it pleases? In this work, I explore deconstruction, recomposition, and sampling, and their impact on memory and perception.

Justin Myers, a Tampa Native, is a member of music projects Justin Depth, Alien House, and Diamond Man. He also is the co-founder of Tampa-based record label, Image Research Records.

Justin studied printmaking at HCC in Ybor City and began experimenting with sculpture and installation-based works during his time there. Myers finds inspiration from discarded imagery, random thought, and spontaneous actions. Over the last 10 years, Myers has participated in numerous exhibitions at Tempus Projects, including the T-shirt shows, Mix Tape Show, Return to Sender, and an offsite window installation as part of a partnership with Downtown Tampa and more. In 2020, Myers partnered with his brother, Jeremy Myers on a virtual exhibit with Tempus Projects titled, “One Day of Perfect”. Justin has been involved with Tempus Projects since his music project Alien House made its debut performance in November of 2011.

Both of these exhibitions are on view until 12/14/23.