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

Oct 282023

Installation by Edgar Sanchez Cumbas

The Ybor City Arts Tour was last week and was a great way to check out the many spaces currently in the Ybor City area. The Kress Contemporary building with its multiple galleries, artist studios, performance space (The Fringe Theatre), and microcinema, was definitely a highlight.

The above images are of sculptural work by Edgar Sanchez Cumbas (he was also in the Department of Contemporary Art group show in the same building). It is just one of the rotating works you can find while walking around the space.

Below are some selections from the event.

Kim Radatz opened her space, currently showing an installation focused on the “C” word.

Screen Door: An Ybor City Microcinema is always showing interesting films from a variety of genres. Pictured are the seating area and the movie posters lining the hallway outside of the film viewing area. For the art tour they were showing past Flex Fest short films.

On the third floor are a large group of artist studios with several walls hanging work by many of the artists.

Work by Jon Pannier

Sculpture by Eileen Goldenberg

Polaroid work by Brian Pannier

Lots of great work by the three very different artists that make up the Y3K Collective- Jon Pannier, Eileen Goldenberg, and Brian Pannier, seen above.

Work by Juan Espinosa (left) and Ashley Cantero (right) of Dluance

Inside Dluance

Creative space Dluance is run by visual artist Ashley Cantero and music producer/ graphic designer Juan Espinosa.

Paintings by Marilyn Binder Silverman

Paintings by Eilzabeth Fontaine-Barr

The work above is from the painters Marilyn Binder Silverman and Elizabeth Fontaine-Barr who share their studio space.

Painting by Karol Batansky

Self taught painter Karol Batansky just moved in to her new studio from the Ybor Art Colony which is closed while currently being renovated.

Mixed media artist Chase Parker makes a variety of work, including the unique sculptures pictured above.

Ron Watson creates highly detailed drawings at his Shades of Gray Studio.

Below is one of the common spaces filled with work by a selection of artists. It’s always worth a trip up from the 2nd floor galleries even if most of the artists are not in their studios to see what’s new.

Work by Jenal Dolson (left) and Michael Jones (collage, right)

The next post will focus on three spaces outside of Kress Contemporary that were also part of the tour.

Oct 202023

“Ybor’s Colonel”, Acrylic on canvas

The images above are from El Arte: Echoes of Cuba a group exhibition on view at Clearwater’s Main Library this past summer that included the work of Tampa Bay artist Lynn Rattray. The work is part of her ongoing project creating portraits of the Historic Ybor City chickens. Each work she creates includes a biography of the bird.

Information on Ybor’s Colonel from the exhibition-

“In 2016, a law was broken. In the dark of night, a dingy bedraggled rooster was dropped off in the streets of Ybor City. Thrown away by his owner, he had little chance of survival in the feral community and his future seemed bleak.

Fast forward: He ascended to become the superstar of Centennial Park. Soon stunning in both appearance and character, he was dubbed, The Colonel, and a group of diverse humans became his fan club. Our Colonel was the guardian of baby chicks and new mama hens, protecting the little families from danger. Now when this artist sits in the silence of the park, she still feels the magic of our Colonel and sheds a tear for a life well lived.”

More detail on the Ybor City chicken project from her artist statement-

…A portion of her portfolio is dedicated to the free roaming chickens of Historic Ybor City. “Why chickens”, you might ask. The history of these beautiful birds dates back to 1885, when Tampa’s cigar industry was first established by Vincent Martinez Ybor. Moving his industry first from Cuba to Key West, he ultimately rebuilt in Tampa. His hopeful workers brought their families, and their chickens, from Key West, dreaming of a new and prosperous future. When the Great Depression hit that same year, the economy crashed and the cigar factories shuttered their doors.

Forced to seek new opportunities, the workers moved on, leaving their chickens behind to fend for themselves. Having adapted to life on the streets, the descendants of those original birds proudly remain in Tampa’s Historic Ybor City, linking us all to that bygone era. It’s the descendants of these original chickens that Lynn paints. Having spent much time observing the chickens, it is each bird’s personality that she seeks to capture, as much as the likeness. Working hand-in-hand with Dylan Breese, founder of Ybor Chicken’s Society, and The Ybor Misfits Micro-Sanctuary, (@theybormisfits), a recently established 503(1)(c) non-profit designed to help sick and injured chickens.

This collaboration assures that each portrait reflects not only the likeness but more importantly, the personality of the bird.

Rattray has a studio in the Kress Contemporary building in Ybor City and it is often open to the public. There you can find more of her chicken portraits as well as see the other charming paintings she is working on. The image below is of her studio at last night’s Ybor Arts Tour.


Oct 142023

A flashback to earlier this year and checking out Juan Alonso-Rodriguez’s studio when he opened it for St. Pete’s 2nd Saturday ArtWalk. His studio will be open again for this month’s ArtWalk and is filled with all new and different work.

You can also check out his studio on Instagram.

Jan 312023

Pictured at the top is local artist Van Der Luc’s mural for the 2022 edition of SHINE Mural Festival in St. Pete.

He is one of the artists at The Studios @5663 in Pinellas Park. It’s a great place to see what local artists are making and working on.

On the fourth Saturday of the month Pinellas Arts Village hosts a block party with vendors, open galleries and studios, crafts, live music, and food. It’s a fun event that offers the opportunity to check out what local artists are working on.