Jan 022024
 

Frank Weston Benson, “Natalie”, 1917, Oil on canvas

Childe Hassam, “Gathering Flowers in a French Garden”, 1888, Oil on canvas

Luther Emerson Van Gorder, “In the Park”, before 1894, Oil on canvas

Tampa Museum of Art’s current exhibition, Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum, features paintings by American and European impressionists and is a lovely reminder of the extraordinary works these artists created during this time period. The enduring popularity of the impressionists throughout the years makes sense when walking among these paintings. The use of color and brush work, as well as the details and beauty of the subject matter (not to mention the wealth and comfort often depicted)- make the viewer feel like they are being transported through time to the artist’s idyllic world.

From the museum-

In 2024, the term “impressionism” celebrates its 150th anniversary. Such a significant occasion inspires reflection on the profound impact that a relatively small group of artists in Paris made by positing a new mode of painting: one that favored painting outdoors over in a studio, immediacy over planning, the everyday over the grand, and the fleeting over the eternal. In doing so, the impressionists upended centuries of traditions in European art. This exhibition explores the radical impulses behind impressionism and its seemingly endless adaptability, as artists from around the world came to Paris to study and returned to their homelands, assimilating what they had absorbed and propelling the movement further.

The Worcester Art Museum pioneered new artistic horizons by embracing impressionism early in its history. The French and American impressionism collections at the Worcester Art Museum have long drawn visitors to the galleries. The first directors purchased works by Monet from his Parisian dealer, Durand-Ruel, as well as directly from American impressionists, making the Museum one of the first in the United States to collect impressionism actively as contemporary art. Over the past 125 years, this collection has grown, encapsulating the story of the movement’s roots and emergence in France and its subsequent expansion to the United States, Germany, Scandinavia, and beyond. Highlighting more than 30 artists, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro, Mary Cassatt, Childe Hassam, and Max Slevogt, this exhibition demonstrates impressionism’s international allure, captured in subjects as far-flung as Monet’s famed Giverny lily pond to the natural wonders of the Grand Canyon.

Below are a few more selections from the show.

Max Slevogt, “Selbstbildnis im Garten (A Self-Portrait in the Garden at Godgramstein), 1910, Oil on canvas

Max Slevogt, “Selbstbildnis im Garten (A Self-Portrait in the Garden at Godgramstein), 1910, Oil on canvas (detail)

Paul Signac, “Golfe Juan”, 1896, Oil on canvas

Thomas Cole, “View on the Arno, near Florence”, 1837, Oil on canvas

Lovis Corinth, “Vordem Spiegel (At the Mirror)”, 1912, Oil on canvas

John Singer Sargent, “Katherine Chase Pratt”, 1890, Oil on canvas

About the unfinished painting above (from the museum)-

A successful society portraitist, Sargent painted the elite from his international social circles. In June 1890, Sargent visited Worcester, Massachusetts, where he was inundated by requests for portraits. The sitter’s father, Frederick Pratt, a noted collector and eventual acting director of the Worcester Art Museum (1908 and 1917), became friends with the artist and invited him to return a few months later to paint his daughter, Katherine- although the idea for Katherine’s portrait originated in Sargent’s first trip to Worcester, when he had made a sketch of hydrangeas. Sargent’s vision of Katherine against a backdrop of flowers, however, proved less than satisfactory for his client and he abandoned the painting for another, more formal depiction. As an unfinished work, this painting reveals the immediacy of Sargent’s process, with careful attention to broad swaths of color and patterns in the brushwork to convey flower petals or folds of clothing.

This exhibition will be on view until 1/7/2024.

Dec 292023
 

This year The James Museum partnered with SHINE Mural Festival and Chenlin Cai to create the mural seen above, The Path We Came. It was inspired by the museum’s current exhibition From Far East to West: The Chinese American Frontier.

Dec 292023
 

Hung Liu “Portrait of China Mary”, 2006, Oil on canvas

Currently at The James Museum in St. Pete, is From Far East to West: The Chinese American Frontier, an informative show that includes many beautiful paintings. There’s so much history in America that often doesn’t get taught in school. This is a great opportunity to learn about this immigration story through artwork as well as text.

From the museum about the exhibition-

While European American settlers gradually pushed the United States frontier westward throughout the 1800s, the West coast of the country was developing independently as well. Accelerated by the discovery of gold mid-century, the population boom included Chinese immigrants who crossed the Pacific Ocean to California.

Most 19th century Chinese immigrants came to their new country from the coastal Canton region (province of Guangdong today) in southeastern China. Starting over on a different continent away from familiar surroundings and culture would be challenging, but for many decades anti-Chinese hostility and exclusion laws made settling in the United States even more difficult. The achievements of Chinese immigrants paved a path for future generations and are a testament to strength and perseverance.

The foundation for the exhibition highlights narratives of Chinese America from the 1850s to the 1930s. The paintings-all created by Chinese Americans in the 21st century-reflect inspiration from this history. The painters are also fueled by their own, more recent immigration stories to the United States after China’s Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and their rigorous art training in the government-sponsored movement of Socialist Realism. After China opened to the rest of the world in the late 1970s, many Chinese artists-like Mian Situ, Jie Wei Zhou, Benjamin Wu, Hung Liu, and Z.S. Liang, all featured here were inspired to immigrate to the United States in search of greater opportunity.

Here, these artists’ historical interpretations speak to culture, identity, community, and resilience. Related objects and ephemera from the period support these stories. From the Gold Rush to Angel Island, this exhibition reveals often overlooked but significant contributions and perspectives of Chinese immigrants that deepen our understanding of U.S. history.

Hung Liu “Dandelion with Small Bird”, 2017 Mixed media

About the above painting from the museum-

Dandelions and their fluffy seed pods can be found anywhere in the world and thrive wherever they land. Their migratory nature allows them to survive a journey across vast lands even across oceans and take root anywhere in the world. For Liu, the dandelion represents her own tenacity and ability to thrive in the face of adversity.

The dandelions, fragile in nature and tattered by the lightest breeze, mimic how images, and personal narratives, too, can be scattered by time and the winds of history —as well as by the rhythms of feast and famine …
Hung Liu

Mian Situ “Blasting a Route Through the Sierra Nevada, 1865, Central Pacific Railroad”, 2018, Oil on canvas

Mian Situ “The Gold Seekers , Chinese Camp, 1850”, 2015, Oil on canvas

Jie Wei Zhou “Dragon Parade”, 2012, Oil on Linen

This exhibition is on view until 1/28/24.

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 122023
 


Heiress Gallery in St. Pete is currently showing Melissa Spitz’s solo show You Have Nothing to Worry About, a moving portrait of her mother’s mental illness and substance abuse.

From the gallery about the exhibition-

In her solo exhibition at HEIRESS, Spitz presents medium-to large-format prints of her iconic images. The works are installed in a chaotic environment, scattered amongst the detritus of familial tragedy: her mother is found in the context of hundreds of pills and pill bottles, a glimpse into the chaos that Spitz and her family have dealt with for many years. Thousands of 4×6 glossy photos are scattered on a table in the center of the space and invites gallery visitors to attempt to make sense of the nostalgia that they hold. In addition to photographs, Spitz has included new sculptural works including ten enameled hammers titled, You Are the Nail, which encourages an examination of the over-reliance of pharmaceutical solutions in the United States. Spitz’s work freezes moments of chaos in time, to be dissected and understood by the artist after the fact. The majority of her most intimate traumatic life experiences are captured through her lens, and finds a second life in the digital sphere on Instagram, to a community of over 50 thousand followers, which blurs the lines between catharsis and entertainment.

From the artist about the exhibition-

Since 2009, I have been making photographs of my mentally ill, substance-abusing mother. Her diagnoses change frequently-from alcoholism to dissociative identity disorder–and my relationship with her has been fraught with animosity for as long as I can remember. I am fully aware that my mother thrives on being the center of attention and that, at times, our portrait sessions encouraged her erratic behavior.

The photographs are simultaneously upsetting and encouraging; honest and theatrical; loving and hateful. By turning the camera toward my mother and my relationship with her, I capture her behavior as an echo of my own emotional response. The images function like an on going conversation.

The series in installation form encourages an examination of the role prescription drugs play in the United States. Aiming to prompt discussions on the cultural, social, and individual implications of an overreliance on pharmaceutical solutions. Through visual metaphors and imagery, You Have Nothing to Worry about continues to raise awareness about the need for a balanced and holistic approach to health and well-being. While acknowledging the limitations and potential pitfalls of relying solely on prescription medications.

The immersive exhibition functions as a thought-provoking commentary on the pervasive and complex issue of prescription drug culture in America. Through the meticulous arrangement of pill bottles, pills, photographs, and family ephemera, I seek to engage viewers in a dialogue about the consequences of our society’s reliance on pharmaceutical drugs.

The Vanity, pictured above, which includes family notes and photos, adds even more depth to the family’s struggles.

From the artist-

I have always been interested in sculptural installations and photography. Sandy Skoglund, Jeff Wall and Carrie Mae Weems are a few big names who have directly inspired me. The obsessive nature of details and experience only add to telling a story and I’ve been eager to find a way to participate. This vanity belonged to my great-aunt Sophie and has been in my bedroom my whole life, it went to college and graduate school with me, and my brother has been storing it since I moved to New York. This exhibition presented the perfect opportunity to utilize it. Informed by actual experiences, The Vanity, showcases family ephemera, letters from my mom, pill bottles, scattered pills, lipsticks and flickering candles. The mirror allows viewers to reflect on their own shared familiarity.

Spitz also created You Are The Nail, pictured below, for the exhibition.

Her description of the work-

I’m not sure when I first heard the phrase “when your only tool is a hammer, you begin to see everything as a nail” but it was used regarding my mom being over medicated and her prescriptions mixing, sending her into another psychotic episode. It wasn’t the doctors’ fault, or mom’s or the pharmacist but the drugs, they were to blame. I was frustrated and angry and confused, but too young to understand that doctors received kickbacks for writing certain prescriptions and that patients like my mom were a goldmine. I do want to be clear that I know anti-psychotic medications have saved people’s lives and mom would not be able to function normally without a carefully balanced mix of mood stabilizers, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety pills. But all too quickly do I find doctors in almost any capacity pushing drugs on me…I was alarmed to learn that the United States pharmaceutical industry generates over 110 bilion dollars of revenue each year.

You are the Nail is a series of ten hammers representing the ten most prescribed anti-psychotic / antidepressant pharmaceutical drugs in the United States. Several of which my mom is prescribed. Informed by Abraham Maslow’s theory of over reliance, you are the nail visually depicts our mental health field’s greatest tool, prescription drugs. The hammers are titled, Zoloft, Lexapro, Trazadone, Prozac, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Seroquel, Celexa, Vensir and Abilify.

This exhibition closes 1/13/24.

Dec 122023
 

Artists from L to R: Julie Schumer, Vivien Collens (sculpture), Maggie Kruger, and Blair Vaughn-Gruler

Renee Mendler, “Rainbow Vision I and II”, Acrylic, Gold leaf, and resin on panel (left) and “Pure Joy No. 10 and No. 14”, Acrylic on canvas by Hans Petersen

Imani Bilál, “If Dreams Could Wander”, Acylic paint and ink on canvas (left) and work from the “Accumulation” series by Blair Vaughn-Gruler, Oil, mixed media, wood, on canvas

Michelle Gordon, “Ocean Splash”, Oil on canvas

This past weekend was the Second Saturday ArtWalk in St. Pete, Florida with numerous galleries staying open into the evening. Above are images from the recently opened Drew Marc Gallery, part of The Factory St. Pete’s complex in the Warehouse District. In addition to the artwork, the gallery also had live painting by Michelle Gordon.

At Morean Center for Clay is Lauren Hope: Time (pictured below), a solo exhibition that includes the artist’s ceramic work and photography.

From the gallery-

...Time is an investigation of alternative photographic process, using clay as a catalyst for record keeping. Using ceramic vessels as pin hole cameras, Lauren captures moments in time and transfers them onto ceramic surfaces. This exhibition will be a collection of photographic prints, vessels, cyanotypes, and handmade pinhole cameras. 

 Her statement about her work-

My work is heavily influenced by the complexity of hues, forms, and patterns found in the natural world. This studio practice has become deeply cathartic, signifying the ephemeral and fleeting notions of time.

Ceramic vessels within this collection are wheel-thrown, altered, and sculpted. Every striation carved serves as a visual representation and a gentle reminder of the delicate passing moment. This method of subtractive carving has become transformative, developing into deep states of meditation and reflection.

Experimental photography is used as an explorative process, allowing for the convergence of internal and external experiences. By casting memories and photographic recollections onto stoneware, I attempt to immortalize my profound experiences and revelations.

This exhibition will be on view until 12/30.

For selections from additional galleries, head to the next page.

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.

Dec 072023
 

V.J. Hagenbuckle, “On Mars”, 2020, Oil on canvas

Paintings by V.J. Hagenbuckle

There are many incredible artists living and working in the Tampa Bay area and quite a few of them also teach. Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs is currently showing work by faculty from the Visual Arts department at St. Petersburg College. In addition to a statement about their work, each faculty member also contributed their teaching philosophy.

Artists included in the exhibition- Jonathan Barnes, Nathan Beard, Ragan Brown, Mason Gehring, Barton Gilmore, Kevin Grass, Marjorie Greene Graff, Jennifer Guest, Jim Hagenbuckle, Elizabeth Indianos, Kim Kirchman, Michaela Oberlaender, Krishna Sadasivam, and McKenzie Smith.

Tonight, 12/7, Jim Hagenbuckle will be giving a talk at the museum at 6pm.

This exhibition is on view until 12/17/23.

Michaela Oberleander, “Bleed Out”, 2010, Acrylic on canvas

Kim Kirchman, “Cultivating What Might Be Lost”, 2022, Terra cotta with slip transfer

Work from Nathan Beard’s “LIFE LINES”

Nathan Beard’s description of this recent personal and intriguing project (pictured above)-

The Memory Map works on view here are my very newest attempt at understanding the role that fallible memory plays in the shaping of culture and self. These small watercolor studies are Phase II of LIFE LINES, a grand 3-part project in which I am examining my family’s memory of themselves and making artwork that tells their story. I plan to collect all of these studies into a singular book that can be handed down through the generations, or perhaps even preserved in a museum for everyone to see.

To create Memory Maps, I have created a survey for each family member. I ask them some general genealogy questions, since this survey will also function as a historical record, including their three favorite colors. I then ask them to try to remember each year of their life, from birth til now, and assign a rank between 0 and 5 for a) how clear their memory of the year is; b) how important that year was for them; c) how “good” or “bad” the year was. I add these columns together to get an “Accumulative” data set that I use to create a skeleton composed of alternating pentagons and hexagons that rotate as they expand. This part is important since it incorporates movement through time and space as we grow outward. Using the fact that our life’s journey always wavers, I then connect the points and end up with a “map” that resembles the cross-section of a tree, and contains all the metaphors associated with tree rings and natural growth cycles.

The most important visual development presented itself with Cate Clark, where I allowed myself the freedom to incorporate representational imagery. I asked my wife about her favorite place ever, and she surprised me with the family trip we took to Letchworth State Park in upstate NY. I found a picture from that trip with our daughter Vera standing at the edge of wood, and proceeded to paint that memory in resemblance of an antique plate. I also allowed myself the freedom to stray away from the tree ring aspect, while still using the data skeleton to place the bursts of color.

For more information, his artist talk is available here.

Work by Jonathan Barnes

Sculpture by Jonathan Barnes

Sculpture by Jonathan Barnes

Soda/Salt Fired stoneware by McKenzie Smith

Acrylic on canvas paintings by Mason C. Gehring

Relief and silkscreen by Marjorie Greene Graff

 

Artists continue on page 2.

Dec 072023
 

Lilian Butler, “Wave of Emotion”, Drawing

Lilian Butler, “The Value of Grey Thinking”, Drawing

Currently on view at Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Tarpon Springs is Visual Metaphors, an exhibition of impressive work created by Pinellas County public high school students. Hopefully this is just the beginning for these young, talented artists.

From the museum-

Presented in partnership with Pinellas County Schools (PCS), this exhibition presents a selection of two- dimensional and three-dimensional work from public high school students in grades 9-12. Like its namesake, Visual Metaphors are comparisons used to create a heightened awareness or emotional connection to a statement, a figure of speech, or condition. Think “raining cats and dogs,” “rollercoaster of emotions,” or “tongue in cheek.” A visual metaphor represents a person, place, thing, or idea by means of an image that shows a particular association or similarity. The students asked themselves “How will I convey a visual metaphor through my art? Will I illustrate a metaphor that is part of everyday speech, a cliché, a poem, or a lyric? Are there seemingly unexpected images that I can combine to create a metaphor? Will the metaphor be humorous, subtle, or overt?”

Now on view at the Leepa Rattner Museum of Art (LRMA) for the first time, this installation of Visual Metaphors is a continuation of an exhibition series, which was previously hosted at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, for the last thirty years. LRMA is proud to continue our partnership with PCS, as well as showcase the incredible talent that makes up our student communities.

This show will be on view until 12/10/23. Below are a few more selections.

Jonah Williams, “Life’s But A Walking Shadow”, Photography

Asalyn Schrotenboer, “Hands On”, Painting

Siena Van Beynen, “Handle With Care”, Sculpture

Emily Delucia, “At The Center of A Web”, Digital Art

Trinity Breha-Huffman, “Burnt Out”, Painting

Sela Marks “Power is A Fire That Can Be Controlled or Released”, Drawing, and Mia Lemmons “Her Star Shines The Brightest”, Sculpture

Dec 072023
 

“Fluorescent Dwarf”, 2017, Acrylic and water based aerosol on wood panel, pattern traced from found branch with wood boring beetle larvae trails (the source branch is on display directly to the left)

“The Expanding Universe”, 2017, Hand cut (jigsaw) plywood, water based spray, nails, pattern traced from found branch with wood boring beetle larvae trails

“Transcend and Include”, 2019, Wood boring beetle larvae paths traced from a dead cedar tree hand-cut from re-purposed Aluplast, water based spray

Community Foundation Tampa Bay works to match people and organizations with the resources they need to carry out projects that make a positive impact on local communities. In their space in St. Pete they also exhibit work by local artists. Currently on view are selections from Kenny Jensen’s Paths of Consumption series.

From the artist about this work-

As a Florida native who spent much of my childhood outdoors both in the city and the country, I have always had an essential connection to our unique natural environment. This relationship has steadily deepened over the years through my evolving art practice, and related ecological research. Becoming a parent has also raised the stakes and heightened my ecological awareness and concern. As a result there is a tension present in my work – An earnest desire to share the wonder and mystery I continually encounter in common, overlooked nature while also expressing grief and frustration over what is actively being lost.

All of the work on display here is a part of an ongoing environmentally focused sculpture project entitled Paths of Consumption which recreates found patterns eaten out of by various insect larvae at exaggerated scale and with a full spectrum of layered hues. This series is a meditation on our consumption of the natural environment. The inverted insect paths act as a kind of metaphorical map to guide us to reflect on our own record of consumption as we develop and grow, both as individuals and as a society.

Also on view at the gallery are digital works from Nick Davis’s Black is Beautiful series. Sadly, Davis passed away in December of 2022.