On the left is a back-to-front view of the HCC Ybor Art Gallery. with Suzanne Williamson's photographs of the Cuban bread bakeries and the process on coffee burlap sacks hanging from the ceiling. On the right is a lateral view of the gallery, with Bud Lee's [Link] color drawings overhead. This show was a veritable who's who of established (and some emerging) Tampa artists.
|Cat Thompson, "Absence/Presence"|
Catherine (Cat) L. Thompson's pinhole polaroid titled "Absence/Presence" is a haunting installation. The palpable primal feeling of loss and the memory of when it wasn't so comes across here with little sentimentality and strong sentiment. [Link]
Laszlo Horvath's "Fish ship in Tampa Harbor" is another of his many surreal images with local backgrounds. The other day I ran into a "straight" Horvath landscape, and it was of a surreal natural formation. [Link]
An intricate and delicate mobile composed of fishing bobbers and cigars titled "Pastimes" by Art Keeble ties together two relaxing things.
On the right is Judith Villavisanis' mixed media work titled "Silver Ring Cafe". Part of it is an image of the sign that meant great Cuban Sandwiches, tazas de cafe con leche, fading boxing photographs on the walls, and local culture oozing from everyone and everything in the place. The photograph brings back memories, too.
It was almost frightening (think Night of The Living Dead) to run into this Dick Greco poster turned into art by David Audet. "Columbus Drive/Boliche Boulevard" included a small video screen, visible on the lower right edge, above the "O". Showing footage of Greco signs on Columbus drive (I think).
Cuban Sandwiches abounded in this show, and in every medium imaginable. Here is a soft sculpture of one done in satin, no less, by Sarah Butz, titled "Satin Cuban". It seemed to have an inner light of its own and an airy weightlessness.
Judith Villavisanis' "Girl Eating Cuban Sandwich" depicts a buxom beauty sensuously holding and partaking of the theme of the show, lost in her own private reverie...and it is one most Tampanians know quite well. Beautifully composed, with two perspectives, and all those diagonals riffing off one another, all leading to the point of that half-sandwich and those lips...the shoulder strap is a nice touch, too.
"Anna Tampana, 1980", by Suzanne Camp Crosby, is a posed profile of this wonderful woman who created this character and played it well. Here she holds paper cut-outs, while looking 2-dimensional herself, of those who played similar characters before hers.
I met Anna Tampana around the time this picture was made, at a party for the old Tampa Times newspaper. Somewhere I have several slides of her playing at being sensuous and seductive. She was beautiful, enthusiastic, and played well with the camera. This picture does her and the times justice, and speaks about women's roles in the culture.
I know, three Judith Villavisanis works in one review? Yes, I was taken with her work. This "Saturn Devouring His Cuban", done in paper mache' was very innovative, and incredibly funny. [Link??]
"City of Tampa" by Rocky Kester. Rocky used to have a great studio in Ybor (now a bar), with a paradizzo garden in back. We used to talk there now and then. I still have a tiny ceramic virgin I bought from him decades ago. It gladdened my heart to see work by him, and that it still had his deeply human and gentle touch.[Link??]
There was this welded aluminum Cuban Sandwich by Mic Knight, [Link] resting on a beautiful complex dyed cloth titled "Mustard Seed", by Carolyn Kossar.
On the left is "Cuban", an acrylic on tin painted by Bud Lee, a seminal figure in the arts in Tampa, as well as a famous LIFE magazine photographer. He took up painting after a debilitating stroke and has been making extraordinary paintings and drawings, two examples of many in the show can be seen below.
There was a second show inside the main one, called "Wired", centered around cafe con leche. Here is an overall view. Note the shelf full of handmade coffee cups.
The work on the left is "Wired and Stoned", by Patt Fosnaught, [Link] and on the right, "A Cup Full Of Paper Airplanes", by Dean Mackey. [Link??]
There were also photographs of cups and the coffee experience. Here is Suzanne Williamson's "Coffee on the Front Porch", faintly reminiscent of some of Josef Sudek's photographs. [Link]
On the left, conceptual clay cups, "Trompe l'oeil", by Elizabeth Kozlowski.[Link??]
On the right is Vanessa Montenegro's "Thoughts over Cup", consisting of a drawing on handmade paper, a handmade cup -- and pencil. Well-conceived, and in my opinion, underpriced. [Link]
On the left is a study or maquette for the large Jerry Meatyard sculpture situated on the north side of the building.
Arthur Bradley and his wife posing below one of his metal and mixed media sculptures. This one has a fishing rod and line pulling on it. [Link]
Congratulations to the HCC Ybor crew and to all the artists, who were far too numerous to be presented here in their entirety, for putting together a memorable show themed on local culture. Bravo.
Both shows run June 8 through July 8, 2011.
Free. Art Gallery in Performing Arts Building