Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Gasparilla Art Show 2013

Gasparilla show tents with Tampa Museum in back.

This was the 43rd Gasparilla Art Show. It is a large outdoor art show with sizeable cah prizes and strong corporate sponsorship. I got there very early on Saturday. It was cold and windy, but the sun soon came out. Here are a few highlights out of the 250+ artists in the show...

Steven S. Gregory, "War Machine"
Steven S. Gregory is a well-known Tampa artist. He is primarily famous for his well-massaged imagery of local landmarks. In this show, he displayed mixed media sculptural assemblages. In his web site, the works are described as collaborative with Brenda. They are essentially sculptural tableaux. "War Machine", the work pictured on the left, is a wall sconce about war. Death in the form of a skeleton is (dead?) center, underneath an arch-crown. There are soldiers, buildings, machines, housing, what looks like an oil pump, and much much more.

Steven S. Gregory and his work.

For more, see here: [Link] and here [Link].

Work by Nancy Cervenka
How often do we see an artist that is working in a medium that no one else is? Yes, unique, one-of-a-kind that she invented -- and has been doing so for decades. Nancy Cervenka works with movie film, mostly by coiling and gluing it into various forms, though she has also woven it into a dress, one that won the Gasparilla Art Festival Best-of-Show years ago. It is not just novel, unique work, but brilliant and incisively strong.

When observing these works, it is difficult to keep in mind that the medium is singular. The artist is so fluent in it, and has developed her own syntax with it. The only reason it doesn't have international attention is that the artist, by her own admission, has not pushed the marketing angle.  On the left is "Green Headed Herd", on the right is "Your Soundtrack is Showing".


Nancy is one of the area's cultural treasures.

Nancy Cervenka, "Leggy"

Dave Bruner, "Maine Trail"

Dave Bruner, a Sarasota artist, does wood-engravings which are printed onto watercolor paper and sometimes painted with acrylics. The medium and formal qualities of his work, the combination between great control of line and tone and the tension the engraving qualities (within his style). The results are eye-catching, distinctive prints.

Dave Bruner and his work.

Darrin Hoover's work invokes a kind of personal, individuated nostalgia. Not the sappy type, but of the early promises of Modernism and technology. Though we know what happened next, the memories are like those of a lover's sweet nothings fluttering in the breezes of Time. Whimsical, innocent, almost dream-like, they remind us that we love best that which we loved first. On left, "Space", on right, "Robots".

Darrin Hoover

About a year ago I first saw the work of Princess Smith at a graduating class show at the University of Tampa's Scarfone/Hartley gallery. The work is about identity and sensuality, Smith says. She was in the Emerging artists section, in which she won the prize. Her work caught my attention before that. The taut, direct gestures, aimed between the eyes of the viewer, and ambivalent expressions are riveting.
On the left is "Queen", on the right, "Innocence".

Princess Smith and her work.

Donna Gordon is  St. Petersburg gallerist and sculptress working in bronze. She brought several smaller portrait works to Gasparilla. Most have a socially relevant, yet personal narrative. The skill level of these works is first-rate.

Donna Gordon, "Chapter 5"

Donna Gordon and her work.

Edson Campos paint mostly women. Yes, from a male viewpoint, but they are rendered insightfully and beautifully.

Edson Campos, "Vivus" oil on canvas.

Edson Campos, "Eve".  

Edson Campos and his work.

Congratulations to all the artists and the Gasparilla Art Show Crew for putting together a great outdoor festival!

--- Luis

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