Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Experiments With Truth, Michael Massaro @ HCC Ybor Art Gallery

AT readers are probably familiar with Michael Massaro's work, from shows at C. Emerson Gallery. He graduated in 1999 from the University of Tampa, where while a student, he worked as an assistant to Carl Cowden, master printer and locally famous muralist.  He is currently the director for Gallery 501 at Blake High school.

I met Michael at the opening of Tempus Project's Bits and Pieces show. We talked for a bit, and he mentioned Experiments With Truth was coming up at the HCC Ybor Art Gallery.

Michael Massaro, "Gradual Extinction"

The exhibition title comes from the title of Ghandi's autobiography. He felt his experiments with truth had constituted the main of his life. MM set up the lighting for this exhibit.

Massaro is a social sculptor, one dealing with basic human issues, like the violence and abuses people heap on each other -- globally. He regards violence as a language, one that we all learn, and we're so used to it that we become desensitized. The work uses both figurative and abstract forms to convey all this. In the work on the left, the bone-like form at the top, and cinder-like one at the bottom, connected by a tortuously-shaped woven strand.

Michael Massaro, "Experiments with Truth"

Detail of image at right

Note how Michael is able to fuse what would normally appear to be disparate materials into resolved works. One often sees strands, braids, or woven fibers connecting various sculptural elements, and these ties that bind are agonizing, and they also look organized. For me, they connect across space and time, and also conceptually.

Michael Massaro, "The Slanderer"

We see that same trope again in "The Slanderer", out of whose mouth disgorges a twisted braided cord. Note the pain the slanderer's gilded face reveals, and how his eyes are closed.

Michael Massaro, "Sinew of Indifference"

In "Sinew of Indifference", on the right, we have a figure that looks like a fetus (baby or cat) wrapped in a similar manner to Egyptian mummies, with another tortuous connection to a vessel, a bowl, which might have held nourishment and/or hope, empty. I found this work unspeakably sad and moving. A testament and cry to awaken our empathy.

Michael Massaro, "There are no rules"


 The work above is composed of big nails held out on wires connected to other nails. This repeats many times across the work, and the redundancy of nails holding up nails, along with the title, came across to me as history (and inhumane acts) repeating itself.

 In closing, one additional observation. I wonder if Massaro's syntheses of dissimilar objects and materials into codified new wholes might not be of metaphorical significance in this series, in the sense that no matter how far apart we may be, there is hope for us getting together and becoming one.

--- Luis

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Cuban Sandwich Show: June 1st to June 30th

June is going to be an arts-rich environment in Tampa. The 2011 Cuban Sandwich Show is the twentieth year anniversary of a very popular annual arts exhibition conceived by Gordon and Denise Mhyre. First held in Ybor City in 1991 and continued in Seminole Heights for a number of years. Of course, this one is a much bigger event than it was two decades ago.

The Artists and Writer's Group and HCC Ybor partner to put this together, along with the following participants: Arts Council of Hillsborough County Advisory Committee, Bamboozle Café, Blue Bird Books, Café Hey, Community Stepping Stones, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Gram's Place, Grown Man Brand Studios, Hillsborough Community College-Ybor Art Gallery, Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company, Tampa Regional Artists at Old Hyde Park Art Center, King Corona Cigar Cafe, La France, MacDonald Training Center, Michelle Faedo's On the Go, The Pyramid, Silver Meteor Gallery, Tre Amici at the Bunker, Ybor Art Association, Ybor City Saturday Market.

MASTER SCHEDULE (lifted straight from their FB page) June 1-30: (subject to change at any time for any reason) 

24 Hours a Day: Display Window: Free
Tampa Deja Vu (runs June 1-30)
La France
1612 East Seventh Avenue, Ybor City

7:00 – 10:00pm: Artists Reception. Free (must be 21 or older)
Tocobaga Label Design Contest (show runs June 1-30)
Cigar City Brewing Tasting Room
3924 W Spruce Street Suite A, Tampa 33607
Release party for Cigar City Brewing's Tocobaga Red Ale and the unveiling of the winning label design. The top ten entries of the label design contest will be displayed at the Cigar City Brewing tasting room throughout the month of June. * The Tocobaga Indians lived in small villages at the northern end of Tampa Bay from A.D. 900 to the 1500’s.

6:00-8:00pm: Opening Night with Artists Talk. Free June 3. $10.00 general admission all other times.
Tampa Pix-Cuban Sandwich (June 3-July 6)
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
200 N. Tampa Street 33602 (Entrance corner of Jackson Street and Ashley Drive)
Group photography show in Gallery D, in conjunction with the museum’s Classic Images: the Photography of Ansel Adams
This photo show curated by David Audet includes Suzanne Williamson, Steve Gregory, Cat Thompson, Suzanne Camp Crosby, Bud Lee/David Audet, Gordon Myhre, among others.

5:00-10:00pm: Juried Art Show. Free
Essence of Ybor (June 4)
Ybor Art Association
Historic Ybor Square Courtyard
9th Avenue and Avenue Republica de Cuba (14th Street), Ybor City
Contact: Moira Shiver at: submissions@yborart.org
Juried art show and a scavenger hunt (6:00-7:30pm)
Jurors: David Audet, Artists and Writers Group; Sharon Rose, Artist and Owner of Wear Me Out Boutique; Bruce Marsh, Retired USF Professor of Art.
Artists include Dominique Martinez, Marc De Waele, Rick Reeves, Paul Tabio, John Canning, Jason Shiver, Samantha Churchill, Donna Morrison, Greg Latch, Ray Paul, Bruce Ferguson, Terry Klaaren, Tatyana Igumnova Hankinson, Susan O’Hara, Nancy Baier, Melody Swindle, Bob Pomeroy, Clyde McLaughlin, Antony Capers, David Edmund, John Costin, Roberta Scholfield, Willie Emerson, Kellie Schultz, and Paula Brett.

6:00-9:00pm: Artists’ Reception. Free
Cuban Sandwich-Pressed Art (June 1-30)
Bamboozle Café
516 North Tampa Street, Tampa 33602
813.223.7320 www.bamboozlecafe.com
Group art show of paintings, prints, photography and mixed media.

5:30-9:00 pm: Artists Reception. Free
The Cuban Sandwich Show (June 8-July 8)
Hillsborough Community College-Ybor City Campus
Art Gallery on the first floor of the Performing Arts Building
2112 North 15th Street Tampa, FL 33605
Gallery director, Carolyn Kossar 813.253.7674
Invitational group show of painting, drawing, prints, sculpture, photography and mixed media: *Tampa Poet Laureate James Tokley, Sr. will give a reading of his Epic of the Sandwiche Cubano
Note: The Artist Advisory Committee is simultaneously curating a juried show, Get Wired, in this venue with the artists utilizing 3-D coffee cups in each work.
Artists include: Jay and Peter Aalberg, Linda Alexander, Bradley Arthur, Tracy Assalone, David Audet, Lori Ballard, Kris Berry, Sarah Butz, Mike Cantwell, Nancy Cervenka, John Costin, Neverne Covington, Suzanne Camp Crosby, David Dye, David Edmund, Melissa Fair, Steve Gregory, David Hall, Dee Hood, Laszlo Horvath, Joe Howden, Joanna Karpay, Art Keeble, Rocky Kester, Mic Knight, Stan Kozma, Carolyn Kossar, Bud Lee, Phil Lee, Charles Lyman, Rick Melby, Elizabeth Mitchell, Gordon Mhyre, Tom Overly, Chris Peattie, Ed Ross, Steve Smith, James Tokley, Sr., Cat Thompson, Patrick Thomsen, Judith Villavisanis, Suzanne Williamson, Kelly Young.

Noon-3:00pm. Art Exhibition and Juried Art Show. Free
The Built, The Lost & The Dreams: The Architectural Drawings of M. Leo Elliott (June 10-July 8)
Tampa Regional Artists at Old Hyde Park Center
705 West Swann Avenue 33606
Architect M. Leo Elliott is responsible for some of Tampa's signature buildings including Tampa City Hall, the Palace of Florence on Davis Islands, the Leiman-Wilson house in Hyde Park and Centro Asturiano, the Cuban Club and the Ritz Theater in Ybor City. More than one dozen images of the architect’s elaborate drawings documenting Tampa’s early -20th century architecture will be on view for the first time.

6:00-9:00pm: Artists Reception. Free
Ybor Art Series (June 10)
Ybor Art Association
Cuban Club, Corner of Palm and 14th Avenue, Ybor City
Join the Ybor Art Association for an artistic evening nestled in one of Ybor City's most beautiful and historic landmarks.

10:00am-Noon: Film Screening and Panel Discussion
Living in America: 100 Years of Ybor (June 11)
Hillsborough Community College-Ybor City Campus
HCC-Ybor Room. Free and open to the public
2001 N. 14th Street and Palm Avenue (directly across from the Cuban Club)
Director Gayla Jamison will screen and host a panel discussion of her film documentary. Coffee at 10:00am; screening 10:30-11:30am; panel discussion follows.
The panelists are Dr. Susan Greenbaum, Professor Emerita of Anthropology at University of South Florida, Dr. Cheryl Rodríguez, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Institute on Black Life at USF, Maria Pasetti, who is on the Executive Board of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Rene Tamargo, educator and Tampa native, and HCC history professor Bobbie Harris.
Following the panel discussion, a short presentation on a mobile project Ybor Memories by Nancy Yasecko, using excerpts from ―Living in America: 100 Years of Ybor.
Video excerpts of the Latin life documented in Gayla Jamison’s film “Living in America: 100 Years of Ybor City” have been joined to historical Ybor locations for playback on mobile devices. Glimpses of the people and places of the past viewed in the same geographic locations enhance our emotional connection and the sense of time passing in the City. A conversation about the project and instructions on how to use the SCVNGR application will be provided. This project will be functioning June 2011 with no end date.
Flags stationed at each location where a time-travel viewing opportunity can be found will identify how to access that video link. Segments tied to their respective locales may include:
Roasting beans at Naviera Coffee
Tea Dance at the Centro Espanol
Hand rolling cigars at Maniscalco Factory or El Sol retail shop
Factory cigar making on the site of Corral-Wodiska Factory
Baking Cuban bread at La Segunda
Dominos in the Centro Asturino or Cuban Club
Picnic at the Marti-Maceo club
Carmen’s Spanish Dance Studio
Making sandwiches on the site of the Silver Ring Café
Tea dance at the Centro Espanol
Truck farming at the Giunta Farm

2:00-2:30pm: Art Opening and Reading Performance. Free
The Exquisite Corpse Poem (June 11)
King Corona Cigar Bar and Café
1523 East 7th Avenue, Ybor City, 33605
This is the first reading of a serial poem about Tampa by 16 poets/writers/artists. Artworks related to each stanza of the poem will be on display in the King Corona street window June 1-30.
Writers/artists include Kim Buchheit, Rachel Kapitan, Dina Mack, Summer Rodman, David Audet, Melissa Fair, Frank Messina, Naomi Butterfield, Joe Howden, Vanessa Blakeslee, Ilyse Kusnetz, Silvia Curbelo, Mitzi Gordon, Nola Garrett, David Durney, and James Tokley, Sr, Annette King, Maisy May Marrs.

3:00-5:00pm: Artists Reception and Readings, Free
Tampa Art, Poems, Stories (June 6-30)
Tre Amici at the Bunker
1907 N. 19th Street, Ybor City 33605
813.247.6964 www.yborbunker.com
Writers include Kim Buchheit, Rachel Kapitan, Dina Mack, Summer Rodman, David Audet, Melissa Fair, Frank Messina, Naomi Butterfield, Joe Howden, Vanessa Blakeslee, Ilyse Kusnetz, Silvia Curbelo, Mitzi Gordon, Nola Garrett, David Durney, and James Tokley, Sr. Artists to be announced.

2:00-5:00pm: Artist Reception. Free
The Built, The Lost & The Dreams: The Architectural Drawings of M. Leo Elliott (June 10-July 8)
Tampa Regional Artists at Old Hyde Park Center
705 West Swann Avenue 33606
Architect M. Leo Elliott is responsible for some of Tampa's signaturebuildings including Tampa City Hall, the Palace of Florence on Davis Islands, theLeiman-Wilson house in Hyde Park and Centro Asturiano, the Cuban Club and the RitzTheater in Ybor City. More than one dozen images of the architect’s elaborate drawings documenting Tampa’s early -20th century architecture will be on view for the first time.

7:00-9:00pm: Film Screenings. $5.00
Tampa Motion Media (June 15)
Grown Man Brand Studios
6412 Central Avenue 33609
Numerous shorts about Tampa characters, real and surreal; including “La Segunda Bakery”; “Sulphur Springs” with Jeff Norton, “Travels with Bud Lee”, and other surprises.

1:00-3:00pm: Writers Performance and Art Show. Free
Taste of Tampa Passion (Art displayed June 10-30)
Joffrey’s Coffee and Tea Company
1600 East 8th Avenue
813.247.4600 Ybor City 33605

5:00-10:30pm: Live Music by Tampa Bay Musicians. Free
Tampa Songs (June 18)
Gram’s Place
3109 North Ola Avenue
813.221.0596 Tampa 33603 www.grams-inn-tampa.com
Musicians and bands playing music ―mostly about Tampa include Laszlo Horvath, Parson Brown, Franc Robert, Maggie Council, Blue Island Beer Club, Ray Villadonga, Big Picture, Charlie Souza, Dean Johanesen, Judy Tampa & Bunko Squad, Ronny Elliott.

8:00pm-Midnight: Artist Reception and Live Music. Free
All Art-All Tampa (June 18-
Café Hey
1540 North Franklin Avenue
813.221.5150 Tampa 33602

6:30-10pm Artists Reception. Free
I Love Sulphur Springs Show (June 24-25)
Community Stepping Stones Gallery
8019 Van Dyke Place, Tampa 33604 (Behind the Sulphur Springs Theatre) 561.310.3002
Community Stepping Stones mission is connected to the quality of life in the Sulphur Springs neighborhood of Tampa. We work through the arts to teach youth the creative and critical thinking skills needed to solve problems, make important life decisions, graduate from high school, and continue on to college.

Art Exhibit and Open House—6:00-9:00pm/ Performance—7:00pm
Cuban Sandwich Shop, Pyramid Style! 
Pyramid Inc.,
1508 W. Sligh Avenue, Tampa, FL 33604 813-931-3986
At Pyramid adults with developmental disabilities are artists and performers whose dreams come alive on canvas, on stage and in the souls of people whose gifts are too often unrecognized. Our open house will feature a spirited Flamenco in tribute to Ybor City with traditional and wheelchair dancers, as well as other songs and dances. Not to be outdone, Pyramid visual artists will present jewelry, canvases and other pieces with a Tampa theme in their own unique style.

8:00-9:30pm: One-man Show by Mary Ellen and Richard DiPietra. $10.00
I Am a Cuban Sandwich (June 24-26)
Silver Meteor Gallery
2213 East 6th Avenue
813.300.3585 Ybor City 33605
Richard shares his memories of being born and living in Ybor City in this humorous and whimsical play.

2:00-5:00pm: Storytelling and BS Session about Ybor and All Things Tampa. Free
Remember When…? 
King Corona Cigar Bar and Café
1523 East 7th Avenue, Ybor City, 33605
Hosted by owner Don Barco and cigar pro Joe Howden this is an informal gathering of folks who know where the bodies are but can’t or won’t tell; If you got a story and like cigar smoke with strong coffee-be there. Microphone provided.

I Love Sulphur Springs Show (June 24-25)
Community Stepping Stones Gallery
8019 Van Dyke Place, Tampa 33604 (Behind the Sulphur Springs Theatre) 561.310.3002

8:00pm: One-man Show by Mary Ellen and Richard DiPietra. $10.00
I Am a Cuban Sandwich 
Silver Meteor Gallery
2213 East 6th Avenue
813.300.3585Ybor City 33605
Richard shares his memories of being born and living in Ybor City in this humorous and whimsical play.

7:00pm: One-man Show by Mary Ellen and Richard DiPietra $10.00
I Am a Cuban Sandwich 
Silver Meteor Gallery
2213 East 6th Avenue
813.300.3585 Ybor City 33605

12:00am-1:30pm: Film Screenings-various titles.
La Segunda Bakery by Academy Prep Students (in attendance)
Hillsborough Community College-Ybor City Campus
HCC-Ybor Room. Free and open to the public
2001 N. 14th Street and Palm Avenue (directly across from the Cuban Club)
This short documentary and other shorts about Tampa will be screened, including “Sulphur Springs” with Jeff Norton, “Travels with Bud Lee”, and other surprises.

5:00-7:00pm: Artists Reception
Tampa Through My Eyes 
MacDonald Training Center, Inc. 5420 West Cypress Street Tampa, Florida 33607-1706 Rita Hattab (813) 870-1300 extension 252
In celebration of the opening of the new ―Through My Eyes art
Gallery, which is a Legacy Project of the Leadership 2011 Class of the West Shore
Alliance. The opening exhibit will be the Cuban Sandwich Show as realized by
Artists with disabilities participating in the MTC Fine Arts Studios.

A more detailed schedule of events can be found here: [Link].

 --- Luis

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On the Waterfront @ The Artpocalypse: ArtOn Central's Live Paint

It was supposed to be the beginning of the end. Make that The End. It was also a perfect day for it, a sunny, hot day, the Taste of Pinellas just a few blocks away. All the elements were gathered: Wind, Earth, Water... and the artists brought Fire.

  Dozens of artists gathered, many working under tents or trees on the lawn around the History Museum.  I walked around, soon finding myself in a heat-daze, floating from one artist to the next, seeing a lot of smiling familiar faces, and meeting new ones.

Karan Porter, from St. Pete was painting this picture of a circus elephant. She has many works on this theme, including cards of elephants from different nations. To see more of her work, see here [Link] . She can be contacted at KaranPorter@Verizon.net and 727.481.6612.

 Herbert Davis took time to pose for me while drawing a classic car. He can be reached at: herberthd@verizon.net

AT readers are familiar with Sarah Thee Campagna's work. In the foreground is a new one, of a rocket (made, in part, from an old ambulance light!) with small robots fawning over it, doing as much worshipping as maintenance. Sarah infuses her robots with character and humanity.
More work can be seen here [Link] and here [Link].

Dr. Twistid, of Realm of Madness fame, seen here with one of his works. Lots of ersatz horror, with sci-fi and post-industrial overtones, gobs of noir, all with a great sense of humor and humanism, just like their maker. See more of Dr. Twistid here [Link]

Calan Ree and some of her elaborate finger puppets. She also makes outstanding cards (which I have bought several of, and they've all been hits), jewelry, and larger sculptural figures, all with her own distinct  signature style. One can see some cinematic, graphic novel/comic and Dia de los Muertos influences running through her work.
See more here [Link], here [Link] and [Link].

Carl Quint is an artist living in one of the boats in the marina across from the History Museum. He is surrounded by his art, an eclectic mix of several subjects from nature and figures, all dripping with character. He can be reached at 36 17th St. N., St. Petersburg, 33701.

Christine Galas painting one of her abstract, curly, almost paisley-like abstract paintings. The link she gave me doesn't work, but I Googled the name and found this: [Link]. Christine, please feel free to send me an alternate link thorugh the comments section and I will insert it here.

Painter Stuart Andrews (AKA "Stu the Painter") caught in the ecstasies of his art. He was painting a 50's style pin up girl under the shade of a tree. Stu has a graphic, yet realistic, Post-Pop style with a touch of American Regionalism. Casual, intimate and immediate, with slightly amplified/stylized gestures and large blocks of color.[Link], [Link].

Josh Sullivan in front of a work in progress, combining found photographs and painting. He churns out many zines, drawings, and endless characters in angst-inducing, humorous and familiar absurd situations, projections of our real lives. The characters that populate his comics are frustrated, but their spirits are indomitable, no matter what the Dystopia deals out to them, or they are dystopiary. Josh's paintings are more graphic, influenced by movies and his comics.
 [Link], [Link]

 Agnes Black in front of a work-in-progress of a fragmented, somewhat abstracted yet recognizable American Flag. The work is very graphic, spirited, and perhaps informed by street art. [Link] or email her at: agnesblack@yahoo.com

This is Lulu G. and one of her Rabbit Hat series. The paintings are imbued with a sense of mystery and anticipation that is wonderful. She can be contacted at: lulugart@gmail.com
or 727.768.6220

Jindra Noewi holding up one of her paintings of a female dominatrix figure in a red bustier holding a whip at the ready.  All very sensuous, with great attention paid to intimate body language and the surface of skin. She also does other themes, including animals (pets) and has painted many beautiful murals.  [Link], [Link]

Congratulations to ArtOn Central for putting this show on, to the History Museum for hosting it on their grounds, and most of all to the many creative souls who nourish us.

--- Luis

Thursday, May 26, 2011

This Backyard BBQ-ing Weekend, May 27th-30th

One Road, Two Paths @ Salt Creek Artworks - Photography by Randall Smith, mixed-media art by Cheryl Mackey-Smith. Vernissage Friday, May 27th, from 6 PM - 9PM. 1600 fourth St. S. St Pete.

Celebrations of Uncertainty @ Collective - Works by Brandon Dunlap, Christina Garcia, and Paul Pavlovich. Reportedly a "nightmarish & ghostly" approach...Saturday, May 28th, Opens from 7-9PM. Collective, 601 Central Avenue, St Pete. Free.

Studio Artists' Tour @ Gulfport - Five local artists, five studios. Start at the Longhouse, 2309 49th st. South, Gulfport, at 5PM (runs till 8PM) on Saturday, May 28th. $10

Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg - "Familiar and Fantastic", photographs from the Dandrew-Drapkin Collection. The excellent "Human Touch", a show based on the human figure. "New Folk", Contemporary  self-taught art from the Collection. An unusually strong trio of shows at MFA. 10AM-5PM Mon-Sat. Noon-5PM Sundays. Admission $17. 255 Beach Drive S.

That's all there is this weekend in this area...Be sure to observe the reason for the holiday on Monday.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out of Hand, Florida Craftsmen Gallery Juried Exhibition

Kim Radatz, several works

The Florida Craftsmen Gallery is having their 52nd yearly Members Juried Exhibition through June 30th.  There's a large variety of work being shown in this space and in many kinds of media showcasing the work of their members. Some of them are among the best in the area.

Kim Radatz, "Connecting the dots of a Long-Winded Conversation"

 Anyone who regularly reads AT is no stranger to the engaging work of Kim Radatz. Here is a series of work on fabric, on varying size hoop frames. The title suggests they are highlights from a long winded conversation. We see two figures of women in two of them, one as girls, the other as women, a single small girl is in one, a red cross, a rocket, hangman's noose, hand holding hand, a small version of Kim's "The Look", a Dress and more. The imagination ricochets among these images, constructing endless conversations within the viewer's mind. This makes one want to take them all home and keep them together.

Here is a closer view of one of the images to convey a better idea of the textural qualities of the work, and the details. Note how the girl on the right's dress is unraveling.

Kim Radatz, "She's Come Undone"

On the right above is Kim Radatz' "She's Come Undone". There is one of the artist's interesting tropes, a column of numbers on the right edge of the picture going from one to seven. A girl, about seven years of age, with a coltish body, gaze turned away poses weightlessly. Note in the detail on the left the barely visible text below the edge of the image. I'll be returning to this exhibit for many reasons, but also because I left my reading glasses home and couldn't make out a word!

Klawdia Proia, "Vessels"

 Three stoneware ceramic pieces titled "Vessel #1", 2 and three.
They are unpretentious and have varied, beautiful and complex designs on them.

Carol Drummond, "Black Madonna"

 Carol Drummond's "Black Madonna" is a luminous image of a Madonna and  Child art quilt in an African style reminiscent of Chris Offili [Link], sans the controversy. Drummond's Madonna has that shell-shocked look that so many medieval madonnas have. She has her hand over her heart. Her crown and halo pale before her royal star-studded purple shawl and heavenly blue dress designating her as the Queen of Heaven. A joyful moment for the Child, who bears an outsized cross pendant (we know what will happen in this story).


On the left, Susan O'Hara's "Readhead" is a coil-built ceramic head in an African style.  On the right, also by Ms. O'Hara, is " Golden Lady ", a slim Venus figure.

Elizabeth Hillman, "The Plant, The Well, and The Angel"

Elizabeth Hillman's "The Plant, The well and The Angel" started out as a found book, and with modifications involving thread, grahite, copper and shell has become a work of art and an unusual, beautiful contemplative object.

Bonnie Askowitz, "Miami on a Clear Day"

Bonnie Askowitz' "Miami on a Clear Day", a hanging art quilt, does bring to mind memories of many Miami days in memory, but it goes beyond that, into the dense evocative forest of forms that abstraction can be.             

Lucrezia Bieler, "Beauty and the Beast" is an unbelievably elaborate piece of black paper cut with scissors work. And it is almost dream-like in its cyclical, calendrical aspects and Floridian beauty.

Jane Jenning's "Two Peas in a Pod"

On the right is Jane Jenning's "Two Peas in a Pod", An abstract batik assemblage.

Mary Jane Lappin's "Memory of Autumn" is an exquisite object. Perhaps a little too precious, for its own good, but it dazzled.

Peter Kuentzel's "Hotel" was the "Best of Show" winner. It brought to mind the now somewhat cliche'd famous Art Deco South Beach Hotels in this ceramic sculpture.

Ruth Philipon, "Tribute to Icarus"

Ruth Philipon is a multi-talented artist. In this work, "Tribute to Icarus", she plays the stasis of a partially rigid symmetry via the counterpoint of the coiled etched copper strips.

There was also an exhibit of quality Jewelry & Metalsmithing from Blake High School.

Congratulations to Florida Craftsmen Gallery and their member artists on their Juried Show, and for the space given to the Blake students. This show runs through June 30th. The gallery is at 501 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg.

--- Luis

Can Art Heal/Make Us Whole Again? The Clinic is Open.

Ok, it's performance art, from Alexander Melamid, whom you might recall from when he worked with Vitaly Komar on performance works like the surveys they took from people leading to their versions of ideal paintings and many other well-known works. Since 2003, they parted ways, and Melamid went solo, doing Velazquez style paintings of rappers, but now he has opened a clinic: The Ministry of Art, a storefront clinic in Soho (NYC) where people come in and receive rather comical good-natured "treatments" and I have no doubt leave feeling better than when they came in.

The Clinic opens to the public today.

From the clinic...

"Each patient who visits the Art Healing Ministry Clinic will benefit from its personalized Five-Step Program based on the interplay of four Methods:

1. Art Evaluation
Which artistic masterpieces among the many are the best attuned to the psyche and able to penetrate the immune system and pervade the genomic make-up of an individual client? This question will be answered during the first 20-minute session, through the use of the latest digital and analog systems of image delivery, including projections, preprogrammed image displays, and other cutting-edge techniques. The works of Old Masters including Raphael and Leonardo and modern artists such as Picasso and Warhol will be projected on the client to test for compatibility.

2. Immersion in Art
Based on the analysis made during the first session, special programs will be developed using carefully chosen images from the exhaustive library of world art, with the aim of saturating the client with the most effective visual imagery. This is intended to produce a cleansing effect, washing out intellectual, environmental and genetic impurities either inherited or accumulated. At this point, “prescriptions Art Medicines” will be dispensed, ranging from targeted viewings of masterpieces at local and international museums to at-home visual exercises.

3. Art Rejuvenation
This session is devoted to one or two specific areas of the body, inundating the most responsive organs of the individual client with the images found to be the most beneficial in previous sessions. Full immersion treatments such as the Brancusi slimming visualization and the Seurat facial skin rejuvenation will be employed.

4. Art Maintenance
The arduous task of maintaining the effects of the treatment and the achieved equilibrium of the fully-cured elements, while repairing the still-weak and/or incurable elements of the client’s anatomy, will be the focus of this and subsequent sessions. This highly individualized process will be directed by the immediate needs of a particular client."

For the clinic site, see here: [Link]

Source Article: [Link]

All of this comes at somewhat reasonable prices, though I doubt your insurance will cover it ( the rejection letter could be a bit of performance art, too). My favorite therapy is the house call, wherein Melamid attaches a print of a famous work of art to a Roomba vac and lets it roam your living space, "cleansing the air". 

For several reasons, I think this may not be a long-lived thing, so if you're interested, make your appointment & book your flight soon...

--- Luis

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cindy Sherman, "Untitled", 1981

On the left is a picture of the world's most expensive photograph at this time. A print sold for $3,890,500.00 (3.89m) at auction at Christie's. It's by a woman photographer, Cindy Sherman, and it is an early self-portrait in one of her endless personas on a tile floor. She's always said she was jealous of her ex-BF Richard Prince's holding the record price at one time with one of his rephotographed Marlboro Man ads. [Link]. Sherman's work was estimated to sell for 1.5-2m., but apparently two bidders got into a heated competition to acquire this work, which exists only in a very small edition. To see more of Sherman's work, look here: [Link].

--- Luis

Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Student Survey: USF, UT and HCC Ybor, Part III: University of Tampa

View of Gallery

The 2011 Annual Student Art Exhibition @ UT  was held at the spacious Scarfone/Hartley Gallery about a month ago. Adam Justice, curator for the Polk Museum of Art judged the show awarding about $3,000. There was a wide variety of media in the show. Here at AT, our judgments are...er...priceless. As with the preceding Surveys of aHCC Ybor and USF Grad show, here are some highlights...


Samantha Burns, "Dei Gratia"

Samantha Burn's richly textured, mixed-media "Dei Gratia" was made from sand, paint, wood stain, cheesecloth, bones and string. It was one of those works that has sub-frames within it outline, evoking memory, the passage of time, and transition.

Julia Heinke, "Once Upon A Time"

Julie Heinke's intaglio, "Once Upon a Time", is reminiscent of the Little Red Riding Hood myth, with a woman carrying a lantern looking bothered by the wolfpack trailing her through the woods. 

Shannon Kenny, "Why'd you have to seduce me"

Shannon Kenny's "Why'd you have to seduce me" is a female human bust made of cigarettes, encaustic [Link], and sand, its head seized by a pair of ashen hands. It's a strong comment on addiction, and not necessarily to cigarettes. It also raises the question of the powerlessness of the seduced.

Lisa Harasiuk, "Mother"

Lisa Harasiuk's "Mother" looks like a female Jesus figure crucified not onto a cross, but a woman's reproductive organs. The Ovaries and Fallopian tunes make the horizontal portion and the uterus the vertical. She is wearing a minimal undie very similar to a tiny JC loincloth.
 At the base of the work is what could be construed as a minimalist altar with nothing on it save for a Virgin's Saint's candle. A refreshing reinterpretation of a hackneyed Christian icon.

On the right is William Stryffeler's "Close Up Ready, the Real Clowns of Frankenstein Manor". A dangerously decorative work that is strong on its own, and more so when seen with other pictures from the series.

This is also by William Stryffeler, titled "Nature Imitates #2." A ceramic work that looks organic, similar to a barnacle-encrusted form.

Rachel Rosen's "Untitled", a hanging stack of books complete with mordant text was unusual and surprisingly passionate. The shadow seemed like an integral part of the piece.

Lisa Harasiuk, "It doesn't matter, Nobody is Listening"

Another Lisa Harasiuk, an introspective piece about having conversations with oneself while no one is listening.....or listening to the art.

Michael Fitzpatrick, "Rise and Unite"

Michael Fitzpatrick's social sculpture, "Rise and Unite", has a strong political theme. Four fists stacked atop one another speak of collective power.

Jessica Simmerman "Beach Days"
Jessica Simmerman's "Beach Days" looks like a family snapshot  taken on vacation, except it is a ceramic mosaic.

 Samantha Burns, "Emergence". Done in acrylics and oil this large painting  had a strong sense of intimacy/directness with the viewer.

David Canady's "Real Girl in a Fake World" is an ironic image where an obviously digitized picture of a woman appears to reverse the field polarity with reality.

Congratulations to the University of Tampa Artists and staffers for an excellent show.

--- Luis

[This concludes AT's 2011 Student Survey]