Friday, September 30, 2011

ArtOn! Central's Live Arts Festival

I got a late start crossing the Bay to this ArtOn! Central [Link] festival, getting there at around 3 PM. It was raining hard, and artists were packing up as water pooled in the low spots into deep puddles. I ran into a soaked Sarah Thee Campagna, and had a nice talk with her and her husband while they packed up. [Link] Also spoke with the guys from the SWINGS project [Link]. There will be a post-monsoon season rain date announced soon.

A few pictures...

Packing up...

The crew from SWINGS, which offers viewers a chance to become participants and paint swings which are later erected in playgrounds. So far they have installed 64 swings. Bravo!

Congratulations to ArtOn! Central for putting on a great event, even if it got rained out on this one (it's Florida in the rainy season, what can you do?), though I heard it went well before the rains came. I look forward to the rain date and to another event coming up later in the year.

--- Luis

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This 50/50 Weekend, Sept. 30th-Oct 2nd

Contradictions @ Mindy Solomon Gallery - Wordly themes and their opposing viewpoints from eight artists. I have it on good authority this show is hot. Opening reception is Saturday, Oct 1st, from 6-8 PM, although the show is already open. Runs through Nov. 5th. Mindy Solomon Gallery, 124 2nd Ave. North, St. Petersburg. Free.

(ongoing) Jessica Lange @ Polk Museum of Art - She has been photographing seriously since her college days and shown at the George Eastman House. Her work is on display in a one-woman show at the Polk Museum of Art, 600 E. Palmetto St. Lakeland. Runs through Dec 17th.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts - Ongoing show of renowned first-rate photographer Duane Michals' work. Open Tuesday through Thursday, 10 AM - 8 PM. Sat. 10 AM - 8 PM, Friday, Noon to 5 PM. All at 200 N. Tampa st., downtown Tampa. Admission is $6.

Art on the House @ Tampa Museum of Art - Friday only, from 4-8 PM admission is free. 120 Gasparilla Plaza, Downtown Tampa.

The Talent Show @ USF Contemporary Art Museum - Will you get even one minute of fame? Everyman and his chance at a flash of fame is the theme here. Opens Friday, Sept 30th, 7-9 PM USFCAM, 4202 E. Fowler Ave. Tampa CAM101.  Exhibit is free, Parking is $5.

Art of The Tarot show @ Capricorn Art Studio - Last time this was held, it was cancelled at the last minute. Hopefully this time it will go on. Artists render their own version of the Tarot cards. 1313 E. 8th Ave. Ybor City. 9PM Saturday, Oct 1st.

Art-a-Palooza @ Bamboozle Cafe - This first-rate Vietnamese Fusion restaurant will show Landscapist Brian Coe's work starting Oct 4, opening at 4:30-9 PM. 516 N. Tampa St. Downtown Tampa.

Every Day is Halloween @ Kahwa South - Some wonderful artists in this spirited show, including Calan Ree, Sarah Thee Campagna/Cybercraft Robots, Coralette Damme and others. Opens Sat., Oct 1, 7-9 PM. 204 2nd Ave S., St. Pete. Runs through October.

Creative Clay's Folkfest on Central - One of the sweetest street fests in St. Pete. Creative Clay puts on this on Oct 1st and 2nd. Music, Art, Food and a great time for all. Fifty Folk Artists, over a dozen bands. Starts at 10 AM. Oct 1. Suggested admission $5. Free Parking. [Link].  Between 11th & 13th streets, on Central Ave. St Pete.

[this is still in progress...] 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yellowjacket's Press 4th Annual Poets' Happy Hour and Prime Time Show

The 2011 Yellowjacket Press (YP) Annual Poets' Happy Hour and Prime Time Show was held last Friday at the HCC Ybor Performing Arts Theater. YP's new chapbooks of poetry by Tampa Poet Laureate James Tokley and St Pete Poet Laureate Peter Meinke were released. They both read, along with Erica Dawson, Enid Shomer, Pamela Hill Epps, Gregory Byrd, Cole Bellamy and Kirsten Holt.

Yellowjacket is a small independent press owned and run by Gianna Russo.

Gregory Byrd
Gregory Byrd read his "Cloud Language in Albania", a poem about a trip taken on a grant with his family to Albania. He connects his temporary location to his home, relating one to the other, along with his feelings and perceptions. One stand-out line was: "The clouds speak to the mountains, but never the sea".
 He also read poems about being a Veteran, a murdered cousin in Utah, and an evening in Albania after his daughter's geometry lesson. Inquisitive, moving poetry that is sometimes light and conceptually lilting, other times raising deep questions. You can read some of Gregory's poems here [Link] .

Gianna Russo and [Insert Name]

Raffle tickets were sold, and an animated raffle held onstage. After which a beautiful, well-loved antique fishing reel was auctioned off.

Kirsten Holt

Kirsten Holt  read a poignant poem that seemed to contain every slang term for sex bits and acts imaginable. One lie that stood out for me: "He divorced his identifiers". You can read other poems by Kirsten here [Link].

Erica Dawson

Erica Dawson started with a Maryland piece that soon edged out into slavery and the nature of history. There was a poem about personal events during a trip to Archer City in Larry McMurtry country, cold vodka and a cowboy. Another about a yet-to-be-conceived child, and a last one about a speaker  in the Devil's Walking Stick. Read other poems by her here: [Link].

Peter Meinke

St. Pete Poet Laurete Peter Meinke's works ranged from Apples, a poem about the imminent World War II, a letter to a reader, and old houses. Meinke has a way of shifting the meaning of a poem with one line to a far deeper level. From the old house piece: "Houses have secret shadows trembling" Read more here: [Link], [Link]

James Tokley

Tampa Poet Laureate James Tokley, who has been reviewed here before,  read several poems, amongst them "The Epic of The Sandwiche Cubano", "Loneliness: A Connection", "Joanna's Fingers", and many, many more. Tokley's poems are grounded in hard-earned street wisdom and
the hearts and minds of the common man.

[Link], [Link], [Link]

Do yourself a favor. Go here [Link] and order up Tokley's, Meinke's and several other chapbooks of poetry from Giana Russo. They will move, provoke and make you feel and think.

The picture on the cover of James Tokley's "Epic of the Sandwiche Cubano" was requestd by Yellowjacket's Gianna Russo and was donated by me. It's an honor to have my picture on the cover of Mr. Tokley's book.

Congratulations to the Poets, Gianna Russo and Yellowjacket Press, the benefactors who keep it going, and HCC Ybor for a wonderful evening, and for keeping poetry alive in our world.

--- Luis

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Return to Sender @ Tempus Projects, Part II

Work by Cornell Rubino
(Part II)

On the right is a triple portrait in the form of a full-length figure and two other studies of the face. Note the androginy of the subject, and how the faces sequentially increase in size and seem to perhaps mature. The last one is smoking a cigarette.[Link]

Work by JoEllen Schilke

JoEllen Schilke is an artist, hostess of WMNF's "Art in Your Ear" show, and owner of one of my favorite St. Pete haunts, the Globe Cafe. Here there are twenty Buddha (?) heads, each with its own cut-out halo and the same script below each one. The cut-out haloes reveal different parts of an underlying layer.

Work by Anthony Zollo

Anthony Zollo, sculptor, painter and mixed media artist returned this misty blue image of a male figure on a small canoe (?) on water, his hand held up in a gesture that could mean hello or good-bye. This has a nostalgic feel to it.

Viewers and art on opening night @ Tempus Projects

Work by Rebecca Skelton

 A beautifully rendered drawing by Rebecca Skelton. A female face partially superimposed on a pensive-looking classical male figure in the background. The ambiguous look on the face could be interpreted as apprehensive or extremely focused. It also brings to mind the significance of the act of seeing in art. [Link]

Work by Becky Flanders

Becky Flanders, whose work has been reviewed here before, showed a triskelion, (with an extra leg!) an ancient Celtic symbol that originally was composed of three interlocking spirals. It is still used to this day in the flags of countries and as we see here, in art. Becky has included a vaginal form in the center, and pegs or ? behind the knees on the legs. Ms Flanders achieved lasting fame for her self-portraits shown at Mindy Solomon Gallery, causing such scandal that the windows of the gallery were covered with bubble wrap! That show was reviewed here. [Link].

Work by Cynthia Mason

Cynthia Mason's work is three-dimensional, a grid of silver stars connected by thread. I think there was only one other 3D work in the show. This had a whimsical and hypnotic quality. [Link]

Artists Bradley Arthur and Matt Normand

Sculptor and multimedia artist Bradley Arthur's "2 Wrongs don't make a right", is a humorous play on the common saying. What's really different about this work is that Bradley used bits from the mailout package in the work.

Work by Ellen Mueller

Ellen Mueller, who's been reviewed here, made a work consisting of one of those rolling ladders that are used to stock and retrieve things on/from shelves and a color mosaic. That ladder could be taken metaphorically. One thing that came to mind is as a narrative on the function of the artist, to bring things (the colors) in and out of one plane of consciousness and onto or out of another. [Link]

Work by Theo Wujcik

Theo submitted a triad of bottle caps, some old, and the one at the top with a yellow flower and what looked like leaves at the top. I read it as a memoir, and/or a nostalgic affirmation of life and growth. [Link]

I want to congratulate all 94 artists, Tracy, and Tempus Projects for a delightful show.

--- Luis

Monday, September 26, 2011

Return to Sender @ Tempus Projects, Part I

Tempus Projects -- a 'project space', not just a gallery -- used to be a two car garage, or part garage and workshop. [Link] For 17 months it has been multitasking. It has hosted work by 75 artists to date. This is about to more than double with the current show, "Return to Sender" which includes one work by each of ninety-four artists. All under the creative directorship of Tracy Midulla Reller, an FSU MFA and HCC Assistant Professor of Art for a decade. She is co-owner along with Ashley Niven.

View of Exhibit and viewers.
This was perhaps the largest, in terms of attendance, of any Tempus show I've been to. The place was packed. With that many artists, it was to be expected. The concept was simple: One hundred and thirty artists were selected and sent an envelope with a 7x7" negative silhouette print as the field on which to execute their art, and they returned the finished piece in the envelope to Tempus. Some of the entries came from as far away as India.

The complete list of artists shown: George Anderton, Kienan James Almeida, Linda Armstrong, The Art Guys, Bradley Arthur, Ariel Baron-Robbins, Neil Bender, Harvey Benschoter, Dylan Berry, Mikel Bisbee-Durlam, George Blakely, Tate Bunker, Roger Chamieh, Jeremy Chandler, Jiarra Chiang, Elisabeth Condon, Jesse Cregar, Suzanne Camp Crosby, Edgar Sanchez Cumbas, Shara DeWitt, David Diaz, William Downs, Ljiljana Edmiston, Lyman Edwards, Erica Ellis, Leslie Elsasser, Sarah Emerson, Zesch Fallon, Cor Andrew Fahringer, Becky Flanders, Kendra Frorup, Ilse Padilla Fisher, Jeff Gibbons, Edward Gillum, Joe Griffith, Daniel Georges, Gregory Green, Scott Groeniger, Allen Hampton, Holly Hanessian, Lisa Harasiuk, Tyler Jopek, Carolina Sardi, Mario Schambon, Don Sizemore, Rebecca Skelton, Ryann Slauson, Alexis Kleinbard, Ina Kaur, Gabriel Kudela, R Land, Robbie Land, Robert Lawrence, Rory Laven, Terri Lindbloom, George Long, Diran Lyons, Ann-Marie Manker, Lynn Manos, Cynthia Mason, Mark Mothersbaugh, Eric McCafferty, Ellen Mueller, Justin Myers, Justin Nelson, Ashley Niven, Kym O'Donnell, David Packer, Roger Palmer, Sam Parker, Kurt Piazza, Bianca Pratorius, Jim Reiman, Babs Reingold, Herman Reller, Jim Roche, Erica Rohman, Cornel Rubino, John F. Russell, Shannon Richie-Lindsey, Edwin Smalling, Brian Taylor, Joe Tsambiras, Kevin Tsoiasue, Rumi Tsuda, Nichole Van Beek, Stephanie Wadman, Kirk Wang, Julie Weitz, Theo Wujick SP, Rob Yulfo, and Anthony Zollo.

This is quite a list, including a very wide range of artists. It is also an impossibly large number to write about here, so a select few will be highlighted in no particular order or hierarchy.

By John F. Russel
Participant tracing own hand.

John F. Russel's [Link] work was interactive. Viewers were to trace their hands out with a crayon, as shown on the right. That very same kind girl did me a favor by tracing out my left hand while I photographed the collaboration with the camera in my right hand. This was a fun piece that morphed as many viewers laid hands on it. By the end of the evening, it was a lot darker, more amorphous, and a performance piece in progress.

Work by Leslie Elsasser

Below  right is Ringling professor Leslie Elsasser's work. An aggresive cock claws a hapless-looking pink rabbit wearing striped leggings, with bubble-like forms floating up from both, some pink, some clear.

Work by Lisa Harasiuk

From Lisa Harasiuk (left) a tongue tied, with accompanying personal-sounding emotional narrative in vertical bars and what appears to be watercolor letter forms in the background.

Work by Kirk Wang

On the right is a dancing Panda by Kirk Wang, a professor of Visual Arts at Eckerd College who is a painter, sculptor, photographer, mixed media artist and is involved with making educational software.

Work by Bradlee Shanks

Bradlee Shanks is a USF Associate Professor in printmaking.
his specialty is digitally mediated printmaking. This image of two waves is a metaphorical fluid narrative but it is also an exquisite tone poem. [Link]

Photo by Jeremy Chandler

Jeremy Chandler, [Link] whose work has been reviewed here before, is a photographer who does mostly deadpan, social narrative, documentary style portraits with a slight Arbus-like edge. He was Tampa's sixth Photographer Laureate and has been exhibited in the Mindy Solomon Gallery recently in the "Hero Worship" show (which was reviewed here).

Work by Jeff Gibbons

A graduate of University of Tampa, Jeff Gibbons submitted this repeating image of what seems to be a lumberjack wielding an axe.  The many figures resonate off one another, and give the impression of being a visual chant.
Work by Rob Yulfo

The work on the right, by Rob Yulfo, appears to have comic-book influences. You can see a lot more of his work here [Link. A very specific balance between organic and graphic approaches making for a strong style.

Work by Daniel Georges

From Daniel Georges, an image of a goal post with very random-looking lines on one side, and very orderly, coherent ones on the other. A comment on what happens before and after reaching a goal?

Sam Parker sent a beautifully executed, comic-book styled creature with breasts, carrying the City, with many arms or branches and five legs.

End, part I. To be continued...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Neverne Covington @ HCC Ybor

HCC Ybor Gallery View, Neverne Covington
Neverne Covington's "A Hungry Attention" show at HCC Ybor Art Gallery showcases her focused imagination, technical fluency, and diversity. Yes, there are some things that aren't in the show, like some of the more graphic work involving animal figures in surreal landscapes, but what's there is very, very good and provides a survey of the breadth and depth of her work. Technically, she is at ease with many drawing media, oil, acrylic, encaustic, and printmaking ink on paper, canvas and panels. Her  work is a tour de force of processes. And there's the book-making, some involving rusty tin plates (hardback?), or small, visually and literarily poetic folding books, their pages zig-zagging like symmetrical lightning bolts on their pedestals. Confronting one feels like entering a revelatory maze.

Neverne Covington, "Arc of Transformation", detail

Read Neverne's prior reviews, press releases and artists' statements and the same terms keep cropping up: Objectivity and subjectivity. Things that Kurt Godel [Link] would have loved, like what is the Unknown? What can we know? Via which senses?  Sounds like epistemology. Making sense/order out of the world. Transience and Beauty. The Mystery of Nature, and landscape of memory. Mysticism. Control, spontaneity, intuition and wonder.  A fascination with flora and fauna that simultaneously includes and transcends botany/zoology.


Neverne Covington, "Stream Bed"

It is all true, and more. Her fascination with the natural world is in the form of a dialogue with it, and not just a pseudo-verbal conversation, but a mystical interaction, a holistic give and take, part of the result of which is the work. In landscape everything is interrelated -- even invisible but implied things outside the frame of the work. Visible forms are integrated, flowing seamlessly into one another, connected.

 In "Stream Bed", shown above, a 40x50" oil, we can see this. If one is familiar with this type of system, it is easy to imagine what lies just outside the frame from the cues the image provides. This is also an example of one of the more realistic works, but it is not the usual "pretty" conventional landscape. It has Beauty of a different kind. It is a detail of a specific and important part of it, and metaphorically, roots entering the stream, never the same place in the stream. Like so many things in life, motion is relative. Neverne gives us a glimpse beyond, by showing the reflections in the water of the edge of the canopy above, whose existence is owed to the water below, in part. Simultaneous levels of existence... we are all stream, root and canopy. The style is economical but ample for its purpose.

Neverne Covington, "Stood The Dreaming"

The work's aesthetic has as broad a range as the techniques used. It ranges from realistic (Ok, slightly hyperrreal) landscapes or plants to total abstractions, and everything that lies between those two endpoints. Neverne is equally at home at anywhere on that spectrum, which is remarkable. If all one saw was from one place in the spectrum, it would be easy to assume that's all she does. This range might result in work that seems scattered in other artists, but Ms. Covington is so very focused philosophically/thematically that it ties all this diversity together.

Neverne Covington, "The Hunger"

On the right is "The Hunger", A polymer plate intaglio [Link] with watercolor wash in an earthy quasi-sepia that the artist uses in different variations in other works. Life is iconized (in a spiritual sense) in the work. What the Chinese call "chi" [Link] is visually exploding in this print. that potency, tenacity, fecundity and more that is the mystery of the living is clearly evident here. The succulence of the organic forms, mandala composition, the spikes at their end, reaching out, and the way the shadows give the complex form a sense of ascendancy that adds to its force.

Neverne Covington, "Chassahowitzka"

Some of the works are of specific places, like "Chassahowitzka", the oil depicted on the left, a kayaker's/canoeists view. Realistic, but not obsessively so, the prominence of the dead palm that has fallen into the river, fallen, yet defiant and reaching for the once-sustaining light. The artist bears witness to these transformations, cycles and exchanges, literally and metaphorically. At the show, a young man came up and remarked that he knew just where that spot was on the river.

Neverne Covington, "Heartscape"

In the copper plate intaglio "Heartscape" , we see a very different kind of landscape, an inner one. A wasteland, strewn with rocks, arid, without anything growing in it, and a heart, exiled from its body, lies among the rocks. I think this is a key image to understanding Neverne's work. The tensions that everything that lives feels, the combination of ecstasies, pain, knowledge, mortality and the limits of what we can know are here. And the work becomes clearer. These are like a semi-silvered mirror that reflects and lets you see through it to the distant shore.

Then there are the books...they look like medieval altarpieces made of paper. Some, like the one here,, are folders, others are on rusted tin plates, proving that some times one can tell a book by its cover. These are exquisite objects in every way, word, image and materials unified into poetry. The small ones are also seductively intimate. They make the viewer feel like a piece of silk being drawn through a keyhole into a secret world within ourselves.

 Congratulations to Neverne Covington, Carolyn Kossar and HCC Ybor for a memorable show.

Hillsborough Community College's Art Gallery is located in the Performing Arts Building Room 114 on the Ybor City Campus located at 2204 N. 15th Street Tampa, FL 33605. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Tuesdays from 12 noon to 7 p.m. The gallery is open to the public, and admission is free for everyone. Click here for a map of the campus. For further information or to arrange special hours, contact Gallery Coordinator, Carolyn Kossar at  or 813-253-7674.

Make time for this one. It will be up through October 13th.

Friday, September 23, 2011

CL Best of the Bay Awards

Hierarchical ratings like Creative Loafing's are fun, but don't do much for me. It's too much like watching a Miss America Pageant or a very short reality show. "The Best" were not chosen by popular vote but by CL's own writers, who also create the categories.

Having said all that, congratulations to:

Gianna Russo
Jono Vaughan
Paul Pavlovich
Cristina Garcia
Josh Pearson
West Tampa Center for The Arts
USF's Contemporary Arts Museum
HCC Ybor Gallery and Performing Arts

--- Luis

Thursday, September 22, 2011

This ArtOn! / Free Museum Saturday/ Weekend,. Sept. 23rd 25th

ArtOn! Central Live Arts Festival  @ St. Pete History Museum grounds - See more than 40 artists doing their work plein air (on location, outside) on the grounds of the History Museum. Saturday happens to be free Museum Day, too. Saturday, Sept. 24th, 335 2nd Ave. NE. 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM. Free


The Evolution of Pedro Jermaine: Pedro Perry @ Studio @ 620 - Explorations of pain, fear and anxiety. Opens next Tuesday, Sept 20th. Reception is on Saturday, Sept 24th, 6:00 - 9:00 PM,  620 First Ave South, St. Petersburg. Free.

Colors @ Blue Lucy - Their first group show, themed on spontaneity. Different colors assigned to each artist. Some very familiar names in this show, including Daniel Mrgan, Allen Hampton and Chris Parks, among many others. Opens Saturday, Sept. 24th (next Sat.). 7:00 - 11:00 PM. Through Oct 24th. Bluelucy, 653 Central Ave. St. Pete. Free

The Big Picture: Large Format Photography @ Davidson Fine Arts Gallery - A juried show of LF photographs. The jurors are: MK Foltz, Professor of Photography and Digital Imaging @ Ringling, and Arthur Skinner, Professor of Visual Arts @ Eckerd College. Opening Reception, Saturday, Sept 24th, 6-9 PM.  Davidson Fine Arts,  1100 First Ave North, St Petersburg. Free.

2-4-2 @ The Bricks - Two musical groups and two visual artists will perform/show at this popular bar/eatery in Ybor. Featured are Michelle Sawyer and Chad Cardoza on the walls, and Mia Bury and Wet Nurse onstage. Art show starts @ 8 PM, Music @ 10 PM. Saturday, Sept 24th. The Bricks, 1327 E. Seventh Ave, Ybor City (Tampa). Free.

Imaginary Icons: Dolores Coe and Karen Tucker Kuykendall @ Clayton Galleries - A two-woman show at Clayton Galleries. Opens 7-9 PM Friday, Sept. 23rd. 4105 S. McDill Ave., Tampa. Free.

Rubber Stamp-Making Workshop With Coralette Damme @ 620 - Coralette hosts a DIY class. Learn to make your own design rubber stamps, something Coralette does beautifully. The cost covers materials. Tuesday, Sept. 27th, at Studio 620, 620 First Ave S. St Petersburg.

Petal Lines: George Anderton and Gwyn Zesch Fallon @ Gallery 221 - A two-man show at the HCC Dale Mabry Campus gallery 221. This is the debut show by new gallery director Katherine Gibson. 4001 Tampa Bay Blvd (across from Tampa Stadium) on the 2nd floor of the Learning Resource Center. 8 AM - 8 PM Mon-Thurs. 8AM - 2 PM Friday-Sat. Free.

Yellowjacket Press' 4th Annual Poets Happy Hour & Prime Time Show @ HCC Ybor - Several poets, including James Tokley, Tampa Poet Laureate, will be reading in the main hall. Friday, 6:30-9 PM $5suggested donation (please contribute). The Epic of The Sandwiche Cubano will be read. This is a magnificent poem, which will be read by its author, in his unique voice.

Free Museum Admission Day, Saturday Sept 24th. - The following institutions have free admission this Saturday, Sept 24th:

Dali Museum (SP)
Museum of Fine Arts (SP)
Morean Art Center Galleries (SP)
Ringling Museum Of Art and Circus Museum (Sarasota)
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (Tampa)
Florida Craftsmen Galleries (SP)
Polk Museum of Art (Lakeland)
 St. Pete Museum of History (SP)
Florida Holocaust Museum (SP)
International Museum of Radiant Peace (SP)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Look Inside: Javier Dones @ Arts Lofts

Arts Lofts Entrance

The Arts Lofts has been holding one man shows (with one exception so far) in the lobby area by the elevators. The entrance in the photo on the left leads to those elevators, and the show, which is on the second floor. Exhibited  is Javier Dones, who has a series of shadowboxes, framed in wood, and using various metals, some stressed, notably copper. These are fairly small works, maybe 8x10, whose size encourages intimacy with the viewer, since the viewing angle is fairly narrow.  The effect is like peering through a keyhole or small window into another world.

Javier T. Dones, "Inner Energy"

[The light levels in part of the lobby where the work is shown are abysmally low. In those sections I was barely able to get pictures. Apologies for the image quality.]

The press release says the work "...expresses the artist's innermost self-reflections...." and continues the legacy of Jack Lebowitz, who had a studio at the Lofts now used by Dones,, in which the latter acknowledged his debt to, and showed me some of Leibowitz' work. These are jewel-like works, abstract, but if one looks at them closely, suddenly it becomes evident that there are repeating organic forms and colors throughout the series.

Javier T. Dones, "Calm"

 Note the ribbon-like forms in this box. They look a little like palm fronds or grass. "Calm"  induces what its name suggests. Javier is not just an artist, but also a Physical Therapist, concerned with healthy mind/body states. In this box, there's only loosening tensions, but all is not placid and idyllic. This is more of a real-life calm, surrounded by other dynamic processes.

Javier T. Dones, "Open to Receive"

 An abstract of Receptivity. These boxes are so intriguingly attractive. The blues in this one are so carefully controlled. Javier, who is a native of Puerto Rico, said they are related to the blues of the warm Caribbean waters of La Isla del Encanto. Note all the folding shapes, how everything is echoed and connects. At the bottom of all three of the works reviewed so far, there is a wire curly-cue/spiral.

Javier T. Dones, "Keep"

 In "Keep", shown at left, the aqueous waveforms are doinant. They speak of cycles, and the wires arcing between passages in the sculpture are like connections between them.  Dones was influenced by artists from Puerto Rico and Cuba. I see traces of Modernist formal influences in his work, but he has infused them with the forms, rhythms and colors of the Tropics.

Javier Dones, "Bless"

 Some of the works shown are not shadowboxes. They are unframed metal works, like "Bless" on the right. Here we see the curves of palms, suggestions of boats and water. In all of these works there is an inescapable metaphysical aspect. Here, the textures or wrinkles in the metal become much more prominent than in  the shadowboxes. The radial ones lead the eye around the sculpture, interacting with the forms they intersect. Another beautiful contemplative object. Dones' benign, laid-back, good natured presence comes through clearly in his work.

Javier Dones

 Congratulations to Javier T. Dones and The Arts Lofts for a beautiful show that reminds us of the powerful intimacy of small-sized works. Artists draw from a lot of sources for their work, always relying to a degree on personal memory and experience. Javier integrates this seamlessly with his metal sculptures. A special note to Javier for being so open and helpful.

 --- Luis

See the show at Arts Lofts, 10 Fifth Ave North, St Petersburg.