Friday, May 30, 2014

This Last Lovers on Earth Weekend, May 30th - June 1st.

Friday, May 30th


The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association invite you to attend the first annual Strokes for Stroke (#Strokes4Stroke) Art Show on Friday, May 30!

This powerful fundraiser will showcase artwork created by stroke survivors, as well as raise awareness about stroke -- the No. 4 killer of Americans. There will also be special tribute pieces from individuals whose loved ones have been affected by stroke.

Guests can also enjoy heart-health-healthy hors d'oeuvres, a cash bar, tunes by local reporter and former DJ, Arielle Stevenson, testimonies from local stroke survivors, and more. The program is hosted by the lovely Dion Lim of 10 News!

We're still looking for featured artists! Whether you enjoy painting, sculpting, wood working or needlepoint (to name a few), we'd be honored to have you participate in Strokes for Stroke.

For more information, please call Lily at 678-873-1566 or email her at

Local Together to End Stroke Cause Sponsor: Verizon Florida.

Media sponsors: Creative Loafing Tampa and WTSP 10 News.

Emcee: Dion Lim of 10 News.

What: Strokes for Stroke Art Show
When: Friday, May 30; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: CL Space: 1911 N. 13th St. Suite W200 (second floor above Spaghetti Warehouse), Tampa, FL, 33605

Parking: Street parking is free or you can park in the Noriega Parking Garage (Ninth Avenue and 13th Street intersection). Parking is $3 for four hours, and the machine accepts credit or cash.

**ALL proceeds benefit the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
**Wheelchair accessible


Demos Oneiroi is a multimedia installation concerned with the variegated structure of transcendence. Demos Oneiroi takes as its foundation an intractable phenomenological ennui, a self-bored circular hermeneutics and a persistent dryness around the cuticles. Demos Oneiroi is implanted in the dank ground of an unnamed swamp and is passing the time inventing games of self-estrangement to be played out among the strip-malls. Demos Oneiroi is searching for desire in the mire.

Epoxy presents a show that is thematically divided between its interior and exterior spaces. Inside the gallery space proper, Pia Love-Toribio creates a lucid phantasmagoria through which she explores a personal symbology of simple geometric forms. Outside the gallery, Andrea Williams creates an artificial "remoteness" for participating audience members in which she plays with the concept of oracular self-knowledge. The works are united in their attempt to serve as a portal to something beyond the socially-conditioned bounds of experienced reality. Please join us Friday May 30th 2014, between 7pm - 10 pm and also June 6 for the FFSH between 6pm-10 pm.


Marcile Powers is an artist local to the St. Petersburg area who recently had a show in Rome, Italy. She will be showing her work with a live projection of animated art as a follow-up show. Joshua Kreithen will be there playing guitar and possibly an Eastern European folk singer if we're lucky. Please come out to the new authentic Italian Bakery in St. Petersburg to see the work.


The Florida Free Film Fest is a free two week contest in which participants and their teams create a movie of 10 minutes or less about pretty much anything. (See official Rules for more details)

This is your chance to pick up the rules and meet other folks who you might like to work with. You have this weekend to get your teams together before the contest begins Sunday evening. Bring your skills and ideas and enjoy the free food!


Saturday, May 31st

Advantage Village Academy along with the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference
is proudly to present their
4th Annual Cancer Awareness Event
"Pink Bow Tie Gala"
Tickets $25
Come and enjoy an evening of Jazz with the renown
Shawn Brown
*Sponsorship Opportunities Available by calling 727.321.7848
*Tickets are available at Parker Financial | 1221 22nd St South



A last chance to get inspried and educatred to make you Florida Free Film Fest movie. Leigh Armstrong and Timothy Blaszka will give you tips and tricks to make a better film, from DIY special effects, to making a camera stabilizer for under $20.

This is a FREE educational event.

Venture Compound 2621 Fairfield Drive., Saint Petersburg.

[Post incomplete -- more to come] 


Saturday, May 24, 2014

This Godzilla Weekend, May 24-25th.

Summer is fast descending upon us, but it's still only feeling like 95 outside....

Saturday May 24th

Crafty Fest Market our buy local, handmade & vintage fabulous monthly event! It is a fav with the locals and always a great time. All ages welcome & free to the pubic event. Our markets are a ton of fun and feature the best artisans in Tampa Bay including lots of ETSY folks too. Come enjoy the Fest and make a day out of your ARTpool adventure by eating with us at our cafe, shopping with vendors and checking out our funky shop & gallery too!
Sellers can reserve their booth at
The Fests for this season will be hosted at:
ARTpool Gallery located at 2030 Central Avenue, St Petersburg FL 33712
May 24 & 25 11am-5pm both days
June 28 & 29 11am-5pm both days


Bloom Grand Opening!
May 24th, The Oleson Gallery presents Bloom. A 7,000 sf. multi-purpose, multi-level gallery event space located at 910 5th Avenue North, St. Pete FL. Our grand opening will include works in all mediums, subject matter, and scale, by an exciting and impressive culmination of 100 or more artists, and feature a mezzanine solo exhibition by Scott Hillis. On the music side of the night, an amazing lineup of bands will be performing, including Jun純, Goodnight Neverland, Archaic Interest, RedFeather, Empire Cinema, Hussar, Catatonic Scripts & More! Also browse our nine Bloom Studios who's artists will open up their doors for the evening as well! Doors open at 7 pm with DJ Earl Grae to greet you. 8 dollar entry at the door. A ton to see, hear and be a part of all under one roof...And there's plenty of parking! See you all there!

Participating artists -
Margaret Juul - Lorraine Ulen - Robert Gallardo - Chris Parks - Josh Poll - John Taormina - Van Der Luc - Maria DiSclafani - Sebastian Coolidge - Emily Miller - Korey Lightford - Don Orcutt - Natalie Kuehn - Jake Fox - STOIC - John Suarez - Justin Wagher - Jenipher Chandley - John Lichtenstein - Elena Sarn - Juliana Vilamil - Jennifer Kosharek - Dee Dee Seruga - Nicolas Franklin - Chad Mize - Derek Donnelly - Aurailieus - John Vitale - Saori - Stephen Palladino - James Oleson - Xina Scuderi - J. Christopher - Brandon McLean - Nikita Glueck - Juliette Inostroza - George Retkes - Julian Grimes - Virginia Boller - Reid Jenkins - Jessi Donnelly - Sue Woodall - Evan Thomas Neimann - Laura Miller - Jason Bromley - Misa Oliver - Kristin Eschenroeder - Calan Ree - Rebekah Lazaridis - Laura Spencer - April Seelbach - Eric Kent - Cassandra Wahuhi - Zulu Painter - Naomi Glueck - Dena Lowery Sawbladehead - Eva Avenue - Marc Levasseur - Misa Reinersten - Mark Mitchell - Laura Miller - Beleek Vickers - Alex Duensing - Sharon Britton - Clint Thomas - Phillip Clark - Moy Loera - Johnnie Profhet - Victoria Berrios - Thomas Ris - Bruce Norris - Perry Anne - Sean Williams - Sheri Kendrick - Jay Herres - Chuck Majewski - Renee Little - Mr. Sawbladehead - Mishou Sanchez - John Butler -Callie Ferraro - Josue Saenz - Zachariah Bowden - Bridget Bryson - John Fisher - Christian Thomas - Amanda Elaine Killen - Margaret Schnebly Hodge - Laura James - Cindy Linville - Noe Lozano - Leandro Gongora & More!


On May 24 Eight of Tampa Bay's most daring writers will face off in live literary combat!

In Lucha Libro two authors are given a random prompt and then they have five minutes to create an original piece of written brilliance, right before your eyes! After the frenzy of spontaneous creation, our combatants will present their work and a winner will be declared! Winners move on to the next round until only one remains!

 At Cafe Hey, 7 PM. 1540 N. Franklin St. Tampa.

Sunday, May 25th



Friday, May 23, 2014

Guest Blogger: I am the Artist

[Exactly as received...unedited]

I am the Artist.

I crazy nimble tightrope between the pits of poverty and anonymity, in brief better times between sanctity and delusion. I know bittersweet highs and lows you will probably never know.

I am a strange stranger, warrior/nomad, fighting shadows in the fog. I travel light and fight to defend the land beyond the pale, those frayed fragments of the map beyond which most of you never think, nor care, nor venture. Too comfortable, you are satisfied with my leavings, my bloody souvenirs. I bless you for that.

It is in these shaded realms the boon lurks, golden monsters deftly pilfered, skillfully twisted into reimagined treasure of no earthly value. You don't know it, but without this you would scarcely be human. I am what remains of the slathering machine/beast you created that would gladly eat you dead. I am the human shield between you and your boring oblivion.

Pity us. Each one touched by this mad spell knows deep there is no real way out. It has chosen. It is infinitely large, and there is infinite pain and grace in it. You didn't understand. You thought it would be a relief to be abandoned by it, to escape, to become like you. But to leave art would be like abandoning your child to the wolves. It would not be a sneakily forgotten defeat, but a spiritual demolition. No place to hide. Art is a chemical, you see. A bespoke drug that changes you. For you too, there is no turning back. You want some but are afraid. We know that about you, because we are the mirrored shields between your lustful barren complacency and your perversely incomplete longings. You hate us/you can't live without us. You fear our extinction, yet are happy to keep us on the razor of starvation, weak but working.

Art is a Mother. It is a terror. It is something one can't forget. If you are an artist, your art can't be "redirected" into a carefully wrapped and branded exterior hiding an easily digested yet oh so memorable interior. The Gods have mercy on us ---- it is our blood. We are the cursed mnemonic mutations of the thorn in your  side. Most tragic of all, as individuals we are rare yet expendable. As viable citizens we are semi suicidal. Yet, you would miss us, you would, were we quietly gone, a Silent Spring at midnight. You might awaken to the irrevocable hollow of a song you had not yet heard and a discomforting realization that you can't fill that space yourself.  Too late. Art has moved on to better pastures. And what moved away was the best undiscovered part of you. Art was the string once held that held something that floated away....

Then you remembered....when times were good and you sashayed to buy something that celebrated your superficial joys. When things got uncomfortable, you searched for the art tonic to soothe your confusions, or to focus your fight. And in times of utter desperation you began to find in a piece of art the miraculous ball of black and gold twine that helped you find your way. That is when you you began to understand...

Art is a lifeline thrown by a drowning man.   Reach for it.   Find it.   Hold on tight.   Never let go.

You never know when you will need art.

--- Anonanonymous  

[Art Taco welcomes guest bloggers. This contributor asked to remain anonymous. All points of view expressed by guest bloggers are their own, not Art Taco's.]

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Art of the Book Workshop in City of Imagination, Gulfport, May 31 2014.


News Release                                                             Contact:
May 20, 2014                                                    

Register for the Art of the Book workshop on May 31 in Gulfport

GULFPORT, Fla.—Register for the Art of the Book workshop at the City of Imagination, 2726 54th St. S., Gulfport, on Saturday, May 31, from 1-4 p.m. The workshop is by suggested donation.

Artists Dorian Angello and Brandi Palmer will demonstrate using the techniques of acrylic gel medium transfer and chine-collé to assemble pages for an artist's book. Participants are encouraged to bring their own images to the workshop.

Artwork by Angello and Palmer will be on display at the City of Imagination in Gulfport through May 31 during the show Building Myths: Desecrating Histories.

For more information, email


Kirk Ke Wang Lecture at Museum of Fine Arts, St. Pete.

Dear Friends,

I cordially invite you to attend my lecture titled “Cultural Revolutions in China - a review of Chinese contemporary art since the revolution” at the Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg FL, on 6:30pm on Thursday, May 22, 2014. The lecture is an introduction to the new exhibition My Generation: Young Chinese Artists (exhibition opens Saturday, June 7, 2014).

In this lecture, I will discuss the following topics:
Intro: Culture of Tradition
Part I: Culture of Utopianism
Part II: Culture of Extremism
Part III: Culture of Conscience
Part IV: Culture of Confusion
Part V: Culture of Pleasure

For more info, please check the website of the museum:

Hope you could join us!



Kirk Ke Wang 
Professor of Visual Arts
Eckerd College

Where are the women muralists of Saint Petersburg?

Seeing the latest murals being painted in Saint Petersburg Florida is good, even if the scene is largely dominated by a handful of artists -- all of whom happen to be men. The majority of the (legal) murals are by Sebastian Coolidge, Derek Donnelly, Tes One, Bask, Chad Mize and a few others.

 Where are the women?

Jennifer Kosharek, Laura Spencer and Rebekkah Lazaridis have done murals in Saint Petersburg, yet are absent from this new ongoing wave. Why? They are not doing large or small jobs. nor being included in collaborations. With grants being disbursed for murals, I think the issue of gender should not be overlooked.

Now is the time to fix this.

--- Luis

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Amarulentia: Bitterness in Art.

"The other day I was asked, “What makes a successful artist?” . . . That’s a really complicated question, I could be giving you a lecture. There are so many processes of validation, legitimation, different benchmarks of credibility which are not just financial . . . Rather than waffling on about that, I just said, “A successful artist is one who doesn’t feel bitter.” And I really, really believe that. There are multi-millionaire artists who somehow feel bitter about their lack of recognition, and then there are people who are doing their own thing and finding emotional satisfaction in it."

                                                                                                        --- Sarah Thornton

noun: bitterness; plural noun: bitternesses
  1. 1.
    sharpness of taste; lack of sweetness.
    "the lime juice imparts a slight bitterness"
    synonyms:sharpness, acidity, acridity, tartness, sourness, harshness; More
    "the bitterness of the medicine"
    resentment, rancor, indignation, grudge, spite, sullenness, sourness, churlishness, moroseness, petulance, pique, peevishness;
    "there was no bitterness between them"
    unpleasantness, disagreeableness, nastiness;
    "the bitterness of war"
  2. 2.
    anger and disappointment at being treated unfairly; resentment.
    "he expressed bitterness over his dismissal without notice"

Bitterness is no stranger to the arts. In prolonged conversations, it rarely arises, often in fleeting fragments, often sublimated through humor. Art is a very difficult path through life. 95% of all arts majors will end up working in other fields after they graduate. I would say that at least 3/4ths of all the artists I know have day jobs, spouses supporting them, entitlements, retirement, or other extraneous sources of income. In the Bay Area there are a few thousand people who consider themselves artists. Creative Loafing, Tampa Bay Times, La Gaceta, Tampa Trib, and perhaps a half- dozen bloggers who write about the arts, most one show/event/artist per week. All but five merely report on upcoming events. The odds of receiving recognition in the community are slim.

Add to this the financial lack of recognition in the Bay area for most, relatively low levels of education in the public at large, the recent/current economic hard times, and it becomes apparent that this is a trying, if not hostile environment for artists, what James Rosenquist called "A cultural wasteland" (specifically referring to Tampa).

For several artists and gallerists I know, these problems have led to bitterness about art in general, other artists, the city/state they are in, the viewers, art fairs, the market, auctions, very successful artists, etc.

Besides the negativity and spiritual acid rain that goes with it, the time wasted on bitching and trying to convince others to adopting their world view, the saddest part is the paralysis that ensues instead of problem-solving, artistically evolving and forging ahead.

Besides recognition, financial reward, acceptance in the community, and fulfillment of expectations, all artists are, whether they like it or not, small manufacturers. Gallerists are small retailers. Few are aware that they are becoming small business people from the outset. Fewer are prepared to make the sacrifices it takes to attain what they desire in the Art world. What leads to bitterness is that they are also not willing to accept the consequences of their choices. Another harsh reality is that all artists are not created alike. It's not a simple matter of "better than", but also being in the right place/market at the right time. To use a trite example, Van Gogh. Another, Jeff Koons.

Most artists cannot shift their creative persona to cater to a market without soon becoming craftsmen. Use your energies to shift gears, strategize marketing, and either make the sacrifices, or make peace with the way things are. If all fails, start a blog....

--- Luis


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Tempus call for artists. Ends this Friday, so hurry!

Tempus Projects invites you to submit your artwork for consideration for our next group exhibition. Tempus Projects will be hosting and exhibition of small scale sculptural works and a collection of black, white and grey works. This exhibition is scheduled to open on Friday, June 6, 2014, 7pm-10pm and runs through July 5, 2014 with gallery hours by appointment.


SHELVED (3D works) ELIGIBILITY: This exhibition is open to all artists, national and international, working in any 3D media. All works must be under 10 inches in any direction. Please be advised that accepted works will be displayed on gallery shelves. Due to the non-traditional nature of the intended installation of this exhibition, artists may want to include directional notes in their submissions (making note of the suggested 'front' of each sculpture). All works must be priced at or under $500.

REDUCED (black, white & grey works) ELIGIBILITY: This exhibition is open to all artists, national and international,, working in any media. All forms of painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, performance, video, film, audio and digital/graphic art are eligible for review. All works must be primarily black, white and/or grey and must be priced at/or under $500.

ENTRY FEE: There is a $20 entry fee for three submissions (up to two views of each piece will be reviewed); $5 for each additional piece submitted for consideration. Submit as many works as you wish.

SUBMISSION FORMAT: All images should be submitted via email with a submission form and pay pal entry fee. Your submissions and pay pal payment should be sent to: To ensure that your submission is sorted properly and reviewed please included "REDUCED / your name" or "SHELVED / your name" in the subject line of the email.

NOTIFICATION: Artists will be notified of acceptance or decline no later than May 19, 2014 by 6pm. Notification will be made via e-mail. Accepted works must be received by May 26, 2014 at 6pm.

COMMISSION: There will be a 40% commission on any sales made during the exhibition or from the web site.

DEADLINE: All entries must be received via email by Friday, May 16, 2014 by 6pm.

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Get your submissions in by Monday May 12, 2011 by 6pm and only pay a $15 entry fee for three digital submissions (up to two views of each piece will be reviewed); $5 for each additional piece. Submit as many works as you wish.


Name __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Telephone number _____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Address ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Email address___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Web address (optional)___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Entry 1 -
File Name_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Media __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Size __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Entry 2 –
File Name_______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Media __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Size __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Entry 3 –
File Name _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Media _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Size ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

* First three submissions included in $20 entry fee. All additional entries are $5 per entry.

Entry 4 –
File Name _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Media _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Size ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Entry 5 –
File Name _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Media _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Size ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Entry 6 –
File Name _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Title ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Media _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Size ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


 The number of 1-2 night shows seems to be steadily increasing in the Tampa Bay area. The one-nighters last about 4-5 hours! I understand tying up donated space, as in Regions Bank, for example. However, many galleries are also doing this. Some multitasking spaces basically use art (and artists) as cheap wallpaper. A particular large space on 9th comes to mind.

With installations, some are very difficult to maintain, specially if they include animals and/or fish, Like Eva Avenue's memorable Gold Room, and installations also rarely result in sales -- and take up a lot of floor space.

The short lives of these shows also severely limit the possibility for artists to sell work, though the majority of  work tends to sell on opening night. It serves the community to have accessibility to shows for more than a night or two, though it can be argued that very few people in this area go to galleries during the week.

When it comes to shows funded by grants, it seems absurd to invest money into a project that lasts one-third the flight of a Mayfly.

--- Luis

Friday, May 9, 2014

This Blue Ruin Weekend, 5/9 - 5/11

Friday, 5/9/2014






Friday May 9th --QUAID continues their tradition of artist interviews at the end of each show, with one gallery artist interviewing the current exhibiting artist. Ericka Richardson will be interviewing Ville Mehtonen about his current show, "In The Attic". Come by to see the plants, have a beer, and listen to some art talk. 7 PM.

 4600 blk of N Florida Ave Tampa.


4D Studios is pleased to announce our first gallery event in our new South Tampa location! "PHOTO fraîche" is a celebration of student photography from The Art Institute of Tampa. The gallery event will showcase photographs in a variety of genres of photography created by up-and-coming photographers from RAW Exposure: Ai Tampa's Photography Organization. Please join us for a night of artwork and refreshments! 2511 Swann Ave, Tampa, 7-10 PM. 


Saturday, May 10th

These aren't your Grandma's teapots. Stop by Craftsman House during ArtWalk for our annual Teapot Show. A select group of artists from across the US have been invited to participate. This year's show features a wide variety of artsy, functional teapots. Teapots will be on display & available for purchase. In honor of World Fair Trade Day, receive complimentary Fair Trade tea or coffee with any gallery purchase.  Saturday, May 10th to June 7th. 2955 Central Ave.

USF CAM 3-5 PM Theo Wujcik Memorial

 Join us for a Memorial Program and Reception Celebrating the Life and Spirit of Theo Wujcik (1936–2014)

We gather to share memories of Theo’s life and art practice...

An endowed scholarship has been established in Theo’s name to support students in the USF School of Art and Art History. Visit to give online.

Please call (813) 974-4133 for more information.



POP-UP GALLERY featuring the ART of Aurailieus by REGIONS BANK in association with STERLING POWELL
1 hr
600 blk central. 


 Clay Center of St Pete.

You are invited to the third Art MASH of 2014. In 2013, the St. Pete Art MASH produced a total of nine pop up shows that collectively had over $92,700.00 in commission free sales for artists - all monies went directly to local artists in the area! In 2014, we are looking forward to continuing this pattern of success and would like you to come meet our artists, have a good time, and support the local art community.

Light food, entertainment, and beverages are provided.

The St. Pete Art MASH is an opportunity for artists to increase visibility and sales and frequently we highlight artists that are "new" or "emerging" and often our participating artists use the ART MASH as an opportunity for their first show so it is an opportunity for you to "find" a great new artist!

We are proud of the artists that have participated and of all the new artists we can help bring into the art "scene". Come enjoy their work, support new artists, and have fun!




 Rose Marie Prins' students exhibition from the Moreal classes, part II at Everything Dolce, 937 Central. Opens at 5 PM.




You are invited! 'The Storyteller's Closet" show will still be up, featuring paintings & mixed media works by Laura Balombini and bright, whimsical (and affordable!) necklaces by Diana Samper. Celebrating Mother's Day, it will be the perfect evening to stroll the Central Arts District!

 5-9 Saturday May 10th, 320 Central.


At Wandering Eye in Centro Ybor Opens at 5

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

72 Hrs...

Thursday 4/30/2014 - Rented new Mini-Cooper (had been thinking of buying one), drove to Sarasota with my wife. Had lunch at Yoder's restaurant. Went to Burns Court Cinema, saw "Finding Vivian Maier", a good documentary about an excellent woman street photographer who worked as a nanny and never showed anyone her work, which was later found when auctioned out of storage by a Mr. Maloof, a young historian who first started with dreams of cashing out, and now is under Maier's spell. Vivian, a damaged angel, carried out her life as a photographer anyway.

A quick nap at the hotel, the humble but perfectly located Best Western in Sarasota, then off to see a noise music concert by Bora Yoon, 2013 Queen's Art Fund Recipient, and 2014 TED Fellow, sonic poetess and R. Luke Dubois, Master Digital Composer and visual artist, whose exhibit has been up for over a month at the Ringling. The two are long-time collaborators. It was an exceptional concert. DuBois modulated the visuals and some of the sounds.

Ms. Yoon, who is a professional soprano, sang in an ecstatic mode and used several devices to make music. She employed metronomes, the tubes from wind chimes, cell phones on a turntable, and more to generate lyrical noise music. The combination of her satin-like powerful voice and the noises made via unorthodox means made for a tremendous musical experience.

Afterwards, dinner at the Three Senoritas, a beer and bed.

Friday, May 1, 2014. - Breakfast at Yoder's, then to Selby Gardens for a couple of hours meandering around what used to be a rich person's garden, taking pictures and enjoying the greenery and flowers before heading back to Tampa. Unloaded car, took a brief nap, and went to Beth Kokol's gallery on Bay-to-Bay .

It was opening night for Kokol's "Adult Show" of her older students. Quality and consistency varies widely with student shows. The level of technical quality was very good. Several of the students were doing work that one might see in a commercial gallery in the area. One sign of a good art teacher is that there's zero homogeneity in their students' work, which is the case with Beth Kokol's students. The show featured valet parking (!) was very well attended and many works were sold.

From there to First Fridays Seminole Heights. First stop, Tempus gallery. The show, titled "In The Form of a Painting", was curated by Tempus co-curator Kurt Piazza and featured George Anderton, Edgar Sanchez Cumbas. Bianca Pratorius, Pablo Siebel, Ryann Slauson, and Gwyn Zesch. The show explored the local contemporary potential for the forms that a painting can take (along the lines of object/painting and concptual self-referencing. This gallery and its neighbor, QUAID, are the bastions of academic art in Tampa, mostly USF, at that.

I spoke with Tracy Reller, Jorge R. Gelats and others. Danny Olda popped in. Tracy showed me the soon-to-be-decoratively painted lockers that will become "Sustainer Containers", where for a yearly fee Tempus Patrons can stash their favorite spiritsfor their visits. Tempus will sweetwen the pot by putting in little "art surprises" throughout the year.

On the other side of the wall, at QUAID, was the Ville Mehtonen show, consisting of a series of small drawings of abstract and natural motifs, sometimes both in the same work. These had a lot of negative (blank) space. My wife spoke at length with Ville. Neil Bender, Anthony Record and Emily Miller were there.

Epoxy is one of the most radical galleries in this City. The brainchild of Anne Cox, Vivi Valdez and two others, this is in a cottage behind a house in a residential area. It is also a non-commercial gallery. The principals are art school grads and/or interior designers who are making this possible. It is a labor of love, and a first-class one it is. There is attention to detail, the space is light, fun and humanizing and the shows, quite good. It is a perfect incubator for the arts.

I have been following the work of Yanuary Irasema Navarro for about four years. This show was titled "Conscious Narrative", consisting of smaller drawings and paintings done "observationally", as Yanuary puts it. In person, live before the subject. [Disclosure: I bought two of her works].  These connected to her childhood in another country. There were also 5 or so mixed media pieces on ingenuous swing-like suspended shelves created by the Epoxy crew.. These will soon be used to make animations. They resemble terrariums and were described as such by the artist. Another artist live-painted a mural on the gallery walls.

Angus Shafer is a graphic designer working for the Tribune and TBO site. Unsurprisingly, his work shown at Workspace, my last stop on Friday, is graphic and Text-driven. Beautifully designed and executed, and the viewers loved it, buying up all the large pieces immediately, with only a few smaller ones left by the time I got there.

Saturday, May 2nd, I began at Strands of Sunshine, talking with Chad and Amy Marshall. Stopped briefly at Dysfunctional Grace Art Company, said hi to Liz. Went on to the Crislip Arcade and met with Bill Drugan and Richard Seidel. Ran into Danny Olda leaving the Indie Market. The "Emergence" show was at Fire Station #3 ((FS3). Like most shows comprised of the work of an associated group or club, there was a wide range of quality in the work shown, but most of it was good. Some, like Duncan McClellan's and Sarah Thee Campagna were standouts.

Lastly, I stopped at the Venture Compound for their "Future Sucks" show. The Venture Compound gallery continues to improve the quality of their shows -- without giving up their own edgy way of doing things. The works were varied, all having to do mostly with technological changes, from a collection of schematics and early circuit boards/components, to small beautiful drawings from Bradley Kokay, to flying saucers, R. Giger-like paintings, to a painting of a woman wakening to the fact that she is part cyborg. From Gallery 2, a blue glow emerged. Inside, there were rows of controls with rows of knobs on the surface, and a corresponding row of monitors flashing blue. To the side appeared to be an old Atari and a Commodore 64 computer. Red chairs before them. Several people showed up in costume, including Emmy Lou, Brad Kokay, Rachel Coderre and several guys in lab coats. Part of the show was a green-screen studio wherein  people performed having no idea what else shared the screen in the monitor inside the gallery. The blue room had been transformed into the Compound's Command Module Control Room. It smelled like Futures Past. Later on, Jesse Vance performed a concert from that room. I drove back to Tampa.


--- Luis

PS. The Mini-Cooper drove well, handled well in typical front wheel drive fashion, was quiet and cruised at 75mph easily, but it was revvy in town, a little cramped, and the ergonomics, particularly the display and controls did not suit me. It was really pretty in copper and black. If looks could kill...