Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A marketing strategy: Mining the Collective Backstory

Everyone loves a good story. Language itself has evolved for story-telling, as have our brains. Backstories help sell everything from You Tube personalities to paintings. Works that are intensely personal, unless opaque/hermetic, the commonality of human experience assures some connectivity.

In a way, lacunae in a backstory are often filled-in by the viewer in this regard, and it is a complex thing, because cultural factors, formal aspects, context and more enter into it.

How does the savvy gallerist use backstory to increase sales? He can infuse it into each work, which is time-consuming and labor intensive or better yet, have the artist present to do the same, preferably by talking about his work.

Some gallerists take the path of least resistance with this issue by relying on shared backstories. Stories that are already embedded in the viewer. A good example would be Pop Art. To give one example of a gallerist that is working this formula well, Chad Mize of Blue Lucy does this consistently with very good, albeit uneven, results.

A great example is the current show at their Ybor City location, "Toons". Artists came up with paintings themed around cartoons, done in the usual Blue Lucy same-size wooden boxes. Easily identifiable with the original characters, these works had a collective backstory built into the viewers. Many of them were offering sentimental memories of the characters depicted to their friends as if talking about a common acquaintance or relative. No need to inject backstory, it is already in the memory of most prospective buyers.

--- Luis

Monday, August 25, 2014

This November Man Week, 8/25 - 31.

Monday, Aug 25th

From August 25 to September 5, the Centre Gallery at the University of South Florida will host Rise In Kyoto by the graduate students of the USF School of Architecture and Community Design 2014 Study Abroad Design Studio. Visitors to the gallery will encounter technical architectural design with the significant influence of Japanese design.

Rise In Kyoto is an opportunity to experience two different entities: Japan and architecture school. The exhibit will allow visitors to be transported halfway around the world to the beauty of Japan’s natural and built environment. Rise in Kyoto is also the culmination of many weeks of work by the graduate students of USF SACD to design their own built environment through models, plans, sections, graphics, and sketchbook scans from the group’s month long study abroad trip in Japan.

The USF SACD 2014 Study Abroad Design Studio comprised of fifteen upper level graduate students led by award winning Associate Professor Michael Halflants. The studio spent a month immersed in Japanese culture and used their gained knowledge to complete a design project. This project not only relied on the understanding of design principles, but also how the students chose to use cultural and customary knowledge to create a space that would respond to the people’s needs in their project site, the historic city of Kyoto.

DessART, Centre Gallery’s opening reception for Rise In Kyoto, will be held on August 25th from 12 – 1 p.m. The closing reception will be held from 7 – 9 p.m. on Friday, September 5, in the Centre Gallery.

For more information, please contact the Centre Gallery at 813-974-5464.


Wednesday, August 27th

The second in a series of free monthly meetups open to artists, performers, and cultural organizations of all types with RSVP.

Presented by Creative Pinellas and Wordier Than Thou, CRAFT offers an informal space to meet fellow artists in all disciplines, learn about local cultural venues, and discuss potential collaborations.

We begin with a casual gathering and tour through a participating arts venue, and later adjourn to a nearby local brewery for drinks and conversation.

Bring business cards or event flyers to share with the group. Stick around for a free raffle afterward, and you might win a museum membership, art supplies, event tickets, or other great items.

** Please RSVP to info@creativepinellas.org with "CRAFT" in the subject line to confirm your attendance **

Wednesday, August 27

Morean Center for Clay
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Three Daughters Brewing
7:45 p.m. – ??


Thursday, Aug 28th

Come hang out with me at my studio this Thursday, as I will open it up to the public for the first time in two months (and the first time at my new location at Bloom)!

Works in progress include a new painting series and some installations in the works.

Contact: 727 644 6833 or




 Friday, August 29


Saturday, August 30th




The Studio@620 and Echo Bridge Pictures invite you the regional premier film screening of "Persistence of Vision", a documentary from Director Kevin Schreck. The film chronicles the struggle of animator Richard Williams ("Who Framed Roger Rabbit?") and his decades long attempt to finish his masterpiece, an animated epic titled "The Thief and the Cobbler". There will be a post-screening discussion with the director via Skype connection.

"It may not be unusual for an animated film to take a few years to finally come together, but The Thief and the Cobbler isn’t exactly a typical animated film, and Richard Williams isn’t a typical animator. His dedication to the art surpasses anyone else in the field, and his work is a stunning example of what an animator can accomplish. Unfortunately, nobody is really aware of just how amazing his work is, since his film, as he envisioned it, remains unseen. Director Kevin Schreck looks to change that with his documentary, Persistence of Vision." -- William Brownridge, Toronto Film Scene

Admission $5 at the door.







Sunday, August 30th


Creating Masks from Nature
A Hands On Workshop with Demeree of DemiGod Studio

Create your own painted and embellished upcycled mask from palm tree bark with local artist Demeree of DemiGod Studio.
Work with Demeree to create a one-of-a-kind mask for your home or garden. She will guide you through the process of planning, sketching, painting, and embellishing a piece of palm tree bark found readily in Florida. Once you make one, you will have the skills to create another on your own at home!
Supplies will be provided to use during the class, which will include palm tree bark and paint, and reference photos to get your creative juices flowing!

Class size limited to 20 participants. Call 727-895-6620 to reserve a space in this fun workshop!




This SIn City week, August 19th - 23rd.

Things are picking up in the area in anticipation of Tourist Season....

Tuesday, August 19th

The Arts Association St. Pete (AASP) is holding its annual general meeting and Summer Social on Tuesday, August 19th ; 6:30 pm at the Morean Arts Center! We invite all artists, gallery owners and interested arts supporters to attend. You do not have to be an AASP member to participate – just bring your ideas and a friend or two. AASP has been busy re-energizing and would love to hear from you!
Contact us on our website for more information, or call our Interim President Leslie Curran at 727-898-6061.
Thank you to the Morean for hosting AASP’s social this year. We look forward to seeing everyone in the St. Petersburg art community that can make it to this great event.



Every Tuesday we have figure drawing at Soft Water Studios. Models are nude or partially draped. 2, 5, and 20 minute poses. Benches, tables, easels, and drawing boards are available. Bring your own paper and supplies. $7 model fee. Soft Water Studios, 515 22nd St S. Saint Petersburg.

Wednesday, August 20th

440 2nd Ave North. 9:00 AM

Join Spathose as we present at 1 Million Cups! We have been singing the praises about this amazing program that is happening right here in our fair Burg! So experience it first hand and as we talk about our business. Come out and show your support…perhaps wear some of your Spathose wearable sculpture…or perchance we may have some extras to giveaway! Hope to see you there!
1 Million Cups (1MC) is a simple way to engage entrepreneurs in communities around the world. Each week, the 1MC program offers two local entrepreneurs an opportunity to present their start-ups to a diverse audience of mentors, advisers, and entrepreneurs. Presenters prepare a 6 minute educational presentation and engage in 20 minutes of feedback and questioning after they present. Entrepreneurs gain insight into possible ways they can improve their businesses, gather real-time feedback, and connect with a community that truly cares about their progress, while walking away feeling like they have advanced their business. The audience also learns a great deal from the presentations. Whether this is through passively listening or deeply engaging with the entrepreneurs, there is much to learn every week from these dynamic and diverse communities.


Saturday, August 23rd

Story Telling, with Linda Rollins at Galerie 909


 An afternoon to get your Professional Photo taken and touched by Rossie Newson Photography. We hosted ComPOSE last month and it's back by popular demand because those who participated really loved the opportunity to get a three professional images by a professional photographer for only $40. COUPLES | FAMILY are welcome. Your photo is taken and by the following weekend you're able to pick up your CD with 3 images from the photo shoot. Gallerie 909 will have jewelry on hand for your use and light refreshments. MEN ARE WELCOME TOO!!!


Exhibit will focus on classic cartoon characters.

The List...

STOIC - Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
David Cabassa - Power Puff Girls
Mara Latorre - Speed Racer
Andrea Pawlisz - Porky Pig
Krysteena Runas - King of the Hill
Vanessa Culver - Sailor Moon
Adam T - Super Friends
Michelle Sawyer - The Jetsons
P$YNNER - The Tick
Ashley Bates - Care Bears
Derek Donnelly - The Maxx
RJ Runas - 1940s Superman
Salvatore James - Popeye
Joanna Ledingham - Tom & Jerry
Joshua Pearson - Heckle & Jeckle
Brandon McLean - Scooby Doo
Moy Loera - Voltron
Warren Kenny - Herculoids
Scott Hillis - Fat Albert
Josh Sullivan - Space Ghost
Chris Seney - Beavis & Butthead
Hugo Porcaro - Casper
Samantha Churchill - Speedy Gonzales
Reid Jenkins - The Boondocks
Chris Pelkey - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Zulu Painter - Betty Boop
Ceri Watkins - Futurama
Carrie Matteoli - Pepe le Pew
Calan Ree - Felix the Cat
J Michael Taylor - Aeon Flux
Emily Dwyer - He Man
Rachel Weirich - Jem & the Holograms
Stephen Palladino - The Smurfs
Brandon Bailey - South Park
Theresa Crout - Mickey Mouse
Chad Cardoza - Charlie Brown
Sara McClarnon - Bugs Bunny Show
Victoria Berrios - Road Runner Show
Phillip Clark - The Impossibles
George Retkes - Johnny Quest
Sue Woodall - Boris & Natasha
Sean Greene - Adventuretime
Lauren Gentry - The Flintstones
Lorin Winter - Marvin the Martian
Danielle Shockley - Alvin & the Chipmunks
Eleanor Pigman - Teen Turbo
Joseph Ieracitano - Ren & Stimpy
Ken Echezabal - Astro Boy
Christopher Maslow - Pink Panther
Cat Manolis - Red Hot Riding Hood
Chad Mize - Richie Rich
Robert X Rules - Tranzor Z
Melisa Taylor - Bob's Burgers



Saturday, August 16, 2014

This Blasted HOT Weekend, August 16-17

Saturday, August 16th


Yvonne Young Reception, 6 PM at Artworks on 60 blk Central.

On August 16th 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!

Theatricality and costumes encouraged!

(The art courtyard stage is behind the address we have listed.)

Gulfport’s Art Courtyard Outdoor Stage- 2908 Beach Boulevard South, Gulfport FL.  7 PM
Sunday, August 17

Regenerate at Blue Lucy


: formed or created again
: spiritually reborn or converted
: restored to a better, higher, or more worthy state

This exhibit will feature each artist finding an old thrift painting, vintage item, old furnishing, garish lamp, etc. Each artist then regenerates a newer piece of art with the old.

Participating artists:
Mitzi Gordon
Gabriel Ramos
April Seelbach
Bradley Kokay
Laura Miller
Daniel James
Cassandra Wahuhi
Missy Roll
Phillip Clark
Lainey Rhodes
Casey Paquet
Mishou Sanchez
Ricky Seelbach
Sarah Gail Hutcherson
Chad Mize
Gretchen Suding
Mason Schwacke
Xina Scuderi
Hugo Porcaro
Lauren Gentry
Will Kuncz



Saturday, August 9, 2014

this Weekend, Saturday, August 9.

In the Sumer doldrums...raining or between rain...the heat...will it ever end?

Saturday, August 9th.

Ernesto Piloto. Culinary and visual art, fused and synthesized into something new.
Trust me on this one. 649 Central, 5-9

Join Capricorn Studios as we host The Art of KINK! at Tampa Fetish Con! For five years now The Art of KINK! has been FetCon's hottest alternative art installation, where you can find original pieces by the country's most talented and edgy artists! Come see what these incredible artists have created for this year's show. Themes range from fetish to bondage to zombie and everything in between (and some that defy description!) You might find that perfect piece you've always wanted for your home or studio right here! Many of our artists will be in attendance, giving you the opportunity to connect with these amazing creators personally! We will also have music from local musicians and DJ's playing during gallery hours, and CD's will be available to take home with you if you love the music as much as the art.

The Art of KINK! is located on the second floor of the hotel, and is outside of the Convention area. So you don't need to purchase a Con badge if you want to come by and check us out. We encourage both Con attendees and interested outsiders to pay us a visit. You never know what you might find...or find out about yourself. Capricorn Studios specializes in edgy, dark, alternative art. And we want you all to join us as we explore the true meaning of “Art that’s not afraid of the dark!”

Hilton, downtown Tampa, at Fetishcon.


An Exhibition of Florida Themed Artwork, Water Images and More presented by Gulf Coast Artists' Alliance.

Participating Artists: Deborah Pridgeon, Bob Wieser, Eunice Fisher, Mary Bottini, Karan Porter, Jim Kirkman, Brandy Stark, Caroline Karp Babis, Carole Shelton, Savelli, Kim Kramer, Kevin Nodland, Judy Vienneau

Saturday August 9th,
Noon – 9pm

ArtLofts @ Florida Craftsmen
10-5th St. North, Second Floor
Studio 210B
St. Petersburg, Florida.

Contact: Judy Vienneau 727-738-8010

FREE and open to the Public. ArtLofts Studios will be open from 5:30-9pm for the Second Saturday Art Walk.


Calling all animal lovers! U562 is proud to host a benefit for the SPCA of Tampa Bay. Join us for live music, food, refreshments, and Arts & Crafts all to support the great work of our local SPCA!

So come enjoy a great evening Arts and entertainment, all for a great cause. Always something new at the U!




The Waterfront Arts District, Central Arts District, The EDGE District of St. Petersburg, Grand Central District Association and the Warehouse Arts District become one arts destination for the St. Petersburg Second Saturday “Shop Local” ArtWalk on August 9 from 5-9pm.

During our “Shop Local” ArtWalk, you can ride the trolley, or drive yourself using our map, for a tour of over 30 warehouses, galleries and studios that are staying open late just for you! The studios and galleries provide an informal, engaging social evening to drop in and meet our community's artists. Some venues are only open during ArtWalk and many will have demonstrations and refreshments. Be the first to see new affordable works of fine, glass, and clay art!

In addition, Keep Saint Petersburg Local will be holding a raffle! The winner will receive a private tour of the Downtown murals by artist, Derek Donnelly of "SAINT PAINT" Arts and Apparel, with stops at both Cycle Brewing & St Pete Brewing (KSPL will pick up the tab)! Raffle tickets will be available at the majority of the venues - the more you visit, the better your chances to win this priceless prize!

Stop by Zen Glass Studio and see live glassblowing demonstrations and check out our new jewelry display.

Visit the other art spaces in our community.
Plenty of parking.


We are excited to have Marilyn joining us in our shop for art walk. Marilyn has been reading the leaves and tarot cards for over 30 years. Over that time she has developed as a medium and medical intuitive as well as a counselor to help clients begin to resolve any problems or blockages they may be encountering in their lives, whether emotional, physical or spiritual in nature. She is known to have a high degree of accuracy and an entertaining and cheerful reading style. You're almost sure to have a good laugh and a good cry during your reading as well as a sense of breakthrough and moving on with your life. She can also spark your intuition and teach you to read the tea leaves. Readings are $1 a minute and readings usually last between 10 to 20 minutes. Let Marilyn know before hand how long you would like the reading.

Show on view Aug 1-31. Opening coincides with St. Pete's 2nd Saturday ArtWalk on Aug. 9th. Come say hello to Rocky and see his new body of work! Tarpon Springs mixed media artist Rocky Bridges is taking the work "off the wall" for a new series of sculptures.


Tim Hutton: At Everything Dolce, 900 block of Central.



Tampa - QUAID is proud to present "Bodice Rippers", a solo exhibition of new work by Monica Perez. Gallery visitors will view a series of works that feature visually rich collages and large scale cutouts. “Bodice Rippers” is a response to the exploration of human fascination with flora, specifically at an obsessive state, and questions what is considered valuable. Join QUAID for the opening reception of “Bodice Rippers” August 9th at 7pm.

The event is free and open to the public but donations are greatly appreciated. Classes and groups are encouraged and welcomed. This exhibition will run from August 9th, through August 31th. The gallery is open Thursday 7PM-10PM, Friday through Sunday 12PM-5PM, and by appointment.

Located at 4636 N. Florida Ave in South Seminole Heights, QUAID is an artist-run project space in partnership with TEMPUS PROJECTS. The artists who run QUAID are members of the Tampa Drawers Sketch Gang. Since March of 2013 this group of eight Tampa artists has met weekly to collaborate and draw. The Tampa Drawers Sketch Gang will be organizing exhibitions at QUAID throughout 2014, including solo exhibitions of all its members and various other group shows and projects throughout the year.

What: “Bodice Rippers”: New works by Monica Perez; Public reception/art exhibition,refreshments.
When: Saturday, August 9th, 7-10PM
Where: QUAID; 4636 N. Florida Ave. Tampa, FL 33603
More: After party immediately following the reception at the Mermaid Tavern.__________________________________________________________



Fundamentalism in Art: A local view.

noun: fundamentalism
a form of a religion, especially Islam or Protestant Christianity, that upholds belief in the strict, literal interpretation of scripture.
strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.

We live at a time when the basic Abrahamic, tribal, sheep-farmer religions have become hopelessly outdated. People are becoming more unorthodox, leaving religion, or fundamentalist. The latter have spread rapidly throughout the world in the form of radical Islamists and Christian fundamentalists (of all stripes). By going backward, they are returning to a simpler time or starting over, shuffling off the "untrue", "disbelievers" etc. Fundamentalists believe they and they alone know the truth, and are entitled to force it on others.

This has happened many times in the art world. People holding on to things calling those who are evolving in the present/embracing the future false, forgetful of the principles, etc. Invariably, they have ended up steamrolled by the future. A lot of this has to do with identity through tribalism, and it is of the most primitive version of "think as I think".

The tell-tale sign is that they are not content with leading by example. They have to call out others and question, and attack their ideas, usually under the guise of ethics. At the humble, local Bay Area level, one would think everyone has bigger problems, but amazingly this still happens.

All people who make art are artists, and since "Art" is not very well defined, that's a big umbrella. Stop questioning the authenticity and legitimacy of others and worry about your own.

--- Luis

Stay curious, my friends.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Evenings In Wonderland: At the Park

Somehow, I got disoriented along the way. The obvious location, as per the address, wasn't sinking in. In retrospect, it may have been a sixth sense thing, the future affecting the past.

The usual suspects were there. Socializing, playing, posturing, vulturing for customers, hobnobbing for walls etc. One, well-known, talked to me for a bit, and drawing uncomfortably close, whispered: "It's as if they don't care....they are only doing the minimum required to make a sale..."  Tired, restless, buoyant, adrift...photographs were coming to me slowly, but steadily, more than enough for my needs.

I engaged in the social graces at a thing like this, hugging and hello-ing people, describing ellipses across the space, crossing the Ley lines of desire polarizing the people in the area, somehow colliding with a ring of five or so.

Holding court was a local banker, who is also on the Board of Directors of one of the major local arts organizations. We had met before, albeit briefly, at a 2nd Saturday, when her bank opens up its lobby as a pop-up exhibition space. One of the artists was thrilled, being told they could show in the space. The Banker turned the conversation to a black artists' show at the Museum of Fine Arts from a private corporate collection, and remarked: "What did that do for the community?".

My heart sank. That moment when people in the arts backbite and cannibalize each other is always sickening. The exhibition she was referring to was "Mixed Metaphors", put on and paid for by a rival bank, Bank of America. Disgusted, I replied that they had brought very good ethnic art to the city, and spent the better part of a million dollars in the community doing so.

"But it didn't put money in the pockets of local artists", she said righteously. That represented an elemental misunderstanding of the difference between museums and galleries. While artists drool at the money sinks that museums are, their emphasis is in bringing work to the community, first-rate work. Neither the Chilhuly or Dali "put money in local artists' pockets.

There was some well-played theatrical hand-wringing about the Sisyphusian agony of bringing more sales to local artists. I suggested that local artists need to market their work where there are more buyers, though looking around, it was obvious that, at best, 3-5 of those ever would. A push for quality, as the other artist had suggested, might be a good thing.