This Saturday I’ll be taking my first ride on the Tampa Bay Monorail. How better to see everything in St. Pete and Tampa on the same night? I’m sorry to play such a cruel joke on you. There is no monorail system. The Bay area could sure use one, though. Case in point: Disney World. Did you ever visit Disney World before they got a monorail? What a dump! Anyhow, as I mentioned there are plenty of great events to check out on both sides of the Bay this week.
St. Petersburg – 2nd Saturday Art Walk Sat 4/14
St. Petersburg’s popular 2nd Saturday Art Walk just got a guide upgrade. Bay area art doers (it was that or ‘arts facilitators’) Reuben and Hunter developed the new website: check it out here. The new virtual home has definitely increased the already busy buzz for the monthly event. How cool would it be for everyone to meet for an art party at the Independent or Sake Bomb afterwards? Anyhow, here are a couple of highlights for your walk.
Mindy Solomon Gallery – Explicit Content Sat 4/14 6pm-8pm 18 and older only
I opened the emailed flyer to this exhibit while at work. I was dumbly shocked to find a photo of a naked woman wearing a bear mask in what appears to be the back of a car. In retrospect, the exhibit title in the subject line should have tipped me off that it would be NSFW. The fact that the art is sexually explicit seems to be the point of the Mindy Solomon Gallery‘s latest group exhibit. The show that opens this Saturday features artists Scot Sothern, Christina West, Barbara DeGenevieve, Bart Johnson, Becky Flanders, Georgine Ingold, Leopold Foulem, Anne Drew Potter, and Bonnie Marie Smith.
I’m curious to see how this show is curatorially executed. Luridness as the premise for an exhibit could quickly degenerate into a freak show - strengthening the stereotype of the deviant or the Other (with a capital ‘O’) rather than investigating it. On the other hand, the theme also lends itself to a fair amount of potential. You’ll have to stop by the gallery to see for yourself. Regardless of how the exhibit ends up being presented, Mindy Solomon has rounded up some impressive artists. There will be several pieces that should be the highlight of the art walk.
Opening this Saturday, CEFA presents a solo exhibit of multimedia work by Marianne Chapel. She is an abundantly awarded and well-traveled artist with studios apparently both in the Panamanian jungle and the mountains of Quebec. However, Chapel also has local connections teaching in the past at the University of Tampa and Ringling College.
It’s clear from the little I’ve seen, that Chapel’s work deals with the way stories are told, the way they’re heard, and the in-between. She uses materials that are reminiscent of personal ephemera, recalling past family mementos. Chapel uses these personal seeming narratives to comment on something larger. Her installation, Dirty Laundry warrants a stop over at the 900 block gallery.
If you’re reading this blog, you’re also probably a big fan of PBS‘ award winning documentary series, Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century. If you haven’t heard of it before, remember that it is me, Danny Olda, that introduced you to the series. The first five seasons of the series have been well made and absorbing. The sixth season is set to top them all.
Saturday night Tempus Projects will be screening “Change”, the first episode of the new season. The first episode focuses on artists Catherine Opie, El Anatsui, and Ai Wei Wei. I will admit I cheated: I was able to get my hands on the DVD and watch the first couple episodes. With the saga surrounding Ai Wei Wei of late I was especially anticipating the section focusing on him and his work. Art21 touches on his recent run in with the paranoid Chinese state but thankfully focuses on his brilliant work. It was with the portion on El Anatsui that I was pleasantly surprised with, though. His ever fluid work, issues of labor, change, and post-colonialism add depth not often found on television (a thimble’s worth of which would’ve improved Morley Safer’s 60 minutes piece 100 fold). I hope I’m wrong but from what I can tell WEDU and WUSF will not be airing this series (?!) so make sure you at least catch it at Tempus Projects. There will be snacks and drinks but make sure you RSVP here.