December Arts Roundup: Diverse exhibits and holiday events

Tampa Tour de Clay: A free, self-guided tour of four local pottery locations

Twenty-five renowned ceramic artists will gather December 10th and 11th for the Tampa Tour de Clay. The two-day studio tour and pottery sale reaches four locations around Tampa Bay: Pottery Boys Studio in Palm Harbor, Wellman & Welsch Pottery in Lutz, Hidden Lake Pottery in Odessa and San Antonio Pottery.

The tour of ceramics studios features local artists and guest potters who come from all over the country to take part in the annual tradition. The only other similar professional clay tour in the South is in Asheville, North Carolina. 

“I have collectors that happened to post some of my work on social media, sharing that they have been using my bowl and mug daily for twenty years,” participating artist Kimberli Cummings says. “That, in my opinion, is the very finest and most thoughtful gift we can give someone we care for. Things taste better on handmade pots.”

For more information go to Tampa Tour de Clay.

One and Only · يكتا  at Parachute Gallery, Ybor City

One and Only · يكتا continues through December 23rd at Parachute Gallery in the Ybor City Kress Building.
The exhibition centers around the project “Green Wedding” by Leila Mesdaghi, an Iranian-born artist based in Fort Myers and includes the work of six regional and national artists: Sharareh Allahyari, Jordan Blankenship, Golbanou Moghaddas, Pottery Boys Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand and Rebecca Stevens. It is co-curated by Jessica Todd and Leila Mesdaghi.
“In late 2021, Mesdaghi traveled to her childhood home in Tehran, Iran, to throw herself a wedding, sans partner,” a description on the Parachute Gallery website says. “She writes, ‘As a child I had dreams about getting married and having a wedding in our house. An Iranian wedding is a heavily glamorized and festive event where the bride is treated like a princess and guests come to celebrate and admire her with gold and jewelry. I decided to have a wedding for myself.’ Documentation of the ceremony—a series of portraits and a collaborative video piece—beautifully articulates the complex emotions behind the project.”“Green Wedding” by Iranian-born artist Leila Mesdaghi, is the basis of the exhibtion One and Only · يكتا at Parachute Gallery in the Ybor Kress Building.
“Inspired by this bold act of self-love, the exhibition One and Only · يكتا brings together elements of Mesdaghi's Green Wedding with the work of Allahyari, Blankenship, Moghaddas, Woods, Herbrand, and Stevens, who create decadent, poetic works in ceramics, jewelry, and printmaking,” the description continues. “Viewers are encouraged to indulge themselves in the visually rich installation."

A description on the Parachute Gallery site says One and Only · يكتا “gains new meaning as protests for women’s rights continue across Iran following the death of Masha Amini on September 16, 2022.” Mesdaghi wanted to carry on with the exhibition even after news of violent backlash reached the U.S. because the protests and the project “have always been about the celebration of women,” according to the Parachute Gallery.
"We have a cultural obsession with partnership, and especially marriage, as the validation of a woman's value,” says Jessica Todd, curator and gallery director of the Parachute Gallery. “There is no other traditional ceremony where a woman is celebrated to the degree she is as a bride. In mainstream heterosexual culture, this patriarchal convention requires a legal contract with a man to earn the spotlight, despite the many other reasons to celebrate ourselves that we encounter in our lives: birthdays, graduations, career successes, overcoming illness, adopting a really cute dog... At the end of the day, you are the one and only person you will actually spend every day of your life with. This exhibition is about celebrating, indulging, caring for, and loving oneself."
Gallery hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Fridays 11 a.m.-2 p.m.; by appointment: 813-825-3804. Saturday hours in December TBA.
For more information go to Parachute Gallery.

More events at Ybor City Kress Building

Tempus Projects presents “Beneath the Mistletoe Screaming,” a holiday group exhibition, at Tempus Volta through Dec 23rd. Featured artists include Nathan Beard, Neil Bender, Takeo Faison, Johanna Keefe, Damien LaRue, Lynn Manos, Sam Newton, Nina Nichols, Jenn Ryan Miller, Anthony Record, Alex Torres and more.

For more information and gallery hours go to Beneath the Mistletoe Screaming.

Screen Door: An Ybor City Microcinema also hosts weekly film screenings.

For a schedule and more information go to Screen Door.

“Breaking Barriers: Through Our Lens” at USF Contemporary Art  Museum

On December 8th and 9th, the USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) presents the exhibition “Breaking Barriers: Through Our Lens” as part of its programming for military veterans.

On December 9th, a moderated panel discussion with the artists begins at 7:30 p.m., followed by a reception until 9 p.m. The event and the exhibition are free and open to the public.The exhibition "Breaking Barriers: Through Our Lens" at the USF Contemporary Art Museum features the work of military veterans and their family members, like Ramonita Rosa's "A Sea of Nothing."

“Breaking Barriers: Through Our Lens” features the art of 16 U.S. veterans and family members. The exhibition presents 47 photographs from two intensive artist-led photography workshops, a beginning and an advanced section. The artists created and edited all photographs with their cellphone cameras.

“We are deeply grateful to all the veterans and family members who were courageous and persistent enough to engage in the workshops and create their own photographic images,” a description on the USF CAM website says. “Their artwork creates a visual platform that changes the culture of the ‘silent veteran,’ into a storyteller, a witness, and amplifies the veteran voice within a larger community.

Artists in the beginning section include Jarrett Gafford, Dawn S. Hargrett, Rebekka Huneke, Ramonita Rosa, Kimberlee Nicole Smith, Monika Sutton and Karl Young II. The advanced section features James Alexander, Manfredo Bobadilla, Wildalys Class, Agustin Collazo Jr., Amanda Dodd, Evan Fountain, Mikko Maki, Alicia Morales, and RaeAnne Swanson.

For more information go to Breaking Barriers: Through Our Lens.

Florida Orchestra: Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 4/ Michael Ippolito’s Violin Concerto

The Florida Orchestra performs the world premiere of composer Michael Ippolito’s Violin Concerto with Michael Francis conducting. Ippolito, who grew up in Tampa and works closely with TFO, wrote the concerto for TFO Concertmaster Jeffrey Multer. 

TFO performances of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 are 8 p.m. December 2nd at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts; 8 p.m. December 3rd at the Mahaffey Theater; and 2 p.m. December 4th at the Mahaffey Theater. The concert begins with Elegy, a haunting piece by Grace Williams, Wales’ most notable female composer.

For more information go to The Florida Orchesta.

“Shane Brown: In the Territories and Reservation Dogs” at Florida Museum of Photographic Arts 

“Shane Brown: In the Territories and Reservation Dogs”  is at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA)  until February. The exhibition’s guest curator is Kalup Linzy.

“Shane Brown is an Oklahoma-based, Cherokee photographer and filmmaker documenting the present-day cultural landscape of the American West, experimenting with representations of time and motion, and working on a variety of film projects,” a description on the FMoPA website says. “Brown’s documentary photography project “In the Territories,” is a photographic survey of the cultural landscape of the American state of Oklahoma, its convoluted histories and their present-day manifestations. Other photography projects include ‘Life Out There,’ an exploration of the Atomic Age-based mythology of the American West; and, ‘Great Plains Schema,’ a survey of the ethos, archetypes, and myths of the Great Plains region. Brown’s projects reveal that the American West, Oklahoma, and the Great Plains region—in spite of or, perhaps because of, their mythos—have not escaped the 21st century any more than they did the 19th, 16th, or 5th centuries.”

 "Shane Brown: In the Territories and Reservation Dogs" is at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts until February.“Over the last two decades, Brown has pursued freelance and creative projects in documentary and experimental photography and cinematography,” the exhibition description continues. “Presently, Shane is the on-set still photographer for the Peabody Award-winning FX series, Reservation Dogs, created by Taika Waititi and Sterlin Harjo. The series depicts contemporary reservation life through the lives of four teenagers. Other photography and cinematography clients and projects include—The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, Tiger King 2, Teton Trade Cloth, First Americans Museum, Smithsonian Magazine, American Indian Quarterly, Bob Dylan Archive, Woody Guthrie Archive, Yeti, Buffalo Nickel Creative Agency, and Love and Fury (2020), Mekko (2015), and This May Be the Last Time (2014), all feature-length films by director Sterlin Harjo. In 2022, Shane was part of a team of Wall Street Journal editors, journalists, and photographers nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Journalism.”

For more information go to Florida Museum of the Photographic Arts.

FMoPA Members' Show

Also at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, the FMoPA Members' Show continues through December 9th. A reception for the show is scheduled for 5 p.m. December 9th. There will be light refreshments served with first, second and third-place winners announced for each category in the show.

For more information go to FMoPA Members Show.

Jazz Jam at Patel Conservatory

The Patel Conservatory Winter Jazz Jam is December 10th at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. The event features a morning of music from students in the center's jazz improvisation class and the Patel Conservatory Jazz Combo.

For more information go to Jazz Jam.

Fairgrounds St. Petersburg Holiday Lights Immersive Experience

Fairgrounds St. Pete’s inaugural Holiday Lights Immersive Experience runs through Sunday, January 8 at the art and technology museum, 800 28th St. S. The seasonal installation is a celebration of Florida during the holidays.

“As an art and technology company, we are committed to creating new installations for our guests to enjoy.” says Liz Dimmitt, CEO and co-founder of Fairgrounds. “Our team’s expertise and strength in creating immersive installations really shines through in this Holiday Lights Immersive Experience.”

For more information and to purchase tickets go to Holiday Lights.

Tampa Theatre: Holiday Classics

The Tampa Theatre is showing a string of holiday film classics from December 4th through January 8th. The annual holiday tradition includes singing along to Christmas carols with the Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ before select shows. This year’s selection includes sing-along “White Christmas” on December 4th; “Elf” on December 11th; “It’s a Wonderful Life” from December 16th to 22nd; “Eight Crazy Nights” on December 18th and sing-along “Frozen” on January 8th. 
For more information go to Tampa Theatre Holiday Classics.

True Nature: Rodin and The Age of Impressionism at MFA St. Pete

"True Nature: Rodin and the Age of Impressionism” at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg presents the work of the legendary sculptor works side-by-side with paintings by his celebrated contemporaries.
“This exhibition includes nearly 40 of his masterpieces, ranging from intimately scaled marble statues to monumental bronzes. It offers a remarkably comprehensive look at Rodin, placing him within the context of the profound artistic, cultural, and social changes occurring at the end of the nineteenth century in France,” a description on the MFA website says. “True Nature also explores Rodin’s desire for academic recognition, even as he remained at the forefront of the avant-garde alongside the Impressionists.”
The exhibition features Rodin works such as “Saint John the Baptist Preaching” and “Jean d’Aire.” True Nature also includes major paintings such as Claude Monet’s “Nympheas,” Paul Cézanne’s “Still Life with Cherries and Peaches” and Edgar Degas’s “The Bellelli Sisters.” Paul Cézanne’s “Still Life with Cherries and Peaches” is part of the exhibition "True Nature: Rodin and The Age of Impressionism" at the Museum of Fine Art, St. Petersburg.
The exhibition is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and runs until March 23rd.
For more information go to True Nature: Rodin and The Age of Impressionism.

Creative Pinellas Arts Annual The Party Redux

Creative Pinellas has rescheduled its Arts Annual fundraiser The Party for Thursday, December 15th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas. The event was postponed in November because of Tropical Storm Nicole. 

The Arts Annual 2022 exhibition runs through December 31st. This year's featured artists are: Anna Ayres, Elizabeth Barenis, Nathan Beard, Christina Bertsos, Saumitra Chandratreya, Nerverne Covington, Javier T. Dones, John Gascot, Jim Gigurtsis, Jason Hackenwerth, Steph Hargrove, Kenny Jensen, Patricia Kluwe Derderian, Cecilia Lueza, Cora Marshall, Mark Mitchell, Gianna Pergamo, Babs Reingold, Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse, Xina Scuderi, Emily Stehle, Judy Vienneau and Angela Warren.

For more information and tickets to the fundraising event go to The Party Redux .

Florida Bar’s “Path to Unity” at Creative Pinellas
The Florida Bar’s traveling exhibit “Path to Unity” is at Creative Pinellas through December 15th. The exhibit honors attorneys who “exemplify the values for The Florida Bar’s mission for equality.
Lawyers featured in the exhibit include: James Weldon Johnson, the first Black person admitted to The Florida Bar through an individual examination and writer of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing;” Anna Brenner Meyers, the founding member and first president of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers; Judge Mario Goderich, the first president of the Cuban American Bar Association; Larry D. Smith, a tireless advocate for the LGBTQ community and the first openly gay member to serve on the Supreme Court Commission of Florida; and James Kracht, an advocate for blind lawyers in Florida and past president of the Florida Council for the Blind. 

In conjunction with the exhibit, Creative Pinellas will also offer a continuing legal education course featuring Larry D. Smith, the only living lawyer honored with a portrait in the exhibit. That event is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on December 8th.

For more information go to that aligns with the exhibit on Thursday, December 8, 2022, from 3-5pmFor more information and to register for the CLE program, please

For tickets and more information on that event go to Path to Unity CLE.

Arts in Tampa docuseries
The Tampa Arts Alliance and Visit Tampa Bay have collaborated on a new docuseries “Arts in Tampa” that shines a light on Tampa’s thriving arts scene through the stories and perspectives of five working artists.
The series features Ya La’Ford, Artysta Lulu, Dean Mitchell, Nick Ewing and Christina Acosta.
For more information and to see videos in the series go to Arts in Tampa.

KOLO: Celebrating the Artistic & Cultural Heritage of Ukraine

KOLO, a theatrical show that gives the audience a window into the music and cultural heritage of Ukraine, comes to the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg for two performances on December 29th.

KOLO is the brainchild of award-winning, Ukrainian-bred competitive ballroom dancers and partners, Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei, both natives of Kyiv. 

For more information go to KOLO

83 Degrees Media Managing Editor Christopher Curry contributed to this story.
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Read more articles by Michele Smith.

Michele Smith is a writer based in Tampa since the ’90s. She has a degree in International Business & Fine Art from the University of Tampa and has contributed to numerous start-up ventures in the Tampa Bay area. Her writing is influenced by a local and global perspective. Topics of interest include arts leadership, business development, creativity and innovation and wellness. Michele is also the Executive Director of the nonprofit Tampa Arts Alliance.