February arts roundup: Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, Carmada en Ybor, and more

Black History Month events

Resilience & Revolution: An Immersion Of Black Americana

Visit the Woodson African American Museum of Florida anytime during Black History Month to experience the free exhibition Resilience & Revolution: An Immersion Of Black Americana. Broaden your understanding of African American history, triumphs and culture as you stroll through a full sensory experience of art, music and interactive displays. The exhibit is free to experience and donations are also welcome.

Black Art & Film Festival

The Tampa Bay Black Art & Film Festival returns February 22 through 25.Get ready for St. Pete’s four-day Black Art & Film Festival, celebrating independent films, visual arts and all things Black culture from February 22 to 25. Watch indie films handpicked by expert judges and screened in historic venues around St. Pete. Create lasting memories as you stroll through galleries, visual art displays and pop-up shows where you can connect with and support local artists. Level up your skills at DIY workshops and panel discussions led by industry professionals who will give you the tools for your artistic journey.

"Garden Groove" with Scotty Wright Quintet

Enjoy the ultimate Sunday music session at the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum with "Garden Groove" featuring the Scotty Wright Quintet on February 25. This Black History Month celebration is filled with soulful, sassy sounds of Scotty Wright and his talented quintet, including Butch Thomas on saxophone, Judi Glover on keyboard, Erik Hempel on bass and Rod Alnord on drums. This is Wright’s fourth annual February concert and tickets are $25 to $35, depending on whether you are a member or not.

HOPE Photovoice Initiative On View

See Tampa Bay through a new lens at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts’ HOPE Photovoice Initiative, which is on view from February 20 to March 24 at the FMoPA in the Ybor Kress Building. The powerful exhibition showcases the stories and challenges faced by the University Area community. Witness the raw beauty and struggles of everyday life in Tampa with stunning images that tackle issues like employment, affordable housing and community engagement. 

“These evocative images unveil the University Area Community’s authentic stories, aiming to ignite awareness and foster positive change in policies and perceptions,” a description on the exhibition website says. Experience the power of photography and discover what makes this community resilient, hopeful and inspiring.

February ArtWalk: African Americans & the Arts Celebrating Black History Month
Celebrate Black History Month as you explore “African Americans & the Arts," an exhibit showcasing the talents of Creative Clay's member artists during February's St. Pete Second Saturday ArtWalk on February 10. Meet the artists and learn about their artistic journeys as you immerse yourself in the power of community. Get your caricature drawn by resident artists while listening to soulful tunes by Emily Turnage.

In Search of the Beloved Community: A Conversation with Raymond Arsenault

On Thursday, February 22, author and historian Raymond Arsenault will speak on about his new book, “In Search of the Beloved Community: John Lewis,” a biography of the late civil rights leader and congressman.

“In this first book-length biography of John Lewis, Raymond Arsenault traces Lewis’s upbringing in rural Alabama, his activism as a Freedom Rider and leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, his championing of voting rights and anti-poverty initiatives, and his decades of service as the ‘conscience of Congress,’” an event description states.

The event includes a conversation between Arsenault and civil rights leader Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.  The talk is organized by Tombolo Books, the League of Women Voters and Allendale United Methodist Church and takes from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 22 at the church, 3803 Haines Rd N. in St. Petersburg. It is free and open to the public.

For more information, go to In Search of the Beloved Community: A Conversation with Raymond Arsenault.

LAB Theater Project opens 2024 season with "SYD"

LAB Theater Project’s first play of the 2024 season, “SYD,” runs on three weekends from February 22nd through March 10th

Written by Craig Houk and directed by LAB Theater founding producer Owen Robertson, the new drama “brings us two families unexpectedly caught in the whirlwind of change sweeping across American culture and mores in the early 1970s, trying to live up to their community’s norms while their children insist on creating their own lives,” a LAB Theater press release says.

“Years before the horrific mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in 2016, thirty-two men died in an arson attack at a gay bar in New Orleans on June 24, 1973,” a LAB Theater description of the play continues. “On the same night, Sydney Trahan, a young nursing student, is arrested for dancing at a lesbian bar in the French Quarter nearby. After this transgression, her parents struggle to gain some control over their lives and restore a sense of normalcy. Their neighbors, the Larsons, question their friends’ decisions while hiding their own secrets that intertwine with both the fire and Syd’s arrest. While Syd demands the chance to be the person she wants to be, the Trahans and Larsons must face their truths and decide what is most important to them.”

Houk, a Washington D.C.-based playwright, has won playwriting awards at festivals and theaters such as Dominion Stage in Virginia and the Loom New Works Festival in Nashville.

From February 22 through March 10th, performances are Thursday
through Saturday at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. LAB’s theater is at 812 E.
Henderson Avenue, on the western edge of Ybor City. Taped performances will also be available on demand, starting March 7 through the 17. Audience members who purchase on-demand tickets will be emailed a link to the video site.

For more information, go to LAB Theater shows.

Carmada en Ybor

Car lovers, buckle up for Carmada en Ybor, where art cars cruise in Ybor City. Get up close and personal with cars like you’ve never seen before as you experience Ybor’s flourishing art scene at art galleries and artist studios along Seventh Avenue from 12 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 3. Join NOMAD Rolling Studio for free activities while listening to DJ Donnie Luv spinning the soundtrack to your afternoon. 

“Carmada is rolling into Ybor City to highlight the artistic resurgence that is takingCarmada en Ybor celebrates 10 years of the Carmada Art Car Showcase and the revitalization of the arts in Ybor City on Saturday, February 3rd. place,” says Silver Meteor Gallery Owner Michael Murphy. “In addition to viewing creatively decorated cars, NOMAD Art Bus and the HCC Art Club will have art activities for visitors to enjoy. The Art Galleries and Artists' Studios in the Kress Collective will be open for art aficionados to explore. You can get a sneak peek of Marcolina's Fine Art Gallery's first-anniversary show, which is opening that night. Check out the unique and macabre art in Dysfunctional Grace's new space above Big Easy Bar. Visit Drip Ybor and the recently relocated Florida Museum of Photographic Art to round out your artistic excursion.” 

This event is free and for all ages, so bring the whole crew for a one-of-a-kind afternoon of art, cars and community.

St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts

Dive into a month of artistic freedom during the ​​St. Petersburg Celebration of the Arts, with dozens of musical and theatrical performances at St. Pete’s most iconic venues like The Mahaffey Theater, Opera Central and the Palladium Theater.

 This February, renowned music ensembles, operas and theater productions take center stage, exploring the theme of “Freedom”. From the melodies of the “Florida Orchestra's Morning Matinee” and “From Broadway with Love” to the captivating drama of “Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto” and “Shakespeare's Cleopatra”, this month-long series of events promises a journey through St. Pete’s creative soul filled with unforgettable performances. 

For the full calendar of events and to book your tickets, go to Celebration of the Arts.  

Gulfport Fine Arts Festival

The ninth annual Gulfport Fine Arts Festival is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on February 10th and 11th at Gulfport Veterans Park.

The festival attracts artists from across the country who work in a variety of media. The two-day event also features live entertainment.

For more information, go to Gulfport Fine Arts Festival.

“Survival of the Fittest” at The James Museum

“Survival of the Fittest: Envisioning Wildlife and Wilderness with the Big Four” is on exhibit  The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art from February 17th to May 26th.

The exhibition title is a reference to  Charles Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species,” which had “a revolutionary impact on how Western cultures envisioned their relationship with the other animals on Earth,” according to an exhibition description.

The exhibit features the work of a group of classically-trained painters who came to be known as the “Big Four” - German Richard Friese (1854–1918), Swede Bruno Liljefors (1860–1939), German Wilhelm Kuhnert (1865–1926), and German-American Carl Rungius (1869–1959).

“‘Survival of the Fittest’ is the first major piece of scholarship to come out of the National Museum of Wildlife Art’s multiyear Carl Rungius Catalogue Raisonné project,” an exhibition description says. “Presented with an accompanying exhibition catalogue, ‘Survival of the Fittest’ will feature 45 masterworks. While other institutions hold significant collections of work by individual members of the Big Four, the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschede, Netherlands, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, are the only two museums in the world to hold masterpieces by each member of the group. ‘Survival of the Fittest’ brings together the best paintings from these two esteemed institutions for the first time.”

For more information on the exhibit and related events, go to The James Museum: Survival of the Fittest.

Tampa Bay Symphony

The Tampa Bay Symphony, under the direction of Mark Sforzini, will present its Winter Concert Series, “Music of the Heart,” featuring Brahms’ Fourth Symphony and Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1, on Sunday, Feb. 11 (2:30 p.m.), at the Straz Performing Arts Center in Tampa; Tuesday,Feb. 13 (8 p.m.) and Sunday, Feb. 18 (2:30 p.m.), at the Palladium Theater in St. Petersburg; and Friday, Feb. 16 (8 p.m.) at the New Tampa Performing Arts Center. 

The 80-piece orchestra will also perform “Incandescence (Ukraine’s Undying Light)” by Brandon Walker, a finalist in TBS’ annual international composition contest. Young Artist Competition winner, pianist Quang Vo, will solo in the Liszt concerto.

Tickets are $25 for adults and free for students, who must show student ID if they are 18 or over.

For more information, go to Tampa Bay Symphony.

Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival

Get your blues on and soak up the sun at the Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival on February 23, 24 and 25, where national blues artists like Jontavious Willis and DK Harrell perform smooth tunes. Kick off your Friday night with hits by Makattack Music and Reverend Raven, let loose with Walter Trout and J & The Causeways on Saturday and then head to Coachman Park on Sunday to jam out to Nick Moss, Albert Castiglia and more.

The Clearwater Sea-Blues Festival returns February 23rd through 25th.Fuel your soul with seafood, craft brews and local handcrafted finds at the festival’s market. VIP tickets and reserved seating start at $20, with proceeds going to the Clearwater-based charity, Homeless Empowerment Program.

Flip Flop Opera: The Best of American Composers

Ditch the tux and grab your sandals for Flip Flop Opera: The Best of American Composers, a casual, fun-filled hour of belting tunes with the New Century Opera crew. Discover the magic of American Opera by listening to the greats like Gershwin, Glass and Adams. Listen to insider composer stories, fun facts and behind-the-scenes moments during a musical experience that will leave you talking about opera for days. Snag a ticket for $17 to $20 and head to the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 25 at 2 p.m. for an American opera adventure.

Nefesh Mountain Band: Blurring the Lines of Americana, Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz, and Blues

Forget genre labels as the Nefesh Mountain Band performs a musical blend of Americana, bluegrass, folk, jazz and blues. The husband-wife duo, Doni Zasloff and Eric Lindberg, create unique groovy sounds with smoky vocals, soulful guitar and good ol’ banjo rhythms that’ll have you tapping your toes to the beat. Experience music that’s as wild and free as the mountains themselves on Saturday, February 24 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center with tickets starting at $30.

Gulfport's First Friday Art Walk

Art spills onto the streets at Gulfport's First Friday Art Walk on February 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. The artsy town of Gulfport transforms into an open-air gallery, where painters, potters and sculptors showcase their latest creations. Vibe to live music from jazz and funk to folk, while grabbing a bite to eat from local restaurants and vendors.

The Gulfport First Friday Art Walk is 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on February 2nd.“First Friday Art Walk is a juried event welcoming emerging and professional artists in all media to exhibit and sell in a safe, creative and socially distanced manner,” a description on the event website says.

Candlelight: Classic Rock on Strings

Rock out, unwind and listen to live classic rock hits at Candlelight: Classic Rock on Strings. Soak in the vibes at the intimate setting of Coastal Creative, where you’re surrounded by gentle candlelight and your favorite rock anthems like Zeppelin's "Stairway" to Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer”. This Candlelight experience on Thursday, February 15 is perfect for a date night, group outing or solo escape. Seating is first come, first served, so grab a ticket with pricing starting at $35.

Morean Iconic: Paint St. Pete Edition

Unleash your inner artist with a one-day art battle at Morean Iconic: Paint St. Pete, where St. Pete’s top artists transform blank canvases into masterpieces as they paint en plein air at iconic locations. From vibrant murals to waterfront views, Morean Iconic fuels your creative spark with live art performances and interactive activities as you help support St. Pete’s thriving art community on Saturday, February 24 from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $150 for The Morean Arts Center Members and $175 for not-yet-members.

Dalí Museum events

Live Music at The Dalí

Skip the ordinary lunch break and listen to Live Music At The Dalí by the St. Pete Sax Quartet. Jazzy grooves and classical hits are reimagined with the smooth sounds of four saxophones on Sunday, February 4 from 12 to 2 p.m. Grab your friends, snag a spot in The Dalí’s comfy Raymond James Community Room and let the St. Pete Sax Quartet serenade you with rich harmonies and soulful tunes. This jam session is free and open to the public.

Art and Meditation at The Dalí

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a dose of mind-bending art mixed with tranquility at Art And Meditation At The Dalí, a free, guided meditation led by experienced yogi Kristof Znyk on February 14 from 12 to 1 p.m. Slow down, quiet your thoughts and connect to your inner peace as you’re surrounded by Dalí’s surreal masterpieces of melting clocks and lobster phones. Tibetan singing bowls will set a calm mood and calming bells will finish off the meditation as you leave feeling refreshed and recentered.

The Dome After Dark: Valentine’s Day Edition

Get surreal with your sweetheart at The Dalí, for an intimate evening at the museum for The Dome After Dark: Valentine’s Day Edition. Immerse yourself in the world of Salvador Dalí with an exclusive after-dark showing of Dalí 360º in the iconic Dome on Friday, February 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Let the live DJ set the mood with romantic tunes while you sip on a complimentary specialty drink for a dreamy date night as you dance under 360-degree surreal visuals. Tickets are $50 for members and $60 for non-members.

To view all of the events and exhibits occurring at The Dalí in February, visit https://thedali.org/events/category/featured/

Tampa Museum of Art events

Ceramics Wheel adult classes

Shape clay into magic on a potter’s wheel with the Tampa Museum of Art’s Ceramics Wheel adult classes. Learn from friendly instructors and fellow clay lovers as you create unique pieces to treasure or gift. Beginners can start with hand-building to get comfortable with the clay and intermediate potters can dive right in inspired by instructor-led projects to take their skills to the next level. Classes are on Thursdays from 6 to 9 p.m. with Session A classes running from January 11th to February 29th and Session B from March 7th to May 2nd. All firing costs, tools, glazes and supplies are covered in the class registration fee.

Charla en la galería: “Cruzando Fronteras: La Dualidad Artística de Pepe Mar”

Calling all Spanish speakers and art lovers of all languages, head to the fantastical world of Pepe Mar with the special gallery talk, Crossing Borders: Pepe Mar’s Artistic Duality or Charla en la galería: “Cruzando Fronteras: La Dualidad Artística de Pepe Mar." The gallery talk "Crossing Borders: Pepe Mar's Artistic Duality" is February 15th at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Join Nina Contreras Womeldurf, the museum's Marketing Director, on Thursday, February 15 from 6 to 6:30 p.m. to explore the depths of "Myth and Magic," the first-ever retrospective of Pepe Mar's art. Dive deep into the artist’s creative evolution over 15 years as you get a unique perspective on themes of crossing borders and cultural fusion.

To view all of the events and exhibits occurring at the Tampa Museum of Art in February, visit https://tampamuseum.org/events/month/2024-02/

“Under My Skin” at SPAACES

“Under My Skin,” a solo exhibit by Venezuelan-born St. Petersburg artist Babs Reingold, is on display at SPAACES Contemporary Art Gallery in Sarasota from February 2 through March 16. 

The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on  February 2nd. An artist's talk is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on February 15. 

“Reingold is known for assembling drawing, sculpture, found objects, and video to fabricate compelling site-specific installations,” an exhibit description says. “These works are calculated to influence our perception of current issues, utilizing alternate environments that allude to the body, environment and poverty, all capsulated within a passage of time.”

"Under My Skin," a solo exhibit by Babs Reingold, is at SPAACES Contemporary Art Gallery in Sarasota from February 2nd through March 16th.Reingold’s solo exhibits include New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Savannah, St. Petersburg FL, Jersey City and Buffalo NY. Museum exhibits include the Newark Museum NJ, Jersey City Museum, Albright-Knox Buffalo NY, Burchfield Penney Buffalo NY, Tampa Museum and Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg. She has work in museum and private collections throughout the United States including: The Newark Museum, NJ, Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, FL, The Burchfield Penney Art Center Buffalo, NY and Savannah College of Art and Design.

For more information, go to SPAACES Under My Skin

“The Great State of Florida” at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum

“The Great State of Florida,” an exhibition featuring the work of acclaimed artist and painter Christopher M. Still, opens at the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum on February 20.

“The works in this exhibit represent over forty years of inspiration drawn from Florida’s natural beauty, people, and history,” Still says in a press release. “This exhibit is an effort to define a sense of place and who we are as Floridians andthe beautiful and historic city of Tarpon Springs.”

The exhibition features works private collectors donated to the Friends of Christopher Still that are now on loan to Tarpon Springs and reproductions of some of Still’s works. There is also a 30-minute video and works from his recent “Beautiful and Historic Tarpon Springs,” which is from the collection of the AdventHealth North Pinellas Hospital. 

Located in Craig Park, the Tarpon Springs Heritage Museum is open Monday to  Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Adult admission is $5.00 per person. Tarpon resident Admission is $3.00 per person. Tarpon Arts members get unlimited free admission.

Preview events for “The Great State of Florida” that include an appearance by Still and a guided exhibition tour are at 2 p.m. on Saturday, February  17, and Sunday, February 18. Tickets are $25 for the general public and $22 for Tarpon Arts members.

For more information, go to Tarpon Arts.

“The Resonance of Color: Works by Amy Donaldson and Terri Dilling”

“The Resonance of Color: Works by Amy Donaldson and Terri Dilling,” is on exhibit at Michael Murphy Gallery in Tampa from February 8 through March 2. Receptions with the artists are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 8, and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 10. 

“The genesis of Amy and Terri’s collaborative exhibition was sparked by my sixth-grade teacher. Encouraging us to contemplate a tree and transcribe our thoughts, we unveiled a myriad of eight distinct arboreal representations. This exercise underscored the notion that a singular expression can be construed diversely,” Michael Murphy says in a press release. “I have perennially perceived that both Terri and Amy draw inspiration from the natural world. Nevertheless, their artistic interpretations of nature diverge significantly. The divergence in their styles serves as a visual testament to the multiplicity of perspectives one can adopt when approaching the portrayal of a singular subject.”"Celebration Time" by Amy Donaldson. A new exhibit at Michael Murphy Gallery features the work of Donaldson and Terri Dilling.

Dilling is an Atlanta-based artist whose work is in collections around the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, the City of Atlanta, Four Seasons Hotel Marrakech, Morocco and Conrad Hilton Hong Kong.

Donaldson is originally from Jacksonville Beach and lives in Redding, California. She has exhibited internationally from London to New York, and Chicago to Brussels, including a 2016 solo show in Paris. 

For more information, go to Michael Murphy Gallery events.

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Read more articles by Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy.

Zebrina Edgerton-Maloy is a freelance multimedia journalist based in Tampa. She earned her BA in Journalism from Washington and Lee University in May 2016. Zebrina is also a social media specialist and content writer for startup companies and small businesses. She helps build their brand through social media management and creates their brand story through content writing. She is constantly motivated by Tampa Bay's entrepreneurial spirit. Zebrina is dedicated to share entrepreneurs' stories of grit, passion and innovation. Learn more at her website and follow her on Instagram or Twitter @zebrinaemaloy.