January arts roundup: a busy start to the new year

Kickstart the new year with creativity and inspiration as you explore art events and exhibitions throughout Tampa Bay. From immersive museum showcases to expansive workshops, dive into our curated guide of art events designed to ignite your imagination and infuse the month of January with the magic of art.

New exhibitions at Tempus Projects

Four new exhibitions debut at Tempus Projects in the Ybor Kress Building on January 18.

“Loose Intentions. Tight Pajamas.” features the recent work of Lisa McCarthy, an interdisciplinary artist who focuses on painting, drawing and sculpture.

The new exhibition explores how, as humans, our freedom and obligations are of ten at odds. McCarthy has a from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston at Tufts University and  Master of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida. Her work has been accepted into the Permanent Collection at The Danforth Museum in Framingham, MA.

“Non-Essential Consultants Inc.” by Duke Riley is a three-channel video installation, that combines “narrative and documentary filmmaking to depict an allegorical history involving two outlaw operatives responsible for a bed bug outbreak in Washington, DC,” an exhibition description says.

“The video revolves around a sculptural element; a vintage suitcase retrofitted with scientific machinery and medical equipment used for breeding bed bugs,” the description continues. “This suitcase also contains a diorama of a luxury hotel room, from a notorious hotel located near the White House, symbolizing the convergence of corporate and political power. The installation draws inspiration from 1960s spy thrillers, reflecting the current public distrust of government and media, as well as the challenges posed by rapid technological advancements and national security threats. Ultimately the installation highlights the permeability of even the most fortified power structures.”

“MANIFOLD,” by Holly Wong, opens in DRIFT, Tempus Volta’s gallery space for independent curators. The exhibition features early career work and recent work by Wong, a Miami-born, California-based artist.  The work in the show reflects on “how light becomes a record of presence and spirit,”  according to a description.OXH Gallery curates the exhibition.

“Cemetery WiFi” by artist Daniel Ryan opens in the Tempus Volta gallery space. Ryan is a self-taught artist specializing in painting, illustration and digital art. He’s lived in the Tampa Bay area for most of his life and currently resides in St. Petersburg with his wife.

“I focus on surrealism, which allows me to explore the intersection between life and death, the absurdity of existence, and the impact of technology on the human psyche,” Ryan says in a description of the exhibition. “My work delves into mental health, our daily struggle resist falling into nihilism, and the intriguing parallels between cats and people, often incorporating self-deprecating humor. I strive for an expressive exploration of these complex and relatable human experiences.”

All four exhibitions run from January 18 to February 22. An opening reception is 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, at the Ybor Kress Building, 1624 E. Seventh Ave.

For more information, go to Tempus Projects exhibitions.

New exhibitions at Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art 

Three new exhibitions open at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art on the Saint Petersburg College Tarpon Springs campus on January 20.

“The Beauty of Excess: The Pattern and Decoration Movement” features 60 vibrant works by artists such as Miriam Schapiro, Robert Zakanitch and Robert Kushner and includes new acquisitions by Henri Matisse and Faith Ringgold.
“Kim Kirchman: An Allegory of Spring” is the retirement exhibition of Kirchman, a ceramic artist and long-time SPC Fine Arts professor. It debuts 17 new organic-shaped, floral-patterned ceramic vessels that are inspired by the Pattern and Decoration Movement.
“Benny Andrews: Everything That Rises Must Converge” highlights illustrations from Flannery O’Connor’s book of the same title and reveals the flawed characters in apocalyptic moments presented with comic detachment.

The exhibitions are on display through April 28. An opening reception for Friends of LRMA is Friends of LRMA is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, January 20.

For more information, go to Leepa-Rattner exhibitions.

“Collision: The Works of Ricardo Lowenberg” at Michael Murphy Gallery

“Collision: The Works of Ricardo Lowenberg,” an exhibition featuring the work of renowned Mexican master artist and sculptor Ricardo Lowenberg, is on display at Michael Murphy Gallery in downtown Tampa from January 18 through February 8.

“Leaping between mediums, Lowenberg paints both abstract and figurative works, and sculpts voluminous forms that explore the trajectory of emotions beginning with their interiority and culminating with their visual expression,” an exhibition description states.

Special in-gallery appearances by Lowenberg for an opening reception are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, and Friday, January 19. 

For more information go to Michael Murphy Gallery. To RSVP for the reception, Collision

Tampa Museum of Art events

Gain free access to the Tampa Museum of Art when you use your Bank of America, Merrill or Bank of America Private Bank (U.S. Trust) credit or debit card and photo ID during Bank of America Museums on Us Weekend on January 6th and 7th. Explore exhibits that have preserved cultural and creative legacies during a weekend that makes art more accessible so anyone can enjoy the power of art.

Drawing and Painting from Life

Enroll in the “Drawing and Painting from Life” art classes, where you can discover or refine your 2D skills under expert guidance. Throughout seven classes every Monday starting January 8, craft visual narratives that showcase how life imitates art with the inspiring backdrop of the Vinik Family Education Center.

Teen Workshop by Golding Art Studio

Calling local young creatives! Connect with your artistic spirit at the Teen Workshop hosted by the Golding Art Studio in the Bryan Glazer Family JCC on Monday, January 8 from 6 to 8 p.m. Teens ages 12 to 17 can create alongside local artists during an evening of mentorship, developing skills across various mediums and expanding your creativity. All supplies are provided.

Plein Air Meet-Up

The Tampa Museum of Art's Plein Air Meet-Up is at Ballast Point/Ocean Park on Sunday, January 28.Take your canvas into the outdoors during the Plein Air Meet-Up watercolor painting workshop designed for artists to create artworks inspired by Tampa Bay’s lush landscapes. Walk around Ballast Point/Ocean Park on Sunday, January 28 to find your ideal painting spot as you capture the natural beauty surrounding you. While some watercolors and paper materials are provided, make sure to bring your art supplies to fully dive into your artwork.

Studio 55 Workshops

Unleash your artistic potential at Studio 55, a community designed for adults aged 55 and older who are artists at heart. Create dry-point prints using textiles and embroidery as inspiration during the Embellishment and Printmaking workshop, with classes occurring every Sunday from January 7 to February 25. If digital artistry fulfills your heart, join the Introduction to Digital Art Making on Sundays from January 14 to March 2 for an 8-session course designed to teach you how to use tools like Adobe Fresco, Procreate and Sketchbook.

Dalí Museum Events in January

Coffee With A Curator

Discover how art and technology intertwine during Coffee With A Curator, where the Dalí’s Director of Digital Experiences Beth Harrison showcases how the museum uses digital innovation to narrate creative stories that help enhance visitors’ art experiences.

The free event is being held at the Dalí Museum’s Will Raymund Theater on Wednesday, January 3 at 10:30 a.m. with limited in-person seating. You can also catch the live session on YouTube.

Dillydally With Dalí

Parents and caregivers, embark on an artistic adventure with your children at the Dillydally With Dalí on Sunday, January 7 from 12 to 2 p.m. The Dalí Museum's Dilly With Dalí children's event is Sunday, January 7.

Children age 6 to 11 can collaboratively explore live arts and crafts activities inspired by Salvador Dalí’s whimsical world, collection and artistic processes. 

Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival

Celebrate African and African American art, culture, food, history and music at the Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival from January 5 to 14. The 10-day family-friendly festival features various events and activities ranging from galas and 5K runs to a Children’s Village and free health screenings.

The festivities culminate in a two-day music festival during “the weekend of the MLK holiday, featuring local and nationally recognized musicians, artists, poets and craftspeople,” a description on the festival website says. Jam out to live music by Keke Wyatt, Slave, Leela James, Adam Hawley and more at the 2024 Music Fest hosted at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Downtown Tampa on January 13 and 14. 

Florida CraftArt’s The Sacred Arts Tour

Embark on an enlightening journey at the Florida CraftArt’s The Sacred Arts Tour, featuring the renowned Tibetan Buddhist monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery as they create an intricate sand mandala that culminates into a heartfelt procession. 

“This is a fantastic time to visit the Florida CraftArt galleries,” says Florida CraftArt CEO Jorge Vidal. “The creation of the sand mandala by the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery is a beloved event and we are so proud to be able to share it with our visitors once again. We have invited the artist of ArtLofts and more than 50 artists from the area to enrich the experience and to deepen the sense of community.” 

Join Florida CraftArt for an opening reception for the artists of ArtLoft on Friday, January 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. Then, engage with the monks through morning meditations, rock painting workshops, mala-making experiences and a Tibetan cultural pageant from January 8 to 14.

27th Annual Downtown Dunedin Art Festival

Explore local and national artists during the 27th Annual Downtown Dunedin Art Festival on January 6 and 7. Wander throughout Dunedin’s charming Main Street as you discover handmade crafts, home decor, ceramics and other original artworks created by multi-talented local artists.

30th Annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival

The 30th annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival is January 6 and 7. Stroll through St. Pete Beach’s Corey Avenue to view over 100 talented artisans from across the country at the 30th Annual St. Pete Beach Corey Area Craft Festival from January 6 to 7. The festival features contemporary crafts, handcrafted treasures and the festival’s Green Market filled with exquisite plants like orchids and exotic flora.

St. Pete Suds & Grub Walkabout Mural Tour

If murals, street art and graffiti spark your creative interest, you’re going to love the St. Pete Suds & Grub Walkabout Mural Tour on Sunday, January 7. Discover countless murals on the 6-mile tour that starts at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club and continues throughout the local mural art scene. “Led by the knowledgeable guide Steven Caliridion, participants will have the chance to visit various curated locations and discover the stunning wall murals that adorn the streets of St. Pete,” a description on the website says.

Roving at Gallery221@HCC 

“Roving,” an exhibit featuring mixed media and fiber-based artworks by Nneka Jones, Kandy G Lopez and Eugene Ofori Agyei, is on display at Gallery221@HCC Dale Mabry campus from January 8 through February 24. An opening reception is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 18, with an artist talk at 6 p.m.

“Deftly weaving together the medium of fiber with painting, sculpture, performance and installation, ‘Roving’ invites viewers to investigate notions of home, belonging, identity and ancestry,” an HCC Art Galleries exhibit description says. “Rather than arriving at fixed destinations or meanings, the artworks included in Gallery221@HCC examine the psychological and emotional complexities of self-reflection, movement and memory, intertwining our sense of being with the process of becoming.”

For more information, go to Roving.

SUNNY SIDE UP at Pinellas Ale Works

“SUNNY SIDE UP,” the first exhibit of emerging Tampa artist Cheryl Porter, is on display at Pinellas Ale Works in St. Petersburg from January 12 to February 23.

“Cheryl’s art career began in 2021 when she became interested through videos of artists Olga Solby, Molly Leach and Rinske Douna,” an exhibit description says. “Cheryl discovered the calming effects of the various pouring techniques of these talented artists and began
experimenting with her own paintings.”  

An opening reception is scheduled at Pinellas Ale Works from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, January 13th. 

Artists interested in displaying their work at Pinellas Ale Works should contact Funky as a Monkey Art Studio at  [email protected].

Tarpon Art Guild: Back Wall Exhibit

Enter a meditative state while watching traditional Chinese brush painting created by Gillian Graffy and the expansive watercolor artwork of Cindy McNally at the Tarpon Art Guild’s Back Wall Exhibit on Saturday, January 13. Experience a diverse range of artwork filled with intentional brushwork and colorful watercolor compositions.

United Photographic Artists Gallery group exhibit at FMoPA

The 11th annual group exhibit of the United Photographic Artists Gallery is January 16 through February 18 at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts,  on the first floor of the historic Kress Building in Ybor City. The opening reception is 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 25.

Founded in 2013, the United Photographic Artists Gallery focuses on the creative advancement and representation of diverse international emerging and mid-career artists through the fine art photography gallery. 

Also at FMoPA in January, the annual Members' Show award ceremony is 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 11. The event is free for members, while general admission is $12.

For more information, go to FMoPA

“OFFSET:Robert Rauschenberg at USF Graphicstudio”

“OFFSET: Robert Rauschenberg at USF Graphicstudio” is on exhibit at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum from January 19 to March 2.

The exhibit spotlights Rauschenberg’s “long and fruitful collaboration” with Donald J. Saff, the founder of Graphicstudio in 1968, a Distinguished Professor and Chair of the USF Art Department and founding dean of the USF College of The Arts. “OFFSET: Robert Rauschenberg at USF Graphicstudio” is on exhibit at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum from January 19 to March 2.

“Together, Rauschenberg and Saff worked on projects that had profound impacts locally, regionally, nationally and globally,” an exhibit description says. “In addition to the artist’s experimentation across mediums, Rauschenberg’s legacy is explored through the works of artists that recall his radical approach to materials, process, and concepts, including Trisha Brown, Rochelle Feinstein, Christian Marclay, Narsiso Martinez, Bosco Sodi and Tavares Strachan”

As part of the exhibit opening, scholar Dr. John Blakinger and Saff will discuss the origins, experiences and impacts of the Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange project at 6 p.m. on January 19th at USF CAM. An opening reception follows from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

For more information, go to USF CAM exhibits

New Tampa Performing Arts Center events

The Stewart Tussing Band performs as part of the “New Tampa Unplugged” live music series at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 21.  The longtime Tampa Bay area favorite features Kevin Stuart on guitar and vocal, Gary Tussing on cello and Tom Nordin on percussion. Tickets are $13 for a theater seat and $15 for a table seat and can be purchased at NewTampaArtsCenter.org/Tickets.

The City of Tampa’s Creative Arts Theatre presents “The Inventive Princess of Floralee” at 3 p.m. Thursday, January 25. The original, interactive fairy tale will have children thinking like scientists as they laugh, dance and think critically. The performance is free to attend with limited capacity. To register, visit NewTampaArtsCenter.org/Tickets.

51st Annual Art Festival Beth-El

Witness the beauty of original artworks at the 51st Annual Art Festival Beth-El with its captivating display of paintings, glass, ceramics, metal, wood and more crafted by over 170 national and international award-winning artists.

Drawing over 10,000 attendees from near and far, the Art Festival Beth-El is a premier art show designed to celebrate the finest creativity and talent on ​January 27, 28 and 29 The 51st annual Art Festival Beth-El is January 27, 28 and 29 at Temple Beth-El in St. Petersburg.
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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.