January Arts: Woodson Museum, HEIRESS, Dunedin Fine Arts Center, Creative Pinellas, Tempus Projects

Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States at USF Contemporary Art Museum 

The USF Contemporary Art Museum presents “Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States” from January 13th to March 4th.

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is well known for his “I Have a Dream” speech, there is much less emphasis on his “The Poor People’s Campaign,” a multicultural, multi-faith, multi-racial movement to unite poor people and their allies to demand an end to poverty and inequality. 

"Fifty-three years after Dr. King’s death, the Reverend William Barber II launched a contemporary push to fulfill Dr. King’s mission through a “revolution of values” that unites poor and impacted communities across the country," an exhibition description on the USF CAM website says. "This exhibition is a visual response to Dr. King’s “last great dream” as well as Reverend Barber’s recent 'National Call for Moral Revival.'"  

"With artworks spanning more than 50 years, the exhibition is divided into two parts: 'Resurrection' (1968-1994) and 'Revival' (1995-2022)," the description continues. "'Resurrection' includes photographs, paintings, prints, videos, sculptures, books, and ephemera made by an inclusive company of American artists, from Jill Freedman's photographs of Resurrection City, the tent enclave that King's followers erected on the National Mall in 1968, to John Ahearns' plaster cast sculpture Luis Fuentes, South Bronx.Jill Freedman's "Resurrection City" is part of the exhibition "Poor People's Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States" at the USF Contemporary Art Museum. 'Revival' offers contemporary engagement across a range of approaches, materials and points of view. Conceived in a declared opposition to poverty, racism, militarism, environmental destruction, health inequities, and other interlocking injustices, this exhibition shows how artists in the US have visualized poverty and its effects since 1968. Participating artists include John Ahearn, Nina Berman, Martha De la Cruz, Jill Freedman, Rico Gatson, Mark Thomas Gibson, Corita Kent, Jason Lazarus, Miguel Luciano, Hiram Maristany, Narsiso Martinez, Adrian Piper, Robert Rauschenberg, Rodrigo Valenzuela, William Villalongo and Shraddha Ramani. 'Poor People’s Art' is curated by Christian Viveros-Fauné, CAM Curator-at-Large and organized by the USF Contemporary Art."

There are a series of events related to the exhibit in January: 

Poor People’s Art Panel Discussion

At 7 p.m. Thursday, January 12th there will be a panel discussion of artists featured in “Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States” at the USF School of Art & Art History Lecture Hall (FAH 101).

The discussion will include Nina Berman, Rico Gatson, and Jason Lazarus. Curator Christian Viveros-Fauné will lead the conversation exploring issues and topics addressed in the exhibition. This event is free and open to the public.  

Poor People’s Art Gallery Tour and Opening Reception

An art gallery tour and the opening reception are scheduled from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Friday, January 13th at the USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM.Exhibition curator Christian Viveros-Fauné and artist Miguel Luciano will lead a gallery tour at 6:30 p.m., followed by an opening reception until 9 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.  

Old News/New News: Resurrection City and Visualizing Poverty in America

At 6 p.m. Thursday, January 26th at the USF School of Art & Art History Lecture Hall (FAH 101), a talk will focus on the role of photography in creating our understanding of poverty in America.

Lisa Sutcliffe, Curator in the Department of Photographs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Christian ViverosFauné, curator of “Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States,” will discuss Jill Freedman’s photographs of Resurrection City as well as the work of other photographers as they uncover the unique relationship between photography and the public perception of economic hardship. This event is free and open to the public. 

For more information, go to Poor People’s Art: A (Short) Visual History of Poverty in the United States.

A trio of new exhibits at Dunedin Fine Art Center

The Dunedin Fine Art Center debuts three new exhibits on January 13th.

“SOONOQO,” which means “to become” and “to return” in Somali, is the inaugural exhibit in the DFAC guest curator program, with multi-media artist S.Toxosi serving as guest curator and “telling the story of the Divine Feminine via an international gathering of artists working in unexpected means.”

“Christopher Skura: The Beginner’s Mind,” features the visual artist’s symbology in “a fascinating blend of organic and mechanical forms reflecting his childhood in Florida and current life living in NYC and upstate New York,” according to a description on the DFAC website.

“INTIMACY: Into Me I See”  is a revealing show of self-portraits and selfies submitted by artists in the community. All three exhibits run through February 26th.

For more information, go to Dunedin Fine Art Center.

“An Ouroboros of Looking” at HEIRESS

“An Ouroboros of Looking”  is at HEIRESS, the contemporary art museum at The Factory, St Pete property, from January 13th through March 3rd. The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. January 13th. 

“An Ouroboros of Looking” features the work of seven contemporary artists: Trinity Oribio’s paintings, Codi Barbini’s photographic grids, Paul Pfeiffer’s video sculptures, Nash Glynn’s paintings, Creighton Baxter’s videos, Tanner Simon’s paintings and Tess Bilhartz’s large scale colored pencil drawings.

For more information, go to HEIRESS.

“Touch in the Spirit of Love” at the Woodson African American Museum of Florida

Painter Gary L. Lemons’ “Touch in the Spirit of Love” is currently on display at the Woodson African American Museum of Florida in St. Petersburg. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on January 14th.

"I am a Black abstract painter,” Lemons says in a description of the exhibit on the Woodson website. “Conceptually, my paintings are rooted in Africentric colors and patterns. I believe art should inspire all people to connect to the liberating power of communal love. Gary L. Lemons' "Touch in the Spirit of Love" is at the Woodson African American Museum of Florida in St. Petersburg.Touch in the Spirit of Love is a series of paintings that graphically illustrate the value of love for all humanity. In an imaginary, spiritually enriched context—this series calls all people together to see each other reaching out to one another through the touching of their hands. The hands in my paintings connect people together to express hope for the life-saving power of love committed to community-building. As envisioned by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hope for a “beloved community” can be realized when people actively join together to show love for social justice. Overall, the paintings in this series visually challenge people to see the need for loving wholeness in mind, body, heart, and soul. Hands of different colors touching each other in this painting series artistically demonstrate the power of love rooted in freedom for all people who have been historically oppressed."

For more information, go to Woodson Museum exhibits

Also this month, the Woodson Museum, the St. Petersburg Opera Company and the St. Petersburg Alumnae Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., present “Classic Black,” a classical music performance featuring Black classical musicians. “Classic Black” is Sunday, July 31 at 5 p.m. at The Palladium. Tickets are $45. 

For more information and tickets, go to The Palladium .

“Out of Eden” and “Imagine Blackness” at Creative Pinellas

“Out of Eden,” a collection of nature-inspired textiles and paintings by Cuban American artist Yolanda Sánchez is on exhibit at Creative Pinellas from January 19th to April 16th. The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 19th. In a description on the Creative Pinellas website, curator Beth Gelman says the “lush and vibrant colors” and movement of Sánchez’s pieces evoke the tropical landscape of both the artist’s Miami home and the area surrounding the Creative Pinellas gallery. 

“Imagine Blackness: Alternate Realities and Collective Dreaming,” by artist McArthur Freeman II and sociologist Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman is on exhibit at Creative Pinellas from January 19th to February 26th. An opening reception and artist talk is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on January 28th.

This exhibition invites viewers to engage in the act of collective dreaming as a social intervention, which moves beyond the reality of the present world to (re)-imagine and discover new ways of seeing and being,” a description on the Creative Pinellas website says. “Inspired by Black speculative fiction and Afro-Futurism, the project offers viewers interactive opportunities to question, inspire, and escape by engaging the viewers’ own imaginations in the co-construction of the future and alternate worlds.”

For more information, go to Creative Pinellas.

Clearwater Arts Alliance Art Walk

The Clearwater Arts Alliance’s next Public Art Walk event is Saturday, January 21st. There is a morning walk at 10:30 a.m. and an afternoon walk at 4 p.m. The docent-led walks take approximately one hour and cost $10 in advance and $15 on the day of the tour. The art walk begins in the Old City Hall parking lot by the “Ring Canopy” sculpture at 112 South Osceola Ave.

For more information, go to Clearwater Arts Alliance. 

Cristina Molina Ghost Orchid: Fever Dream at Tempus Volta

Visual artist Cristina Molina’s exhibition  “Ghost Orchid: Fever Dream” is at Tempus Volta at the Ybor City Kress Building from January 5th through February 2nd. 

In the exhibit, the elusive flora Dendrophylax lindenii, or ghost orchid, is personified as an apparition, oracle, and provocateur that positions the viewer as an orchid hunter trespassing in the swamp. 

“Throughout the video, the Ghost Orchid delivers poignant and sage-like monologues about climate change, humanity’s dominion over the wetlands, and its impact on species’ survival. Rendered as a fever dream, footage of dancers donning a ghost orchid costume is cut to atmospheric singing and field recordings made in the South Florida Everglades,” a description on the Tempus Projects website says. "Ghost Orchid: Fever Dream," a solo exhibit by artist Cristina Molina, is at Tempus Volta at the Ybor City Kress Building from January 5th through February 2nd.“Drawing from true stories of orchid hunters and their desperate obsessions with capturing ghost orchids in the wild, the videos are paced and structured so that they appear and disappear throughout the space, never to be fully grasped.”

“Cristina Molina is a visual artist who hails from the subtropics of Miami and currently lives and works in New Orleans—two environmentally precarious sites that have influenced her research on identity, loss, and disappearing landscapes,” the description continues. “Spanning performance, video installation, photography, and textile design, Molina’s artwork is set amongst vulnerable terrains both real and imagined. Using the language of magical realism, her works reshape and centralize little-known narratives to upend dominant histories. Molina’s projects are typically collaborative and often include the participation of The Crystal Efemmes—a collective that produces immersive installations and performances with feminist agendas and mythical proposals. From 2014-20 Molina was a member of the New Orleans artist-run project, The Front where she curated artwork and co-organized The Front’s annual film festival. Cristina Molina is an Associate Professor and Gallery Director at Southeastern Louisiana University where she received the 2018 President’s Award for Excellence in Artistic Activity and was the recipient of the Viola Brown Endowed Professorship in Visual and Dramatic Arts from 2020-22.”

For more information, go to Tempus Projects Ghost Orchid.

Also in the Ybor Kress Building:

Dinonetics: Fossilized Feelings and Prehistorical Misfortune at QUAID Gallery 

“Dinonetics: Fossilized Feelings and Prehistorical Misfortune,” a solo exhibition by artist Anthony Record is at the QUAID Gallery from January 5th through February 11th. The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, January 5th.

Late Night Thoughts

“Late Night Thoughts,” a solo exhibition by Jacob Z. Wan, is at Parachute Gallery from January 5th to 19th. The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, January 5th.

“Late Night Thoughts is a solo exhibition by Jacob Z. Wan that portrays intimate conversations of longing as a gay boy,” an exhibition description says. “Through creating a dreamy experience with paintings, handmade books, and installation, this exhibition emphasizes the importance of oneself in romantic relationships.”

Jewels and Binoculars Hang from the Head of the Mule, What Does the Cowboy Dream About?, Note to Self 

Three new exhibitions debut in galleries at the Kress Building on January 26th, with opening receptions scheduled that evening.

Tempus Projects reopened in new space at the Kress Building late last year and enters the new year with two concurrent exhibitions, “Jewels and Binoculars Hang from the Head of the Mule” and “What Does the Cowboy Dream About?”  

“Jewels and Binoculars Hang from the Head of the Mule,” a group exhibition featuring Kendra Frorup, Coulter Fussell, Michael Jones and Michi Meko, and multimedia artist Takeo Faison’s  “What Does the Cowboy Dream About?” are at Tempus Projects Gallery from January 26th through March 2nd. The opening receptions for the exhibitions are 7 p.m. Thursday, January 26th. 

“Note to Self,” a solo exhibition by @AWYEAHIZZY, is at Parachute Gallery in the Kress Building from January 26th to February 9th. The opening reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, January 26th.

For more information, go to Tempus Projects, QUAID Gallery and Parachute Gallery

Hamlet at Jobsite Theater

Jobsite Theater presents the William Shakespeare classic  “Hamlet” at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Jaeb Theater from January 11th through February 5th. 
This is Jobsite’s 22nd season of celebrating the Bard. The production features a powerful score from the company’s award-winning resident composer Jeremy Douglass.  

For more information, go to Jobsite Theater

Captured From Nature by Vanya Robinson

“Captured From Nature” by Vanya Robinson is at St Pete ArtWorks through January 29th.

“Vanya Robinson finds inspiration in natural and found objects from the local environment of our beaches and waterways,” a description of the show says. “She brings her own original style to her art by arranging seashells into colorful representations of nature and animals, such as frogs and seahorses.”

“Vanya recently moved from Arizona to St. Petersburg, embracing the offerings from the beaches as her new materials,” the description continues. ”Currently the beach treasures, along with her vivid imagination keep her work playful. She defines her art as ‘Captured from Nature.’”

“Captured from Nature” runs through January 29th at St. Pete ArtWorks during regular gallery hours. A reception is scheduled during St. Pete’s Second Saturday Art Walk on January 14th from 5 to 9 pm. The reception will feature current artwork in the gallery, food, drink and art demos. Music will be provided by keyboardist, Eddie Garrido starting at 6 pm

For more information, go to St. Pete ArtWorks.

Spirit, Rhythm, Blues: Le’Andra LeSeur at Gallery221@HCC Dale Mabry Campus 

“Spirit, Rhythm, Blues” by celebrated New York artist Le’Andra LeSeur is at Gallery221 at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus from January 9th through March 2nd.

The opening reception is Thursday, January 19th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with an artist performance at 6 p.m.

“Le’Andra LeSeur (b. 1989, Bronx, NY) is a multidisciplinary artist whose work encompasses a range of media including video, installation, photography, painting, and performance,” a description of the exhibition says. “Spirit, Rhythm, Blues” by celebrated New York artist Le’Andra LeSeur is at Gallery221 at Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry campus from January 9th through March 2nd.“LeSeur’s body of work—a celebration of Blackness, queerness, and femininity—seeks to dismantle systems of power and achieve transcendence and liberation through perseverance. In Spirit, Rhythm, Blues at Gallery221@HCC, LeSeur’s installation encourages viewers to contemplate themes such as identity, family, grief and joy, the experience of invisibility, and the power of language.”

LeSeur received a B.F.A in Photography from Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia and a B.S.B.A from Bucknell University, Pennsylvania. She has received several notable awards including the Leslie-Lohman Museum Artists Fellowship (2019), the Time-Based Medium Prize as well as the Juried Grand Prize at Artprize 10 (2018). 

For more information, go to HCC galleries

ROSHIN’S WAKE by Dorothy Hershman at The Studio@620

“ROSHIN’S WAKE,” a one-woman play, written, directed and performed by award-winning actor, retired lower division Drama Specialist at Berkeley Preparatory School and Gulfport resident, Dorothy Hershman, is at The Studio@620 from January 19th to 21st.

Ms. Hershman describes the one-hour play as a simple “journeying tale.” In the play, grandmother and Irish immigrant Oognah Donohue crosses the western frontier in 1864. That journey is the backdrop for one woman’s very human journey from tragedy, through grieving, to a celebration of life, shared with the audience in the role of her fellow travelers.

Evening performances are Thursday, January 19th and Friday, January 20th at 8 p.m. A matinee performance is Saturday, January 21st at 2 p.m.

For more information, go to The Studio at 620 .

Choral Workshop and Concert

Tampa Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church Music Director Nancy Callahan, members of the Tampa Oratorio Singers, the PCPC Chancel Choir and all interested singers will be part of a choral workshop and concert at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church from January 20th to 22nd.

Rehearsal is on Saturday, January 21st with the performance on the afternoon of Sunday, January 22nd. 

For more information, contact Stephen Allen at 813-997-7859 or [email protected].

Floral Design Workshop - Winter Season at Meacham Urban Farm

Blue House Florals is holding a floral design workshop at Meacham Urban Farm from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28th. 

The workshop will focus on creating a garden-style arrangement while learning basic floral design principles. All arrangements will feature locally grown, organic flowers and foliage. Anticipated flowers include ranunculus, snapdragons, anemones, ammi and more.Blue House Florals is holding a floral design workshop at Meacham Urban Farm from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 28th.

“In this workshop, participants will learn the basic principles of floral design including composition, balance, texture, and movement. We’ll use botanical elements as our palette to create a floral piece that celebrates Florida’s natural beauty,” says Kali Rabaut, founder of Blue House Florals.

For more information, go to Blue House Florals.

Sunshine State Theatre debuts in Bradenton

Sunshine State Theatre is debuting as Bradenton’s only professional nonprofit theater company with performances of “Almost, Maine” from January 6th through 8th at Oscura, 816 Manatee Ave. E.

Janet Raines is the executive director of the new theater company and Jalex Scott is the artistic director. Performances of “Almost, Maine” are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. January 6th and 7th and 3:30 p.m. on January 8th. 

For more information, go to Sunshine State Theatre.

Irene Rodríguez Flamenco at Carrollwood Cultural Center
Jan 7 

Classical Spanish and flamenco dancer and choreographer Irene Rodríguez performs at the Carrollwood Cultural Center Saturday, January 7th at 8 p.m.

With more than 20 years of experience, Rodríguez has been a teacher and choreographer for the National Ballet of Cuba, the National Ballet School and the National Spanish Dance School of Cuba. She was bestowed the Order of "Isabel La Catolica" by Felipe VI, the King of Spain, in 2018. Rodríguez brings her expertise, passion and talent to the Carrollwood Cultural Center in the Center's first event of the new year. 

For more information, go to Carrollwood Center Irene Rodríguez Flamenco.
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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.