July arts roundup: FMoPA international competition, new exhibits at the Kress, and much more

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts' 12th annual International Photography Competition, on display now at Tampa International Airport, drew 2,349 photographs from 542 photographers and 57 countries. 

But the winner is from right here in Tampa Bay. Riverview-based photographer Angelika Kollin won the competition’s top prize for “Everyday Saint Lucy,” one of a series of portraits she photographed of women domestic workers in Cape Town, South Africa.

Kollin started photographing the series in December 2019 but had to cut it short a few months later when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and Cape Town went into a strict lockdown. Still, she was able to select six strong photographs for the “Everyday Saints” series. After her family had settled in Riverview, she discovered the FMoPA competition and submitted two selections from “Everyday Saints” and another photograph.

"Everyday Saint Lucy," by Riverview-based artist Angelika Kollin, winner of the top prize in the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts' 12th annual International Photography Competition.“Honestly, it’s very unexpected,” she says of winning the competition. “I submitted on the go. I saw the submission form on one of the international awards websites and said, ‘Hmmm, that’s right where I am, let me try.’ I am really very happy that through this experience I got to meet the team at Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. What beautiful people. They’re so dedicated, so inspiring.”

Kollin is a self-taught photographer who has been taking pictures of people since she was a teenager.

“I think it was just an inner need to create art,” she says. “It was only later in life, the last 10 or 15 years, when my photography became increasingly good. Specifically, when I was living in Africa, that’s when my photography became like a form of art. It was no longer just pure portraits. Often, people say my portraits look like oil paintings. And it’s all with natural light. I don’t use any fancy equipment. I have a camera with one lens. I have such a basic, small setup. I have a very simple process. I just have a very good relationship with people and with light.”

Kollin’s current project is “You are My Mother,” a series of black and white portraits that explore the bond between mother and their child. She would like to turn it into a book.

Kollin is from Estonia and her family has traveled extensively because of her husband’s job, living in three African countries before moving to Riverview. The airport may be a fitting venue to show the work of an artist who has lived on three continents. But Kollin says it’s also a great place, in general, to put art on display. 

“Not everybody has time to go to a museum, and usually you have to pay an entrance fee,” she says. “But at an airport, everyone has access to see it. I think that’s beautiful. It’s making art accessible and art should be accessible to everybody. Then it’s your personal choice whether or not you want to see it.”

The exhibit at Tampa International Airport includes 24 selected photographs from the FMoPA International Photography Competition and is on display until August 18th.

For more information, go to FMoPA International Photography Competition.

“Summer School” at Parachute Gallery

“Summer School” at the Parachute Gallery features books, artwork and performances that have been banned, censored and restricted during the state’s campaign against diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

“I had an opening in my exhibition calendar and all of this news was coming out about book bans and drag performance bans,” says Jessica Todd, the owner and director of Parachute Gallery. “I  wanted to do something. The idea is to have this very positive, joyful, uplifting installation to show how non-threatening all this is.”

There will be a library of banned books, most donated by local bookstores and nonprofits, to read or buy. The money from the books sold will be donated to the nonprofit Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective.

Artwork on display comes from prior exhibits organized by the Sarasota nonprofit Embracing Our Differences. "Good Trouble," by Sarasota artist Clifford McDonald, is featured in the installation "Summer School" at the Parachute Gallery.Two pieces were intended for an exhibit planned earlier this year at State College of Florida. The exhibit was canceled after college officials requested the two pieces be excluded. A third piece of artwork from Embracing Our Differences was vandalized in a Sarasota park.

“Summer School” also includes a video screening of storybook readings from three local drag performers. The performers were paid a stipend to help make up for bookings they have lost due to the state’s restrictions on drag performances.

“Summer School” opens July 6th and runs through August 3rd at Parachute Gallety in the Kress Building in Ybor City.

For more information, go to Summer School

New exhibits at Tempus Projects

Also at the Kress Building, Tempus Projects presents the group exhibition “Precious Magnet” in its Tempus Volta gallery space. 

“Precious Magnet” explores the phenomenon of underground publishing and the cultural and artistic impact of zines. The exhibit showcases zines by local and national artists and the work of Ryann Slauson, Tampus Projects’ current artist-in-residence. The exhibition also features works by Madeline Baker, Mitzi Gordon, Tyler Jopek, Shae Krispinsky, Marta Murray, Justin Bryan Nelson, Anthony Record, Gary Schmitt and Finn Schult.

“Precious Magnet” runs from July 6th through August 10th.

For more information, go to Precious Magnet.

“Solitary Dialogues: Reflections of the Self”

“Solitary Dialogues: Reflections of the Self” is on display at Tempus Projects’ DRIFT gallery space for independent curators from July 6th through August 3rd.

“Solitary Dialogues” features the work of Jim Wysolmierski and Tim Reid, a pair of artists whose work examines the human condition. The exhibit is curated by Jabe Jones.

For more information, go to Solitary Dialogues.

Art After Dark at Fairgrounds St. Pete

Fairgrounds St. Pete debuts a new monthly event, Art After Dark, on Friday, July 21st. 

This month’s event features Fairgrounds St. Pete’s newest artist, Paul LeRoy Gheres, as they reveal their new FLORIDARAMA. Gheres’ work has been exhibited across the country, including at The Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Stonewall 25 and The Pittsburgh Biennial.

Art After Dark is scheduled for the third Friday of each month and will include immersive art, live music and drink specials. The July 21st event runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and is for ages 21 and up.

For more information, go to Art After Dark.

Jobsite Theater’s “LIZZIE: The Musical” 

Jobsite Theater, the resident theater company at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa, presents “LIZZIE: The Musical,” a rock musical about 19th-Century axe murderer Lizzie Borden, from July 14th to August 6th at the Shimberg Playhouse. Preview performances are scheduled July 12th and 13th. 

Jobsite’s first production of “LIZZIE” in October and November 2016  earned Fo’i Meleah Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical from Theatre Tampa Bay. 

For more information, go to Jobsite LIZZIE.

Stageworks announces 23-24 season

Stageworks Theatre has released the schedule for its upcoming 2023-24 season. 

The theater company’s 41st season begins October 27th to November 12th with a production of “Poirot Returns,” which is based on Agatha Christie’s first novel about her famous character, Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. 

“The Great Christmas Cookie Bake-Off: The Musical” follows from December 1st to December 17th.  Looking ahead to 2024, the season continues with “I Am My Own Wife” in February; “The Immigrant” in March; “Our Town” from late April into May; and “Falsettos” in June.

For more information, go to Stageworks Theatre 2023-24 schedule.

“Art in Recovery” at Creative Pinellas

“Art in Recovery,” which features artwork from participants in the Sixth Judicial Circuit Adult Drug/Veterans Treatment Court program, is on display at Creative Pinellas through July 16th. 

The artwork on display is created by participants who took part in an “Art Challenge” as part of their recovery process and provides a glimpse into their personal experiences with recovery.

The exhibit will be on display during the monthly Third Saturdays at Pinewood event, which takes place July 15th and includes events at Creative Pinellas, the Florida Botanical Gardens and Heritage Village.

For more information, go to Art in Recovery and Third Saturdays at Pinewood

Leepa-Rattner summer exhibitions

Two ongoing summer exhibitions at St. Petersburg College’s Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art feature the work of Florida craft artists and Latin American artists.

“Material Mastery: Florida CraftArt Permanent Collection of Fine Crafts” is on display through August 27th. Produced in partnership with downtown St. Petersburg’s  Florida CraftArt, the exhibit features work by 45 craft artists from around the state.

"Bird Island Florida," by St. Petersburg-based artist Chuck Boux, is part of the exhibit “Material Mastery: Florida CraftArt Permanent Collection of Fine Crafts” at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art.“This collection recognizes the significance of Florida’s fine craft art in our
broad artistic landscape, documents the rich tradition of craft art statewide and beyond, and educates and inspires future generations of artists,” a description in a Leepa-Rattner press release states. “Featuring ceramics, fibers, glass, jewelry,
mixed media, and wood, this exhibition includes a roster of who’s who in the world of fine craft such as James Bassham, Chuck Boux, Nancy Cervenka, Christine Federighi, Leeann Kroetsch and rising stars like Nneka Jones, whose mixed-media embroidery work was featured on the cover of TIME magazine in 2020.”

In addition to the pieces from Florida CraftArt’s collection on display in LRMA’s two special exhibition galleries, “Material Mastery” includes fine craft art from the LRMA Collection.

Also this summer at Leepa-Rattner, “Do I Know My Own Shadow: Latin Artists from the LRMA Collection” is on display through September 3rd.

“For decades the United States has struggled to define Latin America and its kaleidoscope of ethnic diversity—Latino/a, Hispanic, Latinx,” an exhibit description states. “The contemporary discourse surrounding this identity can leave many feeling lost in referencing an incredibly vast and ethnically diverse region of the world. This exhibition, titled after the aforementioned work by Maggie Foskett, Do I Know My Own Shadow, carries in itself the weight of many questions in contemporary
dialogue surrounding the Latino/a/x identity. Through the lens of the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art’s permanent collection, artists come together as a chorus of unique voices and experiences, calling attention to contemporary discussions of cultural heritage representation. This intimate exhibition highlights eleven photographs and fine art prints by Florida artists Carlos Betancourt, Ernesto Blanco, Maggie Foskett, Tomas Marias, Selina Román and Oscar Vargas.”

 A second exhibition from the collection is planned for the fall to coincide with programming in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art is located on the SPC Tarpon Springs campus.

For more information, go to Leepa Rattner Museum.

Clearwater Arts Alliance expands signal box program

The Clearwater Arts Alliance has expanded its “Thinking Outside the Box” project, which wraps traffic signal boxes with vibrant images and artwork. 

"With funding from the Clearwater Public Art & Design Board, local artists collaborated with residents to design original images to adorn boxes in or near neighborhoods which are lacking in art amenities," a Clearwater Arts Alliance press release states.

The three new neighborhood signal boxes in the program are at Sunset Point and Kings Highway near Artz for Life Academy; North Myrtle Ave and Seminole Street in the Plaza Park neighborhood; and at Drew Street and Highland Avenue in the Glenwood neighborhood.Artist Tim Boatwright's collage is one of the latest additions to the Clearwater Arts Alliance's "Outside the Box" traffic signal box art program.

In addition, sponsorship funding from Clear Sky Restaurant, the Sand Key Civic Association and the Clearwater Arts Alliances added artwork to signal boxes at Ft. Harrison and Cleveland St.; on Sand Key; and at South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue and Druid Road. The local artists featured on these six new installations are: Tom Blauvelt, Emily Tayman, Valorie Vogel, Tim Boatright, Don Gillespie and Ann Murphy.

For more information, go to Clearwater Arts Alliance Outside the Box.

“Expression of Life: The Art of Donna Dyer” at Pinellas Ale Works 

“Expressions of Life: The Art of Donna Dyer” will be on exhibit at Pinellas Ale Works in St. Pete from July 21st through September 1st. The exhibit’s opening reception is Saturday, July 22, from 6-10 pm. 

Dyer, who lives in Clearwater, is a self-taught artist and painter. She paints from life and her imagination, depicting images that range from poppies to a sleepy European village. 

For more information, contact Funky as a Monkey Art Studio at  [email protected] or [email protected].

“Summer Breeze” at Stirling Art Studios & Gallery in Dunedin

“Summer Breeze,” a two-month exhibition featuring paintings, photography and sculptures, is on display at Stirling Art Studios & Gallery in Dunedin through August 27th. There will be an opportunity to meet the artists whose work is on display during Stirling’s Second Friday artists’ reception on July 14th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, go to Stirling Art Studios & Gallery

Peace Love Art online art charity auction

Athletes + Causes Peace Love Art online art auction for charity, runs from Sunday, July 9th to Saturday, July 15th.

The third annual auction raises money for 10 charities. Tampa Bay area charities include the Bucs’ Chris Godwin’s Team Godwin Foundation, which focuses on animal rescue efforts, and the Kyle Tucker Foundation, which the Plant High graduate and Major League Baseball player formed to raise awareness for and support Hospice care centers.

For more information and to access the sale, go to Peace Love Art.

LGBTQ Resource Center of Gulfport Library events

On Friday, July 7th, there is a fundraiser for the LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Public Library at Zipperz Bar, 4918 22nd Ave S., in Gulfport. The 21 and up event features a DJ, drag hostess, free food, drink specials and an empty bowl auction for art and gift baskets from 5 p.m. to  8 p.m. There is no cover and parking is free.  

The LGBTQ Resource Center is also launching a free writers’ group that will meet on the third Saturday of the month. Facilitated by Todd Wellman, The Writing Life is open to all writers age 18 and up, with a focus on writing the life experiences of LGBTQ + people. The group is scheduled to meet at the Gulfport Public Linratu from 10 a.m. to noon on July 15th, August 19th and September 16th.

Woodson Museum “Black History Matters” Block Party

On Friday, July 7th, the Woodson African American Museum of Florida will host a block party for its new “Black History Matters” mural. The event runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Woodson, 2240 9th Ave S. in St. Petersburg. The event includes music, vendors and an opportunity to meet the artists who painted the mural. 

Previously a “Black Lives Matter” mural, the mural has been updated to convey the importance of protecting and teaching Black history. Artists involved include The Artists that contributed to the creation of this mural include Daniel “R5” Barojas, Miss Crit (Laura Spencer), Esh (Eric Hornsby), Cyrus Fire, Raheem Fitzgerald, John Gascot, James E Hartzell, Vera Herrera, Plum Howlet, Jade Jackson, Reid Jenkins, Jujmo (Cheryl Weber), James Kitchens, Cam Parker, Reda3sb, Vitale Bros, Javon Walters, David Watson, Wayward Walls (Jason Harvin) and Catherine Weaver.

For more information, go to Woodson Museum events.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.