July Arts Roundup: Niki Butcher, iBOMS, Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems and more

“Daydreaming: Niki Butcher’s Hand-Painted Photography” is now on display in the gallery at Clearwater’s downtown library.

The exhibit features more than 60 hand-painted black and white photos of the unique sights and quirky characters Niki Butcher fell in love with after moving to the Sunshine State in 1980.

It is a collection of iconic images of an old Florida that was, even in the early 80s, beginning to disappear- art deco hotels, roadside mom-and-pop stores, empty sandy beaches and quirky characters like the “Iguana Man of Key West” and the “Flamingo Lady of Miami Beach.” Niki Butcher's "Flamingo Lady of Miami Beach."The exhibit also captures the natural beauty of the Everglades, Big Cypress National Preserve, Cedar Key, the Florida Keys and other untamed spots in the Florida wild.

Niki Butcher found inspiration for her process in old Florida postcards, hand-painting her black and white photographs in vibrant pastel hues and eye-catching bright tones.  

“We’re from California,” she recalls. “When we moved to Florida, I happened to come across a lot of old Florida postcards that were hand-painted. A lot of people do not know that color film didn’t exist. They assume everything has always been in color and it hasn't. The only way people could get color was by having their photographs hand-painted. So I took up hand painting black and white photographs about 1983.”

In the late 1980s, Niki Butcher put her own art aside to focus on the exploding career of her husband, renowned landscape photographer Clyde Butcher. Now, some 40 years after she first photographed quintessential Florida places and scenes, this is her first exhibit.

“Daydreaming: Niki Butcher’s Hand-Painted Photography,” is on display in renovated, expanded gallery space at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave., through a multi-year agreement between the Clearwater Community Redevelopment Agency and Clyde Butcher Galleries.

“The library is one of the most wonderful places to be connected to art exhibits,” Niki Butcher says. “People who love books also love art. They love self-expression and all of that, so to have art in a library is wonderfully unique. A lot of libraries carry one, two or three pieces of art from a local artist, but to have an entire area set aside for exhibits is just absolutely inspiring. I hope it becomes a trend in other libraries.”

There is a free meet-the-artist event with Niki and Clyde Butcher from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 9 at the Clearwater Main Library. “Daydreaming: Niki Butcher’s Hand-Painted Photography” is on display through January 31, 2023. 

For more information go to “Daydreaming: Niki Butcher’s Hand-Painted Photography."
 
 iBOMS solo exhibit at D-Gallerie

Emerging artist Jabar Reed-Diop, better known as iBOMS, is having a solo exhibit of his latest work “Xebra” at St. Petersburg contemporary art gallery D-Gallerie, 1234 Dr. M.L.K. Jr. St. N. Unit C, from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, July 8. An interactive gallery of the exhibit will also be available through the PixelStix app.iBOMS' new work "Xebra."

This is iBOMS’ second solo exhibit at D-Gallerie. In a statement, the artist says his latest character “is based on existence as an emerging artist in a world and city in the midst of a reboot.”

For more information go to iBOMS solo exhibit at D-Gallerie.

“COLORFUL EXPRESSIONS” at Pinellas Ale Works

“COLORFUL EXPRESSIONS,” a solo exhibit of the art of abstract artist Odalys Ramos Hatfield, is on display at Pinellas Ale Works, 1962 First. Ave S. in St. Petersburg from July 8 through August 19.

“Ody is an abstract artist who works with multiple media over canvas and tile to create art which comes to life as she paints and draws,” a press release on the exhibit says. “Born in Havana, Cuba, and growing up in Miami, the vibrant colors and themes of her youth continue to influence her work to this day. Themes of love, hope and the wonder of life carry through much of what she creates.”

The exhibit is presented by Pinellas Ale Works and Funky as a Monkey Art Studio. For more information go to Funky as a Monkey Art Studio.

“Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue” at Tampa Museum of Art

The works of influential photographers and longtime friends and colleagues Dawoud Bey and Carrie Mae Weems are featured in the exhibit “Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue,” which opens July 21st at the Tampa Museum of Art. The two artists have been close since meeting at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1977. Their work examines themes such as race, class, representation and systems of power and reflects the African-American experience, while also reflecting on the human condition, the official description of the exhibit notes.

“Dawoud Bey & Carrie Mae Weems: In Dialogue” runs from July 21 through October 23 at the Tampa Museum of Art, 123 W. Gasparilla Plaza. For more information go to  Tampa Museum of Art upcoming exhibits.

“DARKMATTER” at Creative Pinellas

“DARKMATTER,” an immersive exhibition by acclaimed sculptor and multi-disciplinary artist Jason Hackenwerth, opens July 22 at The Gallery at Creative Pinellas, 12211 Walsingham Rd. in Largo. 

“This exhibition will take viewers on an awe-inspiring journey through turbulence and drama to transcendence and joy,” a description of the exhibit says. “Two massive sculptures made in the artist’s signature vocabulary of latex balloons will anchor the show in the main gallery and will be accompanied by huge paintings and a scintillating retrospective of more than 50 drawings and images of Hackenwerth’s exhibitions from the past 20 years.”"DARKMATTER" by Jason Hackenwerth

The exhibit is free and runs from July 22 through October 16. An opening reception is scheduled at Creative Pinellas from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 22. To register for the event go to “DARKMATTER” reception.

The Collab at 3833 “Creator of the Quarter”

The Collab at 3833, an event and arts space shared by women lawyers at 3833 Central Ave., in St. Petersburg, has launched a “Creator of the Quarter” event that will feature the work of emerging local artists. Selected artists will be eligible to receive pro bono business development guidance through The Collab.

“We believe that a thriving community depends on a thriving artist community,” Starlett M. Massey with The Collab says in a press release. “We are proud to call St. Petersburg our home and contribute to the success of its emerging artists.”

The Collab will host an opening show for the first artist in the new program in a private event scheduled for July 28. For more information, including the eligibility rules and how to apply, go to The Collab at 3833.

Grant news

The Palladium in St. Petersburg has extended the application deadline for its 2022 Creative Class grants for performing arts in the Tampa Bay area to July 22. The grant program offers up to $2,500 to a group of local artists selected annually to create a new project in collaboration with the Palladium. The artists selected for the grant cycle will be offered a date during the 2022-2023 season to present their project at the Palladium with the performing arts center’s technical and marketing support. For more information go to Palladium Creative Class.

The USF Contemporary Art Museum is receiving a $50,000 National Endowment for the Arts grant to support “Poor People’s Art,” a project that will “present a social history of the experience of underrepresented and underserved communities in the US since 1968.”

The Suncoast Black Arts Collaborative has received a $10,000 grant from Masala Giving Circle for its “Art in Black” initiative to create opportunities for students of color at Booker Middle school and Booker High School in Sarasota to explore their creative talents. The program brings artists to the schools and puts on exhibitions of students’ work.

The Carrollwood Cultural Center is receiving $6,350 from the AARP Community Challenge Grant, a program designed to make communities more livable for people of all ages. The money will train and pay staff to provide live audio descriptions during the upcoming September presentation of “First Date” and to help fund programming in October for Blindness Awareness Month, including a tactile/audio art exhibition and a lecture titled “The Art of [BRAILLE]” on October 6.
 

Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry is a freelance writer living in Clearwater. Chris spent more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys our local music scene, great weather, and Florida's wealth of outdoor festivals.