June arts: Tampa Fringe, Juneteenth and Pride Month events, new exhibits, and much more

Tampa International Fringe Festival at Kress Contemporary

The eighth annual Tampa International Fringe Festival hits the Kress Contemporary in Ybor City from June 5th through 16th.  

The freewheeling, eclectic performing arts festival has 33 shows and 120 total performances at four venues inside the Kress- The Fringe Theatre, Screen Door microcinema, the newly-opened West Annex and an artist’s studio that temporarily transforms into “The Cage.”

Part of an international circuit of fringe festivals, Tampa Fringe is all about creative freedom, inclusivity and unique performances that cultivate new theater fans.

“Part of the reason we founded this festival is we wanted to engage people who didn’t know theater was for them, people who didn’t think they would enjoy theater,” co-founder Will Glenn says.

The festival runs the gamut from adult performances for the “late night crowd” to family-friendly shows for “the 10 a.m. on a Saturday crowd,” Glenn says.

There’s burlesque, stand-up comedy, drama and comedy plays, magic shows, music, dance and storytelling. Katie Thayer, an actress and Titanic historian, will perform the entire film “Titanic” alone in under an hour. Tampa’s irreverent “Hoof Arted” will perform their new show, “Captain Havoc and the Big-Titty Bog Witches.” “Florida Fever Dream” will mix sketch comedy and “absurdist cabaret” in a “farcical political commentary” on the state’s current political climate. Actress Bridget Bean will perform “The Dropping Well,” a theater piece Bean wrote about 15th-century soothsayer Mother Shipton. In the play “The Toy Box,” an “abandoned toy's obsession with his owner spirals out of control when he tries too hard to hold on to the past." "#NotOneMore" is a two-part drama on bullying, gun violence, trauma and survival. That’s just a sample of the stage performances in store at the festival. 

There are several stand-up acts. Musical shows include “Blowing Wind: The Original Noisemakers," an oboe and trumpet duo.

In prior years, Hillsborough Community College’s Performing Arts Building and Bernini of Ybor have been venues for The Fringe. In 2023, The Fringe Theatre was the first venue in the Kress to host performances. This year, all performances are at the Kress, including in the newly-opened West Annex, which Glenn describes as a 30-foot by 30-foot space with a balcony overlooking Seventh Avenue. 

For more information and a schedule of performances, go to Tampa Fringe.

FMoPA 2024 International Photography Competition Exhibition

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts 2024 International Photography Competition Exhibition runs from June 26th through August 25th inside Tampa International Airport’s main terminal. 

This year’s competition attracted a record-high 2,557 photographs from 593 photographers in 59 countries. Diana Sosnowska, of Poland, is the Best in Competition winner for “Levitation Act # 2.” The exhibition at TIA will showcase photographs by the top finishers in each category of the annual competition. They include:

Places/Landscape: First Place - Heather Crane ( Florida’s east coast) “Young Citrus”; Second Place - Renee Lynn ( Santa Fe, New Mexico) “Desert Blossom”; Third Place - Emily Neville Fisher (Westchester, New York) “Sand Sledders.”

Nature/Science/Animals: First Place - Andy Glogower (Lakeland, Florida) “Huey Dewey and Louie”; Second Place - Marcello Galleano (Italy) ”Reflections in the Night”; Third Place - Helga Madajova (Slovakia) “Generalissimus Episoda.”

Courtesy FMoPAItalian photographer Mauro De Bettio's “Venice of Africa” is the first-place winner in the Documentation/Photojournalism category in the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts 2024 International Photography Competition.Documentation/Photojournalism: First Place - Mauro De Bettio (Italy) “Venice of Africa”; Second Place- Alain Schroeder (Belgium) “Brick_Prison”; Third Place - Mouneb Taim (Syrian Arab Republic/Netherlands) “0M6A6896.”

Still Life: First Place - Sander Vos (Netherlands/United Kingdom) “In Between the Shadows”; Second Place- Katy Otto (Germany) “Golightly”; Third Place - Dina Belenko ( USA) “Other side of the sea (Little Tokyo).”

Conceptual: First Place - Diana Sosnowska (Poland) “Levitation Act #2”; Second Place - Alena Grom (Ukraine) “Diana”; Third Place - Victoria Ruiz (Venezuela/USA) “Mis Flores Para Tu Altar (My Flowers for Your Altar)”; Honorable Mention - Asafe Ghalib (Brazil) “Queer Immigrants.” 

People/Portraits: First Place - “Marijn Fidder” (Netherlands) “Inclusive Nation”; Second Place - Alejandra Lopez Zaballa (Spain) “Real Toys 1”; Third Place - Bongani Tshabalala (South Africa) “Montsho.”

Abstract: First Place - Zsuzsanna Nagy (Pennsylvania) “In Passing”;  (Second Place - Eden Calle (USA) “Mis illusiones de nenufar”; Third Place - Ann Hopta (Florida) “Equine Butts and Backs.”

For more information, go to FMoPA 2024 International Photography Competition.

“Thomas Sayers Ellis: Paradise/Paradise Layered” at FMoPA

“Thomas Sayers Ellis: Paradise/Paradise Layered” is on display at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts from June 18th through August 4th.

During the Saint Petersburg Month of Photography in May 2023, Ellis, a poet, photographer and bandleader, was named the city’s first Photo Laureate.
“During his tenure, he created a visual story of Saint Petersburg and its inhabitants,” an exhibit description on the FMoPA website says. “This story is sometimes comical, sometimes dark. But most of all, it sheds an intriguing light on the mechanism of the Florida tourist industry, the people that keep the city running and the people the city attracts like moths to a flame. By using a mixture of black/white and color photography, digital as well as film, and accidental double exposures, Thomas put together an eclectic collection of images that constructs a multi-layered account of his year as SPMOP’s first Photo Laureate. An accompanying photo book with an extended collection of Thomas’s photographs and poems will be presented at the opening.”

The opening reception is from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on June 20th  at the FMoPA, located on the ground floor of the Kress Contemporary, 1630 E. Seventh Ave. in Ybor City.

For more information, go to Paradise Layered.

Juneteenth events

Tampa Bay History Center “Fabric of Freedom: Juneteenth Fashion Show” 

The Tampa Bay History Center’s “Fabric of Freedom: Juneteenth Fashion Show” is June 19th at St James at ENCORE,  1202 N. Governor St., the renovated historic church building in the Tampa Housing Authority’s mixed-use ENCORE District. 

The fashion show showcases iconic looks from the late 1800s to the present day. The event also features live music by jazz saxophonist Javaris Gooding-Butts. Tickets are $35. VIP tickets are $45. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The fashion show starts at 6 p.m.

For more information and tickets, go to Fabric of Freedom.

Tampa Museum of Art Juneteenth Cultural Celebration

The Tampa Museum of Art Juneteenth Cultural Celebration is 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 15th.

The day includes free admission to the museum and family-friendly programs in the newly expanded galleries and the new Vinik Family Education Center. Entertainment at the museum’s South Terrace stage includes WMNF’s DJ Spaceship, a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation, the Kuumba Dance Co. and a jazz quartet. 

Donations made to the museum during the event will go toward acquiring an original work of art the museum has commissioned celebrated Tampa Bay artist Ya La’ford to create in honor of Juneteenth. Provided by Catalyst CommunicationsThe Tampa Museum of Art has commissioned celebrated Tampa Bay artist Ya La’ford to create an original work of art in honor of Juneteenth.

For more information, go to Juneteenth Cultural Celebration.

Green Book of Tampa Bay’s “Resilient Reflections” at Studio@620

Green Book of Tampa Bay’s fourth “Resilient Reflections” group art exhibit is on display at Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S. in St. Pete, through the end of the month.

The show features work by Zulu Painter, Daniel Shpperd, Bartholomuse, LTM Creative Lounge, Myiah Pink, Vivia Barron, Wayward Walls, Ty Maner, Coachman Creations, Naturally Izzy, ESH, Jean-Rene Rinvil, The Nature of Fire, A&J Inspirations, Selena Ferrer and Sharrell McInerney.
The opening reception is from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 1st and includes live performances by Dennis Amadeus, Zeta the Babe and Shyann.

For more information, go to Resilient Reflections.

Juneteenth Music Festival

The Phyllis Wheatley Rise to Read Campaign‘s Juneteenth Music Festival is 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 15th at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg.

Headliner Shawn Brown is a renowned Hammond organ musician. The lineup also includes Tampa soul and R&B group Beat Down Band, St. Pete-born singer Siobhan Monique, who describes her sound as “ancestral funk,” and Grammy-nominated and NAACP Image Award-winning artist Nathan Mitchell. Tickets are $35.

For more information, go to Juneteenth Music Festival.

Juneteenth Gospel Fest

The Phyllis Wheatley Rise to Read Campaign is also hosting a Juneteenth Gospel Fest at 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 16th at Bethel Community Baptist Church, 2901 54th Ave S. in St. Pete. 

The fest features opera singer Maiya Stevenson, Shyann Roberts of June’s Diary, The Mighty Sons of Zion & Rev. Tarver and the Florida Spirtualaires, The Tampa Bay Boyz and the Bethel Community Baptist Church Praise Team.

For more information and to reserve a free ticket, go to Juneteenth Gospel Fest.

Clearwater Juneteenth Celebration

The Clearwater Urban Leadership Coalition and City of Clearwater’s four-day Juneteenth Celebration is from Thursday, June 13th through Sunday, June 16th.

The schedule includes Painting with a Purpose on June 13th and Juneteenth Lunch & Learn on June 14th. On June 15th, "Juneteenth Journey to Emancipation" offers educational and fun-filled activities, including the Nomad Art Bus, games, a bounce house, arts and crafts, vendors and a performance by the Artz 4 Life Ensemble. There will be a special appearance by the 2nd Infantry US CT and educational sessions. The event is free, including food.

On June 16th, the Juneteenth Gospel Experience, The Reunion, Father’s Day Edition features the Juneteenth Community Choir a delicious dinner. Registration is required. A $10 fee includes everything. 

For more information, go to Clearwater Juneteenth Celebration.

Dunedin Juneteenth Celebration

The Dunedin Juneteenth Celebration is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 15th at John R. Lawrence Pioneer Park. The event includes live music and performances, craft and food vendors.

For more information, go to Dunedin Juneteenth Celebration.

Pride Month events 

Gulfport Pride Festival

The Gulfport Pride Festival is 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, June 1st along Beach Boulevard in downtown Gulfport.

There will be more than 130 local makers and small businesses. There will be live music at Neptune Grill and North End Taphouse and at two stages at the festival. The Gulfport Pride Parade with the Gulfport Gecko Amalgamated Marching Band is at 2 p.m. 

For more information, go to Gulfport Pride Festival

ArtOUT 2024

ArtOUT 2024 “Art & Soul” is on display at the Gulfport Library from June 1st through 30th. There is an artist reception from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on June 1st at the Gulfport Library. The artist reception and awards ceremony event is at Art Lofts Art Gallery and Studios, 10 Fifth St. N. in St. Pete, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 8th, during the Second Saturday ArtWalk. 

ArtOUT"Fierce Duality," by Jazzy Erickson, is one of the Juror's Choice award winners at ArtOUT 2024 “Art & Soul.”This year's Juror's Choice award winners are: "Fierce Duality," by Jazzy Erickson; "Evergreen Sol," by Britt "Novafro" Freemon; and "Like Water Off a Duck's Back," by Perry deVick.

The international juried art show supports nonprofit OUT Arts and Culture’s mission “to promote awareness of the diversity of experiences, contributions and needs of people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and/or queer.”

For more information, go to ArtOUT 2024.

22nd annual St. Pete Pride Day

The St. Pete Pride Parade Day Festival is 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 22nd at North and South Straub Park. 

The St. Pete Pride Trans March, a show of support for Trans and gender non-conforming people, leaves Vinoy Park and heads up Bayshore Drive between 5:15 and 5:30. The Pride Parade begins at 6 p.m. and runs from Albert Whitted Park to Vinoy Park along Bayshore Drive.

The Parade Day Festival has live music all day on a main stage in North Straub Park and a community stage in South Straub Park. The headliner is rapper and reality show star Saucy Santana.

The Parade Day Festival is part of a month-long series of events. COCKtail presents a kickoff block party on the 2300 and 2400 blocks of Central Avenue from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 1st. The Stonewall Reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 6th at The James Museum. St. Pete Pride Youth & Family Day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 8th at North Straub Park. Latin Pride celebration Rhythms of Pride is from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on June 13th at The Wet Spot pool bar. Shades of Pride, a Juneteenth LGBQT+  art and music fest, is June 14th and 15th at The Factory St Pete. The 2024 St. Pete Pride Friday night concert featuring Sasha Colby is at 9 p.m. on June 21st at Jannus Live.

The Grand Central Street Fair is noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, June 23rd along the 2000 to 3100 blocks of Central Avenue. The street fair has entertainment, vendors, food, community partner organizations and a new Family Fun Zone. There are street performers, inflatable play areas and hundreds of participating businesses and organizations. Disco diva Thelma Houston performs at COCKtail.

For more information, go to St. Pete Pride

Pridetopia in The EDGE 

Pridetopia in The Edge, the official after-parade party of St. Pete Pride, will offer some three dozen places to eat, drink and play, including venues with music, dancing, art, games, shows and specials. Pridetopia is June 22nd from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m.

For more information, go to Pride in The EDGE.

Ybor City Sirens at The Potion Portal

On June 8th, The Ybor City Sirens present “Sirens Off Broadway,” a campy, Broadway-themed burlesque show, at The Potion Portal, 2329 28th. St. N. in St. Pete. Doors are 7 p.m. The show starts at 9 p.m. Balcony tickets are $25; mezzanine are $35; orchestra are $50.

For more information and tickets, go to Sirens Off Broadway.

“Hybrid of a Chrysler” at Tampa Museum of Art 

“Hybrid of a Chrysler,” a mixed-media installation by renowned Cuban artist Esterio Segura featuring a 1953 Chrysler Limousine with a 31-foot wingspan, is on display at the Tampa Museum of Art’s second-floor Bretta B. Sullivan Terrace. 

“The work showcases the ingenuity and resilience symbolized by the classic 1953 Chrysler Limousine, a nod to Cuban culture and its famed ‘almendrones,’” a museum press release says. “The wings represent the aspiration for freedom and the boundless human spirit. This exhibition is not just an artistic spectacle but a poignant commentary on identity, freedom, and transformation.”

Art lovers and classic car enthusiasts can admire the nearly two-ton sculpture up close with museum admission or from afar by walking along Tampa’s Riverwalk. “Hybrid of a Chrysler” initially debuted at the Tampa Museum of Art in 2016 before a tour that traveled to Venice, Italy in 2017, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. in 2018 and other venues.

For more information, go to Tampa Museum of Art.

Tampa Theatre debuts John T. Taylor Screening Room.

The historic Tampa Theatre has opened the new John T. Taylor Screening Room.

After 11 months of construction, the 43-seat screening room is intended to offer a superior film experience in an intimate setting.

We currently manage to present 700 show times a year in a single space,” TampaTampa Theatre The Tampa Theatre's new 43-seat John T. Taylor Screening Room Theatre President and CEO John Bell says in a press statement. “Having this second programming space will give us flexibility like we’ve never had before. We’ll be able to host MORE live shows, concerts, and community events in the historic hall, show MORE of the independent, international, and art-house films Tampa Theatre is known for, support MORE of the local film community’s work, and welcome MORE of our treasured Tampa Theatre guests.”

The new space is named for the former Tampa Theatre board member and philanthropist whose leadership gift made it possible for the Tampa Theatre to secure other needed funding for the project from sources such as the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa Community Redevelopment Agency. 

Free open houses to check out the new screening room are 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4th; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 5th; 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 6th; and 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. on Friday, June 7th. During those open house sessions, “The Old Oak,” by legendary British director Ken Loach, will be shown in the new screening room.

For more information, go to Taylor Screening Room open house.

Tempus Projects exhibits

The curated group exhibition “Younger than the Sun” is on display at Tempus Projects on the second floor of the Kress Contemporary in Ybor City through June 11th. 

The exhibition features artists Jenny Carey, Krista Clark, Georgia Hourdas, Nneka Jones, Roxanne Jackson, Christine McCarty, Laura Meckling, Brittany Metz, Carola Miles, Lauren Moradi, Trinity Oribio, Susan Peloubet, Shilpa Saxena, Kelly Sturhahn and Emily Titus.

“Maternal Stone,” an exhibit featuring recent works of Sam K. Newton, is on display at Tempus Projects’ Tempus Volta gallery space at the Kress Contemporary, 1624 E. Seventh Ave. in Ybor, through July 11th.

For more information, go to Tempus Projects Facebook.

“Falsettos” at Stageworks Theatre

Tampa’s Stageworks Theatre ends its 2023-24 season with a production of the Tony Award-winning musical “Falsettos” from June 7th through 23rd.

“Set in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, ‘Falsettos’ follows Marvin, a charming and neurotic middle-aged gay man grappling with the complexities of modern family life,” a Stageworks press release says. “Marvin juggles a relationship with Trina, the wife he just divorced, their son, Jason, who’s on the cusp of his Bar Mitzvah and his lover, Whizzer. When Whizzer is diagnosed with AIDS, the entire, non-traditional family, must put aside their issues and come together. Through humor, heartbreak, and ultimately, love, 'Falsettos' celebrates the infinite possibilities that make up a modern family.”

Stageworks Theatre The cast of "Falsettos.""We're thrilled to present ‘Falsettos’ as the culmination of our Season of Discovery,” Stageworks Producing Artistic Director Karla Hartley says in a press release. "It’s a great musical that celebrates the many forms that love can take. It also reminds us that one’s chosen family can be just as powerful as the one we’re born into."

Stageworks is at 1120 E. Kennedy Ave. in Grand Central at Kennedy in the Channel District.

For more information and tickets, go to Stageworks Theatre.

Stageworks announces 2024-25 season

Stageworks Theatre, Tampa Bay’s longest-running professional theater company, has announced its upcoming 2024-25 season schedule.

The upcoming season features a “diverse array of themes, including the celebration of extraordinary women, Tampa’s rich history, and a poignant exploration of mental health, all complemented by lighthearted comedy,” a press release says.
"As we embark on our 42nd season, we’re thrilled to present a lineup that not only entertains but also provokes thought and sparks conversation,” Producing Artistic Director Karla Hartley says in a press statement. “Each production offers a unique lens through which to explore the human experience, from the intimate stories of individuals to the broader societal shifts that shape our world.”
In a new partnership, Stageworks Theatre’s production of local playwright Mark E. Leib’s “When the Righteous Triumph” will be at the David A. Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater in March to expand the audience reach of the well-received historical play, which premiered at Stageworks in 2023.

“When the Righteous Triumph” tells the story of  “the successful sit-ins that led to the desegregation of Tampa lunch counters at Woolworth and elsewhere in the city in 1960,” a press release says. 

The contributions of Reverend Leon Lowry, Mayor Jullian Lane, Cody Fowler, and Clarence Fort are all highlighted in this groundbreaking production that celebrates the role Tampa played during a pivotal moment in our country’s civil rights history,” the description continues. 

“When the Righteous Triumph” will run from March 12th to 16th, 2025 at the Jaeb Theater.

Here are the other productions for the 2024-25 season.

“What The Constitution Means To Me” tells the story of 15-year-old Heidi Schreck, who paid her college tuition by speaking across the country in debate competitions.

“Now older, she tells the story of four generations of extraordinary women in her family whose lives were shaped by the Constitution,” a Stageworks press release says.

“What the Constitution Means to Me” runs from September 27th through October 13, 2024.

“The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical” returns to Stageworks after a wildly popular run during Stageworks' 40th anniversary season. 

“Now, the festive holiday season at North Florida's most eccentric mobile home park has everyone filled with warmth and beer,” a press release says. “But when a freak bout of amnesia strikes the trailer park Scrooge, neighborly love is put to the test.” 

“The Great American Trailer Park Christmas Musical” runs from November 29th through December 22, 2024.

“The People Downstairs” tells the story of Miles, an aging funeral home custodian in Buffalo, New York who lives with Mabel, his middle-aged daughter who spends her days writing letters to prison inmates. 

“When a court-appointed guardian threatens to take away their home, Miles tries to set Mabel up with ‘good guy’ Todd, an inept mortician,” a Stageworks description says. ”It is a father’s fierce determination not to accept his daughter’s fate that ignites an endearing human comedy about love, loss, loneliness, and the healing power of laughter.” 

"The People Downstairs” runs from February 7th through 23rd, 2025.

“Morningside,” another audience favorite in a previous season, is back again. 

“In ‘Morningside,' nine women have gathered at Grace Driscoll’s beautifully appointed home, fully expecting a lovely baby shower,” a Stageworks description says.”Family secrets are revealed and propriety flies out the window as the family melts down in a side-splitting, laugh-out-loud look at the modern family and sibling rivalry. No actual teddy bears were injured making this play.” 

Performances are April 25 – May 11, 2025.

“Lady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grill,” based on legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday, “is a play with music that will make you feel like you’re front and center witnessing the jazz legend herself perform and share anecdotes about her life,” a Stageworks description says. 

“The play takes place in March 1959 at a run-down bar in South Philadelphia, Emerson’s Bar and Grill, where Holiday performs her well-known jazz songs and charms the audience with her natural joy for music and life,” the description continues. “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill will both warm and break your heart and leave you humming Billie Holiday’s classic tunes for the rest of the week.”

The final production of the 2024-25 season, “Lady Day at the Emerson Bar and Grill” runs from June 6th to 29th, 2025.

For more information, individual tickets and season subscriptions, go to Stageworks Theatre.

Traci Mims’ “Give us the Sun” at the Woodson for Second Saturday ArtWalk

“Give us the Sun,” a solo exhibition of the work of St. Pete-born, Atlanta-based artist Trac Mims, opens at the Woodson African American Museum, 2240 Ninth Ave. S. in St. Petersburg, on Saturday, June 8th. The opening reception is from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 8th, during Second Saturday ArtWalk.   

The exhibition features drawings, prints, paintings and quilt work by the award-winning multidisciplinary artist “whose work often spotlights the narratives, lives, faces, and figures of the individuals in her community as well as epic individuals and stories,” a description on the Woodson’s website says.

“I consider myself a social realist,” Mims says in the description, “because I focus on the lives of everyday Black people, the things they experience, and how they react to it emotionally.”

Her print work and drawings “center social justice and illuminate histories that are increasingly under threat of erasure,” the description continues.

For more information, go to Woodson exhibits and events.

“Books, Bubbles & Brunch” with Grace Ji-Sun Kim at the Woodson

The Woodson African American Museum also brings back its “Books, Bubbles & Brunch” event on June 8th. In partnership with the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance – Florida Chapter, the June edition features author Grace Ji-Sun Kim and her newest book “WHEN GOD BECAME WHITE: Dismantling Whiteness for a More Just Christianity.” The event is at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 8th. The $35 registration fee includes conversation, brunch and complimentary champagne.

For more information, go to Woodson exhibits and events.

Second Saturday ArtWalk on June 8th

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Second Saturday ArtWalk on June 8th includes 32 galleries, museums, artist studios, shops and other venues in the Grand Central, Warehouse Arts, Deuces Live, Uptown Arts, Central Arts and Waterfront Arts districts.

In the Grand Central District, St. Pete Arts Works, 2604 Central Ave., features the Gulf Coast Artists’ Alliance members' show “What Pride Means to Me.” Cellist Liz Glushko plays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. 

The work of renowned photographer Meryl Meisler is featured at The Werk Gallery, 2210 First Ave. S., through the end of June. The show focuses on Meisler’s time on Fire Island in the 1970s. 

In the Warehouse Arts District, the new guest art exhibit “COLLECTIONS” at the Five Deuces Galleria, 2101 Third Ave. S., features more than 100 works by more than 25 local guest artists.

At the Morean Center for Clay, 420 22nd St. S., “Chinese Coated Dutch Delights,” a solo exhibition by artist Amy Sanders opens during ArtWalk and runs through June 29th. Sanders’ exhibition explores the juxtaposition of being Chinese-born but raised in a Pennsylvania-Dutch household. This is Sanders' final exhibit as an artist-in-residence at the Morean Arts Center.

At Soft Water Gallery, 515 22nd St S., a new exhibit features a selection of paintings by Michael Knapp. “Knapp’s colorful, whimsical paintings use kooky robots, toys, and generic mad-men era suits’ to explore societal themes like the rise of AI, the changing technological landscape, and the conformity of corporate culture,” a description reads. 

Also at Soft Water, “Homecoming,” an exhibit featuring new work by artist JohnSoft Water Gallery Facebook“Homecoming,” an exhibit featuring new work by artist John Hosford, is at Soft Water Gallery in the Warehouse Arts District. ​​​ Hosford, continues. The exhibit focuses on the Florida native Hosford’s return to the state after nearly two and a half decades spent living in New York City.

The Factory St. Pete, 2606 Fairfield Ave. S., will be buzzing with activities like gallery openings and exhibitions, interactive storytelling activities, film screenings and more. Gallery row in buildings 7 and 8 features several full-scale galleries. At one, Wild Space Gallery, the photography exhibit “Connect & Protect” celebrates the first 40 corridor landscapes approved for protection since the signing of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Act. The show features photographs by Carlton Ward, Jr., Lauren Yoho, George McKenzie Jr., Katie Bryden, Max Kelly, Dean Saunders and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. A satellite map of Florida will mark the Florida Wildlife Corridor and identify the property locations around the state. 

In The Deuces Live District, the gallery Old Time Tradition, 2175 Ninth Ave., is “home for a diverse range of artistic expressions, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of creativity and innovation,” a description says. 

“Visitors can expect to see an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary art pieces, including paintings, sculptures, and African pieces. Alongside educational programs for children and adults,” the description continues.

In the Central Arts District, the Morean Arts Center & Glass Studio, 719 Central Ave., hosts the opening reception for “Zest: New Work by Petticoat Painters,” an exhibit featuring art by members of one of the oldest continuously exhibiting women's art groups in the U.S. The reception is from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the exhibit is on display through June 29th. 

“Fresh Squeezed 8,” the annual exhibition showcasing the work of Florida-based emerging artists, and “The Class of 2024: PCCA Senior Show,” an exhibit featuring the work of three seniors (Marcus Rideout, Terran Lewis and Amanda Vehorn) in the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School, are on display at the Morean Arts Center through June 27th. 

In the Uptown Arts District, “Common Elements,” an exhibition featuring the works of artists Heidi Martin Kuster and Machelle Knochenhauer, is on display through June 30th at ARTicles Gallery and Leslie Curran Gallery, 1234 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N. units A and B.

The exhibit explores nature and life through the lenses of the two talented artists.

“Kuster's focus on Hatteras Island's landscapes and the Sonoran Desert's beauty, using collage and varied mark-making techniques, offers a unique perspective on common elements in nature,” an exhibit description says. “Knochenhauer's ceramics, characterized by simplicity, texture, and form, provide a complementary contrast, inviting viewers to appreciate the intrinsic value of these elements.”

For more information on the exhibitions, events and participating studios and galleries at this month’s ArtWalk, go to St. Petersburg Arts Alliance June Second Saturday ArtWalk.

Straz Center for the Performing Arts events

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts has three free upcoming music performances on its Riverwalk Stage in June.

On Thursday, June 6th, it’s Latin Nights with the group Metro Latino. On Friday, June 14th, it’s Live & Local with singer-songwriter Shevonne. On Saturday, June 15th, it’s Live & Local again, with singer-songwriter Fabiola Rivera. All performances are 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

“The Smuggler - A Thriller in Reverse,” a one-man play about an Irish immigrant who wants to be a writer in America but struggles until a stranger arrives with a plan to make “people disappear and reappear,” is June 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th in the Shimberg Playhouse.

“Reflections: Behind the Smile,” a free program in collaboration with survivors of human trafficking, is June 8th in the TECO Theater. “Reflections” highlights the healing power of arts through a collection of visual, literary, dance and musical pieces. The event is for mature audiences ages 18 and up. It’s free. Registration is required.

A production of the famed musical “Les Misérables” runs from June 11th through 16th in Morsani Hall. A production of the Tony-winning show “Urinetown,” a musical satire of the legal system, capitalism, social irresponsibility, populism, environmental collapse and musical theater even, is June 14th through 16th; June 21st through 23rd; and June 27th through 29th.

For more information and tickets, go to Straz Center.

“True to the Tint” at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

"True to the Tint: The Quest for Color Photography” is at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg through September 22nd.

The exhibition “explores the history of how artists added life-like tints to the silvery or sooty tones of black and white photographs, eventually leading to the development of color photography,” a description on the MFA website says.

Gift of Dr. Robert L. and Chitranee Drapkin from Ludmila Dandrew and Chitranee Drapkin Collection"Lake Maggiore," by Esmond Genard Barnhill, is part of "True to the Tint" at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg.“True to the Tint” showcases works from private collections and the museum’s own extensive collection.

“We often overlook tinted photographs because of our preconceptions about the medium–the idea that true fine art photography is classic black and white,” MFA Chief Curator Stanton Thomas says in a press statement. “This exhibition is a great opportunity to look at superb works from the 19th through early 20th centuries that were very beautifully enhanced with color. 'True to the Tint' also provides a rare chance to see some of the earliest color processes–such as autochromes and photochromie.”

For more information, go to True to the Tint.

“Inspired by Nature” at Clearwater Main Library

The Clearwater Arts Alliance exhibit “Inspired by Nature” is at the Clearwater Main Library, 100 N. Osceola Ave. in downtown, through August 25th. The show features the work of 57 Pinellas County artists. It is free and open to the public during library hours. Most of the works in the exhibit are for sale.

For more information, go to Inspired by Nature artists.

Tombolo Books author events

Tombolo Books, the locally-owned, independent bookstore in St. Pete’s Grand Central District, hosts several author talks in June.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 4th, there’s a book launch event for Edgar Award-winning local author Lori Roy’s new release, “Lake County,” a Southern Gothic thriller that “reimagines the life of Marilyn Monroe, tying her fate to a dreamy teenager whose boyfriend runs afoul of the mob,” a description on the Tombolo website says.

The event features a conversation with Roy and Tampa Bay Times Book Editor Colette Bancroft.

On Thursday, June 6th, there’s a launch event for author L.L. Kirchner’s new novel “Florida Girls.” Kirchner will be in conversation with fellow local author Paul Wilborn. Kirchner’s “twisty story carefully explores organized crime, Hollywood spotlights, and the growing pains of a nation,” a description on the Tombolo website says. 

“Peppered with real-life characters and in-depth research, this intricate weave of perspectives offers a fascinating glimpse into how some women coped when they were told to gratefully step aside and let the men take over again,” the description continues.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 11th, author Olivia Muenter will discuss her debut novel “Such A Bad Influence” in a conversation with local author Ana Reyes.

“Such a Bad Influence is as addictive as Instagram,” Reyes says in a statement. “Woven into its twisty, propulsive story of a missing influencer are complicated questions about the cost of mining one’s life for content. I was riveted the whole way through.”

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 12th, author Alejandro Nodarse discusses his novel “Blood in the Cut” with writer and author Craig Pittman. “Blood in the Cut” is a prime piece of Florida noir that explores themes of race, crime, poverty and masculinity in the streets and swamps of Miami, according to a description on the Tombolo website.

Local romance novelist Alicia Thompson discusses her new book “The Art of Catching Feelings” in a book launch event from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 20th at The Lower Ballpark & Rec. in Tropicana Field.

“The Art of Catching Feelings” tells the story of an “unlikely romance between a pro baseball player and his heckler,” a description on the Tombolo website says. Thompson will discuss the new book, baseball and romance with fellow Tombolo Romance Book Club co-host and Latinx Bookstagramer, Carmen Alvarez.

From 11 a.m. to noon on June 22nd, Florida author Jackie Morera will lead a special storytime event for her new picture book “Abuelo's Flower Shop” in the children’s section of Tombolo.

“Tender and insightful, Abuelo's Flower Shop celebrates the beauty of intergenerational love while gently teaching readers about grieving the loss of a loved one,” a description on the Tombolo site says. “Grandparents and grandchildren will delight in Elena and Abuelo's heartfelt relationship, and readers of all ages will be inspired to find their own ways to say, ‘I remember you, and I miss you.’”

For more information, go to Tombolo Books events.

Coastal Creative book signing, film screening with Oscar winners Team Deakins 

Oscar-winning cinematographers Roger and James Deakins, aka Team Deakins, appear at Coastal Creative, 2201 First Ave. S. in St. Pete, for book signing and film screening events on June 13th and 14th.

They will sign a copy of “Byways,” Roger Deakins’ book of still photography, followed by a screening of “The Big Lebowski” on June 13th and “The Shawshank Redemption” on June 14th. Both events start at 4 p.m. Films start at 6:30 p.m.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to Team Deakins at Coastal Creative.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at freeFall Theatre

ThinkTank Theatre, a Tampa theater company focused on productions for children and family audiences, presents “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave. in St. Petersburg, from June 6th through 9th and June 13th through 16th. The 2 p.m. performance on June 8th is a sensory performance “designed to create a comfortable experience for people with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other social and cognitive disabilities.”

ThinkTank Theatre's production of "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" is part of freeFall’s Tandem Series with other theater companies.

For more information and tickets, go to You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

On June 29th at freeFall, “Sophisticated Swing” features two of Tampa Bay’s finest jazz singers, Fred Johnson and Theo Valentin, performing jazz standards and the Great American Songbook. 

Michael Ross on bass, Patrick Bettison on keys, Ron Gregg on drums and Henry Ashwood on alto saxophone will join Johnson and Valentin. "Sophisticated Swing" is presented by the Al Dowling Tampa Bay Jazz Association.

For more information, go to “Sophisticated Swing”.

Dunedin Fine Art Center summer exhibits

The Dunedin Fine Art Center debuts several summer exhibits in June. 

“100 Women Artists: Now & Then” opens June 7th and runs through September 1st in the second-floor teaching gallery.

“Conceived by teaching artist Alicia Campos Massó in 2022, this cultural art project elevates 100 women artists in art history while simultaneously showcasing contemporary artists who have reinterpreted their works,” a Dunedin Fine Art Center description says.

“Azalea: Answer the Call of Florida’s Forgotten Mystical Spaces” runs from June 14th through August 25th in the Entel Family Gallery. “Azalea” is a new representation of Florida’s natural mystery featuring artists Emily Stone, Mitzi Jo Gordon, Kym O’Donnell and Joe Griffith.

"The Azalea installation is designed to honor the sacred environments of central Florida with an analog, abstracted woodland environment crafted from reclaimed materials,” a description says. “This immersive and interpretive mixed-media collaboration was inspired in part by several journeys to Cassadaga, a Florida hub for spiritualists and mediums, founded in 1875 and widely referenced as the Psychic Capital of the World. Works by Kym O’Donnell were further inspired by a doomed film studio that existed briefly on Florida’s Weedon Island during the 1930s.”

“Wetlands in Transition: Encaustic Paintings by Leslie Neumann,” “Joan Duff-Bohrer: As I See It,” and “Let it Rain” each run from June 14th through August 18th. 

“Wetlands in Transition” features “vibrant encaustic panels of the raw, primitive energy of Florida’s wetlands by Aripeka-based painter and conservationist, Leslie Neumann,” a description says.

Abstract painter, ceramicist, fiber artist and journal-maker Duff-Bohrer has been a faculty member at DFAC and had work featured in many group exhibitions at DFAC. But at age 92, “As I See It,” is her first solo exhibition.

“Let it Rain” is a community art show featuring submitted works “inspired by Florida’s summer rains, clouds, lightning and other atmospheric phenomena.”

An opening reception for the summer exhibits is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on June 14th at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd. Admission is $10, free for DFAC members.

For more information, go to Dunedin Fine Art Center.

“Now on View” HCC one-day art festival in Ybor

“Now on View,” Hillsborough Community College’s one-day public art festival, brings art, live music and dance to multiple Ybor City venues from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 1st.

The festival focuses on the changing nature of Tampa - its history and culture, its rapid development and transformation in recent years and the significant change coming in the future.

“We’re leaning into this idea of ephemerality as a parallel to the speed of progress and change that anyone who lives here knows,” HCC Gallery Director Amanda Poss says. “This idea of a one-day ephemeral festival with this artwork that will be here today gone tomorrow is also a remark on how quickly development and change occur in cities like ours.” 

 Samson HuangTaiwan-born, New York-raised, Tampa Bay-based artist Samson Huang's installation “Interdependent Pavilion" is part of "Now on View," HCC's one-day public art festival in Ybor City on June 1st.At the HCC Ybor Performing Arts Building, DJ Mar will spin tunes while Taiwan-born, New York-raised, Tampa Bay-based artist Samson Huang creates the installation “Interdependent Pavilion.” White paper cranes will represent Huang’s heritage and culture while local potted plants, color-changing lights and multi-color origami fish, alligators, dolphins, butterflies, birds and squirrels symbolize our connection to the ecosystem. Visitors can write their wishes for a sustainable future on a tag and hang it on the installation.

At the HCC Ybor Building, artist Emiliano Settecasi, founder of the Department of Contemporary Art Tampa, FL gallery at the Kress Contemporary, brings a custom-made utility cart that doubles as a mobile arts and music venue, a solution for artists who cannot find an affordable venue to rent. Local DJ T. Coutre plays her signature mix of Latin, dancehall, house, baile, funk, Afro and Amapiano beats.

Artist Mia of Mia Makes It leads a community art project that stitches together Tampa’s history through the present day in a quilt. Mia led workshops teaching participants how to embroider a one to two-sentence reflection on Tampa’s past. During “Now on View,” they’ll stitch the squares with some of their embroidery to create a community remembrance of Tampa.

At Hotel Haya, artist Kali Rabaut of Blue House Florals brings her flower bike to Hotel Haya’s entrance for a build-your-own-bouquet experience. Rabaut uses locally grown flowers to connect herself and others to the place where they live. For “Now on View,” she's creating an interactive floral exhibit that lets guests create mini bouquets from flowers representing Tampa's past, present and future.

Artist Libbi Ponce brings a sculpture and/or video installation to Hotel Haya’s lobby. For “Now on View,” she’ll use “a combination of media to create an immersive environment exploring the role of Latinx ancestral history in the formation of South and Central American diasporic communities in the Tampa Bay area,” an event description says.

At the Kress Contemporary, artist Emma Quintana’s video installation reflects on Tampa Bay’s culinary history. Quintana’s project combines footage of locals eating with video of Tampa Bay and its connected waterways to tell Tampa’s history through its food and highlight food’s central role in placemaking.

Nigerian-Sri Lankin artist Samantha Modder’s temporary mural at Kress highlights one of the first African American communities in Tampa Bay, Dobyville. In the 1960s, construction of the Southern Crosstown Expressway (Lee Roy Selmon Expressway) displaced several Dobyville families. To symbolize that loss, Modder’s digitally printed mural includes the Selmon Expressway logo among depictions of neighborhood kids.

“Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” artist Nicole Villanueva Garcia’s community art installation at the Kress, invites guests to symbolically embrace newcomers by weaving yarn through the dowels of a Plinko board at Kress. The installation is inspired by underground tree networks and Villanueva Garcia’s immigrant experience. It recreates a colorful forest scene, with participants weaving yarn from community trees toward a transplanted tree.

HCC and University of Tampa dance students will choreograph and perform dances for each installation at the Kress. The collaboration, orchestrated by dance professors Christina Acosta (HCC) and Amanda Gabaldon (UT), brings the performing arts to the visual arts installations. HCC music students Gianni Lovelace and Matthew Rothfarb will perform live music.

Max Herman of Ybor City Walking Tours and tour guide Jorge Contreras lead free tours of the festival that delve into Ybor’s history and culture on the walk between venues. Herman’s tours will be in English and Contreras will lead tours in Spanish, with a bilingual option if the English-speaking tours fill up, Poss says. The tours begin at the HCC Ybor Performing Arts Building.

For more information and to register for a tour, go to Now on View
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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.