June arts roundup: Pride events, Juneteenth celebration and more

ArtOUT 2023

ArtOUT, the international juried art show that the LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Library puts on during Pride Month, is on display through June 30th at The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art, the Gulfport Public Library and online.

The theme for this year’s show is “EMERGENCE.” 

“Last year’s ArtOUT theme was ‘Queering the Pandemic,’ in recognition of the many different ways COVID impacted artists,” ArtOUT’s lead organizer Jana Steinhour says in a press statement. “This year’s multi-media visual arts show will feature works by LGBTQ artists and allies who are experiencing a different vibe as we emerge from the pandemic.”

This is ArtOUT’s sixth year but only its second as an international juried show, Susan Gore, the board president of the LGBTQ Resource Center, says in a press statement. This year’s show has 77 works by 39 artists from three countries. 

This year’s winners are:

Best of Show: “Calling in the Ancestors” by Cedar Kindy.
Honorable Mention: “Tide and Transformation” by Perry DeVick.
Juror’s Choice: “Corn Womyn” by Cedar Kindy.
Juror’s Choice: “From Binary to Human” by Steve Sanderson.
Juror’s Choice: “Mother’s Burden” by John Gascot.

For more information, go to ArtOUT.

Pride Immersive Experience at Fairgrounds St. Pete

Fairgrounds St. Pete, Tampa Bay’s premier immersive art and technology museum, is launching its second annual Pride Immersive Experience with a visually stunning display of colors in its artist-made world. The experience will feature four of Fairgrounds St. Pete’s signature installations transformed by rainbows in honor of Pride Month. 

The Pride Immersive Experience is open to the public from Thursday, June 1st until June 30th. Visitors can expect a blend of local art, interactive artworks and Pride-inspired immersive activations. 

For more information, go to Pride Immersive.

Rico Gatson: Visible Time” at USF Contemporary Art Museum

“Rico Gatson: Visible Time” is on display at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum from June 2nd to July 29th. 

For more than two decades, the Brooklyn-based Gatson has been celebrated for his vibrant, colorful and layered artworks. Inspired by significant moments in African American history, identity politics and spirituality, his oeuvre includes images of protests and longstanding injustices as well as dynamic abstract geometries that celebrate Pan-Africanist aesthetics and Black cultural and political figures.

“‘Visible Time’ will include a mini survey of my video works from the past 30 years as well as a selection of works on paper from my ‘Icon’ series begun in 2007 and ongoing,” Gatson says. “There will also be a selection of recent paintings and large-scale mural/portrait of Florida native Zora Neale Hurston, completed with assistance from a group of amazing USF art students. This is the first exhibition that unites all the various modes that I work in. I’m extremely excited that this exhibition is happening at CAM.”

“Rico Gatson: Visible Time” is curated by CAM Curator-at-Large Christian Viveros-Fauné.

The exhibition kicks off June 2nd at 6:30 p.m. with an installation walkthrough, featuring artist Gatson in conversation with curator Viveros-Fauné. Following the walkthrough, CAM will present a short live musical performance by the band Soul Therapy, as well as an opening reception until 9 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

Gatson has also selected three films to screen at CAM in conjunction with the exhibition. These free events start with pre-movie popcorn and snacks at 6 p.m. in front of the museum, with the films beginning inside at 6:30 p.m. These events are free and open to the public. The films are “Foxy Brown” on June 22nd, “The French Connection” on July 13th and “Do the Right Thing” on July 27th.

For more information, go to Rico Gatson Visible Time.

“Everything You’ve Ever Wanted” at HCC Gallery 114  
“Everything You’ve Ever Wanted,” a solo exhibition of new work by St. Petersburg-based visual artist and Heiress Gallery co-director Finn Schult is on display at HCC Gallery 114 on Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor City campus through June 22nd.

“‘Everything You’ve Ever Wanted’ is a body of work which reflects on the inevitability of the ‘end of the world’ as it relates to, or more so, has the capacity to serve as humanity’s last hope of a utopia,” Schult says. “This series of multimedia works exists as fragments, sketches, and interludes from a larger and more ubiquitous thought form. This particular selection of works is distilled down to the most rational collection of ideas in an otherwise deranged web of theories all linked together by metaphorical red string. At times, it feels terroristic, violent and unbearably bleak. At others, it cannot help but reflect on the pain and beauty of loss, longing, and love. The work yearns for a world that doesn’t yet exist, while still mourning a world that isn’t yet gone.” 

Emiliano Settecasi, founder of the Department of Contemporary Art Tampa, FL, guest-curated this installation. 

For more information, go to Everything You’ve Ever Wanted.

Alien House & Akasha System album release parties at The Bricks, Ybor City

The Bricks is hosting a dual album release party on June 10th to celebrate recent releases from Alien House and Akasha System. Both will perform live sets, with guest performances by ovan odero, Image Research DJs  and DJ ALBow.

Alien House is known for its elevated and spiraling electro style, crispy percussion meets sky-high melody. Alien House consists of the Tampa-grown duo producers Justin Myers and Antony Tarallo. They will be performing tracks from their new release, “You.”

Akasha System is described as lush, meditative electronica with a balmy twist. Their tracks feature stratified rhythms beneath fluorescent atmospheres. Akasha System will be performing from their recent release, “Phytopia.”

This is a free show at The Bricks in Ybor City. 

For more information, go to The Bricks

Opera Tampa presents OUTloud June 2nd at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Opera Tampa presents “OUTloud” at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts’ TECO Theater at 8 p.m. on June 2nd.

Opera Tampa presents OUTloud on June 2nd at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts' TECO Theater.This Pride celebration features selections from opera, show tunes and more. This event is for ages 18 and up.

For more information, go to OUTloud.

Tampa City Ballet “Dance Now” festival at Water Works Park

“Dance Now,” the Tampa City Ballet’s first annual cultural dance festival, is 7:30 p.m. June 3rd at Tampa’s  Water Works Park.

The immersive event celebrates the diverse dance styles of the Tampa Bay region and embraces a friendly and inclusive atmosphere, encouraging connections between artists and audiences and nurturing a sense of community within the local dance scene.

“Dance Now” brings together 10 local dance organizations, 45 performers, 12 choreographers and dance enthusiasts. This collaborative effort seeks to blend various dance genres and push the limits of creativity. 

Local support for “Dance Now” includes a cultural development grant from the Hillsborough Arts Council and the endorsement of Visit Tampa Bay. The evening’s festivities will include trucks, crafts vendors and a 360-photo booth. Visit Tampa Bay will also be onsite debuting its new music truck and, along with Tampa City Ballet, will host a children’s movement class at 6:30 p.m. 

For more information, including performers, go to Dance Now.

Juneteenth Cultural Celebration

The Juneteenth Cultural Celebration: Arts, History & Equity is June 17th through 19th.

On June 17th, the kick-off event will be at Raymond James Stadium in collaboration with ROC the Block Festivals’ Juneteenth Celebration. There will be live music, food vendors, a kid zone, car show, retail vendors and health screenings.
For more information, go to ROC the Block Juneteenth.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 18th, the Tampa Museum of Art’s second annual Juneteenth Cultural Celebration will include free museum admission, art-making activities, live music and performances, family portraits and food trucks. There will also be artisan vendors and community partner activations in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park. The Tampa Theatre will host a 3 p.m. showing of the 1926 silent film "The Flying Ace" followed by a panel discussion at the theater. 

On Monday, June 19th,  there will be free admission to the Tampa Museum of Art and the Tampa Bay History Center,  as well as other events and festivals around the city. 

The Juneteenth Cultural Celebration: Arts, History & Equity was established through a collaboration between organizations, members of the community and businesses, including the Tampa Museum of Art, Gasparilla Music Foundation, Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, WEDU, Tampa Arts Alliance, CAN Community Health, Glazer Children's Museum, the Gobioff Foundation, the Tampa Bay History Center and Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival.

For more information, go to Juneteenth Cultural Celebration.

New Tampa Players improv workshop for teens

New Tampa Players is producing a summer improv workshop for teens ages 12-18. The workshops are 10 a.m. each Saturday morning from June 10th to July 15th. They are designed to help teens develop improvisation skills. At the end of the session, students perform their own improv show. 

For more information, email Nora Paine at [email protected]

Spring at the Ybor Kress Building now thru June 15

Spring is in full bloom at the Historic Ybor Kress Building. Three exhibits have a floral theme, including one at Gratus / Jenny Carey Studio featuring new images of vibrant imagery by Johanne Keefe titled “AntiMagic” and the ceramic objects of Jan Richardson. 

Around the corner, Tempus Projects' Volta presents “Exposure Garden,” featuring recent works by Tampa-based artist Gigi Lage, who uses generative AI as a tool to construct still frames
from the artist’s own text input. 

For more information, go to Tempus Projects.

Next door, Parachute Gallery presents “Buy Me Flowers & Call Me Pretty,” a group exhibition and unabashedly beautiful installation of floral-themed 2D work alongside ceramic vessels holding plants and flowers. Parachute Gallery presents the group exhibition “Buy Me Flowers & Call Me Pretty."

For more information, go to Parachute Gallery.

Downtown Clearwater Art Walk - June 17 

Take a leisurely stroll past some of Downtown Clearwater's amazing public art during the Clearwater Arts Alliance’s Downtown Clearwater Art Walk on June 17th. The tour takes one hour, beginning at the Old City Hall Building around the Ring Canopy sculpture. Groups are limited to 15 individuals, not including children. 

After the walk, enjoy lunch or dinner at a local downtown eatery.
Tickets can be purchased in advance for $10 or $15 on the day of the tour. 

For more information, go to Clearwater Art Walk

“Horns for Howard” concert

On Saturday, June 10th, a “Horns for Howard” concert featuring renowned USF alumni jazz trio AR Connection and featured guest horns player and trumpeter James Suggs will kick off a $500,000 fundraising campaign to replace the 25 -year-old pianos at Howard W. Blake School of the Arts with new handcrafted Steinway pianos. 

Trumpeter James Suggs is part of the "Horns for Howard" fundraiser concert on June 10th.The Robby Steinhardt Foundation and Steinway Piano Gallery Tampa Bay have partnered on the fundraising campaign in an effort to earn the Howard W. Blake School of the Arts designation as an All Steinway School, an honor currently held by only 170 universities, colleges and schools in the world.

The concert is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Friday Morning Musicale, 809 W. Horatio St. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickers are $50 for  VIP seating and $35 for general seating. All tickets include two complimentary wines or soft drinks.

For more information, go to Horns for Howard.

“Migratory Route” at Pinellas Ale Works

Visual Artist Steve Brown, also known as “Humm.ngbird,” has a bird-themed exhibit “Migratory Route”  on display at Pinellas Ale Works in St. Petersburg from June 9th through July 21st. 

“Humm.ngbird has been a visual artist for two decades but has discovered his niche in bird subjects since 2021,” an exhibit description says. “As a painter, Steve brings a sense of deep surrealism to a known beauty that is his namesake, Humm.ngbird. With AI digital art Steve found his co-conspirator to twist and sketch these meek frail creatures into beautifully painted works of concentrated, textured, imaginative art.”

An opening reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on  Saturday, June 10th. Pinellas Ale Works (PAW), 1962 First Ave. S., is open  3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday;  noon to midnight on Friday and Saturday;  and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. 

Artists interested in getting their artwork displayed at PAW may contact Funky as a Monkey Art Studio at  [email protected].

“SOMETHING BLUE” at Tully Levine Gallery

“SOMETHING BLUE,” an installation by artist Alice Ferrulo, opens at the Tully Levine Gallery on the ArtsXChange campus in St. Petersburg during the June 10th ArtWalk,

The immersive installation “aims to reveal a raw human state of being through the color blue,” according to a description. The name “SOMETHING BLUE” is a play on the wedding tradition, “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.”

Artist Jennifer Bleackley's "Florida Wildlife Series" will also be presented within the framework of the "Something Blue" exhibit. Bleackley's series of panels started during the Covid-19 lockdown and was inspired by the wildflowers she discovered on
walks around the state parks of Pinellas County.

The installation will remain on display Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., before closing on June 30th. 
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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.