October arts roundup: SHINE Mural Festival's return, Generator USF CAM's debut, much more

Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum debuts

The University of South Florida Contemporary Arts Museum’s Generator presents its inaugural exhibition, “Superflex: This Is The Tip Of the Iceberg,” from October 6th through November 22nd.

The exhibition features two separate but interconnected installations from the renowned Copenhagen-based arts collective Superflex that blend science and art “to create experiences and communicate visually the impact of the climate crisis on our existence,” says USF CAM Curator of Public Art and Social Practice and Generator Director Sarah Howard.

The exhibition is borne from Superflex's own exploration of the deep sea and research of biodiversity and climate. The installations present two interconnected realms - dry land not yet impacted by rising water and an underwater space in the ocean’s depths.  

This is done to “highlight the impacts and consequences of climate change, a subject especially relevant to Florida and its coastal communities, and to prompt the imagination of a future in which all lifeforms coexist as ecological equals,” an exhibition description states.

Howard says USF CAM completely transformed the gallery space inside Harbor Hall on the St. Petersburg campus to present the exhibition. Inside the darkened waterfront gallery, a series of LED signs with messages such as “This Is The Tip Of The Iceberg,” “We Are All In The Same Boat” and “We Are Having The Time of Our Lives” will use common sayings to look ahead to a future where seal level rise impacts coastal and low lying where people now live. 

"Vertical Migration" is one of two interconnected installations in USF CAM Generator's debut exhibition, "Superflex: This Is The Tip Of the Iceberg."On the other side of a translucent curtain, the interactive animation installation “Vertical Migration” takes viewers into the underwater realm of the siphonophore, an alien-looking sea creature that is a distant cousin of the jellyfish. 

Motion sensors track and respond to the movement of viewers in the gallery space.

“Abrupt movements cause the animated siphonophore to retreat into the dark depths,” an exhibition description reads. “However, if the viewer remains still and calm, the creature will cautiously approach, potentially allowing the boundary between human and marine species to dissolve, transforming the viewer’s point of view to that of the siphonophore. This merging of perspectives inspires deeper connections and understanding of the critical importance of biodiversity to the planet’s health as well as all those who inhabit it.”

Members of Superflex became fascinated with the siphonophore during a research dive and exploration a few years ago. By showcasing the collective action of the creature, “Vertical Migration” seeks to show how cooperation, including collaboration with other species, is needed to respond to climate change and rising seas. 

In September 2021, a 500-foot-high version of “Vertical Migration” was projected on the facade of the United Nations headquarters in New York City to raise awareness of the importance of biodiversity and our oceans to climate.

On top of the relevant message on climate, the first exhibition is an example of the type of digital media, video and advanced visualization technology installations USF CAM launched Generator to showcase.

“We conceived of this as a space for artistic experimentation, an incubator of sorts, that would be really dedicated to time-based media, video, moving picture and digital installations,” Howard says. “One of the goals of this project was to offer a dimension to the cultural landscape of the St. Pete Arts District and surrounding institutions that was distinct.”  

USF CAM initially intended to locate Generator at Fairgrounds St. Pete. Circumstances changed and Generator is now using shared gallery space on the USF St. Petersburg campus. 

An opening reception and artist talk by Superflex founder Bjorn Christiansen is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on October 6th at Harbor Hall auditorium and gallery on the USF St. Petersburg campus.

For more information, go to USF CAM Generator.

“Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum” at Tampa Museum of Art

An exhibition of 53 works from the Worcester Art Museum’s renowned collection of impressionist paintings is on display at the Tampa Museum of Art through January 7, 2024.  

“Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum” showcases more than 30 artists, including Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Mary Cassatt. The Tampa exhibition marks the first time many of the paintings have been on display outside of their home museum in Massachusetts.

“Presenting these impressionist masterpieces is a testament to art’s enduring ability to challenge and redefine conventions,” TMA Executive Director Michael Tomor says in a press statement. “Their significance transcends aesthetic appeal, offering Tampa Bay audiences a crucial education on how art breaks from tradition.” "Oranges at Corfu," by American impressionist painter John Singer Sargent, is part of the exhibition "Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from Worcester Art Museum" at the Tampa Museum of Art.

Tomor adds that the recent and extensive gallery renovations at TMA better position the museum to put on these types of large-scale exhibitions.  

“Frontiers of Impressionism: Paintings from the Worcester Art Museum” traces the roots of Impressionism in 19th-century France and its expansion to Europe, the United States and other countries. A description from TMA says the exhibition will showcase groundbreaking artistic techniques, including the penchant for en plein air (outdoor) painting, and the “distinct brushwork that characterized the movement.”  A section of the exhibition spotlights “the unique American rendition of Impressionism, from its manifestation in landscapes of the American West to its presence in New England.” 

The TMA plans docent-led tours and special events throughout the exhibition.
For more information, go to Frontiers of Impressionism.

SHINE Mural Festival

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s popular SHINE Mural Festival returns for a ninth year from October 13th through 22nd.

During this year’s annual celebration of public art, a line-up of regional, national and international artists will add 14 murals at locations throughout the St. Petersburg Arts District. The regional artists for this year’s festival are Artist Jones, Tampa; Chris Dyer, St. Petersburg/Peru; Fabstraq, Tampa; Michael Vasquez, St. Petersburg/Miami;  Rhys Meatyard, St. Petersburg; and Sarah Sheppard, St. Petersburg.

The national artists are Bunnie Reiss, California; Hannah Eddy, Nevada; Hoxxoh, Miami; and Max Sansing, Chicago. The international artists are Andrea Wan, Canada; Dave Bonzai, London; Bryan Beyung, Canada; and Loretta Lizzio, Australia.

The two Bright Spot community projects for this year’s festival are “Girl Power,” a collaboration between The Happy Mural Project and Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, and a partnership between artist Chenlin Cai and The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art on a mural project that builds on the museum’s exhibition “From Far East to West: The Chinese American Frontier.”

This year, SHINE begins with a two-day kick-off event. On Friday, the 13th, a  celebration of the origins of graffiti and street art features live painting, a DJ playing hip-hop music, cocktails and food. On Saturday, the 14th, a special edition Second Saturday ArtWalk will feature past and present SHINE artists and interactive mural activities at the Morean Arts Center, ARTicles Art Gallery, The Good Folk Gallery at Creative Clay, St. Pete ArtWorks and Craftsman House Gallery.

Events continue throughout the week. Visit the arts district during the final weekend of the festival to see the finished murals. The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance will post a map of mural locations on the festival web page during the month.

For more information, go to SHINE Mural Festival.

“Waterlicht” and “Dune” installations at Water Street Tampa  

Two internationally shown, large-scale light installations from Netherlands-based Studio Roosegaarde are on display at Water Street Tampa this month.

“DUNE,” which features hundreds of interactive LED light and sound fibers that respond to the motions of passing visitors, is on display at Sparkman Wharf Thursdays through Sundays from October 6th through 29th. On scheduled days, the installation will begin at 11 a.m. This will be the first time “DUNE” has been on display in the U.S. since its American debut in Louisville in 2009.

“Waterlicht” will use LED lighting, software and lenses to transport audiences into a dreamscape environment that simulates being underwater. “Waterlicht” will be on display October 27th through 29th beginning at 8 p.m. The display will stretch 500 feet down Water Street, between Channelside Drive and Cumberland Avenue. This is the third time “Waterlicht” has been on display in the U.S. 

“DUNE shows us how humans interact with nature, while Waterlicht simultaneously creates a place of wonder; as an activator to create a better future,” Studio Roosegaarde founder Daan Roosegaarde says in a press release. “In bringing these exhibitions to Tampa, we demonstrate that our world is changing and causes viewers to beg the question, ‘How can I be a part of it?’”

Water Street Tampa developer Strategic Property Partners hired CASS Contemporary to commission Studio Roosegaarde to bring the installations to Water Street.

“Studio Roosegaarde has connected audiences around the world with their art while demonstrating the important role we play in shaping our environment,”  Cassie Greatens, co-owner of CASS Contemporary, says in a press release. “We are honored that Strategic Property Partners selected us to help bring Waterlicht and Dune to Tampa while also educating the community and emphasizing Water Street Tampa’s vision in a monumental way.”

For more information, go to Water Street Tampa events.

Art in the Park at Coachman Park

From noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, October 29th, the City of Clearwater presents Art in the Park at Coachman Park. 

The free event features mural artists painting the Coachman Park mural walls and local artists exhibiting their artwork on the bluff at the rebuilt waterfront park. The crowd will vote on their favorite local artists. Winners will have the opportunity to exhibit their work in a city building.

For more information, go to Art in the Park.

The Clearwater Arts Alliance will also host a special event Art Walk Coachman Park on October 29th that will include watching the mural artists paint the Coachman Park mural walls.

For information on that event, go to Art Walk Coachman Park.

Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration in Clearwater

The Clearwater Hispanic Farmers Market presents a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday, October 15th, at Crest Lake Park, 201 Glenwood Ave., in Clearwater. 

There will be folklore performances, music, artisan crafts, jewelry, pottery, Latin cuisine and more.

For more information, go to Clearwater Hispanic Farmers Market.

Fall Fest at Carrollwood Cultural Center

There will be music and live entertainment when the Carrollwood Cultural Center, 4537 Lowell Rd. in Tampa, hosts a family-friendly Fall Fest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on October 21st. 

Performers include Carrollwood Brass at 10 a.m.; storyteller Windell Campbell at noon; the Ben Rodgers Band at 1 p.m.; Golden Coyote at 2 p.m.; Madelaine Rose at 3 p.m.; and George Pennington at 4 p.m.

There will be food trucks, artisan vendors, crafts, face painting, bounce houses, lawn games and a petting zone with pony rides from 12:30 until 4 p.m.
Participating food trucks include Kona Ice of Lake Carroll, Burger 21, DonutNV of West Central Tampa, Rollin’ Bites, That’s Kickin’ Chicken, Thai-rific Beverages, Pour Decisions Coffee Company and more. 

For more information, go to Carrollwood Village Fall Fest.

“Observations of Creation” at McCoy Studio Art Gallery

“Observations of Creation,” a collection of abstract photographs by Tampa photographer Michael McCoy, is on display at McCoy Studio Art Gallery, 412 East Madison St. in Tampa,  from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 14th. The exhibition is free and open to the public.

"Observations of Creation," an exhibition of the abstract photography of Tampa artist Michael McCoy, is on display at McCoy Studio Art Gallery in Tampa on October 14th.A Tampa native and self-taught photographer, McCoy has long been captivated by surrealistic art. That fascination helped inspire “Observations of Creation.” Each photograph is printed on metal by artisans at Graphi Studio in Italy, which specializes in state-of-the-art printing methods.

As part of the exhibition, McCoy will partner with Personifi Studios, a Tampa-based live stream and video production company, to unveil his “Slow Art” video series on a giant LED wall backdrop screen.

For more information, go to McCoy Studio Art.

New Tampa Performing Arts Center events

The New Tampa Performing Arts Center’s New Tampa Unplugged acoustic music series continues on Sunday, October 8th, with a performance by O Som Do Jazz, a Brazilian jazz sextet featuring Rio de Janeiro singer Andrea Moraes Manson and a crew of Colombian, Brazilian, Mexican, and U.S. jazz musicians playing the Great Brazilian Songbook.

The performance begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for a table seat and $13 for a theater seat.

For more information, go to New Tampa Performing Arts Center.

Also at the New Tampa Performing Arts Center this month, the New Tampa Players present “Shrek the Musical” from October 20th through 22nd and October 27th through 29th. Showtime for the Friday and Saturday shows (Oct. 20-21 and Oct. 27-28) is 8 p.m. The Sunday shows (Oct. 22 and Oct. 29) begin at 3 p.m.

For more information and tickets, go to New Tampa Players tickets.

Peace Memorial 2023-24 concert series

Peace Memorial Presbyterian Church, 110 S. Ft. Harrison Ave. in Clearwater, opens its concert season on Sunday, October 8th, with a classical performance featuring violist Michael Klotz and pianist Grigorios Zamparas.

Klotz is the violist with the Amernet String Quartet, the ensemble-in-residence at Florida International University. Zamparas is a highly acclaimed piano soloist, recitalist and chamber musician and a professor of piano at the University of Tampa.

They will perform the Mendelssohn cello sonata as transcribed for viola, works of Hindemith and additional classical selections. Advance tickets are not needed. A suggested donation of $5 to $10 is requested to help fund future seasons of the concert series.

The 2023-24 concert series continues October 29th with the Halloween-themed “Spooktacular,” featuring theater organist John McCall.

For more information, go to Peace Memorial concerts.

FMoPA October exhibits

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts’ 2023 International Photography Competition Exhibition is on display at the FMoPA community gallery, 1630 E. Seventh Ave. in Ybor City, through October 28th.

This year’s competition received a record-breaking 2,349 submissions from 542 photographers in 57 countries. The exhibition was previously on display at Tampa International Airport.

FMoPA is also presenting an exhibition of the work of Angelika Kollin, the winner of Best In Competition in the 2023 International Photography Competition. That exhibition will be on display in the community gallery from October 31st through December 10th. Born in Estonia, Kollin spent several years living in Africa. She is now based in Riverview.

For more information, go to FMoPA.

“MISH’s All Dog Art Show” at Pinellas Ale Works

Art Pulse Gallery at Pinellas Ale Works (PAW), 1962 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg, presents MISH’s All Dog Art Show” from October 13th through December 1st.

The show is a solo exhibition of the work of visual artist and poet Mish Murphy that focuses on her whimsical pooch canine creations. An opening reception is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, October 14th."MISH's All Dog Art Show," a solo exhibit featuring the canine creations on artist Mish Murphy, is on display at Pinellas Ale Works from October 13th through December 1st.

Artists interested in displaying their work at PAW should contact Funky as a Monkey Art Studio by email at [email protected].

“Ablutions & Affirmations” at SPAACES

“Ablutions & Affirmations,” a solo exhibition by Ringling College of Art and Design visiting professor Marina Shaltout, is on display at the Sarasota Project Aligning Artists Communities Exhibits and Studios (SPAACES) from October 6th through 28th. An opening reception is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 6th. A lecture by Shaltout is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 26th. 

Tickets for lectures are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. SPAACES is located at 2051 Princeton St. in Sarasota.

For more information, go to SPAACES.

St. Pete Opera kicks off 18th season with “Alcina”

The St. Pete Opera kicks off its 18th season on October 13th with a performance of George Frideric Handel’s “Alcina.” 

Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday, October 13th, 2 p.m. Sunday, October 15th, and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 17th. All performances are at The Palladium, 253 Fifth Ave. N, in St. Petersburg.

The opera will be sung in Italian with English translations displayed above the stage.

For more information, go to St. Pete Opera Alcina.
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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.