March Arts Roundup: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, spring-themed art, and more

After a year off from having a live festival (since last year’s was virtual), the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (GFA) is inviting arts and crafts lovers to attend their annual event this upcoming weekend, March 5-6. Everyone involved is excited to get back together, but none more than the artists themselves.
 
“This year’s event is being treated as a celebration being back in person and bringing people together not only to see the art from all over the country, but also focusing on what we have to offer in the Tampa Bay Area,” says Jamie Jenkins, GFA Board President. “Everything is just bigger and better.”
 
One part that has grown is the Scholastic Showcase. The GFA would typically give an award to one student and his or her school, but now with support from the Vinik Foundation, they have expanded this to 3 students and the school they represent to help their art programs grow.
 
Even their GFA Collegiate Scholarships have grown from one to now three this year.
 
“We’ve also increased our artist awards from $80,000 to $87,000. We give out the most in cash awards out of any festival in the U.S.,” Jenkins says. “And we’re having the public come see the artists receive their awards starting this year.”
 
While interactive events have always been a part of GFA with their Carmada Art Cars, NOMAD Bus mural, and chalk art, there will be a few more exciting additions with Crab Devil bringing a sneak peek at one of the containers that will be a part of their immersive art experience in The Peninsularium, and AIA Tampa Bay will be constructing an interactive archway.
 
“Everyone is going above and beyond what they’ve done in the past. We want the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts to be a place where people can go for the entire day enjoying all aspects of art,” Jenkins says.
 
Find out more about the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.
 
What else is going on in the month of March?
 
To usher in spring, Florida CraftArt is hosting a juried exhibition The Art of the Garden. From March 4-April 19, you can almost smell the sweet flowers of the new season in the works of 50 artists that honor the beauty of the natural and botanical world. For more information on the upcoming show visit FloridaCraftArt.org.
 
Hosted by the Woodson African American Museum, the Pulitzer Prize winner (for The 1619 Project) Nikole Hannah-Jones will be speaking at the Coliseum in St. Pete as part of a gala fundraiser on March 27. Proceeds from this event will go toward the Woodson Warriors Scholarship Fund, which supports local African American students attain college funds. Tickets are $100 and can be purchased here.
 
The concept of “fake news” isn’t new, and a new exhibition at the Plant Museum in Tampa called Stop the Presses! Fake News and the War of 1898 will unveil yellow journalism of the past through examples from Richard Harding Davis and Frederic Remington. The exhibition will be open March 18 through the end of December. Learn more about the exhibition here.

The Professional Organization of Visual Artists (PAVA) 2022 Members' Annual Awards Exhibit returns to PAVA's home at The Cool Art Shop, located at 1240 County Road 1, Dunedin, Florida on Wednesday, March 2, and will run through the month. An opening reception for the public will take place on Wednesday, March 9, from 6:30-7:30 p.m., with an awards presentation. Learn more here.
 
Call to Artists
 
The Friends of the Riverwalk are looking for artist proposals for illuminated lanterns, floats, sculptures, and more for their upcoming 1st Annual Tampa Riverwalk Lantern Parade. For their first ever, they are looking for themes that celebrate creativity, fun, water, and anything Tampa-related. Applications are due March 7. See more details and apply here.
 

Read more articles by Caitlin Albritton.

Caitlin Albritton is a freelance writer based in Tampa with a BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design and a MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art. When she's not looking at art throughout town, she can be found making it. You can keep up with her visual art on Instagram @caitlinalbritton or on her website. Visit her recent line of inlay “wearable paintings.”