November Arts Roundup: Oddities & Curiosities, festivals, performances, and more

Can you believe it’s already November? Time to cue the holiday music in just about every store and begin gift shopping early to avoid anticipated postal delays and crowded aisles.

As Florida's end of fall-start of winter perfect weather sets in, be sure to check out our list of outdoor festivals, museum exhibits, arts events, and other activities, including the weird and wonderful at the Tampa Oddities & Curiosities Expo.
 
“The Oddities & Curiosities Expo is for lovers of the strange and unusual. We feature venues and dark artists from around the country with all things weird,” says Michelle Cozzaglio, one of the owners and curators of the Oddities & Curiosities Expo along with Tony Cozzaglio. “We have something weird for everyone, whether you’re a fan of Halloween or serious oddities.”
 
Held at the Tampa Convention Center on Nov. 13, you can expect artistic taxidermy, mystical elixirs and other herbal offerings, preserved critters, funeral paraphernalia, and a whole lot of other oddities that will satisfy even the most discerning collector.
 
Based out of Tulsa, OK, this is the first time this one-day expo has come to Tampa, promising not only vendors but also stage performances. Every 30 minutes, they will have classic sideshow stunts like walking on glass and a human pincushion. This year, they also have a taxidermy class, which is a separate ticketed event where you can make your own mythical jackelope.
 
Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. To find out more, visit the Tampa Oddities & Curiosities Expo event page.
 
What else is going on in the local art world this November?
 

November is notorious for festivals, so why not start the first weekend of the month at one? Enjoy the outdoors along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa during the Tampa Riverwalk International Fall Food & Arts Festival from Nov. 6-7, featuring an array of food and craft vendors.
 
On the same weekend, you can make a full day of festival hopping by also attending the Art Harvest Show at Highlander Park in Dunedin, hosted by the Junior League of Clearwater-Dunedin. Featuring over 200 artist booths on Nov. 6-7, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to fill the day.

Reflecting on the past few years during the pandemic, members of the Impromptu Players have written about their experiences about getting back to the normal swing of things. Their staged reading benefit “Are We There Yet?” will be held on Nov. 3 & 5 at the Ybor City Museum State Park Garden. Tickets and more information can be found at Stageworks Theatre.
 
Known as the Ansel Adams of Florida, Clyde Butcher is most well-known for his romantic black-and-white photos of raw, natural Florida landscapes -- particularly our swamps forests. The Downtown Clearwater CRA is bringing an exhibition of his works called “America’s Everglades” to the Clearwater Public Library Main Branch, with a grand opening and book signing on Nov. 6. Learn more at this Facebook event invitation.

 
If you’re looking for a different kind of craft festival, consider checking out the Tampa Bay Mineral & Science Club’s Annual Fall Show at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center in Plant City on Nov. 6-7. Learn about the lapidary arts (the art of cutting stones) and stick around for a presentation by Philip Stephenson about mining agates and jaspers in the Northwest on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.
 
USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio have come together to host artist William Villalongo and urbanist Shraddha Ramani in a Zoom lecture discussing their latest project Printing Black America: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits in the 21st Century and the importance of Du Bois’s work. You can register for this free webinar on Nov. 9 at 6 p.m.
 
Since many folks are itching to get back outside and enjoying in-person festivals, the Temple Terrace Arts & Crafts Festival will be back at Woodmont Park from Nov. 13-14. Browse the arts and food vendors, and be sure to check out their great lineup of music and performances throughout the weekend.

Pinellas County also has an art festival to look forward to, with Creative Pinellas’ Arts Annual Weekend on Nov. 13-14, showcasing the best artists and performers that this area has to offer. Though the in-person event will be at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas, they will also have an immersive virtual component for visitors. Tickets and more information can be found on their website.
 
It’s never too early to start Shop Small Businesses for the holiday season. On Nov. 14, stop by the Second Sunday Art Walk & Vendor Fair at Armature Works. They feature new artisans and makers each month, so there’s always something new to find.
 
If you’re looking for arts charity events, look no further than the Tampa Writers Harvest -- an event featuring about 40 writers (including spoken word and other related art forms) from around the community who will be donating time to read their works via Zoom in exchange for donations of money and food to support Metropolitan Ministries to brighten up Thanksgiving for families in need. The virtual event will be held on Nov. 20. 
 

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.”
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