Art Snax: General Assembly exhibition in Tampa, and other art events on local menu

Collections: sometimes we can’t help what we come to accumulate over the years.
“Some people collect things, whether cars or coins, with some kind of framework. There’s a passion to collecting. My collecting doesn’t have a particular discipline. It’s all about having that gut reaction, so I’m innocent in that way, but I appreciate my senses. There is no such thing as completing the action of collecting because it is all very evolutionary. I’m rather flattered to be called a collector, really -- it was all very accidental, ” says George Anderton, artist and collector.
Anderton has accumulated quite a collection of art over the 20 years he has been living and working in Tampa. From July 14-August 18, these works will be shown publicly for the first time in “General Assembly: From the collection of Artist George Anderton” at Quaid Gallery in the South Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa. Organized by Kathy Gibson and Jose Gelats, the goal is to highlight the artists and local areas that have turned Tampa into a burgeoning arts scene.
“George’s place is one of the most unique homes I’ve ever been in. He has such a unique and interesting aesthetic and no matter what direction I look I am mesmerized by what he so casually, easily, naturally has stacked together. Nothing is as it seems but everything is -- at least to me -- fascinating,'' Gibson says. 

"There is something about what George does and is doing in his art and in his collecting that I’m strongly drawn to. I can’t put my finger on it, and I don’t want to,” Gibson continues. “This exhibition is different than a typical group show since the pieces have already been plucked by the same eye so there are subtle things in common, and Jose and I are having a ball trying to find various threads that seem to relate -- and then coming up with a way to exhibit them that may make sense to others.”
You may recognize many of the names because, as Anderton puts it: “It’s a big but small community.”

The show will include more than 75 pieces including (but not limited to) works by Neil Bender, Becky Flanders, Vincent Kral, Bud Lee, Tracy Midulla, Justin Nelson, Charles Parkhill, Edgar Sanchez Cumbas, Anthony Record, Josette Urso, Chasity Williams, Ruby C. Williams, and Theo Wujcik. 

A significant portion of these works was purchased either directly from the artists or through artist-run spaces like Tempus Projects, Quaid, and Workspace, but also bigger institutions like HCC’s Gallery 221 and the FMoPA (Florida Museum of Photographic Arts).
“I was approached by Kathy and Jose about doing something like this, so this project has been in the works for quite some time,” Anderton says. “I left everything to them, and just said ‘yes’ to everything. This will really be quite challenging. It’s their first time doing something like this, and I’m interested in seeing what the reaction will be.”
“With this show, we want to bring new people to Quaid. Jose is highlighting the places each of the pieces were purchased, venues around the Tampa area. It’s just as much about the work as it is about supporting community venues, or building a collection. It’s the whole food chain of being a part of the art community,” Gibson says.
One of Anderton’s own works, “Father Forgive,” is a 1999 acrylic on canvas piece that will be a part of the show to serve as a general theme for the whole project.
“Technically, it shouldn’t be in there because its one of my works, but it says something about me as a collector. It’s not like I’m a Rockefeller. This is just what one person has collected for the past 20 years in Tampa. It will be quite strange seeing the works in this setting having moved them from my house. I think it will be very interesting, to me personally,” Anderton says. “These pictures are added pleasure. I feel very lucky to have them.”
The opening reception for “General Assembly” will be held on Saturday, July 14 from 7-10 p.m.
Other upcoming art events:
  • Ever think about the collecting power of museums and wonder why the public isn’t allowed to see some of their most prized possessions? What gives? If you’re interested in gaining more insight about these issues, join Jocelyn Boigenzahn (Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, University of Tampa), Ashley Burke (Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg), Sarah Howard (USFCAM), Katherine Pill (Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg), Amanda Poss (Gallery [email protected] Community College), and Joanna Robotham (Tampa Museum of Art) on July 12 for “Art Thursday: Tales from the Vault - Access vs. Preservation” at the USFCAM in a panel discussion about contemporary art collections.
  •  Ever dream about how awesome summer would be if you could play a little tune on a ukulele while you lounge on the beach watching the setting sun? Super utopic, right? Well, get a hold of your strings and come to Felicitous Coffee in north Tampa (their 51st St. location) on July 12 for a ukulele tutorial and get-together.
  •  If you’re interested in tapping into the Florida film scene and didn’t know where to start looking for your people, the Film Florida meet-up (hosted by Film Tampa Bay and Film Florida) will be held at Brew Bus Brewing in Tampa on July 12 from 6-9 p.m. Join members (even if you aren’t one) to learn about the art and industry while sipping on some brews. 
  •  “The Perfect Storm” (2000) will blow through the Tampa Theatre on July 13 (um, Friday the 13th? Could this be a terrible omen?) as part of their CinemaSTEM series, aiming to connect popular movies with experts in their respective STEM fields to bring a teachable moment to the theater. After the screening, Dave Osterberg -- FOX 13’s meteorologist -- will moderate a post-show discussion and Q&A session, while providing some helpful tips on preparing for hurricane season. The cost is $7 for members and $8/$10 for general admission.
  •  Libbi Ponce has been Lector Social Club’s artist-in-residence, transforming spaces into immersive installations. On July 13, you can hear the artist in conversation with art historian-curator Alyssa Cordero in “Installation as Adaption” at the Lector Social Club: Lit & Natty Wine in downtown Tampa. Specifically, she will be discussing her two newest installations “the apartment” and “Then We’re Out of Danger.” The talk will begin at 6:30 p.m. with a wine tasting preceding it at 5:30 p.m.
  • If you haven’t seen the latest exhibition at the Tampa Museum of Art yet, you may as well wait until July 15 for the Curator’s Lecture “Vapor and Vibration: The Art of Larry Bell and Jesús Rafael Soto” with Joanna Robotham at 2 p.m. Get to know Bell and Soto a little better and gain a deeper understanding of their significance to global art trends in the 1950s and '60s. This event is free for museum members and college students, and only $5 for non-members. Online registration is encouraged.
  • Looking for something more low key to do on Friday nights? On July 20 (and every Friday from 7-10 p.m.), come check out the open mic night at Windmill Natural Café at Chuck’s Natural Fields Market in Temple Terrace.
  • If you’ve ever even thought about playing around with origami, swing by The Paper Seahorse in Hyde Park Village on July 21 for their free origami meet-up. All of your supplies are provided, all you need to do is RSVP in advance.
  • “Landscape” and “urbanscape” provide two ways we see the land around us either with or without architecture. Instead of creating such a dichotomy, what kind of terrain is developed when we think about architecture’s relationship to nature, artificial landscapes, or borders? On July 27, head over to AIA Tampa Bay for the group show “Terrains” that explores this topic through 2D and 3D works.
  • Ready to step up your shoe game? If you’re looking to be one step ahead of everyone else, check out the custom sneaker exhibit in a collaboration of Burn Rubber X Reebok Classic X MergeCulture on July 21 at Burn Rubber in Ybor City. Twenty artists (with a mix of emerging and established graffiti writers and artists) will be putting their spin on a classic sneaker. So plain old sneaker? Yeah, right. You can check out their website for the full list of artists, who hail from across the country.

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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