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ArtWalk Saturday, ‘Pretty Vacant’ tonight

Bill DeYoung



Works by Camille Azumi are featured in "Good Vibrations III," saying goodbye Saturday at the Leslie Curran Gallery.

The September Second Saturday ArtWalk is, in addition to being a delightfully alliterative phrase, the most artistically interesting of recent months.

You’ll recall that the monthly event, produced and sponsored by the Arts Alliance of St. Petersburg, links 40 or so galleries and artist studios downtown, all of them waiting for visitors, with open arms, between 5 and 9 p.m.

Many of them are, to be sure, walkable as the name suggests. For those who want to take in as many as possible, however, the Arts Alliance provides a handy trolley service, which loops around the city’s designated districts, dropping off and picking up for all four hours. There’s a standalone downtown trolley (the “Looper”) to cover those galleries closer to the bay. It’s all free.

So what happens when you visit an ArtWalk destination? At the artist studios, creators are happy to show you what they’ve created, and what they’re working on, and answer your questions about their process. Or you can talk baseball. Or discuss the weather. Whatever.

Many gallery stops are accompanied by special, ArtWalk-centric receptions at which the exhibiting artist is present. Often, there are beverages.

Here are a number of highlights:

From “For the Love of Pets,” by Bailey Gumienny.

Tully-Levine Gallery (Arts Xchange, 515 22nd Street S). The Warehouse Arts District Association’s home-base gallery is opening “For the Love of Pets,” a members’ show that’s also a benefit for the Tampa Bay SPCA. The open call went out – paint (or draw, or sculpt, or whatever) a beloved pet. Many of the artists will be in attendance at Saturday’s reception. While you’re there (it’s Trolley stop #5), be sure to stop in at Soft Water Studios – where Carrie Jadus and several other top-drawer St. Pete artists do their thing – and MGA Sculpture Studio, the home of sculptor Mark Aeling (you can see some of his recent, astonishingly cool metal sculptures at the new St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters).

Mirella Cimato Gallery, 2145 1st Ave. S: The opening reception for “Rivers of Thought,” paintings and mixed media (canvas, glass and metal) by Richard Logan. The gallery is located inside the Opera Central building. Trolley stop #9.

thestudio#620, 620 1st Avenue S: A Decade of Dance: Photographs by Tom Kramer, which we told you about in a previous story, includes live, pop-up performances by the finest area practioners of dance. Trolley stop #11.

Art Lofts of St. Petersburg, 10 5th Street N.: “Small Works” involves all the working Art Lofts artists, in a variety of media demonstrating the power of art in small sizes (nothing is larger than 20”X20”) Trolley stop #12.

Leslie Curran Gallery, 1431 Central Ave.: It’s the closing reception for the gallery’s exhibition of summery scenes, “Good Vibrations III.” Works by Nathan Beard, Akiko Kotani, Erin McIntosh, Camille Izumi Paige, Robert Ross, Yolanda Sanchez, Xina Scuderi, Richard Seidel and others. Trolley stop #14.

Urban Arts Gallery, 2323 Central Ave.: “Havana: Near is Far,” an exhibition of photographs by Michael Huston, capturing “the beauty, decay and resilient life of a once-great city with all of its complexities and contradictions.” Trolley stop #15.

St. Pete ArtWorks, 2412 Central Ave: Guitarist Bud Good and percussionist Edward Burroughs Jr. (aka Rare Phorm) will perform. It’s a farewell party, in a manner of speaking for “What Lies Beneath – Collage Paintings by Thomas Bell,” which will be switched out Sept. 21 for the work of the next featured artist. Trolley stop #16.

Alyssa Marie Gallery, 300 Beach Drive NE: “Love You – A Self-Love Art Show: opening reception. Oils artist Alyssa Marie will be selling original 5×5 inch paintings of pineapples to celebrate, she writes on her website, the recent surgical removal of her breast implants. “In a promise to always be my authentic self through my actions and my art,” she says, “I am sharing this experience with you in an event all about embracing your beautiful rawness and impeccable strength.” Downtown Looper stop #1.

Download and/or print the September map here; it includes all the trolley stops, along with information about parking, should you decide to self-guide.

By the roadside

“Drip Dry Gothic,” photography by Selina Roman.

Work by Todd Bates

It’s not on the trolley tour, but Mize Gallery (689 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive N) has an opening this weekend. Chad Mize welcomes the work of Selina Roman and Todd Bates, both of whom focus (in very different ways) on “Roadside America” and its soft white underbelly, with a reception today (not Saturday) from 6 to 10 p.m. The show is called Pretty Vacant, a sly reference, no doubt, to the old Sex Pistols song.

Roman, a photographer, contributes a series of images – some mysterious and some disturbing – of scenes inside and out of old-timey motel rooms. Graphic designer and photographer Bates is fascinated by past-their-prime neon signs, which he immortalizes through manipulated photos and screen prints.




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