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Brush to canvas: News from the art scene

Bill DeYoung



St. Pete Artist Carrie Jadus has wrapped Kahwa Coffee containers in sunflowers. Image: St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

Even someone who doesn’t know beans about coffee can appreciate artist Carrie Jadus’ smiling yellow sunflower design in the latest art-wrapped promotional Kahwa coffee canister. “I think this is what a can of sunshine looks like,” Jadus is quoted as saying, and that’s enough for us.

It’s the fourth in a series of special wraps commissioned by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, and will be celebrated with a reception Sept. 13 at Soft Water Gallery, which happens to be where Jadus keeps her studio.

Ah, but that’s a week away. Jadus – and Soft Water – are in today’s news, front and center, because there’s a new exhibit of her work opening this weekend, just in time for Saturday’s edition of the Arts Alliance’s Second Saturday ArtWalk.

Open to Interpretation is a series of abstract sketches and paintings based – somewhat loosely – on the famous Rorschach inkblot test. It’s noticably different from Jadus’ well-known works, in that the images are somewhat formless … or are they?

The artist will be in attendance for a reception during the ArtWalk, 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

More than 40 galleries and studios, in the various districts, are open during that time for visits. You’ll be expected, and you’ll be welcomed.

This map from the Arts Alliance will give you the who, what, where.

Soft Water Gallery Director Lisa Lippincott will guest on Friday’s edition of the Arts Alive! podcast.

A scene from the 2022 St. Pete Art Battle. Photo: Tampa Bay Community Photography llc by Katy Simpson.

Things to watch for

Coming Sept. 28 is Fun Set: A Sunshine City Art Show, featuring the works of more than 60 local artists, curated by Chad Mize. It’ll first be set up at Green Bench Brewing, for one night, then move to SPACE, Mize’s re-purposed space, at 1133 Baum Ave., Sept. 29 and 30. Accompanied no doubt by a tremendous party. More on this soon.

Coming Sept. 30: The second annual St. Pete Art Battle. This noon-to-6 p.m. event features a vendor market, live music and food trucks at 18th Street and Central Avenue – that’s right, under the I-275 overpass – and brush-and-can “combat” between five teams of muralists, who’ll compete against one another by painting 8×8 panels. At 4:30 p.m., the crowd votes on its favorite piece, and the winning team splits $500. All the panels will be sold at the end, with proceeds going to the artists.

Eddie Riveria was the 2022 visitor favorite. This year’s teams are: DREAMWEAVER/SLIM; Eddie Riveria/OZ; Ray Prather (CYR CAT)/R2ROMERO; Swirly Painter/Eric Hornsby; ZuluPainter/Derek Donnelly. Admission is free; click here for more information. More on this soon, too.


Screening Lonnie

Screening Thursday at the Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg is George King’s documentary film Thumbs Up for Mother Universe: Stories from the Life of Lonnie Holley. A legendary Alabamian folk artist, Holley, 73, is known for his assemblages and immersive environments made of found materials. He is also a musician and storyteller with a colorful past.

Following the 6 p.m. screening of the 58-minute documentary, both Holley and filmmaker King will participate in an audience Q&A.

Find tickets here.


At the Dali

Leonora Carrington. Photo: Dali Museum.

Leonora Carrington: Writer, Painter, Visionary opens Saturday at the Dali Museum. It’s a retrospective of works by the pioneering surrealist painter and writer. The British artist, who lived most of her life in Mexico, is best remembered for The House of Fear, a collection of fantastical short stories, and the novel The Hearing Trumpet, described as “an eco-feminist fairy tale.”

In addition to excerpts from her writings, the exhibition will include a display of Carrington’s books, photographs, digital versions of her paintings and a suite of etchings. “Her surreal approach to art makes the inclusion of her artwork in a museum dedicated to the work of Salvador Dalí an enlightening juxtaposition,” said curator Peter Tush in a prepared statement.  


Candles for MAACM

The Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Museum is celebrating its second anniversary with discounted admission ($10) Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Docent tours (50 minutes) are free with admission 11 a.m. Sept. 5-9, with additional tours Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Visit the website.



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