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On the art scene: Aligned ArtWalks and numerous nudes

Bill DeYoung



Detail, work by Cheri Cruden (Brenda McMahon Gallery). All images provided.

It only happens once a year, maybe twice. OK, maybe three times. The sun, the moon, the stars and the calendar have aligned so that Gulfport’s First Friday ArtWalk and St. Pete’s Second Saturday ArtWalk are taking place on the same weekend.

It all sounds very cosmic, doesn’t it? The real reason is that July 1 fell on a Saturday this year.

Gulfport begins the cycle  this weekend (July 7, the first Friday). As always, downtown streets will be lined with fine artists (not crafters – that comes later in the month) from 5 to 9 p.m.

This month’s theme – for the third year in a row –  is “Body Beautiful,” and to reinforce it a collection of Gulfport artists have embellished mirrors in creative ways; these will be auctioned off at the Wine House at 6:30 p.m.

Featured artist at the Brenda McMahon gallery is painter Cheri Cruden, who specializes in the female form – nude and otherwise.

The artist often creates several large canvases at the same time. “The way the paint flows on the canvas, the new discoveries with each painting and the emotions evoked by different color combinations keep me painting with passion,” Cruden says.

Work by Colin Ward, DRV Gallery.

At DRV Gallery, there’s a reception Thursday (6-8 p.m.) for photographer Colin Ward, whose own “Body Beautiful” exhibition depicts the nude female form blending with “the wondrous landscape around us.” His settings include Lake Tahoe, the Great Salt Lake, Baja, Mexico and more.

The Colin Ward exhibit, which will be on view during the First Friday ArtWalk, runs through July 14.

Meanwhile, in St. Pete, there are more photographic studies of the human body at thestudio@620. Photographer Harvey (Drouillard), whose black and white “guerilla” nude shoots are the stuff of local legend, will display some of his most popular shots in an exhibition opening Saturday, just in time for the venue’s participation in the monthly Second Saturday ArtWalk.

Instant Nostalgia: Photographs by Harvey is drawn from his catalog of casually naked men and women made at more than 100 outdoor St. Pete locations.

RELATED STORY: What’s the good nudes? Photographer Harvey Drouillard knows

Because many of these photos, which are intended to be humorous, include full-frontal nudity, thestudio@620 is limiting admission to those 18 and older. The exhibit will remain through July.

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s Second Saturday ArtWalk (5-9 p.m.) is a self-guided tour of more than 40 galleries, studios and storefronts in all the downtown districts.

Click here for this month’s map, and a description of who’s doing what.

Also included: Locations for the Arts Alliance’s free trolley service; the trolley makes numerous regular stops on its all-evening loops.

“Instant Nostalgia: Photographs by Harvey” at thestudio@620.










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