Do This: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, famous comedians and more

Art, comedy, an indie market and more.

I have a love-hate relationship with the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts. On the one hand, it's a prestigious event with a ton of exceptional pieces and gathers people from all walks of life to enjoy art and early springtime temps. On the other, it can be unbearably bougie, catering to affluent folks looking for accents to decorate their homes in lieu of offering forward-thinking, thought-provoking, vanguard art. There is a quota of emerging artists, but I am often left wishing there were more. Perhaps this year, it will offer more surprises.

All in all, it's the best daytime bet this weekend. Stroll amid rows and rows of art that includes ceramic, digital, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, watercolor and wood in a juried art festival featuring competitors from across the U.S. and around the world. The festival also features the works of local young/emerging artists, a weekend full of live entertainment, local food vendors and a children’s art activity area.  Sat., March 1, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sun., March 2, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, 600 N. Ashley Drive, Tampa. gasparilla-arts.com/attend-the-festival.

Adjacent to the festival, five pieces of mobile artwork will be on display during the interactive art program, Carmada, (pictured above) in Kiley Garden. They're standard vehicles modified into mobile artwork through application of paint, sculptural embellishment, and other techniques.

Today is the St. Pete Indie Market, a monthly seasonal showcase of local artists, indie designers, horticulturists, eclectic crafters and non profit groups who take over the sidewalks of the 600 Block artist. It offers more than 20 vendors, local musicians and live art. Special events include a performance art booth presented by organizers of the upcoming event Sexxx Dreams at Station Numberthree. Pre-sale tickets for sale.

While the high-ticket items get judged in Curtis Hixon park, a more unconventional and less highbrow collection of local artists and musicians will be assembling for an exhibition with food, sweets, beer and wine specials — and even intimate lighting and Keith Sweat songs to rock your world. "Plenty of missed connections waiting to happen!" the cafe says. Show starts at 7 p.m. with bands at 9 p.m. Artists include Taylor Jackson (Blue Devil tattoos), Mia Culbertson (posters and silk screening), Erin Hart (custom nail art), Sarah Valdez, plus others with a focus on 3D art and mixed media. Music headliners are Butter Queen (Orlando) and Bolt Action (new punk band from Tampa). Warning: You may be photographed at any time from any angle.

While the high-ticket items get judged in Curtis Hixon park, a more unconventional and less highbrow collection of local artists and musicians will be assembling for an exhibition with food, sweets, beer and wine specials — and even intimate lighting and Keith Sweat songs to rock your world. "Plenty of missed connections waiting to happen," the cafe says. The annual Cafe Hey Gasp!arilla Art Show starts at 7 p.m. with bands at 9 p.m. Artists include Taylor Jackson (Blue Devil tattoos), Mia Culbertson (posters and silk screening), Erin Hart (custom nail art), Sarah Valdez, plus others with a focus on 3D art and mixed media. Music headliners are Butter Queen (Orlando) and Bolt Action (new punk band from Tampa). cafehey.com


Comedy fans lost another icon this week, Harold Ramis (RIP), but we’re fortunate that there are living legends out there still and they’re headlining venues right here in Tampa Bay. Before we get started, were you even aware that Bob Newhart, 84, is still performing? Those in the know recall his recent turn on television’s Big Bang Theory, which showed that he’s not only retained his comedy chops, but his deadpan delivery is just as funny as it was decades ago on his legendary 1970s TV series The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart in the ‘80s. The term “comedy legend” is sometimes thrown around too loosely. Newhart is a comedy legend. Tonight, Sat., March 1, 7:30 p.m. Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. 727-791-7400. atthecap.com. $75-$98.

The SNL vet known for his pathological liar shtick — “Yeah, that’s the ticket!” — Jon Lovitz was nominated for an Emmy his first two years on Saturday Night Live. He has appeared in more than 30 movies, including Big, A League of Their Own and The Wedding Singer, “and has become well known for his distinctive voice. We also loved him as the lead voice of the character Jay Sherman in the acclaimed cult cartoon series, The Critic. With Tim Pulnik. $34.  Sat., March 1, 7:30 and 10 p.m.; Sun., March 2, 7 p.m. The Tampa Improv, 1600 E. Eighth Ave., Ybor City. 813-864-4000. ImprovTampa.com.


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