Life and Death by Duane Michals. Known for creating wry, erotic, wistful and philosophic narratives across sequential images, Michals (b. 1932) is one of contemporary art's most celebrated photographers. Frequently making gay sexuality the subject of his photography, he has also been an icon for younger generations of gay artists. FMoPA's mini career survey includes 24 of Michals' works from 1964-1996. Sept. 8-Nov. 6, Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, Tampa, 813-221-2222, fmopa.org.
F**k the Big C. In what may be St. Pete's smallest gallery space — a tiny storefront in the historic Crislip Arcade, stocked with art by self-taught artists and sassy crafts — eve-N-odd Gallery hosts a show of work by three women cancer survivors: Ria Vanden Eynde of Belgium, Branka Djordjevic of Luxembourg, and Canadian Betty Esperanza. Sept. 8-30, eve-N-odd Gallery, St. Petersburg, eve-n-odd.blogspot.com.
Believe it or Not? & SideShow. DFAC celebrates the opening of its new 7,500-sq-ft Louis & Valerie Flack East Wing with a pair of spectacle-themed exhibitions. SideShow spotlights artworks inspired by the circus banner, while Believe it or Not? includes — among other wonders — Carol Prusa's eye-popping patterned-dome sculptures and images of Jason deCaires Taylor's underwater works. Both exhibitions open Sept. 9; closing dates vary. Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd, Dunedin, 727-298-3322, dfac.org.
Return to Sender: A Mail Art Exhibition. Upwards of 90 artists — including The Art Guys, Neil Bender, Roger Chamieh, Elisabeth Condon, Edgar Sanchez Cumbas, Joe Griffith and Anthony Zollo — responded to Tempus Projects' mail art gift exchange. (Each participant received an editioned screenprint and an invitation to send a 7x-7-inch artwork back.) The result is a dizzying array of small-scale collectibles by a stellar roster of artists from Tampa Bay and beyond. Sept. 16-30; Tempus Projects, Tampa, 813-340-9056, tempus-projects.com.
Story and Symbol: Dutch and Flemish Paintings from the Collection of Dr. Gordon and Adele Gilbert & The New York School: Selections from The Gollay Collection. The MFA's fall lineup taps into two sterling collections to bring 16th- and 17th-century European paintings and 20th-century American modernist works into focus for viewers. Both exhibits open Sept. 17; closing dates vary. Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, 727-896-2667, fine-arts.org.
Contradictions: Russell Biles, Muir Vidler, Gregory Green, Einar and Jamex de la Torre. De la Torre brothers Einar and Jamex make an art out of irreverence with lamp-worked glass and mixed media sculptures that resemble religious icons but display unholy tendencies. In an exhibition that explores life's contradictions with humor and irony, they're joined by artists working in porcelain, photography and sculpture. Sept. 24-Nov. 5, Mindy Solomon Gallery, St. Petersburg, 727-502-0852, mindysolomon.com.
Colors. For the first group exhibition to grace Bluelucy's 600 Block gallery, 12 artists are creating works based on randomly assigned colors. The lineup includes Phillip Clark (half of the Bluelucy duo, who takes purple), John Vitale (red), Daniel Mrgan (orange), Chris Parks (black), Allen Hampton (yellow), Josh Pearson (blue), Dan Lasata (green) and Emily Dwyer (white). Sept. 24-Oct. 23, Bluelucy Gallery, 653 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, [email protected].
No Limits: Janet Biggs. TMA offers a mid-career survey of New York-based Janet Biggs, a video and installation artist whose documentary-style works have taken her among synchronized swimmers and Arctic kayakers to explore physical and psychic extremities. Oct. 8-Jan. 8, 2012, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, 813-274-8130, tampamuseum.org.
Suzanne Williamson & John Capouya: Shadow and Reflection: Visions of Florida's Sacred Landscapes. Photographer Williamson and writer Capouya team up to pay homage to the state's Native American burial mounds. In words and images, the pair explore sites including the Crystal River State Archeological Site, a prehistoric hub of ceremony and trade. Oct. 8-Nov. 27, Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, 727-822-7872, moreanartscenter.org.
Refractory2. A follow-up to last year's popular event, Refractory2 opens up the historic Kress Building — long abandoned, but still structurally sound — on Franklin Street in downtown Tampa for a one-night, Asian-themed exhibition of video art and installations by artists including Marie Yoho Dorsey and Kirk Wang. Sat., Oct. 15, 7-11 p.m., Kress Building, downtown Tampa, refractorytampa.com.