Spring Arts Preview: January

January

click to enlarge Zora Neale Hurston - Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
Zora Neale Hurston

Road Trip: Zora Fest Zora Neale Hurston, a brilliant, tragic woman who pissed off the black powers-who-be because she wasn't being black the "right" way, made her home in Eatonville, Florida, a small town outside Orlando. Eatonville, the oldest incorporated African American municipality in the United States, celebrates Zora's life and legacy every year on the city's anniversary. This year Eatonville turns 130 and the festival includes a three-day outdoor festival. This year the events include a Zora-inspired dinner, an art exhibit, Back in the Day: Reflections of Historic Eatonville, tours of Eatonville's historic gardens, conversations with Eatonville elders, a showing of Stir Crazy, a theatrical biography of Zora and, of course, the outdoor festival. There's more — much more — so head to the event website and plan your weekend getaway. Jan. 20-29, times and prices vary. zorafestival.org. —Cathy Salustri

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone August Wilson’s brilliant play takes place in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911, time of the Great Migration of African Americans from the South to the North. Though many characters come and go, the play’s central figure is Harold Loomis, once forced into servitude by the malevolent Joe Turner, and now searching, with his daughter Zonia, for his lost wife. Wilson’s poetic dialogue has never been more potent. American Stage, St. Pete. Jan. 20–Feb. 19. $39-$49. 727-823-PLAY. americanstage.org. —Mark Leib

Annual Theme Show: Please Touch Typically, galleries frown upon handling paintings, but in this showcase of Blake High School students, it’s actually allowed (but just this once — don’t continue that bad habit in other galleries). Gallery 501 at Blake High School, Tampa. Through Feb.3. facebook.com/HWBGallery501. —Caitlin Albritton

click to enlarge Brian Harper, ceramics, at Major Mud 3 exhibition at the Morean Center for Clay - Brian Harper
Brian Harper
Brian Harper, ceramics, at Major Mud 3 exhibition at the Morean Center for Clay

Major Mud 3 Carrying on the tradition of the Art Club of St. Petersburg and of local potter Russ Gustafson-Hilton bringing ceramics to the Tampa Bay Area, former Morean staff member (and past Femme Visuale Feature) Melissa Yungbluth will guest curate this exhibition featuring 25 artists from across the U.S. The exhibition will highlight what’s going on in contemporary crafts. Ranging from sculptural to functional pieces, new discoveries are constantly made with this prehistoric medium, which makes it worth while seeing how these artisans get down and dirty with mud. Morean Center for Clay, St. Pete. Jan. 14-Feb. 24. moreanartscenter.org. —CA

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