What To Watch For: Visual Art

Great gallery shows arrive on both sides of the Bay this fall.

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click to enlarge SEA & SPIRIT: Ernest H. Brooks II’s photo "Winged Wall, Antarctica,"  from Fragile Waters. - Ernest H. Brooks II
Ernest H. Brooks II
SEA & SPIRIT: Ernest H. Brooks II’s photo "Winged Wall, Antarctica," from Fragile Waters.

Don’t miss…
Spirited & enCircled & Saints Alive! Collectors Robert and Chitranee Drapkin have made a mark on Tampa Bay by donating and lending thousands of photographs to area museums. Now, the Dunedin Fine Art Center offers a glimpse of their deliciously other-worldly collection of religious folk art from 19th-century to present-day Latin America with the exhibition “Spirited.” At the same time, “enCircled” showcases mandala-inspired works by contemporary artists, such as Ivan Puig’s shadow-casting ring of glass bottles, and “Saints Alive!” offers a juried selection of icons, shrines, illuminated pages and other devotional objects submitted by artists through an open call. Sept. 9-Oct. 13, Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin, 727-298-3322, dfac.org.
Mixing Metaphors: The Aesthetic, the Social and the Political in African American Art, Works from the Bank of America Collection Don’t let the dry title fool you — the latest Bank of America loaner exhibition to pop up at a local museum will move and impress visitors. “Mixing Metaphors” gathers together approximately 100 paintings, prints, photographs and sculptures by 36 artists including Carrie Mae Weems, Dawoud Bey, Romare Bearden, Lorna Simpson, Faith Ringgold and Jacob Lawrence. A veritable canon of African American artists, they take on real-world and aesthetic issues from family life to abstraction. Also be on the lookout for the MFA’s newly renovated and reinstalled permanent collection galleries to open in mid-September. Oct. 5-Jan. 5, 2014, Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive N.E., St. Petersburg, fine-arts.org.
Sea of Tranquility A fictional cruise ship is the setting for Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck’s 2010 art movie “Sea of Tranquility.” The ambitious project drops anchor at the Tampa Museum of Art as one of a pair of fall shows devoted to watery subjects; a third proffers abstractions by three of the 20th century’s foremost artists. Op de Beeck’s 30-minute video places a cast of human actors aboard the digitally animated ship — itself a memorably sleek and silent character — and slowly draws back the curtain on their existential ennui. Op de Beeck’s striking visual compositions keep a viewer riveted. Concurrent with Fragile Waters, an exhibition of environmental photography by Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, and Arp, Calder and Miro: Modern Masters from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Oct. 5-Jan. 19, Tampa Museum of Art, 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, 813-274-8130, tampamuseum.org.

Also on the radar…
Kirk Ke Wang: Sugar Bomb Wang, a Tampa-based artist from China, offers up a meditation on global politics with an installation of bomb-shaped sculptures made from Cuban sugar, tobacco leaves, Skittles and other Chinese and American parts. Aug. 26-Sept. 30, HCC Ybor School of Visual and Performing Arts Gallery, Palm Avenue and 15th Street, Tampa, 813-253-7674, hccfl.edu/yc/art-gallery.aspx.
Filter: Border Instagram, the popular social media photo app, provides the inspiration — and the images — for this show organized by Tempus Projects. Featuring a selection of nearly 80 photos submitted by artists and amateur Instagram fiends through a juried process. Sept. 13-26, Tempus Projects at Creative Loafing’s CL Space, 1911 N. 13th St., Suite W200, Tampa, 813-340-9056, tempus-projects.com.
Born of the Sea, Shaped by Fire Korean artist Hyunsung Cho draws urban landscapes onto blown glass shapes; paired with dazzling vessels by Vietnam-born Canadian artist David Thai. Sept. 14-Oct. 5, Duncan McClellan Glass, 550 24th St. S., St. Petersburg, 855-436-4527, dmglass.com.
The Restoration of the Stolen Lock and Other New Hair-Inspired Works by Jono Vaughan & Hirsute: Artists Do Hair Two exhibitions, a solo show for Vaughan’s elegant, gender-bending drawings and a group show of seven contemporary artists from around the U.S., spotlight hair and its cultural fascination. Sept. 14-Oct. 27, Morean Arts Center, 719 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-822-7872, moreanartscenter.org.
Icons of Style Runway pieces and gowns by the likes of John Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld, paired with fashion illustrations and photographs, make up this crowd-pleasing exhibition on loan from Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Oct. 4-Jan. 5, 2014, John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bay Shore Road, Sarasota, 941-359-5700, ringling.org.
Lore A solo exhibition for one of St. Pete’s most intriguing talents — Calan Ree, whose comics and mixed-media sculptures depict characters at once bewitching and weird. Oct. 19-Nov. 9, Bluelucy, 653 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-251-8529, bluelucy.net.
CraftArt The annual fine craft fair, which features 130 top-notch practitioners from around the country, as well as food trucks and craft beers, makes holiday shopping for handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts a cinch. Nov. 23-24, Florida Craftsmen, 501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-821-7391, floridacraftsmen.net.

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