BEST ART HAPPENING

Viva La Frida's Cuban Sandwich Show, curated by David Audet

Tampa legend David Audet is a larger-than-life impresario/artist who thrives on cultural intervention and reinvention. Audet is one of the founders of Ybor's Artists and Writers Balls and the Artists and Writers Cafe. He directed Ground Zero Performance Gallery, Still and Moving Gallery, and last Spring's fledgling HCC Festival of the Moving Image. His photograph won first place in a Weekly Planet juried photography exhibition.

Every few years, Audet re-creates the Cuban Sandwich Show, an arty free-for-all sprawl with hokey art mixed in with the slightly serious, and all parodying the locally celebrated Cuban sandwich. Last October's version featured more of the funky, themed faux edibles, and opening night was Tampa at its best. An eclectic mix of art filling Viva La Frida's outdoor patio ranged from a John Costin print to Joe Redner's dancing girls. St. Pete artist Boo Ehrsam's plastic "Tampa Museum of Artifice" was a standout with its mocking version of Vinoly's Tampa Museum of Art design. Hers was a tiny polymer Cuban sandwich nestled beneath plastic grids and sticks. Tampa Poet Laureate, James Tokley, read his epic poem of the mythical "Sandwiche Cubano." The spirit was pure Audet with a strategy equaling his own laid back personality: "You invite everyone you can. You just try and guide it. You can throw it [unsuitable art] out, and yell at them."

Credit kudos for the original idea (in 1991) goes to Grownman Films owner/producer Gordon Myhre and artist Herschel "Eddie" West. Hearty Weekly Planet congrats to Audet for his boundless collaborative energy and to designer Glenn Peltz's exhibition invite, a stellar mockup of a Cuban sandwich price-code label. Priced, but priceless.

Cuban Sandwich Show, Viva La Frida Café y Galleria, 5901 N. Florida Ave., Tampa, 813-231-9199.

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