'Tis said that good things come in small packages, and St. Pete's M. Petty Gallery fits that bill. With only two walls available in his narrow gallery, owner/photojournalist/attorney Mark Petty manages a sophisticated small space focusing strictly on photography. He makes it work by culling down the number of art works, by ensuring uncrowded walls, and by showing photographs united by matched frames and mats. The gallery opened in November 2002 with Petty's own black-and-white photographs. The second exhibition, A Burning Issue, presented his own images of Ku Klux Klan members, which the photographer had taken years before but had never developed. He added to the sense of foreboding by covering the hanging photographs with burlap, all of which made for a powerful reminder that terrorism was a known commodity in America, and long before 9-11. Petty also showed celebrity photographs snapped by Michael Phillips, a young man with a remarkable physical disability offset by his remarkable will and steady eye. This is a small but welcome addition to the growing Bay area photography scene.
M. Petty Photography, 538 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, 727-898-2600.