Do It Today: art across the bay at Congo/Women, So You Think You Can Paint? and Gummie Bears: Outside the Package

James Nachtwey, Ron Haviv, Marcus Bleasdale and Lynsey Addario; a reading by author Anita Shreve from her latest novel, A Change in Altitude, set in Kenya; and a panel discussion on the role of artists as catalysts for social change. The program continues into spring with events including a performance by Ladysmith Black Mambazo and talks by activist John Prendergast and Elie Wiesel. (Pictured: Soldiers of General Ngodjolo's Movement for the Revolution of Congo. Photo by Marcus Bleasdale/VII Zumbe, 2006) Congo/Women Portraits of War: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jan. 11-Feb. 20, Poynter Institute, 801 3rd St. S., St. Petersburg, 727-821-9494, Anita Shreve: A Change in Altitude, Sat., Jan. 16, 8 p.m., Miller Auditorium, Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave. S., St. Petersburg, 727-867-1166, At Home and Abroad: the Role of Art and Artists in Creating Social Change, Wed., Jan. 20, 5:30-8 p.m., Poynter Institute, reservations required by calling 727-864-7979 or emailing [email protected]. For more information about the entire Plight & Promise of Africa series, visit – Megan Voeller

So maybe the title is a crappy rip-off of one of my favorite shows (reality TV is my weakness), but the So You Think You Can Paint? exhibit is actually pretty cool. Here’s the gimmick: any (wo)man off the street can submit works for display. Maybe it’ll be the next Picasso; maybe it’s just a waste of canvas. Who knows? That’s the exciting part. Just drop off a painting of any size, format or subject to the Centre Gallery, and a panel of judges decide who managed the medium with the most finesse and originality. A video of the judging process screens at the opening reception, where the best of the test also receive prizes. Jan. 11-21 submission dates, opening reception Fri., Jan. 22, 7-9 p.m., Centre Gallery, USF Marshall Student Center Room 2700, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, free; visit or contact [email protected] for submission guidelines. – Franki Weddington

It's not often that we face the dilemma of the desire to enjoy art while simultaneously struggling with the desire to eat it, but the Gummie Bears: Outside The Package exhibit does just that. See those ooey gooey tasty little ursines imitating human behavior and emotions (gummi see, gummi do?) in photographer and painter Mauricio Murillo's whimsical works. On display through Jan. 31; Visit for more info. RAW Vibes Art and Performance Space, St. Petersburg, free.

This month, St. Petersburg’s Eckerd College launches an ambitious, yearlong program of events designed to spur public conversations about Africa, global interconnectivity and social justice. While Eckerd students will reap the benefits of special classroom and travel opportunities—like humanitarian trips to Malawi and Ethiopia—many of the offerings associated with The Plight & Promise of Africa are geared to the broader Tampa Bay community. January highlights include the photo exhibition, Congo/Women, featuring images of the war-torn country by noted photographers


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