If you're looking for artistic inspiration this weekend, two art/photography show openings help broaden your horizons in dazzling and imaginative ways. Friday night, attend the opening of USF Centre Gallery's Duality, in which photographer Zornitza Natcheva captures the struggle between internal desires and external expectations. The solo exhibition features a series of digital photographs printed on photographic watercolor paper. Opening reception Friday at 6 p.m. Nov. 19-24. Phyllis P. Marshall Center, USF-Tampa, 4202 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. 813-974-5464. In St. Petersburg on Saturday evening, Utility and Beauty joins the two often disparate concepts together with works by Mernet Larsen, Ingrid Bathe, Patricia Sannit, Joseph Pintz and Christian S. Tonsgard. Nov. 20-Dec. 31. , 124 Second Ave NE, St. Petersburg. 727-502-0852. Pictured: Spoons by Ingrid Bath.
Tampa Bay fashions for the holiday season will be on display at the third annual Chillounge Night outdoor benefit at Straub Park in downtown St. Pete from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Event features a pre-show from Urban Body before the main show by Saks Fifth Avenue. The event also features entertainment, a cash bar, food and fireworks, with proceeds going to the Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American History Museum and the Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center. $20 in advance, $25 at the door and $80 for VIP. For more information, visit stpetersburg.chilloungenight.com. Straub Park is at Beach Drive and Fifth Avenue N.E., St. Petersburg. 727-893-7494.
The Tampa Independent Business Alliance (TIBA) invites everyone to unchain by doing all shopping, dining out and recreating with locally owned independents, adding millions of dollars to the local economy while joining in the seventh annual observance of America Unchained. The Saturday before Thanksgiving is intentionally chosen to remind everyone of the impact of their spending choices, before the onslaught of slick advertising from national chains on Black Friday. Shopapalooza, presented by LocalShops1.com, promotes local small business growth and the shopping experience for bay area consumers. Their event 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. takes place at BayWalk, St. Petersburg; co-sponsored by the city of St. Petersburg. Features entertainment for children, prizes, sales of unique homemade gifts and services. At BayWalk Plaza, 189 Second Ave. N., St. Petersburg.
Rock star of the food world and salt-and-pepper sex symbol Anthony Bourdain appears live in the sizzling flesh Friday to share his travel stories and silver-tongued smart-assery and answer some questions from his fans. The globe-trekiking star of the Travel channels Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations has one of the most enviable gigs: Each week he visits big-city bistros, rustic rural outposts and far-flung mud huts to discover traditional and bizarre dishes, all the while serving up tasty turns of phrase with self-deprecating humor. Hes also the author of bestseller Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and recently penned Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, which includes ample servings of Bourdains savory sass. Autographed copies will be available for at the event, courtesy of Inkwood Books. 8 p.m. Fri., Nov. 19, at the Mahaffey Theater, 400 First St. S., St. Petersburg. $40-$125. For information, call 727-892-5798 or visit mahaffeytheater.com.
The Bricks of Ybor City and Kick Start My Art roll out a big art party in celebration of the Skatepark of Tampa's 18th annual Tampa Am Contest. Not Playing With A Full Deck features works created on broken and recycled skateboards by more than 40 local and national artists (pictured here is a broken skate deck art piece by local artist Michelle Saywer.) Artists are creating ingenious designs with the skateboard remains like R.J. Runas' skull and crossbones made from a deck and broken guitar. The Bricks is the brainchild of Skate Park of Tampa owner Brian Schaefer. Its menu offers drinks and light fare as well as a signature list of PB & J toppers. Kick Start My Art curates this event, and like the group's previous events, Gifts for Glitter and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, Not Playing With a Full Deck is free to attend and features food and drink specials, as well as a DJ. 9 p.m. Fri., Nov. 19, at The Bricks of Ybor, 1327 E. Seventh Ave. Free. Call 813-247-1785 for more info or go to thebricksybor.com.Brad Tilbe
Bring out your inner wizard and let your magic loose as MOSI re-creates Hogwarts to celebrate the opening of Harry Potter at the IMAX dome Theatre. Harry Potter Experience at MOSI, you can learn about stars, constellations and mythical tales in astronomy class and you can assist in the transfiguration lecture at the risk of being turned into a frog. Learn the science behind the magic by using alchemy to start fire and levitate objects with electricity in the Science Works theater show. You can also learn spells and mix potions at the Potion Shop cart and look the part of a seasoned spell-caster by getting your bruises and scars at the Borgin & Burkes Creepy Shop cart. You can not only see the movie, but live it until Jan. 2. Call 813-987-6000 to purchase your tickets. Nov. 19-Dec. 31. Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI), 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa. 813-987-6300. mosi.org.—Jill Case
Barbecue cooks from all over the Southeast compete at the Eighth Annual Plant City Pig Jam. The State barbecue championship takes over the Randy L. Larson Softball Four-Plex, 1500 S. Park Road, Plant City, on Saturday, and features a childrens play area and live telecasts of all football games in the beer tent. The Jason Young Band performs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., followed by the Candy Greene Band from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sample some of the countrys best barbecue ribs, pork, brisket and chicken. In addition to the good eats, there will be a rock- climbing wall, moon walk and other activities, and Sno-Cones, cookies, beer and other refreshments. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free, and parking is $5 per vehicle. For information, call 813-754-3707.
Nine bands comprising students of the Patel Conservatory's Rock School perform this Saturday in the Rock School Blowout, taught by esteemed musician and instructor Lee Ahlin, perform at the Riverwalk out in front of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts on Ashley Drive in downtown Tampa. Sat., Nov. 20, 1 p.m. Free. patelconservatory.org.
Did you miss the Ybor Jazz Festival or simply didn't get enough of it? The Tampa Jazz Club and Hillsborough Community College present the Ybor City Jazz Festival Encore Concert with headliners Larry Coryell and Kenny Drew Jr. 3 p.m. at the Mainstage Theater of the HCC Performing Arts Building, Ybor City. Coryell's career spans four decades and more than 75 albums as a leader, soloist and accompanist. He's an important part of the history of jazz guitar — when Les Paul subbed out of his regular engagement during his final illness, it was often Coryell who filled in. The virtuoso guitarist is joined by accomplished pianist Kenny Drew Jr. Tickets are available in advance online or at the door (cash or check only). Sun., Nov. 21, 3 p.m. HCC-Ybor Mainstage Theater, Performing Arts Building, 14th Street and Palm Avenue, Ybor City. tampajazzclub.com.
The 12th annual Ybor City Heritage & Cigar Festival gets a-puffin this weekend with the fundraising kickoff party Fire It Up at the Ybor City Museum Garden Friday nigh. See details at oursmokinevents.com. On Sat., Nov. 20, the annual outdoor festival this year at Centennial Park offers traditional foods, sports zone, kid's zone, antique car display, a beer and wine garden and an outdoor cigar exhibit. Attendees can sample some of the world's finest cigars brands include Arturo Fuente, Cuesta Rey, Rocky Patel, Los Blancos, Camacho and 601 plus, see an on-site broadcast of the Cigar Dave Show or catch live entertainment by Hot Sun Quartet. The fest also marks the finale of the "Cigars for Soldiers" project, a cigar-donation drive for military personnel in Afghanistan. While youre there, schedule a tour of the Ybor City Museum State Park. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat., Nov. 20, Eighth Avenue, between? Angel Oliva and 19th streets, Ybor City. $5, free for children 12 and younger. For information, call 813-220-1474 or visit cigarheritagefestival.com.
Heres one of those beachy things to do thats ideal for out-of-town visitors and staycationers alike.
The annual Sanding Ovations is an awe-inspiring, high-caliber competition of sand sculpture that takes place all weekend long on Treasure Island Beach. The contest and music festival takes place behind the Bilmar Beach Resort, and the lineup of sculptors includes Dan Doubleday, two-time World Champion and the 2009 Sanding Ovations winner, among other past winners. Artists compete for up $10,000-plus in awards presented at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, followed by fireworks after dusk. On Sunday, WMNFs Pete Gallagher hosts the Florida Music Jam, a five-hour showcase featuring local musicians, and Sloppy Joes serves up a jazz brunch buffet 10 a.m. to noon. Local bands include Second Nature, Tomkats Jazz Orchestra, Sunza Beaches, Upfront, The Rocket Man Show starring Rus Anderson as Elton John, and bluesman Sarasota Slim. Fri., Nov. 18-Sun., Nov. 21. Free. Parking on the beach is available at 112th Avenue and Gulf Boulevard for $10. For schedule, visit mytreasureisland.org/sandingovations2010.htm.
Also, in brief ...
Thu.-Sun: Christmas Stopping Gorilla Theater makes mincemeat of the holiday season with the premiere of this dysfunctional comedy by James Rayfield. 8 p.m. Show runs through Dec. 12. $10-$20. 4419 Hubert Ave., Tampa. 813-879-2914. gorillatheatre.com.
Fri., Nov. 19: Fuzión at Dali The Sarasota-Bradenton contemporary dance company presents a series of vignettes inspired by the Dalí, Dance and Beyond exhibit. 7-9 p.m. $10, $15. 1000 Third St. S., St. Petersburg. 727-823-3767. salvadordalimuseum.org.
Sat., Nov. 20: Diana Ross The sugar-voiced superstar of yesteryear makes a live comeback, but youre going to have to pay a pretty penny to see Ms. Supreme live at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. Nosebleeds start at $63. 8 p.m. 727-791-7400, rutheckerdhall.com.
Sat. and Sun.: CraftArt Show Florida Craftsmen Gallery puts on a weekend-long, outdoor event featuring some 135 artisans. The juried sale and exhibition takes place on the corner of Fifth Street and Central Avenue in downtown St. Pete. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. floridacraftsmen.net.