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Art show had humble start

By AMY ABBOTT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published March 1, 2002

Gasparilla Festival of the Arts

When several paintings depicting nudes were removed from an art exhibit at the 1969 Florida State Fair in downtown Tampa, artists longed for greener pastures.

They were happy with the fact the show brought art to many people who wouldn't otherwise step foot in a gallery.

But what would the new venue be?

Business people and the art community got together, and the result was the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, now based in Curtis Hixon Park on the Hillsborough River. Its success earned it the nickname "The Little Art Show That Could." In 1973, the show's melding of business and art won the First Annual Governor's Award for the Arts.

When Pierre Apraxine, then assistant curator of painting and sculpture at New York's Museum of Modern Art, was invited to be a juror for the first show, word spread throughout the art world. Since, many other esteemed jurors have come -- among them, art historian Barbara Rose and William J. Cowart, curator of 20th century art at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

This year, more than 300 painters, artisans, photographers, sculptors, jewelers and musicians will descend on Curtis Hixon Park for the weekend.


9 a.m.-6 p.m., Community Arts Program.

10 a.m.-10:50 a.m., Dunedin High School Band.

11-11:50 a.m., Brucie Klay Dance.

1:30-3:30 p.m., Pooka. Irish folk band playing handle mandolin, guitar, Irish bouzouki, tenor banjo, fiddle, whistle, Irish flute and bodhran.

4-6 p.m., Veronica Ortega, debuting her three-octave vocals at Carnegie Hall at the age of 19. Ortega makes an appearance in Tampa during her national tour.


10 a.m.-5 p.m., Community Arts Program.

11 a.m.-1 p.m., Stratosphere with Mark Zauss. Lively jazz band featuring Zauss' high notes on his trumpet.

1:30-3:30 p.m., Biscuit Boys. high-energy bluegrass band with a devout following from their focus on pleasing the crowds.

4 p.m.-5 p.m., USF Jazz Ensemble.

Call 876-1747.


1 -- TODAY

WWF Live, "Road to Wrestlemania." It's been known to make grandmothers paint their faces and scream obscenities. No, this isn't your first KISS concert, this is WWF wrestling. Check out Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, The Undertaker and more on their first trip back to USF in three years. 7:30 p.m., $20, $30, $40. USF Sun Dome, 4202 E Fowler Ave. Call 287-8844.

Pieniak/Pozniak exhibit opening. Ron Pieniak is a local fave in the art scene. His modernistic and geometric works are derived from his surroundings and his background of music, painting and photography. Janusz Pozniak of Seattle creates vividly colored glass and other works based on media and pop culture. 6-9 p.m. Baisden Gallery, 4422 Grand Central Ave., Suite 100. Call 250-1511. Tafee Listening Concert. Carrie Hamby and Mike Jurgensen are both regulars at the Florida Folk Festival and Will McLean Music Festival but have their own styles. Carrie leans toward traditional bluegrass and folk music, playing guitar, mandolin and accordion. Mike has an ear for the contemporary side of folk and received positive reviews for his recent release The Road Away From Home. 7:30 p.m., donations. Jimmy Mac's Banquet Room, 5000 W Gandy Blvd. Call 218-3449.

Doo Wop Reunion II. Remember Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge? Hearing the song Sixteen Candles may help. See other crooners such as Jerry Butler, Kenny Vance & the Planotones, the Duprees, Emil Stucchio & the Classics and Tommy & the Saints take the stage one more time. 8 p.m. Ruth Eckerd Hall. Call (727) 791-7400.

Doc's Big Band Hit Parade: You may never see Johnny on television anymore but you can't keep the former leader of the Tonight Show Band out of the limelight. With more than 30 albums under his belt (and stints as principal pops conductor of the Phoenix Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony), he has plenty of material to work with. 8 p.m. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call 229-7892.

Frank Sargeant's Outdoor Expo. Get tips from the pros on fishing, hunting, rock climbing, kayaking and other topics. 1-9 p.m. today; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.; free on Friday; $6 adults, $5 ages 12 and under Sat.-Sun. Florida State Fairgrounds, Expo & Entertainment Halls, 4800 N U.S. 301. Call 259-7376 or 259-7953.

Hot Soup with Hot Flash. Christina Muir, Jennifer Agner and Sue Trainor of Hot Soup have a folk recipe of melody, spirited guitar, mountain dulcimer, banjo, ukulele, bass and accordion. Trainor has been named Best New Artist for Young Children by the international Children's Music Web in 1999 and was a finalist for Best New Song for Older Children in 2000. Hot Soup's adult shows tend to lean toward the satirical and edgy. Hot Flash is a local traditional folk trio. 8 p.m., $10. Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa (UU Dome), 11400 Morris Bridge Road. Call 218-3463.

Roy Lang's Traditional Jass Band. The 1920s Big Band sounds of Louis Armstrong, Lu Watters and Jelly Roll Morton are resurrected by Roy Lang and his eight-piece band. Staying true to the music and its history, even the spelling of jazz is kept in its original form. If you find your feet tapping to that sort of music but are decades too young to know how to dance to it, a group swing dance lesson will be taught from 8-9 p.m. 8 p.m., $10. Centro Asturiano, 1913 N Nebraska Ave. Call 274-4950.

Ghetto Love Sugar. Local jazz-improv faves bring their funky, worldbeat sound out of King Corona for a night on the town. 9 p.m., $5. Orpheum, 1902 Avenida Republica de Cuba. Call 248-9500.

Second Day Broadcast, Cider and Cocktail Honeys. These three power-pop groups from Tampa, St. Petersburg and Orlando prove the local music scene isn't all mumbling college groups. 9 p.m. Twilight, 1507 E Seventh Ave.

A Piece of My Heart. Based on Keith Walker's book A Piece of My Heart, this Wharton High play delves into the lives of six women who served in the Vietnam War. 7 p.m., $7, $5 children 6-12, today-March 9. Wharton High School, 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd. Call 631-4710 x 266.

Author Signing: Randy White, Last Flight Out: True Tales of Adventure, Travel and Fishing. The latest suspense novel by the local author roams from Borneo to Cuba. 7 p.m. Inkwood Books, 216 S Armenia Ave. Call 253-2638.

Ace of Rhythm: The Story of Jabbo Smith, Trumpeter and Composer. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band revives Smith's music and guest singer Vernel Bagneris reads Smith's own words about his life. 10 p.m., WUSF-FM 89.7. Call 974-8700.

Information Gateway. Learn the ins and outs of e-mail. By appointment every Friday in March. Call 273-3574.

Marvelous Multiples. Got more than you bargained for in the baby department? This class helps families expecting twins, triplets or more. 6:30-8:30 p.m., $40. University Community Hospital, 3100 E Fletcher Ave. Call 615-7537.

Baseball: Tampa Bay Devil Rays vs University of Tampa. 1:05 p.m. Florida Power Park, 230 1st St. S, St. Petersburg.

Ice Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. San Jose Sharks. 7:30 p.m., $8-$80. Ice Palace. Call 301-2500.


Book signing/art show: Ann Turner Cook. Locals might know her as an English teacher at Hillsborough High from 1966 to 1989. The world knows her as the Gerber baby whose face has appeared on every Gerber product since 1928. She will talk about her recent book Trace Their Shadows at 1 p.m. and sign copies afterward. Members of the Life Enrichment will display their artwork for browsing and purchase. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The Life Enrichment Senior Center Art Gallery, 9704 N Boulevard. Call 932-0241.

Victory at Sea benefit concert: Restoring a World War II ship isn't the most glamorous job but the fundraising part can be. Patriotic songs from the likes of George M. Cohan, Richard Rodgers and others will be performed alongside the ship American Victory by the Florida Orchestra. The Grammy-nominated Dan McMillion Jazz Orchestra will play the music of Maynard Ferguson. The American Victory was a cargo vessel during World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Restorations will make it a mariner's memorial, museum and cruising ship. 7 p.m., $30 with Victory & Vices reception afterward at the Florida Aquarium. Waterside at 705 Channelside Drive. Call 286-2403.

Animation cell-ebration. Animators from Disney and elsewhere explain the art of bringing celluloid to life. Exhibits and activities keep the tots busy all day. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. MOSI, 4801 E Fowler Ave. Call 987-6100.

Sun Coast Gun Show & Sale. Gun accessories, gun collections, gun classes, old guns, new guns, rare guns, gun parts, gun tools, gun repairs, oh, and knives will fill the fairground special events center. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat; 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun., $6 ages 13 and up. Florida State Fairgrounds, Charles M. Davis Special Events Center, 4800 N U.S. 301. Call (330) 963-6964.

Ask A Genealogist. Florida Genealogical Society volunteers answer one-on-one questions on the process of chronicling family lineage. 9 a.m.-noon. John F. Germany Public Library, 900 N Ashley Drive. Call 273-3652.

Women Who Look Ahead. Learn forward-thinking strategies to reach goals. College Hill Branch Library, 2607 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 273-3681.

Ice Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers. $8-$80. Ice Palace. Call 301-2500.

Baseball: Toronto Blue Jays at New York Yankees. First spring training game. 1:30 p.m., $10-$16. Legends Field, 3802 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 287-8844.


Sister Hazel. The single All for You skyrocketed the band to the big time. They come to USF for a free concert. 7-9 p.m. USF, Crescent Hill, 4202 E Fowler Ave. Call 974-5202.

Alan Gerber. In 1959, he was 12 and making his debut in the Chicago blues scene. Now a resident of Quebec, the piano, violin, harmonica, slide guitar and concertina player comes to Florida. Read: It's cold in Quebec right now. 3 p.m., $10. Unitarian Universalist Church of Tampa, 11400 Morris Bridge Road. Call 218-3463.


Strawberry Festival Continues. This is the last week.


  • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Oak Ridge Boys, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.


  • 4:30 p.m and 7:30 p.m., Lee Ann Womack, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.


  • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Wayne Newton, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.


  • Noon-1 p.m., "Boots" Randolph Group, Stadium.
  • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Glen Campbell, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.


  • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Brad Paisley, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.


  • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Tracy Lawrence, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.


  • 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Vince Gill, Chrysler Sound Stage, Stadium.

* * *

Claire Farago. Broaden your art horizons at this seminar. Dr. Claire Farago looks into the identity, ethics and new ideas in the art world and how to reconceptualize art in America. 7 p.m. USF, Marshall Center Ballroom, 4202 E Fowler Ave. Call 974-7595.

The Heart of Bordeaux: The Reds of Medoc. Swish around some Cab Sav from the left bank of the Gironde River. Gulp if you like it. 6:30 p.m., $25. SideBern's, 2208 W Morrison Ave. Call 250-9463.

Tai Chi. If you have never done it or have been doing it for years, there's a level designedfor you. Beginning, intermediate and advanced classes. 9 a.m.-noon. Life Enrichment Center, 9704 N Boulevard. Call 932-0241.

Kids Computer Camp. Introduction on how to use search engines, help with homework and e-mail. 4 p.m. College Hill Branch Library, 2607 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Registration required. Call 273-3681.

Crocheting with Nellie Smith. 3-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. Ybor City Branch Library, 1505 Nebraska Ave. 272-5747.

Baseball: Minnesota Twins at New York Yankees. 1:30 p.m., $10-$16. Legends Field, 3802 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Call 287-8844.


BONK Festival of New Music. Since 1992, avant garde composers and performers from around the nation have converged on the bay area to make their brand of music, even if it displeases people. The scene is charged and many times weird but there is always a method and metre to the apparent madness. 8 p.m., $5-$7. Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 823-3767.

  • Wednesday: Friday Morning Musicale, 809 Horatio St., Tampa. Call 251-1990.
  • Thursday: University of South Florida, Theater I, 4202 Fowler Ave. Call 974-2323.
  • March 8: Friday Morning Musicale, 809 Horatio St., Tampa. Call 251-1990.
  • March 9: The Harbor Club, 915 Grant St. Call 935-0581.

Beauty and the Beast. The nine-time Tony award-nominated musical has been wowing audiences since 1994. Tuesday-March 17. 7:30 p.m. Tues.-Thur.; 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 2 p.m. Sat.; 1 p.m., 6:30 p.m. Sun. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Carol Morsani Hall. Call 229-7892.

Dancing Wheels. Dancers with and without disabilities take movement and make it art in this full-length repertory concert. 7:30 p.m. $19.50, $24.50, $29.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call 229-7892. Wesley Willis, Grand Buffet & Special Guests. Willis was a schizophrenic street singer discovered in the early '90s. Suddenly, after gaining the attention of Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam, people wanted to hear him sing about everyday items like mullets, Dobermans and piggy banks in grotesque ways. You'll feel like a rubber-necker driving by an accident watching him perform. 9 p.m., $7. Orpheum, 1902 Republica de Cuba. Call 248-9500.

Doug Stanhope. Rude, crude and totally true. In a good way of course. That's what got this likable guy on Comedy Central and Louie Anderson's Comedy Showcase. Side Splitters, 12938 N Dale Mabry Highway. Call 960-1197.

Sammy Kaye Orchestra. Band leader Roger Thorpe pays tribute to the Big Band sound of the Sammy Kaye Orchestra that dominated the airwaves during the 1930s with songs such as Daddy, It Isn't Fair and Chickery Chick. 1 p.m., $10-$15. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Call (727) 791-7400.

Walk for Life. New walking class to get your heart pumping and feet thumping. 9-10 a.m. Life Enrichment Center, 9704 N Boulevard. call 932-0241.

Contemporary Issues in United States Politics. Alan Keyes, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Social and Economic Council, speaks about current political issues. 7 p.m. USF, Cooper Hall 103, 4202 E Fowler Ave. Call 974-4373.

Toddler Time/Story Time. Two- and 3-year-olds and their caregivers engage in stories, finger plays and songs. 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Jan Kaminis Platt Regional Library, 3910 S Manhattan Ave. Call 272-6000. 10 a.m. Port Tampa City Library, 4902 Commerce St. Call 301-7001.

Powerful Online Resources. Not your daddy's Dewey Decimal System. Learn the library's electronic catalog, information gateway, Suncoast Free-Net and internet home page. 7 p.m. Limit 10 on first-come, first-served basis. Seminole Heights Branch Library, 4711 Central Ave. Call 273-3669.

Baseball: Texas Rangers at New York Yankees. 1:30 p.m., $10-$16. Legends Field, 3802 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. Call 287-8844.

Baseball: UT v. Dowling (NY). 7 p.m., $5 adults, $3 seniors and students. UT, Sam Bailey Field, 401 W Kennedy Blvd. Call 253-3333.


Northern Lights. The Northern lights are unpredictable, beautiful and always changing. Expounding on these qualities, author and actress Monica Bishop Steele tells the story of her girlhood in Minnesota using music, costuming and props. Wednesday-March 10, $15.50-$21.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Shimberg Playhouse. Call (813) 229-7892.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This world-renowned dance company promotes black culture and American modern dance. 8 p.m.; $30, $35, $37. Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen-Booth Road, Clearwater. Call (727) 791-7400.

Super Scientific Circus. Witness examples of inertia, friction and centrifugal force and learn to throw a boomerang. 10:30 a.m., $4.50. Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call (813) 229-7892.

Hand Drumming. If you wanted to retire and bang on the drum all day, you can learn how to do just that in this adult drumming class. 7-8 p.m., $40. Life Enrichment Center, 9704 N Boulevard. Call 932-0241.

Goodwill Centennial Exhibit. Founded in 1902, Goodwill is one the largest career services providers for people with disabilities and disadvantages. The company brings a traveling exhibit to Tampa to explain its vision and history. WestShore Plaza. call (727) 523-1512, ext. 313.

Introduction to Computers. Learn Windows navigation. Registration required. 6 p.m. College Hill Branch Library, 2607 E Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 273-3681.

Let Papa Sleep. The Rabbit family deals with hyper twin boy rabbits that keep waking their father in this children's puppet show. 10 a.m. John F. Germany Public Library, 900 N Ashley Drive. Call 273-3652.

Ice Hockey: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Edmonton Oilers. 7:30 p.m., $8-$80. Ice Palace. Call 301-2500.


The Dali Adventure. Many people wonder what was ticking in Salvador Dali's head to create the art he did. In this 1991 documentary, A. Reynolds and Eleanor R. Morse, benefactors of the museum, explain what they knew of their friend of 40 years. Other friends and collectors offer photos, interviews and anecdotes. 6 p.m., free with museum admission. Salvador Dali Museum, Raymond James Community Room, 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg. Call (727) 823-3767.

Baseball: Tampa Bay Devil Rays at New York Yankees. 1:30 p.m., $10-$16. Legends Field, 3802 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Call 287-8844.


Tony Bennett: March 8, Ruth Eckerd Hall. Call (727) 791-7400.

Louie Anderson: March 8&9, Improv. Call 864-4000.

Florida Orchestra: Brahms, Bach & More: March 8, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. Call 229-7892.

Time Flies: 20 Years of the Dali Museum: March 8, Salvador Dali Museum. Call (727) 823-3767.

San Jose Taiko: March 8, Mahaffey Theater. Call 1-800-874-9015.

Billy Joel and Elton John: March 9, Ice Palace. Call 301-2500.

KC and the Sunshine Band with the Village People: March 9, Ruth Eckerd Hall. Call (727) 791-7400.

Bay Area Renaissance Festival. March 9-11, 23-24, 30-31. Largo. 1-800-779-4910.


Natalie Merchant: March 12, Mahaffey Theatre.

Harlem Globetrotters: March 12, Ice Palace.

Target Stars on Ice: March 15, Ice Palace.

Hot Flashes, Power Surges and Private Summers: March 15, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Florida Orchestra: Made in America: March 16, Coliseum Ballroom.

The Odd Couple: The Female Version: March 16, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Aaron Carter: March 16, Lakeland Center.

Nelly Furtado: March 19, Jannus Landing.

Tommy Tune and Manhattan Rhythm Kings: March 20, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Santana: March 21, Ice Palace.

Engelbert Humperdinck: March 21-22, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Tibetan Book of the Dead: March 21, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Earth/Rhythms Ethos Percussion Group with Glen Velez: March 22, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Joan Baez: March 23, Tampa Theatre.

Take 6: March 23, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Earth, Wind and Fire: March 24, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Bill Cosby: March 30, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Pat Metheny Group: April 4, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Rigoletto: April 5, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Gary Puckett: April 5, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Carrot Top: April 6, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Art: April 11, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Not the End of the Story: April 11-28, Gorilla Theatre.

Ragtime: April 12-14, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young: April 14, Ice Palace.

Young King Arthur: April 14, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Barry Manilow: April 16, Ruth Eckerd Hall.

Tap Kids: April 21, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Son of O'Donnelloques: May 3, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Nine Months: May 10, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.

Side Man: May 23-June 9, Gorilla Theatre.

-- Want to send out an RSVP to the Tampa area? Fax press releases at least 10 days before publication to Amy Abbott at 226-3381, or mail to 1000 N Ashley Drive, Suite 700, Tampa, FL 33602. Amy's phone number is 226-3374 and her e-mail is

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