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Art

All downtown is a gallery

Art lovers can do St. Petersburg's monthly art walk and see the third floor of the Pier turned into a temporary gallery.

By LENNIE BENNETT
Published June 12, 2003

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[Images courtesy of Sola Creo]
Adriana Gonzalez, untitled, photographic collage
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Colette Eddy, untitled, photograph.


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Frank Strunk III, Toil, kinetic mixed media.

ST. PETERSBURG - No excuse for art lovers to be bored this weekend. Venture to downtown St. Petersburg for something familiar, the monthly Downtown Art Association Gallery Walk on Saturday, and something new, Sola Creo, a three-day multimedia art event at the Pier.

The gallery walk, long a favorite with arts watchers and collectors, is from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday. This month it's enhanced by participation from nearby BayWalk in support of St. Pete Pride, a nonprofit group that organizes the St. Pete Pride Festival later this month, a celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities.

Begin at BayWalk, 153 Second Ave. N, and pick up a packet of discount coupons for BayWalk merchants plus a guide to silent auction items at many galleries in the walk. Hop a free trolley that will loop around the arts district at regular intervals. Most galleries have new exhibitions, and many will offer silent auction items on which you may bid to benefit St. Pete Pride. Stop in at True Expressions, 554 Fifth Ave. N for a reception and photography exhibition. Then head back to BayWalk for live entertainment in the courtyard. Silent auction items from 14 galleries include framed prints and posters, jewelry, decorative objects and paintings.

Sola Creo is something entirely new and an adventurous alternative to much of the art we're used to seeing. It's based on Gala Corina, a free annual event in Tampa started in 1999 by a group of architects and artists, combining installation and performance art, music and some traditional media all packed into a temporary urban space that changes each year. It's like a big gallery opening that goes away the next day, and last year Gala Corina drew several thousand people.

Sola Creo organizers, some of whom are also part of Gala Corina, are taking over the third floor of the Pier, putting up panels of translucent fabric as backdrops for photographs, paintings, sculpture, videos, performance art and architectural installations.

It's free, with a suggested donation of $1 but, unlike Gala Corina, will stretch over three days. The Friday opening, from 6 p.m. to midnight, includes live bands and food and drinks donated by Pier restaurants. The gallery will be open 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, with live music and free refreshments beginning at 6 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Among the approximately 40 artists participating are Dragoslav Milic, Thomas Murray, Frank Strunk III, Cindy Arriola (P$ynner), Jason Jensen, Kenny Jensen, Jack Lebowitz, Yudit Nage, Terry Pepitone, Mike Calvino, Erin Dougherty, Adriana Gonzalez, Joel Cocker, Scott Fisher, Kevin Kuenzel, John Langley, Mindbomb, Cormac Phelan, Alex Bothos and Steve Lister. Bands performing are Shotgun Wedding, We Have Agents, Destination Out, Sabe and Loud Zoo.

This is a chance to see experimental and contemporary art by artists working mostly outside the commercial mainstream. And pretty cool for a hot summer day or night.

Preview

Downtown Art Association Gallery Walk with BayWalk and St. Pete Pride is 5:30-9:30 p.m. Saturday. See list for participating galleries. That night, BayWalk (153 Second Ave. N, St. Petersburg) will offer discount coupons to participants and free trolleys will run between BayWalk and the arts district. A silent auction at most of the galleries benefits St. Pete Pride, with a special photography exhibit and reception at True Expressions, 554 Fifth Ave. N. Free admission. (727) 821-6767.

Sola Creo at the Pier, 800 Second Ave. NE, St. Petersburg, is a multimedia art and architecture exhibition. Opening night party, 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, includes live music and free refreshments from Pier restaurants. Exhibition continues 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday, with live music and refreshments beginning at 6 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Free, with suggested donation $1. 727 821-6443 or www.stpetepier.com

[Last modified June 11, 2003, 10:38:37]


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