St. Petersburg Times: Weekend

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Art, it's what's for lunch

The Tampa Museum gives you food for thought come lunchtime today.


© St. Petersburg Times, published June 7, 2001

As noontime looms in downtown, the office-dwellers wander out into the streets. Furrowed brows shadow their faces.

It's like any other day. Same question. Same time.

What to do for lunch?

If this sounds like you, look into something completely different. Have yourself some art for lunch.

That's right. The Tampa Museum of Art's "Art for Lunch" program happens the first Thursday of every month. It gives people a chance to fit a museum visit into their busy schedules and make the most of their lunch hour.

"We have people coming from all over downtown and sometimes a few tour buses will stop in," said Lani Czyzewski, public information coordinator for the museum. "It's a nice break for people on the go all the time with work and families to take care of."

The current featured exhibit is the Seattle Sampler. The work from 12 studio glass artists in Seattle was collected by Dr. Richard and Barbara Basch over a number of years.

Dr. Basch loaned the pieces for the exhibit and eventually will donate a large portion of the collection to the museum. He also conducts today's Art for Lunch lecture on how he got into collecting glass, and what to look for in glass art.

All of the vibrant sculptures are displayed in the sun-drenched part of the main gallery facing the Hillsborough River. The colors glitter in the sunlight.

Before you get to stroll around the glassed-in glasswork, you have a chance to eat your brown bag lunch and partake in the complimentary cookies and beverages. If you're particular, bring your favorite brand of bottled water. The museum doesn't cater and, after all, the cookies and juice are free.

The Seattle Sampler exhibit is on display only until June 10. The next display, also from Basch's collection, will be "Arte Contemporanea di vetri" (Contemporary Art in Glass). Many of these pieces are large and were collected from around the world. Themes range from Greek sculpture and mythological themes to work focused on asymmetry and delicacy. Techniques also vary greatly, with examples of sandblasting and laminating.

* * *

WHAT: Tampa Museum of Art's "Art of Lunch"

WHEN: Noon today (and the first Thursday of every month)

WHERE: 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa

COST: $3; free to members

CALL: (813) 274-8732


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