Window on Arts & Entertainment: Jan. 12, 2023 | Diversions

Creative Pinellas presents ‘Imagine Blackness’

LARGO — “Imagine Blackness,” an exhibition by artist McArthur Freeman II and sociologist Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, will run Jan. 19 through Feb. 26 at The Gallery at Creative Pinellas, 12211 Walsingham Road, Largo.

An opening reception and artist talk will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. To RSVP, visit creativepinellas.org/event/imagine-blackness-opening-reception.

“Imagine Blackness” is a collaborative exploration of Blackness and Black representation through AI-generated images.

From a botanical paradise laden with richly hued figures to an otherworldly futuristic sci-fi cosmos, this exhibition invites viewers to engage in the act of collective dreaming as a social intervention, which moves beyond the reality of the present world to (re)-imagine and discover new ways of seeing and being. Inspired by Black speculative fiction and Afro-Futurism, the project offers viewers interactive opportunities to question, inspire, and escape by engaging the viewers’ own imaginations in the co-construction of the future and alternate worlds.

Freeman is a visual artist and designer whose work explores hybridity and the construction of identity. His works have ranged from surreal narrative paintings and drawings to digitally constructed sculptural objects and animated 3D scenes. His most recent works combine three interrelated emerging technologies: digital sculpting, 3D scanning, and 3D printing.

Freeman’s work has been published in Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art and has been exhibited nationally in both group and solo shows. Freeman earned his BFA degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Florida. He received his MFA from Cornell University, with a concentration in painting. He also holds a Master of Art and Design from North Carolina State University in animation and new media. Freeman is an associate professor of video, animation, and digital arts at the University of South Florida where he continues to use digital tools to address traditional processes as he explores hybrid ways of making and thinking about art.

Hordge-Freeman is a Tampa native and a sociologist whose work addresses ways that racism and sexism are reproduced through the experiences of Black women and families in Brazil and the United States. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and her master’s degree and Ph.D. in sociology from Duke University.

Hordge-Freeman’s first book, “The Color of Love: Racial Features, Stigma and Socialization in Black Brazilian Families,” was published in 2015 by the University of Texas Press. She also co-edited a volume, “Race and the Politics of Knowledge Production: Diaspora and Black Transnational Scholarship in the U.S. and Brazil.”

With research support from a Fulbright grant among others, Hordge-Freeman recently published a new book, “Second-Class Daughters: Black Brazilian Women and Informal Adoption as Modern Slavery.”

Hordge-Freeman is associate professor of sociology and interim associate vice provost for faculty recruitment, retention and engagement at the University of South Florida.

For more information about Creative Pinellas, its programs and activities, visit creativepinellas.org.

Public art walk set

CLEARWATER — The Downtown Clearwater Art Walk is offered third Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. The next walks will take place on Saturday, Jan. 21. Participants meet their guide at the Ring Canopy Sculpture in front of the Old City Hall at 112 S. Osceola Ave. Free parking is available in the Old City Hall parking lot. The docent-led walk covers the Cleveland Street corridor and nearby areas.

Attendees will stroll through downtown Clearwater while learning about the city’s vibrant public art scene. During the hour long walk, participants will see at least 20 art installations including sculptures, murals, art wrapped signal boxes, pavement art and storm drain murals.

Tours are organized by the Clearwater Arts Alliance.

Tickets are for the Downtown Clearwater Art Walk are $10 in advance or $15 the day of the tour. To register, visit www.eventbrite.com. For information about the organization, visit www.clearwaterartsalliance.org or email info@clearwaterartsalliance.org.

Beach Art Center sets “Reflections” exhibit

INDIAN ROCKS BEACH — A reception for the “Reflections” exhibit will take place Friday, Jan. 13, 6 to 8 p.m., at Beach Art Center, 1515 Bay Palm Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach.

A show and exhibit will feature multimedia works by local artists and a special display of the work of Charlotte Di Gennaro, an instructor who is retiring after three decades of teaching at the center. The exhibit will run through Feb. 10.

For information, call 727-596-4331 or visit www.beachartcenter.org.

Syd Entel to showcase art of Maya Eventov

SAFETY HARBOR — The work of palette knife painter Maya Eventov will be exhibited Feb. 11 through March 18 at Syd Entel Galleries and Susan Benjamin Glass, 247 Main Street, Safety Harbor.

An artist reception will take place Saturday, Feb. 11, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Eventov’s uniquely sculpted, textural acrylic canvases are instantly recognizable. She employs a palette knife technique. The paint rises from the canvas like a sculpture creating a window to her vision.

Eventov grew up in Leningrad in the former Soviet Union. Living in St. Petersburg, as it is now known, she was introduced at a young age to the great artistic treasures of the city. Countless hours were spent at the magnificent Hermitage Museum studying the works of great masters.

She graduated in 1987 with a master’s degree in graphic design. She next began working as an illustrator for children’s books. Eventov took advantage of the fall of the Iron Curtain by travelling. In the 1990s she immigrated to Canada where she found an immediate appreciation for her artwork and quickly became involved in the local art scene.

Eventov is now represented in galleries throughout Great Britain, Canada and the United States.

For information, visit sydentelgalleries.com.

‘Three Little Pigs’ comes to Central Park

LARGO — As part of the Children’s & Family series, “The Three Little Pigs” will be presented Saturday, Jan. 14, 11 a.m., at the Central Park Performing Arts Center, 105 Central Park Drive, Largo.

Tickets start at $8.50 plus service fee. Visit LargoArts.com or call 727-587-6793.

This original musical explores the flaws of human nature through the eyes of a family of stubborn pigs and one very famous wolf. The story begins when Papa Pig informs his children that they must leave the comforts of the pen and make their own way in the world. Before they go, Papa offers some important advice. Left with only Papa’s words and one cabbage between them, the greedy pigs immediately begin to argue over the food and how to build the best house. Sibling rivalry takes over and they hastily part ways.

Alone in the woods their weaknesses become evident as the Big Bad “Rapping” Wolf lays siege to their new homes.

Mainsail Lodging offers bluegrass concerts

Mainsail Lodging & Development recently announced the 2023 Bluegrass with Nitrograss concert tour with shows at four of its award-winning hotels in Georgia and Florida.

The tour will include two shows in the Tampa Bay area, including one on Monday, Jan. 16, 4-6 p.m., at the Edge Rooftop Cocktail Lounge atop the Epicurean Hotel in Tampa, and one on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 5-7 p.m., on the front lawn at the Fenway Hotel in Dunedin.

Information on tour dates, tickets, special hotel room packages and more can be found at MainsailConcerts.com.

Nitrograss is an acoustic bluegrass group from Highlands, North Carolina.

“From Macon to Fort Myers, we like to treat our hotel guests and neighbors to each community’s vibrant local music scene, whether that’s on a rooftop, waterfront lawn, or riverfront amphitheater,” said Joe Collier, President and Founder of Mainsail Lodging & Development. “I’ve been trying for years to create a stage for bluegrass at Mainsail with my own banjo playing and decided it was time to bring in the big guns with Nitrograss.”

Consisting of members Charles Wood, Darren Nicholson and Colby Laney, Nitrograss is known for its sonically unique and visually appealing acoustic performances. The percussive banjo of two-time national champion Charles Wood lays the foundation for the band’s unique style. Merging Scruggs-style banjo with rhythmic motifs reminiscent of ZZ Top and the Allman Brothers, Woods’ playing is melodic in its sensibility with driving syncopation.

Market at Water Street to debut

TAMPA — The Market at Water Street Tampa is set to debut Sunday, Jan. 15, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., bringing 50 local vendors and artisans as well as live entertainment and public art to Water Street, between Channelside Drive and E. Cumberland Avenue.

This new monthly market, presented on third Sundays, offers a diverse mix of vendors, artisans and farmers, complemented by live entertainment and public art. January’s market will celebrate the Lunar New Year with a Lion Dance at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. in Raybon Plaza.

Vendors include local farmers like Green Leaf Farms, Riverbend Cattle Company and The Honey Couple, and artisans such as Sweet Harvest Farms, Tampa Bae Macrame and Bowtism. Water Street Tampa will collaborate with Tampa Bay Markets to select the vendors for the series.

For information, visit www.waterstreettampa.com/events.

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