“Carousel No. 2” is ready to roll. An interactive photography event, it will take place Wednesday on the other side of Tampa Bay, at Studio@620 in St. Petersburg. The first in the Carousel series was shown to a good-sized crowd in Ybor City in January. If this one is anything like the first, it will be worth crossing the bridge to see it. “We're excited to bring it over to St. Pete,” said Mitzi Gordon, who along with Todd Bates is responsible for putting on the event. “It's meant to reflect all bay area artists and to bridge the gap between Tampa and St. Pete.” Whichever side of the bay it's on, it's an event that puts an old-fashioned spin on modern photography. During the one-night happening, bay area photographers each present a three-to-five-minute slideshow of their work. That's the old-fashioned part. I mean, slides? Really?
“There's an element of nostalgia to the concept of a slideshow,” Gordon said. “It speaks to the idea of the experience – the family sitting around sharing these momentary images.” The remainder of the presentations has a modern edge – the narration, music, and/or performance art that accompany the slides, and the subjects and camera angles, and other up-to-date techniques, including digital presentation of some of the slides. Interaction with the audience is also a key component. “The artists stand up in front of the audience and either talk about the slides or offer music or other forms of narration,” Gordon said. “It's intended to be a forum, so we want to allow the audience to interact with the presenters, both during the presentation and at the “talk back” afterward.” Among the eight presenting photographers this year are Brian Blanco, Eric Larson, Melissa Lyttle, Matt May, Herb Snitzer and Joe Walles. But there will be more by show time. Lyttle, who calls herself “a Floridian through and through” – born in Tampa, raised in Jacksonville and graduated from the University of Florida – says her slide show will be about people in her community. “It's definitely going to be children-based, because that's my mission. That's where my heart lies,” the artist said in a telephone interview. “They're the ultimate ones who need us to speak up for them, and I try to do that with my camera.” Then there's the one-and-only Snitzer, a renowned photojournalist who describes himself as a “white, Jewish guy” and is known for his photos of black jazz musicians of his era. Snitzer has caught his subjects performing on stage as well as relaxing in unguarded moments, moments which turn his star- subjects into real humans. “He's had a really long and notable career, and we're very excited to have him participate,” said Gordon, who expects to hold a Carousel event two or three times each year, Doors open for this year's slideshows at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Studio@620, 620 First Ave. S. in St. Pete. Call the studio at (727) 895-6200 or visit www.studio620.org. Learn more about the series at www.carouselshow.com. Campus art exhibit offers variety Gallery 221 on the Dale Mabry Campus of Hillsborough Community College presents “Various Specifics – Works by Morean Mixed Media Class,” through June 27. The group show presents just what the title describes – variety. Local artist Betsy Orbe Lester and eight of her students at the Morean present about 35 works of art in a mix of mediums and styles. In hanging the works, gallery Director Kathy Gibson did not focus on the artist. “I decided to incorporate their works into an overall whole,” she explained. “This proved to be more challenging – and more fun – because the painting styles, subjects and interpretations were all so different.” So she laid all the pieces on the floor and began moving them around and putting them into different combinations. “I discovered several unexpected relationships between the pieces,” Gibson said. “Some will be obvious, some more esoteric.” See the show through June 27 at Gallery 221, located on the HCC Dale Mabry Campus, 4001 W. Tampa Bay Blvd. Go to www.hccfl.edu/gallery221 for information.
Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org