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Sunday, May 27, 2018
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Hammer: Visions of Florida on display at Nuance Galleries in South Tampa

The fall season of art opens with two quality exhibits.

Nuance Galleries in South Tampa presents an exhibit of new works by 17 artists who live and work in Florida.

Opening Wednesday and continuing through Oct. 12, the show’s works depict tropical scenes and more in a wide range of styles.

“It’s such a smorgasbord of art,” said gallery owner Robert Rowen. “The range is quite big. I love to see all the different ways the artists portray Florida. They each bring a different view to it.”

Leslie Neumann’s style is abstract and modern, he said. “You know you’re looking at a pond with cattails on it, but it’s all sort of electric on the eyes.”

Then there is David Miller, whose acrylic paintings feature a view looking through the window.

“Those paintings are very him,” Rowen said. “He loves peaceful, beautiful things and each window gives you another place to escape to in your life.”

Karen Pecora, another artist whose work appears in the show, died two years ago.

“We’re limited to what paintings are left,” Rowen said. “She was very popular – she made everything feel so lush. As we show her paintings, we know that they’re not replaceable.”

Other artists in the exhibit are Stacy Barter, Gustavo Castillo, Taylor Ikin, Carrie Jadus, Carmen Lagos, Don Maitz, Carol McArdle, Joseph Melancon, Peter Pettegrew, Maria Saraceno, Don Silvestri, Dorothy Starbuck, Laura Waller and Janny Wurts.

The Nuance Gallery in St. Pete hosted the same exhibit a few months back and it was popular with the public, Rowen said. He hopes the same will be true in Tampa.

There will be no opening reception. Go to www.nuancegalleries.com or call (813) 875-0511 for hours and information.

Labauvie drawings, sculptures

Another season-opening exhibit is “Wire, Paper, Steel,” at Gallery 221 on the Hillsborough Community College’s Dale Mabry Campus. The exhibit features drawings and sculptures by Tampa artist Dominique Labauvie.

The focus of the show is “Flying Buttress,” a large creation made out of Carnegie Steel acquired during the Columbus Street Bridge renovation project in Tampa. The piece, which never before has been displayed, is a simple-looking construction that has a lot of thought behind it. Heavy, oversize pieces appear to be supported by thin wires.

“It’s a bit of an optical illusion,” said gallery director Katherine Gibson. “But you can completely engage with it. You can touch it and move under it and around it.”

Completing the exhibition in the main gallery are five large drawings, each about four feet by 10 feet, that Labauvie created specifically for the space.

Installed on the back of four moveable walls in the gallery, so as not to distract from the central piece, are 44 playful pieces that Gibson calls “Champagne wire sculptures.”

“They’re just two or three inches in size,” she said. “I think Dominique treats them almost like drawings, as a way to play with balance and scale and shape. He does them for fun, not necessarily to show.”

“It’s almost like a show within a show, she added, “because you can walk in the front of the gallery and not see the little pieces.”

Meet Labauvie and see his latest creations at a free opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the gallery during which you can hear a discussion between Labauvie and writer and artist Gregg Perkins, associate communication professor at the University of Tampa. The interview also will appear in the museum-quality catalog about the show available at the opening.

For information, visit www.hccfl.edu/gallery221 or call (813) 253-7386.

Correspondent Esther Hammer can be reached at [email protected]

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