Babs Reingold in her studio, at work on “The Last Tree” installation. Photo by Paul Lacy.

dR Daily 8/17: Friend of a Friend: Akiko Kotani & Babs Reingold

Each month in Creative Pinellas’s Friend of a Friend series, an artist interviews another artist in Pinellas County who’s been an inspiration to them. Akiko Kotani was the subject when the series kicked off in July, and tonight from 7-8 p.m. at facebook.com/creativepinellas, she welcomes her friend and colleague, Babs Reingold, for a live conversation.

Kotani is an internationally known fiber artist based in Gulfport whose notable works include Waterfalls at Millford Valley, a large-scale installation created by crocheting plastic strips into enormous flowing white forms that was inspired by the artist’s memories of waterfalls in New Zealand. It made quite a splash (albeit a silent one) last year in an exhibition at Creative Pinellas, where she was the 2019 Artist Laureate.

Akiko Kotani and “Waterfalls…”

Venezuela-born American artist Babs Reingold creates sculptures, drawings and installations focusing on the environment, poverty and beauty. Based in St. Petersburg, she has incorporated such diverse materials as silk organza, glass, stones and human hair into her artworks and has shown in gallery and museum shows in New York, Newark and Tampa Bay.

Both artists, as it happens, have works currently on display at the Tampa International Airport. Their art is unique, yet the parallels and intersections in their practice and their careers should make for an illuminating conversation.

Full disclosure: I’m a board member of Creative Pinellas and know and like both Akiko and Babs (but that’s how I know it’ll be fun to listen in).