Weekend Top 10: Cool Art, Gallery Openings , Music, Beer, and a Cactus Moon

It’s a great week for creative partnerships, art openings, and shopping ‘til you drop – all with a little twist, including a favorite drag artist! Get out your calendar sharpies… I mean apps. It’s a Boomer thing.


From The Lyrical Moment Exhibition

Art Thursday: Concert in the Galleries
Presented by: USF Contemporary Art Museum Tampa

There is no end to the ways in which arts organizations and creators all over Tampa Bay partner and support one another. It’s especially compelling when one artform is presented to interpret another – otherwise known as “ekphrastic.”  The USF School of Music students, alumni, and faculty have partnered with USFCAM to create such an experience. The current exhibition, The Lyrical Moment, works by Helen Frankenthaler and Heather Gwen Martin, will be interpreted with performance and compositions, including the premiere of Stella Sung’s Suite Ancienne for flute, oboe, and bassoon.  July 7th, 7-9pm
Admission is Free – More info here

It Started With a Kiss Lab Theater
Project – Blackbox Theater
Ybor City

As a huge supporter of community theater, I was particularly drawn to this production because of who wrote the music and lyrics – Iconic local newsman Mike Deeson! Turns out, he is a longtime lover and composer of country music and player of banjos. One of his over 500 songs (Paradise Lost), was even Emmy-nominated. In It Started With a Kiss, he lends his “un-journalistic” talents to this locally created production set to country music. What is better than a country song to help tell the story of love….and love gone wrong.
July 7th – 24th
8pm with 3pm weekend matinees


Courtesy of chadmize.com

Rain & Thunder
Mize Gallery
Uptown, St. Pete

When not engaged in creating an ever growing number of public artworks in high profile venues, Chad Mize continues to produce and curate monthly themed exhibitions at Mize gallery. These clever shows promote dozens of local artists – increasing the odds of getting their artwork in front of buying eyes, and hopefully red dotted – all while creating a sense of community around a common theme. July’s offering, Mize’s 50th such exhibit, is Rain & Thunder, a study of inner struggle and rebirth set against a backdrop of the actual weather we experience in Florida Summer. How the artists interpret the theme directive produces the wide variety of must-see pieces that makes Mize Gallery openings a true mainstay of the Tampa Bay arts scene.
July 8th, 6-9pm
Find details here

Art After Dark
81 Bay Brewing Company – Tampa

Breweries and art – two things at the tippy top of Tampa Bay’s “known for” list. The inaugural launch of Art After Dark will begin a regular third Friday tradition to keep on your calendar. Local artists have 10,000 sq feet in the taproom to create in and collaborate in their curation. Definitely a cool concept. Live music by A Traveling Gentleman and spontaneous prose by special guest, Juan Carlos Lil: Wandering Poet with a Typewriter. Love that.
July 8th – 6pm


Courtesy of Bak Lava

Bak Lava’s Drag Docent Art Crawl
Presented by: The Factory, St. Pete

Celebrating the return of the 2nd Saturday ArtWalk trolleys, the increasingly popular art loving drag performer, Bak Lava marks the occasion with guided docent tours through the labyrinth-like space that is The Factory – home of Fairgrounds and Daddy Kool Records. Two fully immersive art crawls beginning at 7pm and 8pm (“sharp”), help you experience ArtWalk and The Factory like never before. The crawl begins in the lobby of Building 5, with trivia, a scavenger hunt, and prizes!
July 9th, 7pm & 8pm
Details & Tickets

Cactus Moon Market
Seminole Heights – Tampa

Always on the lookout for cool local markets? I call it “alternative shopping.” Anyway, this one may not be on your radar….yet. Every second Saturday evening at and around the Cactus Moon plant & gift shop, 25+ vendors offer their wares in the garden – under the stars in Fall and Winter months. Peruse vintage treasures, art, and all things mystical – including tarot readings and henna. If you get hungry after learning your future – there’s food too. 
July 9th, 5-9pm

Saturday & Sunday

Courtesy of PAVA

PAVA Cool ArtShow
The Coliseum, St. Pete

It’s the 33rd anniversary of one of the Bay area’s favorite, and PAVA’s (Professional Association of Visual Artsis) premiere event of the year. Over 64 member artists fill the historic Coliseum, near downtown, with one of the most interesting and varied collections of unique visual arts you could hope to see in one large room. Don’t bring all your sock drawer money, and if you do, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
July 23rd & 24th
10am-5pm Sat – 10am-4pm Sun


Market on Main
John Wilson Park – Safety Harbor

If your shopping bug wakes you up early on Sunday and wants more “alternative shopping” options, may we suggest bringing your wallet, your breakfast appetite and your spirit of fun to Safety Harbor’s Market on Main. Different vendors every Sunday give visitors the variety they crave – and the food. Fresh produce, OJ, and many yummy pickled things accompany other local food and merchandise vendors. It’s a wonderful reason, among many, to stroll Main St. in one of the quaintest towns in Pinellas County.
July 10th, 10am-3pm


Photo courtesy of Creative Pinellas

First Mondays
Presented by American Stage and Creative Pinellas
The Gallery @ Creative Pinellas

First Mondays is another great example of the collaborative spirit mentioned earlier.  Each First Monday of the month (second Monday in this case due to July 4th holiday). The Gallery at Creative Pinellas hosts free staged readings in partnership with American Stage. On July 11th, Bette and Me by Wendy Wasserstein is a sure tonic to any Monday doldrums. Witness a scene from this epic convo between two icons set in a rowboat on the Hudson. I mean, come on…
Reserve your seat


Professional Artist Conversation
Live Stream Hosted by Creative Pinellas

#TwoferAlert – Please join us for a livestream conversation with all 10 of the 2022 Creative Pinellas Professional Artist Grantees including Artist Laureate, Jake-ann Jones. (Full-D, moderated by yours truly)
July 13th – 12-1pm
Tune in here

Have fun and stay safe out there.