Area offers a cornucopia of culture

Besides the Titanic exhibit, there are seven other art museums,
as well as non-profit art centers, college galleries and
commercial showplaces.

Times Art Critic

Florida International Museum is just one of eight in the bay area devoted to art and artifacts. While you're planning your "Titanic" visit," consider other shows to round out your viewing. In addition to their permanent collections, many are planning to show their best visiting exhibits now, during the tourist season.

Heading the list is the Salvador Dali Museum, rated by the Michelin Green Guide to Florida as the only three-star attraction on the entire west coast of the state.

Also in St. Petersburg is the Museum of Fine Arts, the Florida west coast's most comprehensive collection of art throughout history, including antiquities, decorative arts and French Impressionism.

Within an hour's drive of Florida International Museum are five other art museums: Tampa Museum of Art, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum and Museum of African American Art, all in Tampa, the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland and, largest of all, the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, with its renowned collection of baroque art.

Many non-profit art centers, several college galleries and scores of commercial showplaces round out the area's ongoing offerings.

If that's not enough, weekend art shows, both indoors and out, and joint open houses in the area's art communities (Gulfport, St. Petersburg, Ybor City) round out the calendar. Check Weekend in the St. Petersburg Times each Friday for updates and additional shows of interest.

Among the exhibits scheduled during the run of Titanic are:

Through Nov. 30: Sewing Comfort Out of Grief: The Oklahoma City Children's Memorial Art Quilts, Museum of Fine Arts. Quilts by 20 artists form a memorial to the children killed in the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; 896-2667.

Through Jan. 18: Man Ray: Paris Portraits, 1921-1939, Salvador Dali Museum. Man Ray, photographer, artist and chronicler of Parisian culture during the Surrealist years, exhibits 50 celebrity photographs. 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg; 823-3767.

Nov. 17-Dec. 7: An Exhibition of the Dresses of the Princess of Wales, Tampa Museum of Art. Tickets: $11.50 on a timed, hourly basis through the Tampa Performing Art Center box office, 229-STAR or (800) 955-1045; members may purchase tickets at the museum door.

Dec. 5-7: ACC Craft Fair Tampa Bay, Tampa Convention Center. Crafts artists from throughout the nation return to the bay area for one of only nine U.S. shows. Call 281-0088 or (800) 836-3470.

Jan. 10-Feb. 28: Layers: Between Science and Imagination, University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. Community-based art project organized by Maria Castagliola with leading area artists. The show is joined Jan. 16 by an exhibit of Tim Rollins + K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) in conjunction with dedication of Rollins/K.O.S. project at USF's new College of Education building. Tampa campus off Fowler Avenue; 974-2849.

Jan. 18-Feb. 1: 23rd annual International Miniature Art Show, Belleview Mido Resort Hotel, Clearwater. Hundreds of tiny paintings, graphics and sculpture that qualify as miniatures in a popular area show. 796-3240.

Jan. 25-April 5: Masterworks of Italian Design, Tampa Museum of Art. Italy's rise as a leader in Western design is traced through a Denver Art Museum collection. 600 N Ashley Drive, Tampa; 274-8130.

Jan. 31-Feb. 2: Art Festival Beth-El, Temple Beth-El. Synagogue fund-raiser brings a choice selection of artists from here and elsewhere. 400 Pasadena Ave. S, St. Petersburg; 347-6136.

Jan. 31-April 19: Dali by Design, Salvador Dali Museum. The first exhibit to focus exclusively on Dali's commercial production, such as ties, perfume and ceramic plates. 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg; 823-3767.

Feb. 21: Grand Opening, Holocaust Memorial Museum and Education Center, St. Petersburg. Three art shows mark the event: return of Judy Chicago's the Holocaust Project; oils by Warsaw ghetto survivor Michael Smuss; paintings by Abraham Rattner from the St. Petersburg Junior College collection. 55 Fifth St. N, St. Petersburg; 392-4678; after Feb. 21: 821-8261.

Feb. 28-March 1: Gasparilla Festival of the Arts, Tampa. The bay area's best and biggest outdoor show. 876-1747.

March 1-June 28: Treasures from the Petit Palais, Museum of Modern Art, Geneva, and Giants of European Modernism, Museum of Fine Arts. A hundred works trace the development of art from early Impressionism through Modernism in an ambitious exhibit. Note: The museum raises its admission for this special show. 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg; 896-2667.

April 4 and 5: Tarpon Springs Arts and Crafts Festival. Lots of local color on the bayou's shady banks downtown. 937-6109.

April 18 and 19: Mainsail Arts Festival, St. Petersburg. Plenty to see at the city's major outdoor show in North Straub Park. 893-7734 or 892-5197.

May 2-Aug. 9: Warhol, Salvador Dali Museum. Celebrity portraits and pop icons by Pop Art's best-known name, borrowed from the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh. 1000 Third St. S, St. Petersburg; 823-3767.

The following is a list of some museums in the area:

Salvador Dali Museum, 1000 Third St. S., St. Petersburg.

    When: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with extended hours Thursday, to 8 p.m.; noon to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    Cost: Admission: adults, $8; students, $4; adults over 65, $7; children under 10 accompanied by adult or students of Florida state university system, free; admission prices reduced Thursdays after 5 p.m.
    Call: 823-3767.

Museum of Fine Arts, 255 Beach Drive NE, St. Petersburg.

    When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. the third Thursday monthly. Starting Nov. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays.
    Cost: $6 regular admission; 65 and older, $5; students older than 6, $2; under 6, free.
    Call: 896-2667.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum and Education Center opens Feb. 21 at 55 Fifth St. N., St. Petersburg, hours to be determined. Until then, it continues at 5001 Duhme Road, Madeira Beach.

    Cost: $6 adult, $5 seniors, free for students.
    Call: 392-4678; after Feb. 21: 821-8261.

Tampa Museum of Art, 600 N Ashley DriveWhen: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

    Cost: Adults $5; seniors and students with ID $4; children 6 to 18 $3. Free after 5 p.m. Wednesday and all day Sunday.
    Call: 274-8130 (Tampa).

University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (USF CAM), West Holly Drive, University of South Florida, Tampa. Stop at campus information center for parking permit.

    When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday.
    Cost: Free.
    Call: 974-2849.

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