Monday, June 30, 2014

Fourth of July Weekend at Tampa Bay Museums

Museums in Tampa Bay roll out the red, white and blue carpet

While many museums in the Tampa Bay area are closed on Independence Day, a few make the day even more memorable. And you can end this special day with fireworks displays in downtown Tampa along Channelside and on the waterfront near the Pier in St. Petersburg.

Tampa Museum of Art and Museum of Fine Art St. Petersburg

For what may be a truly once in a lifetime event, Tampa Bay's two largest fine arts museums co-host a massive exhibit, My Generation: Young Chinese Artists. Take an arts holiday by visiting both museums in one day; they're offering a special $20 ticket for the show divided between the two museums.

Henry B. Plant Museum

The museum is offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families for this national holiday as part of their participation in the Blue Star Museums program.

Tampa Bay History Center

Admission is free to the History Center on Independence Day from 10 am to 7 pm. Costumed reenactors will present programs during the day as well as displays of artifacts, crafts and music. Also included is the exhibit, "Against All Odds: Art of the Highwaymen."

Museum of Fine Arts St Petersburg

The Museum presents the 7th Annual July 4th Gourmet BBQ Buffet beginning at 6:30 pm. Reservations required. Includes prime seating for an indoor view of the waterfront fireworks display. Call (727) 822-1032.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tampa Bay Museums Host Pair of Joint Exhibits

Tampa Museum of Art and St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts Offer "Young Chinese Artists"

In an unprecendented partnership, Tampa Museum of Art and St. Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts are combining exhibit space to present a huge showing of contemporary Chinese art. To divide up the pieces, the museums created five general themes: family and personal relationships at the Tampa museum, religion and politics at the St. Petersburg museum and works on the environment at both museums.

On the scholarly front, the exhibition is curated by well-known Chinese art expert Barbara Pollack, author of The Wild, Wild East: An American Art Critic's Adventures in China. She has also written the show's catalog. And speaking of the environment, Judith Shapiro, an expert in contemporary Chinese literature and environmental politics, will speak on "China's Environmental Challenges" on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2014 at the Museum of Fine Arts.

A special discounted ticket is available for museum-goers who want to visit both locations.

The Dali Museum and Tampa's MOSI Present Related Exhibits

MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry, Tampa) is presenting a new exhibit called "3D Printing the Future - The Exhibition" beginning June 14. This show produced by MOSI will showcase the almost-unbelievable capabilities of 3D printing and provides a look at current and anticipated uses of this new technology. Exhibits will include 3D-printed medical prosthetics, ancient artifacts, clothing, jewelry, musical instruments and much more.

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg will host a complimentary exhibit entitled "Marvels of Illusion" also starting June 14. This show highlights Dali's fascination with optical illusions with a number of the master's works including his painting “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln (Homage to Rothko)" which will also be part of an interactive installation.

The museums will offer special discounts to patrons who visit both museums.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Summer Day Camps Pitch Their Tents at Tampa Bay Museums

Special Childrens' Programs for Fun Learning Experiences

It's that season again - kids filling the lazy days of summer with arts, crafts, history and science. Here is a listing of the many ways museums in the Tampa Bay region make summer the best time of year for local children.

St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts

Summer Day Camps

June 16-20 and June 23-27
St. Peterburg College's SAM (Science, Art and Math) Camps
Call (727) 341-3000 for more information.

Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs

Summer Day Camps

July 21-25 and July 28-Aug. 1.
St. Peterburg College's SAM (Science, Art and Math) Camps
Call (727) 341-3000 for more information.

Florida Museum of the Photographic Arts

Summer Day Camps

Ages 7 - 10
June 23-27: Madness, Man Ray, & Mash-ups
July 14-18: Finding the Anti-Selfie
Ages 11 - 14
June 16-20: Madness, Man Ray, & Mash-ups
July 7-11: Finding the Anti-Selfie

Kids Workshops
Ages 7 - 15
Educational Photography Workshop
Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary
Wednesday, June 18, 11 am - 1 pm
Visit for more information.

Tampa Museum of Art

Summer Art Camp 2014: June 16 – August 1

Ages 6 – 8
June 16-20: Pencil to Paint  "Sold Out.  New registrations will be added to a wait list."
June 23-27: It’s Not Easy Being Green

Ages 9 – 11
July 7-11: Drawing and Painting  "Sold Out.  New registrations will be added to a wait list."
July 14-18: The Sculpted Experience

Ages 12 – 14
July 21-25: Drawing and Painting  "Sold Out.  New registrations will be added to a wait list."
July 28-August 1: Creatures and Characters
For more information, call the Summer Art Camp phone line at (813) 421-8373.

Glazer Childrens' Museum

Summer Break Camp Connect in partnership with the YMCA

Ages 5 - 9
June 9–August 15 (Monday - Friday)
"Camp programs might include but are not limited to science explorations, arts & crafts, games, walking field trips, guest presenters and play time throughout the museum."
Visit for more information.

Tampa Bay History Center

History Adventure Camps

Ages 7 - 11
June 6-16: American Girl - learning history with the help of American Girl Dolls
June 23-27: American Girl - learning history with the help of American Girl Dolls
July 7-11: Build it! - explore Tampa's historical architecture
July 14-18: Creative Kids - discover creative ways to help the environment
July 28-August 1: Archeology Mysteries - experience how prehistoric Floridians lived
August 11-15: Archeology Mysteries - experience how prehistoric Floridians lived
For more information, visit

MOSI (Museum of Science and Technology, Tampa)

Science Summer Camps
Ages 2 - 17
June 9-August 15

Wide variety of day camp experiences for all ages:
2-day Science Camps for ages 2 -3
Half-Day Science Camps for ages 4 - 5
Half-Day Science Camps for children who have completed Kindergarten
All-Day Science Camps for children who have completed 1st through 9th Grades
Weekly Technology and Engineering Camps for children who have completed Kindergarten through 9th Grade
Weekly STEAM Career Camps for ages 11 - 17: explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math
Weekly MOSI Residential Academies for ages 11 -17: intensive live-in experience for gamers and outdoor enthusiasts
Weekly Travel Camps for ages 11 - 17
Call (813) 987-6000 or 1-800-995-6674 or e-mail for more information.

The Dali Museum

Junior Docent Summer Program
Grades 3 - 5

June 16-20: new students
June 23-27: alumni students
July 14-18: new students
July 28-Aug 1: all levels
"This one-week program encourages students to express their own ideas about Dali’s art, while sharing knowledge gained about Dali on a tour for their families and for the public."
Contact Bethany Mead at or by phone at (727) 623-4730 for more information.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

News and Notes from Tampa Bay Museums

Here are the latest happenings from museums around Tampa Bay.

Tampa Museum of Art Director resigns for California post

Todd DeShields Smith, director of the Tampa Museum of Art, has resigned to take the post of Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, south of Los Angeles, in early August.

Smith is credited with the successful launch of the new Tampa Museum of Art building and with increasing both attendance and paid membership. His innovations included the ever-popular Friday night "pay what you will" admission program.

Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg displays three new works

The Museum has announced the acquisition of three new pieces that help round out their current collections. A drawing by Georges Clairin, a French academic painter of the late 19th Century, is thought to be a study for a painting for the Paris Opera. It expands the relatively small holding of drawings in the Museum.

A French landscape by the American writer William Anderson Coffin of the town near a famous artists' colony provides connections between other artists who visited the colony and whose works are in the Museum's collection.

The third work is more contemporary, a 2003 photo by the American Cindy Sherman, "Woman in Sun Dress." The "portrait" of Sherman impersonating a certain type of person, in this case, a well-known Florida denizen, is especially appropriate.

All three works will be on display for several weeks before joining their respective collections.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts extends hours, announces Summer Exhibitions

FMoPA is now open seven days a week with hours Monday through Thursday from 11 am to 6 pm, Friday from 11 am to 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm.

The Museum also announced their Summer Exhibitions, "New Visions" featuring emerging artists Polly Gaillard and Allison Hunter on the Second Floor and "Portraits and Places" presenting selections from the permanent collection on the Third Floor.

Museum Pass offers big savings on Tampa Bay attractions

The new 2014 CityPASS is on sale to provide reduced admission at five Tampa Bay museums and attractions, including Busch Gardens Tampa, The Florida Aquarium, Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the choice of either St. Petersburg's Chihuly Collection or Tampa's Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI).

The ticket booklet retails for $119 for adults and $99 for children and must be used within nine days of the first ticket use. The booklet also includes discounts on other Tampa Bay attractions. This makes a great gift for out-of-towners with kids.

Two of these attractions are two-fers: Clearwater Aquarium includes Winter's Dolphin Tale Adventure and the Chihuly Collection includes the Morean Arts Center Glass Studio and Hot Shop where visitors can see a live glassblowing demonstration.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sizzling Summer Exhibit Season Begins for Tampa Bay Museums

Joint Exhibition of Young Chinese Artists Tops the Bill

The museums of Tampa Bay have never been more active as the upcoming selection of ambitious exhibits vividly demonstrates. From artists halfway around the world to those who make Tampa Bay their home, artists who created 2000 years ago to those who will work well into the future, from the overtly political to the deeply personal, it's all here for your viewing pleasure and reflection.

For the biggest exhibit of the summer, you'll have to visit two museums. A joint presentation of the Tampa Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, "Young Chinese Artists" gives us an inside look at the rapidly developing art world of mainland China. Works by 27 artists make this the largest show of its kind in the U.S. beginning June 7 through Sept. 28.

Also at the Tampa Museum of Art is an upcoming exhibit that taps into the Museum's large collection of Greek antiquities. "Poseidon and the Sea" examines the cult of the ruler of the deep with pieces from all over the world including the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the National Archaeological Museum of Florence. Showing June 14 through Nov. 30.

From the HCC Ybor City Campus Art Gallery comes another thought-provoking mixed media presentation, this time from USF professor of art Noelle Mason. Combining images made with new technologies with timeless fiber arts, Mason presents the sometimes harrowing existence of undocumented immigrants in this country and abroad through June 12.

As mentioned above, the Museum of Fine Arts prepares to present the "Young Chinese Artists" show while continuing the exhibition of photography by Aaron Siskind depicting Depression-era Harlem. Meanwhile, across town at the Dali Museum, the Andy Warhol exhibit continues through June 1. Also look for a joint exhibition with MOSI (Museum of Science and Industry) in Tampa highlighting the ties in Dali's work between art and science starting June 14.

The fun never ends at Tampa Bay museums. What are your must-see exhibits for the
summer season? How does museum-going help you combat the heat-induced summer
doldrums? Leave your thoughts in the comments section. We love to hear from you.