Family Visit to the Arts Annual

Story and Photos by Harriet Monzon-Aguirre
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Afternoon Outing to Arts Annual 2022

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Through December 31
Gallery at Creative Pinellas
Details here

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My husband and I were thinking of an activity to do with the kids on Sunday afternoon when we decided to combine art and nature by visiting The Gallery at Creative Pinellas and the Florida Botanical Gardens.

A great opportunity to introduce young minds to the talents of multiple artists, Arts Annual 2022 is showing the work of Pinellas County visual artists who received grants from Creative Pinellas.

Maddie with Emily Stehle’s Ms. Red

When we walked into the first room to the right, Madeline was drawn to the mixed-media work of Emily Stehle who weaves unconventional materials to make decorative sculptures. Madeline herself loves to shred, cut and paste so it was nice to show her that a love of crafting and weaving can flourish.

William with paintings by Elizabeth Barenis
William and Madeline with Three Carbon Catchers
by Mickett-Stackhouse Studios

We viewed the peaceful and calm nature work of Elizabeth Barenis before William and Madeline stood hand in hand as they examined Three Carbon Catchers by Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse.

“It takes a forest. Be the change” is written on the back of these two collaborators’ postcards. There is so much to change but everything is easier when you’re holding hands.

William with Babs Reingold’s Hair Doodle
Madeline exploring Babs Reingold’s Hair Doodle sketches

In the adjacent room William and Madeline had a lot of fun locating the hair samples replicated in the large drawings or Hair Doodles by Babs Reingold. Each hair sample and small sketch is dated. Working together, William and Madeline went back and forth. They really enjoyed the puzzle nature of this work.

Thomas with Mark Mitchell’s Information Age

Meanwhile Thomas enjoyed the sound of his own voice as it echoed through the space. I was impacted when he stood in front of Mark Mitchell’s Information Age. He wasn’t looking into the distant future but more like a mirror reflection. Can someone please explain when cyberspace became the metaverse? What are the implications of driving futures where we are tethered to technology indefinitely, or are we already there?

What I really love about the Gallery at Creative Pinellas is the Drawing room, a space for attendees to sit and reflect about some of the themes in the exhibition. In this instance the prompted themes were line, color and nature. We spent an ample amount of time coloring before proudly adding our drawings to the display wall.

I have only touched on a few of the artists showing their work at the Arts Annual 2022. I encourage you to take your loved ones to see the exhibition. There is something for everyone.

And starting the day after Thanksgiving, one of the best Christmas light displays in Florida lights up the Botanical Gardens, for free – so we will be returning to Largo to enjoy another late afternoon/early evening of art and nature soon.

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From the Bahia-Studios blog

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