Fall Arts Preview: From Basquiat to augmented reality, what’s coming to Tampa Bay museums


This season brings an energizing variety of visually stunning and conceptually dynamic exhibitions to local museums. And, we’re in for a entirely new museum, too.

We’ll get the rare opportunity to see work from iconic artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, a decorative installation of dried exotic insects and the Chinese zodiac rendered in Legos. Many museums are pushing into the digital age with virtual and augmented reality and artificial intelligence. Ideas about impacts on the environment and the authenticity of facts are explored. And celebrated artists will share insights into their work.

St. Petersburg will see the opening of its newest museum, bringing the total to ten. The Museum of the American Arts and Craft Movement is set to open in December. While we don’t have dates yet, upcoming exhibitions will educate viewers on the history of the movement and showcase many of its top artists.

Looking ahead to summer of 2020, local artists get the opportunity to show their work in museums again with the return of Skyway: A Contemporary Collaboration. The work will be shown in the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Ringling Museum and, new this time, the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum.

Our galleries and arts centers are also packing exhibition schedules. And the streets of St. Petersburg become an even bigger outdoor gallery when the Shine Mural Festival returns Oct. 18-26, bringing international, national and local artists to adorn walls.

Here’s what to look forward to this fall and beyond.

150 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. (727) 892-4200. thejamesmuseum.org.

Environmental Impact II (runs through Dec. 1)

Artists explore environmental issues including global warming, loss of bee populations and the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill through paintings in sculptures in this traveling exhibition.

Florida Shines On: PARC Artists (September 2019)

A showcase of work from the organization’s Inspired Artist Studios. PARC provides programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings (Dec. 21 – March 1)

Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo (March 28 – June 20)

Los Angeles-based photographer Little documented the gay rodeo circuit and the lives of its participants between 1988 and 1992.

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