It showcases and sells art from all over Florida, but Florida Craft Art is headquartered right here in Tampa Bay – on Central Avenue in Saint Petersburg to be precise. This is quite possibly the most interesting gallery I have ever been in, which is really saying something considering how good some of the others are. The pieces are so unique, detailed, and brightly-colored. One can easily lose track of the time and spend two hours there, thinking you are in some emperor’s collection from all over the world.
The mission of the organization is to find great artists and introduce them to the community. All art must be three-dimensional (not paintings) and of very high quality. There are the textile abstracts of Leah Gillette, the furniture of David Calvin, the metal-ceramic pieces of Terry Andrews, and the clay sea life sculptures of William Kidd. It was difficult to find a piece I didn’t love.
It’s amazing how something so simple and ethereal can add so much to a place. This transparent silvery curtain is beset with circular patches of intricate design reminding me of bubbles riding a waterfall. It adds a subtle, calming energy to the exhibition room filled with smaller, harder, more colorful objects, rounding out the already incredible variety and making itself the cornerstone of the whole exhibit. It is very different from anything I have ever seen that would normally be called art, but that is what it is. It quickly became my favorite. I had to know who made it and what they called it, but could not find a label. The lady at the counter told me she and another employee had actually made it and they did not have a title for it, telling me to come up with one. After thinking it over a couple days, I have decided to call it The Ghost Planet 1966. If you think you know why, leave a comment below.
The organization provides studios and classes upstairs from its roomy retail gallery and exhibition gallery. It has existed in its current location since 1995 and in Saint Petersburg since 1986, when it was known as Florida Craftsmen.
501 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.