New President of the Industrial Arts Center of Gulfport Owen Pach is a 30-year veteran of the American Glass Movement. Though his work can be found in museums, corporate and private collections around the world, and work that has also been featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Editions, his passion and focus has always been to teach. United by a passion for the industrial arts and a belief in arts accessibility for all, he and a team of artists as instructors now helm a range of classes at Industrial Art Center of Gulfport. Teachers train novices and advanced students?some ranging from 5 years old to 85 years old?in specialized areas such as glass casting, glass fusing, sculptural welding and forged steel, and metal pipes to affirm the practical applications of blowing milk bubbles.
Charlie Parker set his clay career spinning in 1967 at age 14 when he worked as a part-time clay-mixer at Minnesota Clay Company. As his passion began to flourish, he chased it to the studio of Warren Westerberg, working as an apprentice and molding himself into a master of form and expression. Today, Charlie's 3,600-square-foot workshop offers plenty of space for classes and open-studio time. Under his guidance, aspiring artists of all experience levels make their own projects from Continental and Laguna clays available for purchase. Charlie's artisans also offer their own pieces for sale in the gallery, including figurines and bottles guaranteed to be free of tricksome genies.
Judie Dazzio believes that everyone can be an artist. And at Dazzio Art Experience—a comprehensive art school—she helps everyone from children to adults and novices to professionals harness their creativity. Though she's a painter herself—having won awards for her work with watercolors and acrylics—she caters to range of artistic interests, offering classes in acrylics and watercolors but also branching out into sculpture, illustration, and Photoshop. For the experienced artist, she and her instructors provide developmental classes to help them produce portfolio pieces and host group critique sessions.
Beyond teaching her students the techniques to create, she also displays their works in a gallery attached to her school. Here, rows upon rows of painted canvases, sculptures, and handcrafted jewelry showcase their newly acquired talents.
The Florida Holocaust Museum, located in the heart of St. Petersburg's museum and art district, was founded in 1992 with the help of prominent Holocaust scholars such as Schindler's List author Thomas Keneally. The museum's three floors feature permanent exhibitions, a library, and smaller rotating exhibits. Housed on the museum's first floor is the core exhibition, History, Heritage and Hope, which documents the Holocaust through recollections of survivors and original artifacts, including Boxcar #113 069-5??one of the few remaining Nazi railroad boxcars. The third floor is home to the museum's other permanent exhibition, Kaddish in Wood: Woodcarvings by Dr. Herbert Savel, showcasing his woodcarvings of French children who perished during the Holocaust.
A leading force for change in the community and beyond, part of the museum's mission is to spread its message of tolerance by continuously collecting and displaying contemporary artistic responses to the Holocaust and other genocides. Their hope is to educate and inspire visitors to learn from the past in order to be the upstanders of today. The museum makes Kadish in Wood??as well as 18 other traveling exhibitions??available to museums, historical societies, and community centers nationwide. From scholars reading their latest work to survivors discussing their experiences, the museum's events also shed light on the past in an effort to prevent future genocide.
Inside a building in St. Petersburg, works of art from around the world gather like good friends. Georgia O'Keeffe's Poppy hangs not far from Paul Cézanne's A Corner of the Woods, Pointoise. Claude Monet's Houses of Parliament gives a glimpse of faraway lands, while Thomas Moran's Florida Landscape stays closer to home.
With a range of permanent and rotating exhibitions, the Museum of Fine Arts seeks to engage visitors with art while preserving the pieces in its care. Much of the collection resides in an original 1960s building, but an adjacent modern gallery draws in visitors with special exhibitions, an art library, and interactive educational facilities—ensuring they have plenty of ways to experience art or at least overcome a fear of informational plaques.
Who They Are
Even before the Museum of Fine Arts opened to the public in 1965, founder Margaret Acheson Stuart saw its galleries as a space where diverse audiences could explore art "from antiquity to the present." Architect John Volk had designed the original museum wing to instill visitors with a feeling of solidness and permanence. Decades later, the museum sought to expand, and conducted a nationwide search for a worthy architect. They were rewarded with designer Yann Weymouth, who completed a second building in 2008—a two-story, modern glass conservatory.
Since 1922, St. Petersburg Museum of History has preserved the heritage of St. Petersburg and the Pinellas Peninsula with expansive collections and four galleries that host annually rotating exhibits. Its permanent exhibits, meanwhile, trace the area’s history from Native Americans to the present day through artifacts such as a cannonball fired by Union sailors and replica of a parlor car from the Orange Belt Railway. Elsewhere, the World's First Commercial Airline Gallery charts commercial aviation history with a full-size working replica of the Benoist Airboat and the first-ever pterodactyl to earn a commercial-flying license. Visitors looking to delve deeper into the past can explore more than 32,000 artifacts in the museum archives or partake in one of its educational programs such as tours, community classes, and camps.