Wings No. 4 “Raven,” by Francesco Gillia. Gillia is one of the featured artists in a pop-up wearable ART exhibit at the Dunedin Fine Art Center.


DFAC wearable ART to return as a pop-up exhibit, party

DUNEDIN — COVID-19 has changed many plans and events over the last 16 months. The Dunedin Fine Art Center is still waiting for wearable ART 16 — originally scheduled for August 2020 — to happen.

Happen it will, according to Ken Hannon, vice president and chief operating officer of DFAC — but not until August 2022. In the interim, the center will stage a pop-up exhibit and a “poppin’” party to make the wait more bearable.

“REBIRTHday Suits + Seers,” the wearable ART pop-up exhibit, will open Monday, Aug. 16, in the Douglas-Whitley Gallery at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd., Dunedin.

DFAC’s wearable ART is an annual celebration of wearable art that shows art need not be confined to those items that can be placed in a frame and affixed to the wall of a museum. More than a simple extension of perception, art seeks to express, expose and embellish certain aspects of culture and nature, ideology and identity. Just as art cannot be circumscribed by any set of regulations, it also cannot be limited in media, style or scope.

Organizers of the inaugural wearable ART presentation certainly saw no limitations back in 2005. That year, the Dunedin Fine Art Center selected a group of emerging Tampa Bay area designers and challenged them to create “wearable art.” The art-meets-fashion extravaganza was a success and has continued to draw crowds for more than 15 years.

The pandemic preempted last year’s show. This year, DFAC decided to do something a little different. This invitational pop-up exhibition of wearable artists as well as other invited 2D creators provide visualizations on how to come back to life — and what to wear — as we emerge from the pandemic. Featured artists and designers taking part in this exhibition include Stephanie Agudelo, Adrianne Butler, Mark Castle, Saumitra Chandratreya, Minakshi De, DemiGod, Francesco Gillia, Judy Ginader, Terri Gray, Jason Hackenwerth, Julian Hartzog, Yhali Ilan, Kikimora Studio + Valentina, Cindy Linville, Michael Montini, Ashley Rivers, Lina Teixeira, and Beth Warmath.

Several participants are wearable ART veterans.

Pinellas native Cindy Linville, a graduate of University of South Florida St. Petersburg, has a passion for all things related to art. She enjoys photography, painting, body painting and fashion design.

Linville also has a deep love of the environment. She tries to repurpose or reuse as much as she can when she creates. She’s been known to salvage discarded paint and purchase clothing from thrift stores for use in her work.

Julian Hartzog entered the wearable ART show in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018. He also took part in the Leland Wearable Art Show in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

“In 2014, the first three outfits I designed were accepted to be in the prestigious World of Wearable Art Show in New Zealand,” he explained in a statement from the 2018 show. “To my surprise, I won the International Award for the Americas and the three outfits are part of their permanent collection and on display in their museum in New Zealand. I entered again in 2015 and again I won the International Award for the Americas.”

Hartzog earned a degree in electrical engineering, and worked for a while as an engineer designing electrical equipment.

“Later, I designed painter’s easels, a sailboat, commercial buildings, my classical home, as well as furniture for my home,” Hartzog said.

Born and raised in Montreal, Canada, to Portuguese parents, Lina Teixeira now resides in Dunedin.

She is a master in multi-tasking. She is a busy mom of two, business owner, published author, special concepts director, and is a passionate wearable art artist. She loves turning the everyday mundane into beautiful forms of wearable art.

Teixeira’s wearable art has been viewed on an international scale as well as being featured in local news media and various public forums. Her art has been featured at the Mahaffey Theater, Studio 620, Dali and the Museum of Fine Arts, St Petersburg. Her work has been consistently sought out by fellow artists in the industry as well as media and private clients.

Also taking part in the show is Francesco Gillia, a faculty member at St. Petersburg College.

Gillia was born in province of Rome, Italy. He studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma.

After graduation, he moved to Hermosa Beach, California, working as product designer for Powerline 6 a strategy, branding and design company.

Three years later he and his brother Marco started Bottega Montana. Bottega Montana’s furniture line uses a patent pending joint system and has been featured along with their high-end longboard designs in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, GQ Italy, Conde' Nast Traveller, and many others. Some of their clients include Don Cheadle, Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian.

Despite all the early successes of his design career, Francesco decided to return to his first love: painting.

The DFAC exhibition will continue through Friday, Sept. 3.

In addition to the exhibition, DFAC will present a special multimedia “RE-BIRTHday Party” Friday, Aug. 20, 8 to 10 p.m., at Blur Nightclub, 325 Main St., Dunedin. Attendees are encouraged to wear their own customized “RE-BIRTHday suit” for an evening of art, fashion, music, dance and libations. Admission is free.

For more information, visit www.dfac.org or call 727-298-3322.

Jay Leno show rescheduled

CLEARWATER — Ruth Eckerd Hall recently announced the Jay Leno performance set for Friday, Nov. 12, has been rescheduled.

Tickets will be honored on the new date, Thursday, Feb. 3, at 8 p.m. Tickets, starting at $40, are on sale now.

West Coast Players to stage ‘The Ladies Foursome’

CLEARWATER — “The Ladies Foursome,” by Norm Foster, will run Aug. 6-22, at West Coast Players, 21905 U.S. 19 N., Clearwater.

Performances will be Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. Tickets are $23. Call 727-437-2363 or visit wcplayers.com.

The day after their friend Catherine’s funeral, Margot, Tate, and Connie gather for a round of golf in honour of their recently departed fourth. At the gold course they are joined by another woman, an old friend of Catherine’s they’d never met. Over the course of eighteen holes, secrets and confessions unravel as the women discuss love, sex, children, and everything in between.

The production will be the first show in West Coast Players’ 2021-22 season. It will be directed by Kenn Green.

West Coast Players no longer requires attendees to wear masks within the theater. However, the theater strongly suggests, in accordance with the CDC guidelines, that patrons who have not been vaccinated or have compromised immune systems continue to wear masks while in the theater lobby or auditorium. WCP retains the right to mandate a mask requirement for future events as dictated by state or CDC guidelines or recommendations.

Seminole Hard Rock Tampa to host live MMA event

TAMPA — Cage Fury Fighting Championships will bring the promotion's signature brand of high-level mixed martial arts action to Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa on Thursday, Sept. 16.

The property's Hard Rock Event Center will play host to CFFC's historic 100th event. CFFC 100 will stream live on UFC Fight Pass and marks the first MMA event at the venue, which consistently hosts some of the nation's hottest entertainers.

"We are excited to host this inaugural event at Seminole Hard Rock Tampa with Cage Fury Fighting Championships," said Steve Minick, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa’s director of entertainment.

CFFC lightweight champion Zulkarnaiyn Kamchybekov (5-1) and flyweight titleholder Phumi "Turbo" Nkuta (3-0) are each expected to put their belts on the line at CFFC 100, with their opponents set to be revealed shortly. CFFC strawweight champion Elise Reed (4-0) was tentatively scheduled to compete at the event as well, before she become the latest in an ever-increasing line of CFFC athletes to sign with the UFC.

"We wanted to do something big to celebrate our historic 100th event and partnering with the incredible Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tampa allows us to do exactly that," said Rob Haydak CFFC president. "Not only is this our first event in Florida as a promotion, but it's also Seminole Hard Rock Tampa's first time hosting an MMA event and we look forward to bringing a fantastic night of action with some of the sport's top talent as they look to secure a spot in MMA's biggest global promotions."

Former WWE champion and two-time UFC veteran CM Punk will call the action alongside MMA Junkie lead staff reporter John Morgan on UFC Fight Pass.

Tickets, starting at $55, are on sale via Ticketmaster or seminolehardrocktampa.com.

New date announced for Jim Messina Capitol Theatre show

CLEARWATER — Jim Messina will perform Thursday, Oct. 14, 8 p.m., at the Bilheimer Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater.

Messina was originally scheduled to perform in February 2020, but the concert was postponed. Tickets, starting at $35, are on sale now. Visit www.rutheckerdhall.com or call 727-791-7400. Tickets purchased for the Feb. 6 concert will be honored on the new date.

An undisputed expert in the fine art of making hit music, Messina’s legacy of musical genius spans five decades, three supergroups, a vibrant solo career and scores of producing and engineering credits. While acting as producer/audio engineer for Rock ’N’ Roll Hall of Famers Buffalo Springfield, Messina ultimately joined the band as its bass player. When “the Springfield” disbanded in 1968, Messina and fellow bandmate Richie Furay formed Poco. With Messina on lead guitar, Poco defined a new musical genre, country rock. After three successful albums, Messina was ready for a change and left to return to his passion for producing music. He signed as an independent producer with Columbia Records.

In November 1970, Columbia asked Messina to work with an unknown Kenny Loggins. While helping Loggins get ready for a record and touring, the two discovered that they worked well together and Messina agreed to sit in on Loggins’ first album. “Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin’ In” was released in November of 1971 and an accidental duo was formed.

Over the next seven years, Loggins & Messina released eight hit albums, had scores of hit songs and sold over 16 million albums. They had become one of rock’s most successful recording duos ever.

After a series of celebrated solo acoustic tours, Messina formed a band made of acclaimed musicians who have played with him at various points in his career. His latest release, “In the Groove,” includes selected hits from all three of his previous bands, as well as several of his solo works.