October 21, 2017 (12PM-6PM)
Tempus Projects, Tampa
The inaugural Heights Art Studio + Gallery Tour is a self-guided tour of 13 sites featuring private artists’ studios and art galleries. With many of the spaces located in private homes, the tour provides unique access, highlights the artists and arts organizations residing in and contributing to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods, as well as builds and expands community through engagement with the arts.
Tickets for the tour are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. Advance tickets available for purchase online via the Tempus Projects website, or in person at Urban Bungalow until Friday, October 20th at 6pm. Cash or check payment accepted at Urban Bungalow 6500 N Florida Ave. 813.712.9894 (hours M-F: 7 am-6 pm; Sat: 9 am-6 pm; Sun: 9 am-5 pm) Day of the event tickets will be available at Tempus Projects on Saturday, October 21st from 11:30 am – 4 pm. On the day of the event, participants will pick up wristbands and tour brochure maps at Tempus Projects before starting on their tour of the 13 partnering sites.
An after-party, featuring drink specials and raffle prizes, will be held at c.1949 Florida Beer Garden, 6905 N. Orleans Ave, Tampa, FL 33604, following the tour.
Advance $15 tickets available on the Tempus website through Friday, October 20th at 6pm.
Advance $15 tickets available for purchase at Urban Bungalow through Friday, October 20th at 6pm.
Cash or Checks only. Urban Bungalow 6500 N Florida Ave. (Next door to Cleanse Apothecary and Rooster & the Till)
813.712.9894 M-F: 7 am-6 pm Sat: 9 am-6 pm Sun: 9 am-5 pm
DAY OF THE EVENT
$20 tickets ($15 for current Tempus Projects members) will be available at Tempus Projects on Saturday, October 21st from 11:30 am – 4 pm.
4636 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33603
On Friday, March 30, his newest installation will be available to the public at Ringling Museum. Biggers will also be presenting, “Speaking of My Work” in the Ringling College Auditorium (Free and Open to the Public). We were fortunate to have a discussion with him, and are pleased to share it here.
The show will include early and current work by gallery artists highlighting their artistic evolution. A variety of media will be showcased including oil, acrylic, and watercolor paintings, as well as, mixed media works on paper, photography, and sculpture.
I overheard Wang explain that wontons were often considered a migrant’s food. Wang expertly uses common imagery to start a dialogue but wisely refrains from dominating the conversation. With a few familiar images he conjures heavy issues such as food and eating, sustainability, violence, labor, natural resources, death.
by Danny Olda
We’re not scientists. We’re not here to solve problems. Kirk Ke Wang was referring to artists when he said this, his hand resting on the head of a toy animal at the business end of a noose. Like the issues it addresses, his installation, Last Meal, at St. Petersburg’s Salt Creek Artworks is much more complex and ambiguous than it may first appear.
Two groups of 100 toy animals hang from nooses in neat rows and columns throughout the gallery. I found it interesting that my first impression of the scene was that of a mass execution, though it soon became clear it represents a mass suicide – an integral difference. Multicolored lights flick on and off responding to movement and creating sinister shadows. The idea of the circumstances that would lead to an animal’s self-annihilation is frightening and similarly Wang’s work exudes hopelessness. The message these “animals” are communicating by their death is undoubtedly a grim one.
Countering the morbidity (or perhaps emphasizing it, depending on your reading) is the fact the toy animals are clearly not real animals but rather felt or fleece blankets with cartoonish heads attached and a large letter sewn on each animal. The letters on the two groups of animals correspond to two word search puzzles that are distributed at the entrance to the gallery. One puzzle features words such as “delicious”, “nutrition”, and “tender” and the other words like “bloody”, “painful”, and “rancid”. The letters of each puzzle correspond to the two groups of hung animals, transforming the “massacre” into a kind of game.
At the center of the installation, in between the two groups of animals, is a low platform that resembles a dinner table covered with ceramic wontons in a spiral formation. A small video monitor displaying the inside of a boiling pot is embedded in the platform at the center of the wontons. Ceramic wontons on a beach are projected onto a screen in front of the platform. As the tide comes in, the water soaks the wontons and returns to the sea red, resembling blood.
As I watched a wave cover the rows of dumplings and withdraw as bloody water, I overheard Wang explain that wontons were often considered a migrant’s food. The wontons connect conceptually with the hanging animals – both food sources portrayed as somehow synthetic, hyper-standardized and imbued with violence from its conception. Wang expertly uses common imagery to start a dialogue but wisely refrains from dominating the conversation.
With a few familiar images he conjures heavy issues such as food and eating, sustainability, violence, labor, natural resources, death. Last Meal reveals little by way of opinion. Actually, for nearly every perceptible opinion, Wang manages to present a converse opinion. In this way Wang was right: the work doesn’t solve any problems. It barely even mentions them. However, it doesn’t merely inspire beard-scratching-faux contemplation. Last Meal requires a walk through the gallery, physical engagement, conversation. Artists aren’t scientists. Artists are at the front starting the dialogue in the first place. And they’re in back constantly pushing it forward.
Danny Olda is our Tampa Correspondent and publisher of