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Your weekend arts forecast: Art and cats and art (and cats) – St Pete Catalyst



Just three months ago, the Atelier de Sosi Art Gallery celebrated Mexico’s Day of the Dead with an exceptional exhibit, kicking things off with a reception at which patrons were made up and dressed like the multi-colored skeletons immortalized in Mexican folk art. A good time, as they say, was had by all.

Work by Miss Crit for “Feline.” Image provided.

Bruce Allums’ ever-eclectic studio and gallery facility, in the Warehouse Arts District, is inviting residents along for another day of dress-up cosplay this Friday. The occasion is the opening of Feline, a six-week exhibition of paintings, sculptures, prints, mixed media and more celebrating cats.

For the reception, 6-9 p.m., guests are encouraged to wear “cat tails, cat ears, anything you love that is cat-inspired.”

A portion of the proceeds from art sales will go the Sunshine City Catfe, which aids in adopting out cats that need good homes.

More details here.


Heal, an exhibit of paintings by Fred “Rootman” Woods and copper art by Javier T. Dores, opens Saturday at the Tully-Levine Gallery, on the Warehouse Arts District main campus. A reception is scheduled for 5 to 9 p.m., which means it’s happening during Second Saturday ArtWalk hours. A drum circle is planned for the site Jan. 20.

The monthly ArtWalk is a self-guided tour of dozens of downtown galleries and working studios. Here’s the map of participants for January 2022.


It’s one of those rare occasions when the Second Saturday ArtWalk takes place on the very same weekend as Gulfport’s First Friday ArtWalk! (of course, last Friday – the actual first Friday of the month – was Jan. 1, so the Gulfport Merchant Chamber had a good excuse for holding it back one week). The Gulfport downtown walk (5-9 p.m.) is a curated show featuring 40 of the area’s finest fine artists in show ‘n’ sell mode. And this one has a theme: The Age of Aquarius.


Also opening with a Friday reception is Circa, an exhibition of St. Pete-centric canvases by scene artist and set designer Rebekah Lazardis, at Mize Gallery. Here’s a Catalyst story about the artist, the work and the event.

Performing arts

DRUMLine Live comes to the Mahaffey Theater Sunday at 7 p.m. It’s a touring rhythm, music and dance show based around the Historically Black College and University [HBCU] marching band experience. Details and tickets here.

At the Palladium, jazz pianist and composer Dave Meder is in performance Friday with his Songs and Stories Trio (details here). Meder’s most recent album, Unamuno Songs and Stories, is a response to recent sociopolitical turmoil in the United States, using the writings of Spanish Civil War-era philosopher Miguel de Unamuno as an historical analogy.

Jazz guitarist Al DeMiola is swinging through Florida this week; catch the Return to Forever legend doing amazing musical stuff Friday at the Capitol Theatre in Clearwater. Tickets. And Kim Wilson and The Fabulous Thunderbirds play the Capitol Sunday. Tickets.

Saturday and Sunday’s concerts from The Florida Orchestra include Prokofiev’s Suite From Romeo and Juliet, Gershwin’s Concerto in F (with pianist Sara Davis Buechner) and Winter Bells, a symphonic poem by Russian composer Polina Nazaykinskay. Akiko Fujimoto conducts at the Mahaffey Saturday, and at Ruth Eckerd Hall Sunday.

The lone pro theater production this weekend is the courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men at Stageworks in Tampa. Here’s our story about it.

And one more thing …

St. Pete Comic Con: The city’s first-ever comic book convention, with comics, anime, science fiction & fantasy and cosplay, happens Saturday and Sunday at the Coliseum. Read all about it here.

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The art of Katherine McNenly: An enduring gift to generations – CTV Edmonton



In her Almonte home and studio, an artist sits face to face with the subject of her latest portrait.

It’s a young girl. Her gaze is fixed and serious; her wide, dark eyes focused on the painter before her.  

The girl isn’t actually in the room, although the image on the canvas is so strikingly real, it feels like she could be. 

In reality, she is a creation; a timeless treasure brought to life by the gifted brush of Katherine McNenly.

“It’s something much more than a photograph.  It’s something that’s going to endure,” McNenly said.

“It’s a piece of history.  It’s going to last. It could be in your family for generations.”

Katherine McNenly painting

McNenly is an award-winning portrait and still life artist. She is an ardent observer of the living and inanimate, capturing, on canvas, the people and things we love.

“I think it’s trying to get people to stop and slow down and just look at something for a few moments and maybe think about the miracle of what you’re looking at,” she said.

“For me, it’s the just the beauty of looking at these objects and people. You’re bringing them to light. It’s almost like magic.”  

The magic began for McNenly during childhood. A lifelong drawer and painter, she studied fine art in the 1980’s at York University during the day, and took night classes with an English portrait painter living in Toronto.

“It was really amazing to get that foundation which is really what I wanted,” said the artist.

Katherine McNenly paintingMcNenly typically paints from photographs she takes herself.  Meeting subjects in person is often a valuable part of her process.

“I prefer that so I have an interaction with them and get to know them before doing the portrait.  So, even though you’re doing a likeness, you’re also trying to capture something of their personality,” said McNenly.

At International competitions, featuring works from thousands of artists, McNenly’s pieces have received top honours from the Portrait Society of America.  

 She is frequently commissioned; her larger, more detailed requests often taking several months to complete.

 McNenly’s still life pieces are equally demanding. She painstakingly sets up each one, working to capture the seemingly ordinary, while elevating it to something worthy of our interest and focus.

 “I like the challenge of painting these inanimate objects from life, usually with natural light, and trying to find all the variations in light and shape and form and colour. There’s almost a feeling of air of movement, like it’s vibrating,” said McNenly.

McNenly painting

McNenly is also a gifted landscape painter. In warmer weather, she loves venturing into the great outdoors to find her next piece.

“I like to do plein air.  It’s wonderful to be outside in nature and painting it.

Despite McNenly’s years at the easel, and her commitment to excellence, the artist confesses to never being fully satisfied with the outcome.

“With every painting, I always feel disappointed in the end. I feel it’s not good enough. I need to keep going.”

And Katherine McNenly will, fuelled by the faces she’s yet to meet, and the art she was born to create.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop. Every time, it’s something brand new again, so you’re always feeling this passion.”

The art of Katherine McNenly can be viewed on her website or at General Fine Craft in Almonte. Her work will also be exhibited, along with other artists, at a show on April 23-24 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte.

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City applying for grant to fund temporary downtown art exhibit –



The city is hoping the exhibit will encourage more residents to go downtown and visit its businesses in the process while celebrating “the reconnection of our communities in the aftermath of the

“This project directly supports free, accessible delivery of arts and culture programming to the community while enhancing the downtown core,” said a January 24th report for council.

The city can apply for up to $100,000 and must do so before the end of March 2023.

Council directed staff to apply for the grant on Monday, January 24th.

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Collaborative art exhibition explores grief at GV – Grand Valley Lanthorn – Grand Valley Lanthorn



The Grand Valley State University Art Gallery hosted a brand new exhibition Thursday with “Sorrow/Fullness: A Reflection on Mourning.” This is a metalsmithing showcase that takes a look at grief and loss through the lens of reflection and celebration. The exhibition was a collaboration between three metalsmith artists, including Sue Amendolara, Adrienne M. Grafton and GVSU professor Renee Zettle-Sterling. 

Amendolara and Grafton were unable to attend but it was ultimately a success, with an extremely positive reception from those who attended. 

I just wish that Sue and Adrienne could have been there with me,” Zettle-Sterling said. “I felt that people were receptive to the work and the ideas surrounding the show.  I received a lot of questions and interest seemed to be positive.”

The showing was a big deal for the artists, as it saw them return to a world where their work could be viewed by spectators in person. Zettle-Sterling said that the energy that surrounds a live show just does not compare to online showings. 

“I am feeling very lucky that the show is able to be seen in a live setting,” Zettle-Sterling said. “I have been in several shows that have been forced to be online exhibitions and it’s just not the same. It reminds me of teaching online versus teaching in person; it’s just not the same and lacks soul.”

Grafton was happy to return to showing in person as well, as the coming together of artists to show and discuss efforts was her favorite aspect of pre-COVID exhibitions. She was also grateful for the precautions and actions taken by GVSU in order to best showcase the project. 

“It was truly wonderful to be with friends and family again at our opening back in October at the Erie Art Museum,” Grafton said. “When the pandemic hit, one of the things I missed the most was art openings and museums. I absolutely love gathering with artists and looking at and discussing work. With the latest rise in COVID-19, it again feels intimidating to get together, but, I’m very pleased with the online presence GVSU has created to showcase this exhibition.”

“Sorrow/Fullness” explores the realm of grief and loss, with a special focus on celebrating the lives of lost loved ones and the experiences shared with them. The art pieces have a very personal connection to the artists, as they were inspired by the lost loved ones in their own lives. 

Grafton’s work was inspired by her mother, who passed away in 2014. The event was something that touched her deeply, ultimately inspiring the pieces shown in “Sorrow/Fullness.”

“A few years after her passing I began using the grief as a source of inspiration for the body of work in the show,” Grafton said. “The work for me is about the passing of time and memories. I use recognizable imagery to tell stories about my emotions and experiences. In my piece titled “Residue,” I’ve taken my mom’s old used makeup and dipped it in plaster. The fragile shell encases the things she touched every day that were an important part of her daily routine.” 

Amendolara’s work for the project was also inspired by the loss of her parents. She said that her focus was to celebrate the experiences she had with them and to continue them with surviving family members. 

As a child, I spent a lot of time in my parent’s interior design studio looking at fabrics, wallpapers, antiques, etc.,” Amendolara said. “I loved talking with my father about projects he was working on, and it was these experiences that led me to become a craftsperson.”

Working with different materials led Amendolara to create the piece she made for this exhibit. She took pieces that were personal to her and her loved ones to turn it into something else.

“I made a pair of upholstery scissors using cast flowers from my mother’s funeral bouquet,” Amendolara said. “The scissors are deconstructed,  suggesting lingering grief or the inability to heal.  The scissors rest on a small quilt made from silk from my wedding dress; a reference to family.” 

Coming together to work through grief collectively is a powerful and healing concept that really flourished with “Sorrow/Fullness.” It brought people from all over to experience the grief of the artists as a way to get through their own. Each of the artists hopes all who come to view their work are helping to use it to cope with their personal situations and hopefully broaden the conversation surrounding grief and loss. 

The exhibition will be on display at the Haas Center for Performing Arts Gallery until April 1, 2022. For more information on the project and each of the artists, visit the GVSU Art Gallery website here

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