Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Way Cool

In May, 1987 a friend and I sat commiserating in some dim Chinese restaurant. We had just completed our last outdoor art show of the season, and now faced a hot bleak summer of no shows and few opportunities to sell art.
Somewhere between the egg-drop soup and the Buddha's Delight, I casually suggested there should be an indoor show for artists who did not travel during the summer. Indoors and air-conditioned, we could call it, oh I don't know, maybe call it Cool Art.

At that, my friend looked up from his plate of Egg-Fu-Yung, and allowed that was the best idea I'd had in a long time. "Why don't you do it," he challenged.

Thus was born The Cool Art Show, now in its 20th year and one of Tampa Bay's oldest artist-run exhibitions. Early on, the idea for a show was taken up by PAVA, a fledgling local art group, and the first Cool exhibition of twenty artists took place only because of some gentle arm twisting and hopes for a few art sales.

For a completely volunteer, mostly unsponsered, artist run art exhibition to succeed for twenty years is extraordinary. This could only come about through the efforts of a group of dedicated people and the continued participation of exceptional artists.

The 20th Anniversary Exhibition of the Cool Art Show will take place July 19, 20 at the historic Coliseum in St. Petersburg. For more information go to and click on Exhibitions.

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