“Cats 3,” by Patricia Kluwe Derderian. Acrylic and ink on paper.

Atelier de SoSi to present ‘Feline’ exhibition

ST. PETERSBURG — “Feline,” an art show for cat lovers, will open Friday, Jan. 7, 6 to 9 p.m., at Atelier de SoSi, 2380 Sixth Ave. S., St. Petersburg.

This six-week show focused solely on feline-inspired art includes sculptures, paintings, collages, prints, and other eclectic pieces based on the fantastic felines of the world. Artists have created works inspired by these fascinating creatures that baffle, inspire, and infuriate viewers — but most importantly, they fill our hearts with pure joy.

Those attending the opening reception are encouraged to wear cat tails, cat ears, and anything that is “cat-inspired.”

For this show, Atelier de SoSi has partnered with the St. Pete Sunshine Kitty Catfe. A percentage of all of the sales will be donated to this organization that helps cats find their fur-ever homes. For those looking for a new furry friend in their lives, there will be a photo gallery of adoptable cats during the show.

"Feline" will encompass many feline-themed events during the show's run, including a cat art yoga class, cat-inspired painting classes, screenings of cat-themed movies, and more.

The exhibition will run through Feb. 19. For information, email info@atelierdesosi.com or visit atelierdesosi.com.

Cirque Italia to bring pirate adventure to Brandon

BRANDON — Cirque Italia will present “Water Circus Silver,” running Jan. 7-17, at Brandon Town Center Mall, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive, Brandon.

Cirque Italia has sought to bring a high-class experience to audiences all over the United States since its inception in 2012. This year will be no exception as event organizers take audiences on an exhilarating expedition in search of a pirate’s booty.

The story begins with Clown Rafinha, the ringmaster, who while fishing unexpectedly catches a bottle with a treasure map stuffed inside. The ensuing journey takes the audience through storms on the high seas, dreams of angelic aerialists, pirate fights, and more. The show will feature swashbucklers balancing upside down on a rum barrel, juggling knives, and even one having a run-in with a mermaid.

Manuel Rebecchi, president and owner of Cirque Italia, is proud of his circus heritage and feels extremely privileged to be able to share it in such a fun and memorable way. Cirque Italia continues to contribute to the modernization of the performing arts and the circus industry by abiding by a strict animal-free policy.

Tickets may be purchased online at cirqueitalia.com/tickets or by phone at 941-704-8572.

For information and performance times, visit www.cirqueitalia.com.

Creative Pinellas now accepting artists grant applications

The online application period for Creative Pinellas 2022 Professional Artist Grants opened Dec. 1. The application period will run through Feb. 14 at 11:59 p.m.

This opportunity is designed to uplift and support Pinellas County’s creative community and to highlight the county as an arts and cultural destination. These grants are awarded on an annual basis to Pinellas County artists who demonstrate outstanding talent and artistic skill who have a history of increasingly successful work on the local, national, or international stage. These individuals bring recognition, awareness, and interest to our community, inspire other artists and art lovers, and help make Pinellas County a vibrant arts and cultural community.

Grants of $5,000 each are open to artists in the disciplines of dance; choreography; interdisciplinary — a combination of more than one type of genre of art, often technology/digital arts are involved; literature including poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction; media arts such as film, photography, computer/digital arts, audio, interactive media; musical performance; music composition; acting; theater creation including playwriting, directing, musical direction, stage design, stage lighting; and visual arts including 2D and 3D visual arts of all kinds.

“The Professional Artist Grant program reflects Creative Pinellas’ desire to support our professional artists, and to provide them with the resources they need to continue living, working and contributing here in Pinellas County,” said Barbara St. Clair, CEO of Creative Pinellas. “It aligns with our ongoing mission to provide high quality, transformative programs that add value for the people and communities we serve, from artists and arts organizations, to the residents and visitors of Pinellas County.”

An additional $5,000 Artist Laureate grant may also be presented to the artist determined by their expressed interest, their ability to effectively represent Creative Pinellas, and overall input from the grant panel. The Artist Laureate would serve as a partner/collaborator with Creative Pinellas, sharing their skills and expertise and supporting the organization’s mission over the grant period.

“The Professional Artist Grant is a unique opportunity that we are all excited about,” said Ed King, COO of Creative Pinellas. “The impact this opportunity can have on the lives of professional creators is enormous — and will yield great things not only for them individually, but for our community and visiting out of towners through outstanding exhibitions like Arts Annual, the Creative Pinellas website artist blogs, and much more. The grant is a win-win for the creative economy of Pinellas County.”

For information and to apply, visit creativepinellas.org.

TIGLFF names new executive director

The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival recently appointed Victor Gimenez, formerly executive director of OUTShine LGBTQ+ Festival in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as its new executive director.

Gimenez will lead TIGLFF into its 33rd year and out of the pandemic by overseeing all aspects of the organization from fundraising to programming and building a new outreach effort in the community. In addition to the annual festival, which takes place in October, he will oversee newer programs such as the Trans Film Festival in November and the BIPOC Festival in June.

“The Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is at a great crossroads to become a more vibrant part of the Tampa/St. Pete LGBTQ+ community by not only being an avenue where great films will be shown, but also allowing the community to come together to discuss those films, learn more about each other, and create meaningful dialogue,” Gimenez said.

Gimenez has extensive experience with growing an international film festival as he has served for six years as the executive director for OUTshine LGBTQ+ Film Festival which produces an 11-day Miami edition in April, an 8-day Fort Lauderdale edition in October, and periodic one-off GLOW screenings. During his time at OUTshine, the organization rebranded itself as OUTshine, increased cash reserves by over 200%, successfully launched OUTshine's Big Night Out — a simulcast Oscar Gala — created a monthly free screening program of classic LGBTQ+ films, partnered with Superfine! Art Fair to bring an LGBTQ+ shorts program to their events in different U.S. cities, and successfully navigated OUTshine through the COVID pandemic.

Before his time as executive director of OUTshine, Gimenez served on the board of the organization and was chair of the programming committee. Previous to his involvement in the not-for-profit world of arts and culture, he worked for 20 years in construction management and general contracting. Gimenez and his husband Edwin Scharlau have been married since 2007 and have two children.

The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival began in 1990 through the outreach of several local community-based organizations. Since then, TIGLFF has showcased thousands of films for Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community and has helped usher in a renaissance of Tampa's downtown from its base at the historic Tampa Theatre on Franklin Street. In 2005, TIGLFF began expanding content to include a year-round film series with screenings in both Tampa and St. Petersburg. Our mission is to showcase a selection of compelling films and videos by, for, or about the LGBTQ+ community that entertains, empowers, and enlightens the festival audience.