Your weekend arts forecast: Blindfolded glassblowing


Martin, left, and Erik Demaine have two gigs in town this weekend. Photo provided.

Sunday’s multi-disciplinary performance bringing together giganto-origami folders Erik and Martin Demaine and pianist John C. O’Leary is sold out (it’s part of the Museum of Fine Arts’ Marly Music Series).

During Saturday’s ArtWalk, however, the father-and-son dynamic duo – both of who happen to be MIT mathematicians as well as artists and, well, scientific daredevils – will be at Duncan McClellan’s studio and gallery. And Martin will then demonstrate blindfolded glassblowing.

You heard that right.

Martin, who has been called the father of Canadian glass, started the first private hot glass studio in that country; since 2005, he’s has been an Artist-in-Residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His son, who received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2003, is a professor in computer science. They use their exploration in sculpture to help visualize and understand unsolved problems in science, and their scientific abilities to inspire new art forms.

The artist talk, A Fold in Time, starts at 5:30 p.m.; the demo begins around 6:15, followed by live jazz by the Henry Ashwood Jazz Project from 8-9:30 p.m.

Details here.

Art weekend

New stuff in the Second Saturday ArtWalk (here’s the map) includes Come Out St. Pete’s juried art show at the Arts XChange (in the Warehouse Arts District). At the reception (5-7 p.m.) visitors can view the finalists in the search for art to represent the LGBTQIA+ community for National Coming Out Day in October – Come Out St. Pete has a parade and other events planned.

And MIZE Gallery is opening SMILE: The Art of the Smiley Face with a reception from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.


The final curtain

According to Matthew McGee, who plays Emperor Charlemagne (and a scene-stealing Dame Edna-esque Berthe) in freeFall’s production of Pippin, the Stephen Schwartz musical is in the Top Five of all-time attendance numbers for the 10-year-old theater. Some fans have seen it two and three times.

“Pippin.” Thee Photo Ninja.

“I’ve loved doing this show,” McGee enthuses. “We could have run it for another month. Alas, many of the cast members and musicians have other projects. All good things…”

Following Sunday’s matinee, the curtain comes down on Pippin – got to get things ready for the new season, beginning Sept. 27 with The Turn of the Screw – and the final performance is already sold out, as is the Saturday matinee. Just a few tickets remain for Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening shows. Details.

Performing arts

What do you get when you cross a hypnotist with a magician? Well, you get this Friday night (Aug. 9) at the Palladium, a big night of sleight-of-hand, audience participation – and, presumably, people clucking like chickens – with Steve Marshall and Bob Burr. The Palladium says Sleight of Humor is rated PG – i.e., it’s safe to bring the kids. Details.

And the next night finds St. Pete’s amazing bossa nova guitarist Nate Najar back at the Palladium, alongside the equally talented Phill Fest, from Brazil. The two guitarists will be joined by bass and drums from Patrick Bettison and Jean Bolduc, respectively. Details.

Did you miss the Catalyst interview with guitarist Jim Babjak of the Smithereens? Check it out here. The band is at the Central Park venue in Largo Friday, with gurest vocalist Marshall Crenshaw.

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About the author


Bill DeYoung

Bill DeYoung was a St. Petersburg Times correspondent at the age of 17. He went on to a 30-year career at newspapers in Florida and Georgia. He is the author of Skyway: The True Story of Tampa Bay's Signature Bridge and the Man Who Brought it Down and Phil Gernhard, Record Man. He loves the Beatles and is, more or less, a cat person.

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