Quirks & Curiosities, festivals, performances, and more

Can you believe it’s November already? It’s time to listen to the holiday music in almost any store and start shopping for gifts early to avoid early mail delays and crowded aisles.

As late fall and early winter in Florida sets in, be sure to check out our list of outdoor festivals, museum exhibits, art events, and other activities, including the weird and wonderful of the Tampa Oddities & Curiosities Expo.

“The Oddities & Curiosities Expo is aimed at lovers of the strange and the unusual. We showcase dark places and artists from all over the country with all that is weird, ”says Michelle Cozzaglio, one of the owners and curators of the Oddities & Curiosities exhibition with Tony Cozzaglio. “We have something weird for everyone, whether you’re a fan of Halloween or some serious quirk.”

Held at the Tampa Convention Center on November 13, you can expect artistic taxidermy, mystical essences and other herbal offerings, preserved creatures, funeral accessories, and many other quirks that will please even the most demanding collector.

Based in Tulsa, OK, this is the first time this one-day expo has come to Tampa, promising not only vendors but also stage performances. Every 30 minutes they will have classic stunts like walking on glass and a human pincushion. This year, they also have a Taxidermy Class, which is a separate event where you can make your own Mythic Jacket.

Tickets are $ 10 in advance and $ 15 at the door. To learn more, visit Tampa Oddities & Curiosities Expo Event Page.

What else is happening in the local art world in November?

November is famous for festivals, so why not start the first weekend of the month at one o’clock? Enjoy the outdoors along the Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa during the Tampa Riverwalk International Fall Food and Arts Festival November 6-7, with an array of food and craft vendors.

On the same weekend, you can do a full day of the festival by also attending the Art Harvest Fair at Highlander Park in Dunedin, organized by the Clearwater-Dunedin Junior League. With over 200 artist booths on November 6-7, there are plenty of family activities to fill the day.

Thinking back to the last years of the pandemic, members of the Impromptu players wrote about their experiences of returning to the normal course of events. Their staged reading performance “Are we there yet?” will take place November 3-5 at the Ybor City Museum State Park Garden. Tickets and more information are available at Stage direction.

Known as Ansel Adams of Florida, Clyde Butcher is best known for his romantic black and white photos of the raw, natural landscapes of Florida, especially our swamp forests. The downtown Clearwater CRA presents an exhibition of his work titled “America’s Everglades” at the Clearwater Public Library Main Branch, with a grand opening and book signing on November 6. Invitation to a Facebook event.

If you’re looking for a different kind of craft festival, consider visiting the Tampa Bay Mineral & Science Club’s Annual fall show at the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center in Plant City on November 6-7. Learn more about the lapidary arts (the art of cutting stones) and stick around for a presentation by Philip Stephenson on the exploitation of agates and jasper in the Northwest on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

USF Museum of Contemporary Art and Graphicstudio have come together to welcome artist William Villalongo and urban planner Shraddha Ramani in a Zoom lecture discussing their latest project Impression of Black America: WEB Du Bois’s Data Portraits in the 21st Century and the importance of Du Bois’s work. You can register for this free webinar November 9 at 6 p.m.

Since many people can’t wait to get back outside and enjoy the festivals in person, the Temple Terrace Arts and Crafts Festival will be back at Woodmont Park from November 13th to 14th. Peruse the art and food vendors, and be sure to check out their great music and performance lineup throughout the weekend.

Pinellas County also has an art festival to look forward to, with Annual Pinellas Creative Arts Weekend on November 13-14, showcasing the best artists and performers this region has to offer. While the in-person event will take place at the Creative Pinellas gallery, it will also feature an immersive virtual component for visitors. Tickets and more information can be found on their website.

It’s never too early to start small business shopping for the holiday season. On November 14, stop by Second Sunday Art Walk and Vendor Fair at Armature Works. They introduce new artisans and makers every month, so there is always something new to find.

If you are looking for artistic charity events, look no further than the Tampa Writers’ Harvest – an event featuring around 40 writers (including spoken word and other related art forms) from across the community who will donate time to read their works through Zoom in return for donations of money and food to support metro ministries to brighten up Thanksgiving for families in need. The virtual event will take place on November 20.

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