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Area offers many opportunities to savor the visual arts

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Published:   |   Updated: November 15, 2013 at 09:34 AM

(Editor's note: Beacause of a production error, the final portion of this article was omitted from the Welcome to the Community Fall 2013 print special section published Nov. 13 and 14. This online version has the entire text of the article.)

Whether you're driven by the urge to create art or inspired by looking at it, there are a multitude of outlets along the Suncoast to satiate your artistic desires. An ecelectic mix of cultures and ethnicities bring perspectives from around the world to Pasco and Pinellas Counties art galleries and art shows.

There is something to do for every age, and as the West Pasco Art Guild has proved by celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, there is a strong desire locally by those with a creative flair for avenues to pursue their passions. Along the Suncoast, several venues celebrate and cultivate local art and artists.

PASCO COUNTY

The West Pasco Art Guild is a resource for the artist and artist-in-training.In addition to art receptions, the guild holds weekly classes on topics such as acrylic painting, watercolor, ceramics, polymer clay, fused glass and more. The guild also holds monthly, themed art receptins that are open to the community. Annual membership is $30. A schedule of classes, which range in cost from about $25 to $150, is available online or by calling (727) 841-7732.

The art gallery workshop space is located at 6206 Jefferson St. in New Port Richey. Regular exhibit hours are from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from noon until 3 p.m. Saturday. The gallery will be closed on Thanksgiving.

The Downtown New Port Richey Art Gallery, at 6231 Grand Blvd., formerly know as the Progress Energy Art Gallery, spotlights local talent of all ages with themed monthly exhibits and art receptions open to the public. Classes and workshops for all ages are also offered. Regular hours are Wednesday-Saturday, from noon until 6 p.m. For more information call (727) 848-6500 or visit www.nprgallery.com.

The Arts Center is the home of the nonprofit Pasco Fine Arts Council and its gallery and programs. The council was established in 1979 by the Pasco County Commission to support arts and cultural programming for Pasco residents. Operations are funded primarily by memberships, program fees and sales of Florida State of the Arts License Plates. Housed in the former Anderson House — a historic residence owned by Pasco County — The Arts Center is behind Centennial Park Branch Library, at 5744 Moog Road, Holiday.

The Arts Center features gallery exhibitions of local and nationally renown artists, a full schedule of year-round arts classes and a cooperative shop of original artworks. The Center offers adult and children's classes, workshops, demonstrations, art programs for homeschoolers and a summer art program for children.

Membership ranges from $15 for youth under 18 to $35 for adults. There are also special membership fees for families, sponsors, businesses, friends, patrons and guarantors. For more information, call (727) 845-7322 or visit http://www.pascoart.org/.

The Pasco Art Asylum, 12835 U.S. 19, Hudson, was founded by a small group of established local artists. The gallery offers an array of items on display and for sale in various media by local artists and crafters.

The asylum offers custom framing and art classes for adults and children. the gallery is open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. tuesday through Saturday. For more information call (727) 868-2659 or (727) 919-4458.

The Chasco Camera Club was established in 1973 and has about 40 members who meet twice a month at local libraries. Members have exhibited their photography throughout the county and their monthly newsletter is the recipient of international awards. For additional information contact Charles Srsich at (727) 376-0122.

The Rao Musunuru, M.D., Art Gallery, at Pasco-Hernando Community College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New port Richey, presents various art forms including ceramicists, illustrators, painters, photographers, printmakers, and sculptors throughout the year.

The 1,000-square-foot exhibition space was designed to maximize the beauty of displayed works of art, optimally showcasing each exhibit with the natural light that floods the area. The Rao Musunuru, M.D., Art Gallery is located within the Alric C.T. Pottberg Library on West PHCC Campus.

All exhibits are presented at no charge to the public and the gallery is open from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Friday. For additional information about exhibits and viewing times at the Gallery, call (727) 816-3231.

PINELLAS COUNTY

The Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art opened January 2002 at St. Petersburg College Tarpon Springs Campus, 600 Klosterman Road, Palm Harbor. The museum's 20th century collection is made up of art from Expressionist painter Abraham Rattner's estate donated by Allen and Isabelle Leepa and a large donation from the Tampa Museum of Art in 1997.

The 6,000-piece collection also contains works by Esther Gentle, Rattner's second wife and Allen Leppa's mother. Gentle was a printmaker, sculptor and painter, and Leepa, an artist, educator and author. Works by Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Marc Chagall, Auguste Herbin, Georges Rouault, Hans Hofmann and Max Ernst are part of the collection.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. It is colsed Monday and holidays.

Admission is $6, or $5 for seniors, and free to children and students with ID and military personnel and their families with ID. Sunday admission is a suggested donation of $5 and free tours are offered at 2 p.m. For more information call (727) 712-5762.

• The Dunedin-based Professional Association of Visual Artists is an organization founded by artists for artists on the Suncoast. PAVA features annual members exhibitions, including the Cool Art Show every summer, and now the 2Cool Art Show in February.

PAVA holds regular members meetings, designed to assist working artists and those desiring a career in the visual arts, featuring practical business topics, educational materials, study programs, information on government arts programs, guest speakers and networking opportunities.

For more information, call (727) 736-2466 or visit http://pava-artists.org/.

The Dunedin Fine Arts Center offers year-round exhibitions in four galleries featuring national, regional and local artists and classes are offered for all ages. The 24,000-square-foot space at 1143 Michigan Blvd.,Dunedin, houses four galleries, the David L. Mason Children's Art Museum, the Palm Cafe, Gallery Gift Shop, eleven studio classrooms and administrative offices.

For more information call (727) 298-3322 or visit https://www.dfac.org/.

The Tarpon Springs Art Association was formed in 1974 and remains active with monthly Monday meetings where an artist will demonstrate varied techniques and experience.There is also an Artist of the Month competition at these meetings. Members bring their artwork to be judged by their peers and voted on by them. The art selected hangs in the Cultural Center for a month.

Special events include the annual Winter Show at the Tarpon Springs Cultural Center, Spring Show at the Heritage Museum and the Tarpon Springs Fine Arts Festival, presented by the Tarpon Springs Chamber of Commerce.

For more information, call Jane Lawson at (727) 934-6097 or visit http://www.tarponspringsartassociation.com/index.html.

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