Thanks to shows such as Discovery Channel's "Oddities," the once-obscure world of collecting skulls, teeth, old medical instruments, freak-show paraphernalia and other bits of weirdness is having a moment this year.
Look no further than Abnormality, a free art show taking place in St. Petersburg on Saturday, to see the proof.
Tattooed pig feet in jars, road kill suspended in resin, human bones and other oddities will be on display with, and incorporated into, works of art from more than 30 artists at the one-night-only gallery show.
The evening will also feature performances by 20 Penny Circus, a macabre sideshow and magic act that recently performed at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights.
Casey Paquet, one of the event organizers, said the idea for the show grew out his own fascination with collecting – his home curio cabinet contains a human skull – but also an exploding national interest.
"With ("Oddities") being wildly successful on TV, this whole world is really hot right now," Paquet said. "It's just starting to get to this area, but if you go into high-end hotels and restaurants in Los Angeles and New York right now you'll see all kinds of taxidermy on the walls and under glass domes. People are really interested, and we felt like this was the right time to bring it here."
The show takes place at Station Number Three, a 1940s-era, decommissioned firehouse that has recently been transformed into a gallery space. Paquet noted the unique venue is fitting for the show, because of the "disintegrating," yet "preserved" interior.
Among the artists displaying works for sale will be Dysfunctional Art Co., which specializes in found items, taxidermy and steam punk-inspired pieces, and Daniel James, who will present his road kill sculpture series for the first time.
There are also pieces in more traditional mediums, such as a metal moth sculpture by nationally-known, St. Petersburg-based artist Chris Parks, who goes by Pale Horse.
"There will be pieces like that, that are on the other end of the spectrum," Paquet said. "It's not gnarly, or dead, it's just really, really beautiful."
Cocktails and craft beer will be served for donations, at a bar constructed from real autopsy tables. Admission to the gallery, which opens at 6 p.m., is free.
Abnormality art show
When: Saturday, Dec. 1
Where: Station Number Three, 2701 5th Ave. S., St. Petersburg