SOUTH TAMPA – Emerging artists from the Kokol Arts Studio & Gallery will share their art with the public as part of the second annual “Art on the Bay – A New Twist” exhibit.
Beth Kokol, an art teacher and owner of the studio, at 3318 Bay to Bay Blvd., said the opening reception will take place May 2 from 5 to 9 p.m.
Kokol, who owns the studio and gallery with her husband, Bob, said it’s exciting to teach art. Some of the artists participating in the exhibit are her students.
“I love watching a person learn and stretch themselves,” she said. “The glow on their faces when they do something for the first time is so great. Lots of folks think they cannot do art but I believe each person is an artist in their own right.”
She said the exhibit will feature 70 original pieces in oils, acrylics and mixed media. She said the exhibit highlights the “creative output and energy” of 20 emerging artists. Last year’s event drew 300 people.
Kokol is herself an accomplished artist who has lived in South Tampa for 21 years.
Although she likes drawing, printmaking and mixed media, Kokol said her favorite is painting.
“I love moving paint around and seeing what kinds of marks I can get out of a brush as each brush is designed to make different marks,” she said.
She said art is something a person can pick up at any age, even as they approach retirement.
“My adult students range in age from 20 to 88, but I do find that a lot of my folks come when they are looking to redefine themselves,” she said.
Jackie Haggar of Land O’ Lakes, one of the coordinators of this year’s exhibit, has attended the art classes for many years.
“Painting class is something I treasure each week,” Haggar said. “From the social aspect to the rewards of having a painting you can be proud of, it’s an experience of blending them together like a fine wine.”
Jennifer Pandolfi of South Tampa is one of the new artists who will be participating in the exhibit.
“I paint for the challenge,” Pandolfi said. “I paint because I love to learn. You also quickly learn that paint is very forgiving. You just paint over your mistakes and move on – how liberating.”
Vanessa Carroll of South Tampa said the classes she is taking with Kokol are a bit of an adventure. She is also a novice artist.
“Frankly, I have only used one side of my brain since I was born,” Carroll said. “Now it is time for the other side. Everyone in my class is at a different level yet Beth keeps us united.”
Many of the featured works will be available for sale. The event will include wine, beer and appetizers. There is complimentary valet parking.
Additional gallery hours include May 3 and 4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information: call (813) 334-5100.