All posts by Jeff Fabiszewski

Attend the Hadi Abbas Wood-Fired Ceramics Exhibit

Hadi Abbas ceramic covered jar

Hadi Abbas Wood-Fired Ceramics Exhibit is at the St. Petersburg College Clearwater Humanities & Fine Arts Department.  The wood-fired ceramic artwork of University of Central Florida Professor Hadi Abbas illustrates the complexity and uniqueness of the oldest method of firing clay.

The SPC Wood-Fired Ceramics Exhibit featuring his work is open from Aug. 20 – Sept. 26 at the Crossroads Gallery at the SPC Clearwater Campus, 2464 Drew St.

Hadi Abbas

picture of Hadi Abbas

Since 1990, Abbas has been a professor within the UCF  Art Department.  He specializes in Ceramics and Sculpture. Professor Abbas teaches beginning and advanced ceramics. Prior to working at UCF, he taught at Wichita State University and worked as a production manager for Fredrick Pottery, in Louisville, Ky. He worked as a ceramic consultant to an art studio in Louisville, Ky, and has also conducted workshops and lectures in his field.

Abbas is well known for his extensive knowledge of glaze technology. He is an inventor of several prototype pieces of equipment related to his area of specialization. He was the recipient of Delano Magtgard Jr.’s Grant in Wichita, Kan.,  and has exhibited his work on an national level.

Wood-Fired Ceramics event

The SPC Crossroads Gallery event featuring Hasi Abbas Wood-Fired Ceramics is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12, there will be a gallery reception from 6 to 8 p.m.  Refreshments and light fare will be served.  All are welcome to see the unique textures and glazing that occurs from clay heated in wood-fired ovens.

Free workshop 9-13-2018

On Thursday, Sept. 13, from 10 a.m.  to  4 p.m. come to Room 132 at the Crossroads building where there will be a free workshop with Abbas.  During the workshop he will show techniques on plaster mold-making for ceramics.  This technique allows an artist to repeat a difficult form  for multiple ceramic items.

flyer showing six wood fired ceramics by Hadi Abbas. One is a tall cylinder vase rough cut texture with rust like flakes. A small speckel bowel with three finger like legs has a pebble cobblestone texture and color. A wavy flower bud vase has a water like shoreline texture and color. a Squished ceramic pot that looks and feels like a pumpkin is pictured. A thick heavy ridged plate with two ceramic peaches. And a slick earthy teapot like basket ceramic pot is the last image

SPC Professor, Artist Showing in International Competition ArtPrize

SPC Professor Kevin Grass will be competing with artists from around the world in ArtPrize, an independently organized, international art competition.


Grass is a professional painter and professor at the Clearwater Campus Fine Arts Department.  ArtPrize, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., accepted to show his painting Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch. The 7 feet by 14 feet acrylic on canvas painting, framed in a five-inch gold leaf enclosure.   For 19 days, Sept 19 – Oct 7, visitors will have an opportunity to view and place their vote for their favorite artwork.  Artists are competing for $500,000 in cash prizes that are decided equally by public vote and expert jury.  It is Kevin’s hope that his painting Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch will win the two $200,000 grand prizes best popular and best expert jury art at Art Prize 2018 equaling a grand total of $400,000.

Learn from nationally exhibited painter Kevin Grass

At SPC, Professor Grass teaches four types of art classes:

Grass received an undergraduate degree in drawing and painting from Washington University and his masters of fine art degree from the University of Georgia.  Galleries throughout the East and Southeast exhibit his landscapes and figure paintings that address contemporary social and political issues.  Throughout the United States and Europe, people enjoy viewing his paintings in museums, corporate offices, and private collections.

Florida artist Kevin Grass created the large “Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch.” One ballerina cringes from the man, while the other defends herself using pepper spray.

The professor sets a three dimensional stage in his acrylic canvas paintings.  He begins the design with a purposeful placement of the figures. The props join the figures to serve a supporting role in the development of a narrative.

Frequently, art historical works inspire a highly representational scene with inspirations from Northern Renaissance artists like Jan van Eyck. As with many paintings, Grass’ art has some ambiguity within the symbols to allow the viewer across biases and time to relate and rediscover a new interpretation to the art.

A visual account of connected events

The painting Not #MeToo: No More Casting Couch presents a narrative of the sexual abuse at the hands of those in a position of believed power.  The painting draws a connection between contemporary Hollywood actors and the ballerinas of Edgar Degas’ paintings.

The “casting couch” holds the supporting role of exchanging favors for possible career advancement.  Innocence traded and transformed to gain possible celebrity and stardom is what is on stage within the painting.  Armed with pepper spray and a gold crucifix, a woman in black confronts the one who desires to drain innocence from the woman on the couch.

It is Professor Grass’ hope that the half-million visitors to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids this autumn will connect to the painting.

Kevin Grass Fine Art

Link to more art by Kevin Grass

McKenzie Smith invited to Byrdcliffe as guest lecturer

Ceramic cups with fish

McKenzie Smith is a potter, adjunct professor, and Instructional Support Specialist in the Fine Arts Department at SPC’s Clearwater Campus.  Recently Professor Smith was invited to the prestigious and historic Byrdcliffe Barn studio in Woodstock, NY to be a guest artist and lecturer in August 2018. His four day workshop, entitled Clay, Form, Slip, Glaze Fire, is a four-day ceramics workshop that will run from August 2-5th.  It focuses on advanced ceramic glazing and decorating approaches that are associated with a particular firing technique.

Mckenzie Smith Interview photo
McKenzie Smith Interview photo

Learn from nationally exhibited artist McKenzie Smith

At SPC, Professor Smith teaches Ceramics 1 ART 1750C during the summer terms.  He received his BFA from the University of South Florida — Tampa and his MFA from the University of Florida – Gainesville. He worked as a Core Student at the Penland School of Crafts, and when not at SPC, he teaches workshops across the United States. Smith has been featured in, Northern Clay Center, the  Skinner Auction House and on the Tales of a Red Clay Rambler podcast. He exhibits nationally and has enjoyed several showings at the Tour de Clay as well as multiple residencies.

McKenzie Smith Teapot

Energetic and purposeful ceramic art

The uniqueness of McKenzie Smith’s art comes from of the traditional and functional spirit of Japanese Mingei 民芸 folk tradition and English folk ware. The stoneware clay transforms into energetic and purposeful ceramic art. The pots, bowls, cups, and plates show the natural beauty of the marriage of clay and fire due to the unique glazing and firing techniques. The purposeful choice to expose clay to soda, salt, or wood fire techniques result in an organic living firing of the clay body.

Clay kissed by fire

There is a geometry and structure to Smith’s pots, and he teaches how to alter the primarily wheel-thrown pottery into a functional art form that also illustrates the element of chance frozen in fire. His teaching style illustrates that glazing and limited decorating becomes enhanced by exposed clay kissed by the firing process. Students in the Clearwater SPC Fine Arts Department discover the natural beauty of clay and fire from Professor McKenzie Smith.

SPC Theater Presents Urinetown the Musical June 29-July 1

SPC theater


The  SPC Theater Department is presenting the summer musical URINETOWN, directed by Scott Cooper. This Summer SPC Theater Program is a great chance to see our local college and Pinellas County high school students both perform and work the production side in a classic musical theater production.

The student musical production runs from June 29 to July 1. There are four performances in the AA Arts Auditorium at the SPC Clearwater Campus at 2464 Drew St., Clearwater.

SPC Theater
URINETOWN THE MUSICAL June 29 30 July 1 2018 St Petersburg College SPC Clearwater

Urinetown the Musical is based on a water shortage caused by a drought that has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. Citizens must use public amenities, regulated by a single malevolent company that profits by charging admission. Deciding he has had enough, a hero plans a revolution! Winner of three Tony Awards, three Outer Critics Circle Awards and two Obie Awards, this hilarious musical is a satire on capitalism, populism, bureaucracy, corporate mismanagement, politics, greed, and the musical theater!

SPC Theater Urinetown Dates and Times:

  • June 29 at 7:30 p.m.
  • June 30 at 2 p.m. and  7:30 p.m.
  • July 1 at 2 p.m.


  • SPC St. Petersburg College Arts Auditorium
  • Clearwater Campus, the AA Building
  • 2465 Drew Street; Clearwater, FL. 33765


  • $10 general admission.
  • FREE for SPC Students, Faculty, and Staff
  • There is no will-call; you cannot pick up tickets in advance

Phone / contacts:

  • 727-341-7984 Opie Marc
  • 727-791-2548 Jeffrey Fabiszewski
For information about our upcoming arts events, please visit our web site:

Learn more about the SPC Theater production of Urinetown the Musical.

Pinellas County High School Arts Exhibition Now Open at Crossroads Gallery

High School Arts Exhibition at Crossroads Gallery
Art from high school arts exhibition
by Carlicia Ramirez

The St. Petersburg College Clearwater Humanities & Fine Arts Department is hosting the Calyx Schenecker Art Infinitum Pinellas County High School Exhibition. The high school arts exhibition featuring student work is on display from April 24  to August 7, 2018 at the Crossroads Gallery at the SPC Clearwater Campus at 2464 Drew St., Clearwater.

Walk (or fly!) around the gallery to see two-dimensional and three-dimensional art from 16 Pinellas County High Schools.

The gallery is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Two-Dimensional Art at High School Arts Exhibition
A New Perspective - art from high school arts exhibition
by Annie Muller

The two-dimensional art include the categories of drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography.  This year we have acrylic and watercolor painting.

Several submitted drawings utilize the mediums of charcoal, chalk, graphite, pencil, color pencils, markers, pen and ink, and other similar types of mediums.  We also have artists who submitted monoprinting, block printing, etching, and lithography screen-printing art for the Calyx Schenecker Art Infinitum college scholarship awards.

Exhibit organizers received art from one artist who took the two-dimensional media and melded it to flow into a three-dimensional frame.

Three-Dimensional Art at High School Arts Exhibition

This year students submitted several types of three-dimensional art.  There is a handmade book.  Several types of ceramic pottery, tiles, faces and figurines line the space throughout the gallery.

Creatively, a few students mixed wood with metal to create organic sculptures.  In addition, one sculpture plays with negative and positive space within an abstract suspended three-dimensional reality.

Calyx Schenecker Scholarship Awards Wednesday

The Calyx Schenecker Art Infinitum Reception and Awards Ceremony takes place at the gallery on Wednesday,  April 25 from 6 – 8 p.m. Join us for the reception and honor our Pinellas County high school student artists.

Art from high school arts exhibition
by Victoria Villers

College scholarships will be presented to winners in the categories of:

  • ceramics/glass
  • digital arts
  • drawing
  • painting
  • photography
  • printmaking

This year submitted art comes from:

  • Boca Ciega High
  • Calvary Christian High
  • Clearwater High
  • Countryside High
  • Dixie Hollins High
  • Dunedin High
  • East Lake High
  • Gibbs High
  • Lakewood High
  • Largo High
  • Northeast High
  • Northside Christian
  • Osceola Fundamental High
  • Palm Harbor University High
  • St. Petersburg High
  • Tarpon Springs High