Fascinating programming experiences accompany Florida CraftArt’s current exhibition of fine craft entitled “Oh, the places we can go!”and the public is invited to attend free of charge.
Are you a history buff? Enjoy an evening at Florida CraftArt with New York Times bestselling author John Prevas. A professor of classics at the University of South Florida, he will share his thoughts and insights on how travelling in the footsteps of great leaders from the ancient world has helped in the historical research and writing of his six books. He will cover Spain, Tunisia and the Alps with Hannibal, Asia Minor with Xenophon, Iran Afghanistan and Pakistan with Alexander the Great and France and Italy with Julius Caesar!
Professor Prevas’ fourth book (2009) Power Ambition Glory, which heco-authored with Steve Forbes was a New York Times best seller. The book is a study of six ancient leaders paralleling their strengths and weaknesses with contemporary business figures. Steve Forbes and John Prevas have lectured on lessons to be drawn from the ancient leaders at the Hoover Institution retreat at Stanford University, the Smithsonian and numerous venues across the country. Professor Prevas has lectured regularly at the Smithsonian, appeared several times on CNN, Fox, the History Channel, NPR, and in a BBC/National Geographic film on Hannibal.
Join us at Florida CraftArt for what is sure to be an engaging lecture by John Prevas on Thursday, July 29, 6 p.m. The event is free.
On Saturday, July 31, 2 p.m. textile artist Elizabeth Neily will tell the fascinating story of travel clothing from 1528 to today. Journey with Elizabeth’s character Maria Velasquez as she sails from Spain to the New World and then follow the interesting history of travel attire. The event is free.
Thursday, August 5, 6 p.m. Enjoy an ekphrastic*performance by local writers who have interpreted art in the exhibition to weave stories or poems about them. Led by Keep St. Pete Lit founder Maureen McDole, it is a creative, imaginative experience, not to be missed! The event is free.
(*Ekphrastic is a Greek word defined as the use of detailed description of a work of visual art as a literary device.)
Tuesday, August 17, 6 p.m. Author Dave Seminara will talk about the pleasures and perils of wanderlust featured in his book Mad Travelers: A Tale of Wanderlust, Greed and the Quest to Reach the Ends of the Earth. He delves deep inside the subculture of country collecting, taking readers to danger zones like Mogadishu and geographical oddities like Norway’s nearly impossible-to-reach Bouvet Island. Along the way, this raucous tale of adventure and international intrigue illuminates the perils and pleasures of wanderlust while examining a fundamental question: why are some people compelled to travel, while others are content to stay home? Mad Travelers is a perceptive and at times hilarious account of how the pursuit of everywhere put the world’s greatest travelers at the mercy of a brilliant young con man. The event is free.
“As engaging the community is part of Florida CraftArt’s mission, the public is invited to attend the exhibition and programming free of charge,” says Florida CraftArt’s Board President Tyler Jones. “It is made possible with support from the exhibition’s sponsor Elizabeth Reilinger, along with David and Becky Ramsey, Regions Bank, the City of St. Petersburg, and Florida’s Division of Arts & Culture.”
The exhibition runs through August 28. Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.FloridaCraftArt.org or call (727) 821-7391. Fine craft art is presented in its 2,500-square-foot retail gallery and curated exhibitions are featured in its adjacent exhibition gallery. Florida CraftArt is a nonprofit organization founded in 1951 and headquartered in St. Petersburg. Its mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work. Florida CraftArt is the only statewide organization offering artists a platform to show and sell their work.
More about the presenters:
About John Prevas
New York Times bestselling author John Prevas was born in Baltimore, Maryland and educated at the University of Maryland, where he was awarded a bachelor’s degree in history and master’s degree in political science. He went on to earn a second master’s degree in educational psychology at Johns Hopkins University and a law degree from Antioch School of Law, Washington, D.C. He has studied Latin on the graduate level at Yale University and the University of Maryland and taught Latin, Greek, Government, Law and History at St. Mary’s College of Maryland and Towson University. From 2001 until 2011 he was scholar in residence and assistant professor of classics at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida and is currently professor of classics at the University of South Florida, Sarasota.
Hannibal Crosses the Alps was John’s first book (1998) and based on his extensive research in Paris studying the Greek and Latin manuscripts pertaining to Hannibal. This was followed by several summers in which he climbed all the major passes in the southern French Alps which historians over the centuries have speculated might have been the famed route by which Hannibal invaded Italy. He continues to lead groups of students and interested political and business leaders into the Alps each summer to retrace the famous Carthaginian’s footsteps and is considered one of the leading academic experts on Hannibal.
During the last several years John has made presentations on Hannibal at Princeton, Rutgers, Vassar, Stanford and Meridian House International in Washington D.C. He has given a number of presentations in France where he was featured in a prominent national magazine; Passion and participated in a documentary on Hannibal filmed in the Alps by the BBC and the National Geographic Society. John has appeared on the History Channel and spoken on Hannibal as a leadership figure at a meeting of United Nationsambassadors in New York, and at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.
John’s second book, Xenophon’s March (2002) is, like Hannibal, based on the author’s manuscript research and actual retracing of the route of ten thousand Greek mercenaries through the Persian Empire. His travels in connection with the book took him to some of the most remote mountain areas of eastern Turkey, along the Russian, Iranian, and Syrian borders and the Black Sea. John has lectured on Xenophon at the Turkish Embassy, Washington, D.C. and spoken to both Greek and Turkish audiences on Voice of America.
Envy of the Gods, the author’s third book, is the story of the unraveling and demise of Alexander the Great in the east. The book was published in 2004 and favorably reviewed in Kirkus and the New York Times. In researching the book John traveled alone to Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Pakistan on his Greek passport tracing the route of Alexander and his army through those troubled lands. His travels took him from the Zagros Mountains of Iran and the ancient Persian capital of Persepolis, over the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan onto the steppes of Uzbekistan, through the Khyber Pass and into the Swat Valley of Pakistan. From the Swat Valley he followed the Indus River to the fringes of the desolate no-man’s land known in ancient times as the Gedrosian Desert.
In conjunction with the release of this book, John was interviewed on CNN, CNN International, NPR, C-Span Book Talk and a number of radio stations. He appeared on the Fox News network show Hannity and Colmes and lectured on Alexander at Stanford University, Meridian House International and in France at the festival du Livre. He continues to speak about Hannibal, Xenophon and Alexander as leadership figures to business groups around the country for Northern Trust Bank as well as at annual Forbes CEO Conferences.
John’s fourth book (2009) is Power Ambition Glory a New York Times best seller co-authored with Steve Forbes and published by Random House. The book is a study of six ancient leaders paralleling their strengths and weaknesses with contemporary business figures. Steve Forbes and John Prevas recently lectured on lessons to be drawn from the ancient leaders at the Hoover Institution retreat at Stanford University.
His most recent book (2017) is Hannibal’s Oath which was reviewed in the New York Times.
John is currently a court appointed mediator for the Florida 6thJudicial Circuit on working on his next book the story of the relationship between Aristotle and Alexander the Great.
About Elizabeth Neily
Elizabeth Neily’s fascination with textiles comes from playing with scraps of fabric her mother gave her to play with as a child. That fascination became a lifelong obsession.
Educated at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Anthropology in 1974 and went on to study design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. The untimely death of her husband forced her to join the workforce earlier than expected as a publicist and freelance writer/photographer.
After Elizabeth moved to Florida in 1980, she helped found Tampa Bay Wearable Art Guild. Her gowns worked with trapunto and stitched designs were featured in the guild’s annual fashion shows. As a newcomer to the state, she felt alienated in this environment, so she made it her mission to learn about its natural and cultural history, which eventually lead her to meet her husband, Hermann Trappman. Renowned for interpreting Florida’s indigenous people through his painting and storytelling, he encouraged her to tell the stories of Florida women. She became artist-in-residence at the Science Center of Pinellas County, traveling as one of the characters she developed to Pinellas County Schools to talk about Spanish encounters with Tocobaga Indians. Together, the couple has published a magazine, created and installed exhibits, and consulted on films about Florida.
Drawn back to playing with fabrics, she designed reproductions of 16th century clothing for the DeSoto National Memorial in Bradenton. In 2000, Elizabeth was awarded a Pinellas County Artists grant to purchase a new sewing machine for her work. For the Viva Florida 500 celebration, Elizabeth offered “Fabrics of Change: 16th Century Clothing 1500-1600, which included lectures, fashion shows, and workshops, funded by a Florida Humanities Grant.
When Elizabeth retired as director of the Panama Canal Museum in 2012, she decided it was about time to learn to knit. As a “lefty,” she had found it challenging but eventually broke out of the box to create her own designs. In 2013, Elizabeth joined a friend to open up a yarn shop in Gulfport, where she spun, wove, dyed yarns, and offered classes. It subsequently closed in the Spring of 2020. Elizabeth continues to teach and expand her repertoire of techniques which she finds ways to incorporate into her work which she exhibits at galleries and museums.
Neily Trappman Studio
About Maureen McDole
Maureen McDole was born in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is a direct descendant of carnies, carpenters and fishermen. This do-it-yourself ethos in her DNA infuses every area of her life. As far back as she can remember she loved to write. Her first book of poems,Exploring My Options came out in 2006. Her second poetry book, Longing for the Deep End was released in December 2011. Maureen’s third collection of poems entitled Feast will come out in early 2021 from St. Petersburg Press. She has a BA in English Literature from USF-St. Petersburg and a certificate in Arts & Culture Strategy from University of Pennsylvania. Her poetry has been set in a variety of different ways including: film, dance, spoken word, art installations, Sprechstimme, and traditional vocal works. She is the recipient of St. Petersburg Art Alliance’s 2016 MUSE Award for Literary Arts. She is also the President of Friends of the Mirror Lake Library. Maureen has been leading workshops and speaking about creativity for over 15 years. She founded Keep St. Pete Lit because she believes wholeheartedly in the power of literature to change the world.
About Dave Seminara
Dave Seminara is a writer, former diplomat, and pathological traveler who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, which first published a brief account of this journey,The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The Washington Post, and dozens of other publications. He is the author of Footsteps of Federer: A Fan’s Pilgrimage Across 7 Swiss Cantons in 10 Acts and two other books: Bed, Breakfast & Drunken Threats: Dispatches from the Margins of Europe and Breakfast with Polygamists: Dispatches from the Margins of The Americas.