ART FOR THE PEOPLE: Soviet Realism Opens at Florida International Museum
Compelling Exhibit Focuses on Paintings from the Former USSR

St. Petersburg, Florida (January 28, 2003) Florida International Museum (FIM) announces a new exhibit, Art for the People: Soviet Realism, in conjunction with the 100/300 Celebration in St. Petersburg. The exhibit features 22 portrait and genre paintings from many of the 13 former USSR republics during the Soviet era. This striking exhibit was developed with the assistance of The Museum of Russian Art in Bloomington, Minnesota, the only museum of its kind in the United States devoted to officially sanctioned Soviet art.

“ This is an opportunity to see Soviet Russia through the eyes of the populace,” said Kathy Oathout, FIM Executive Director. “For many years, the Western world never got a glimpse inside the USSR. This collection is filled with scenes of everyday life in the Soviet era - some of it carrying political messages, to be sure, but there are also landscapes, still lifes and portraits.”
In Soviet Russia, the government encouraged artists to record social progress throughout the vast reaches of the land. The artists responded with their creative visions. Because of their extensive training in all aspects of art, most could paint figuratives and genre scenes as masterfully as landscapes and portraits. The artists’ ability to select subject matter contributed to the excellence showcased compellingly in this exhibit.

FIM celebrates Art For The People with a special Gallery Talk by Brad Shinkle, president of the Museum of Russian Art from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday, February 17, 2003. The talk is free and open to the public. Mr. Shinkle will also be present for the Opening Preview Reception Tuesday, February 18 from 5:30 - 7:30 pm. RSVP to 727-822-3693, ext. 260, $10 donation at the door.

Florida International Museum is the permanent home of the John F. Kennedy Collection and through Fall 2003, The Cuban Missile Crisis: When The Cold War Got Hot. FIM is currently hosting the North American debut of Mystique of the Motorcycle, a display of 83 rare and classic motorcycles from the world-class Trev Deeley Motorcycle collection. On display through February 23, 2003 is Memories of Maas Brothers, sponsored by RJ Bunbury Company, Inc.

Admission is $12 for adults, $11 for college students and seniors 65+, $6 for students. Children under 6 are free. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Last entry to the museum is at 4 p.m. daily. For more information please contact the Florida International Museum at 727-822-3693 or visit www.floridamuseum.org.

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The Florida International Museum is a non-profit educational institution supported, in part, by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, St. Petersburg/Clearwater Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Florida Arts Council, State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the City of St. Petersburg. Other major sponsors include Progress Energy, Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, and St. Petersburg Times.