It’s kind of a big deal: Picasso comes to St. Augustine

By Sara David |

St. Augustine isn’t exactly known for being a high profile art hub, which is what makes its newest exhibit extra exciting.

Picasso: Art and Arena features a small collection of lithographs, ceramics and illustrated books, scenes from Paul Haesaert’s documentary ‘Visit to Picasso’, as well as an intimate photo gallery of the artist himself .

Curated by Maria D’Adamo and her team of professionals, the exhibit has been brought to St. Augustine as part of the city’s 450th anniversary celebration. Picasso: Art & Arena is a tribute to the Spanish influence fundamental to the history of Florida.

While individual pieces from the exhibit have previously toured Europe, this is the first time they have been in the United States, courtesy of the Fundación Picasso, Museo Casa Natal of Málaga, Spain.

The exhibition highlights various pieces produced in different styles, techniques and media, created roughly between the years of 1929 and 1961.

One thing you may notice about the 39 pieces on display: almost every piece of the exhibit features bulls or bull fighting, a major influence for Picasso.

While the focal point may seem to be the 11 lithographs arranged and displayed in a mock bull fighting arena, D’Adamo says the exhibition’s most prized piece is an illustrated page from the only book Picasso ever wrote, titled Poems and Lithographs.

Frequently overshadowed, D’Adamo refers to this piece as a “jewel in the shadow”.

The exhibit also features a miniature showcase of local students’ interpretations of various Picasso works — Hanging with Picasso is a juried student art show sponsored by the Arts Alive program, highlighting winning works created by local elementary, middle and high school artists.

Although a relatively small exhibit, the attraction has been doing well, consistently pulling in about 250 people every day.

Originally advertised as running from February 1st to March 11th, if you weren’t able to make it to the exhibit you are in luck — the exhibit has been extended for an indefinite period of time.

Housed in the St. Augustine Visitor Information Center, the Picasso exhibit is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tickets are available to purchase at the venue: $10 for adults; $8 for seniors; $5 for children and free for children ages 6 and younger, military in uniform, and Flagler College students with identification.

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