When we moved to St Petersburg Florida earlier this year we knew that it had an amazing arts community.
What I didn’t expect is that I’d find myself hanging out in parking lots and alleyways along Central Avenue, the areas encompassing the Edge District / Warehouse Arts District / Grand Central District… honestly, it’s not like it sounds.
St Pete has an AMAZING and growing collection of public art; there are murals all over the district. On the sides of stores themed to go with their products, on amazing new restaurants, tattoo parlors, The State Theater, in alleys and parking lots.
They are easily accessible to everyone and walking this past week I encountered countless people: couples, small groups, people walking and on bikes all enjoying and photographing these awesome pieces of one of a kind artwork.
The styles vary greatly from almost graffiti like, to geometric, cartoony and very realistic. Every style, color and design you can imagine.
One of my favorites is by Latin Pop Artist John Gascot; his mural of the Statue of Liberty is on the wall of a local club.
Not only is it a beautiful representation but I’ve known John personally for a very long time; and admire his work and dedication to making art accessible, showcasing local artists and encouraging LGBTQ youth to express themselves through art.
This beautiful piece adorns the side of NuMex, a recently opened restaurant featuring twists on New Mexico cuisine that is getting rave reviews.
Down the block, a restaurant with an Old Key West vibe has a mural showcasing sunsets, funky wooden directional signs, crabs and shuttered windows.
An almost photographic looking mural lines the side wall of a local tattoo shop, a colorful geometric pattern fills the wall along an office space and a fun cartoon representation sits across from a church.
I’ve found this amazing art form in doorways, flowing from walls onto trash dumpsters and across drainpipes, building arches and uniquely shaped facades…it’s everywhere!
While you can enjoy a lot of these beautiful pieces of artwork driving along Central Avenue or 1st Avenue North and South, or taking the Central Avenue Trolley; I highly recommend finding a place to park and enjoying a walk, some shopping, the Morean Arts Center, Chihuly Collection, and try one of the great local restaurants or breweries.
One visit might not be enough; you might just become as obsessed as I am.