2016 Professional Artist Grantees

Creative Pinellas honors our County’s working artists, their accomplishments to date and supports their efforts to advance their careers with the promise of future achievement in their chosen medium in its widest sense.

Babs Reingold

Venezuelan-born American artist Babs Reingold creates alternate ambiguities with her wall art and installations, focusing on beauty, poverty and the environment.  Her work continues to explore the nature of poverty and the environment, its barriers and its escape.  Learn more.


Photo by Desmond Clark

Carol Mickett & Robert Stackhouse

Carol Mickett and Robert Stackhouse have worked collaboratively for over sixteen years. Their practice includes painting, printmaking, and large-scale, site-specific sculpture all of which is focused on creating places that bring some joy to others. Their work is included in museums, and many private and public collections. Learn more.

Helen Hansen French

Helen Hansen French, a native of St. Petersburg, Florida received her BFA from The Juilliard School. Upon graduating she was invited to join Buglisi Dance Theatre. Tobi Tobias of the NYC Village Voice hailed her as “altogether luminous”, and Nancy Wozney of ArtsHouston says her, “generous and radiant performance stands out.  Learn more.

Peter Meder & Chris Chomick

The husband and wife team of Peter Meder and Chris Chomick have been working together for thirty-eight years. They met in 1978, while working as clerks in an art supply store in the Chicago loop and discovered their mutual fascination with puppets, stop-motion films, and mechanical toys. They immediately began collaborating on various projects; one of the first being a stop-motion animated puppet of the Dutch Boy for Sherwin Williams Paints, this began a career creating special effects for national television commercials. Learn more.

Tom Sivak

Tom Sivak is a composer, author, music director and conductor who’s composing credits run the gambit documentary films, musicals such as Sunshine City and a world premiere performance of his Prelude and Fugue for Orchestra by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Learn more.

Lisa Powers Tricomi

Lisa Powers Tricomi is a drama therapist, educator, and theatre professional, with over 25 years of experience. Combining her extensive background in theatre performance, production, and direction, along with expertise in the field of drama therapy, she offers a unique form of engagement with group participants, performers and audience. Whatever the select group, from veteran population, to adults and children diagnosed on the Autism spectrum, to people diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, her goal is to engage people in order to improve their lives through self-expression, by listening to them, opening them thru expressive arts, and helping them to find and tell their stories.  Learn more.

Ya Levy La’Ford

Ya Levy La’ford is a visual, mixed media artist and professor. Her extensive awards include, 2016 Muse Arts Ambassador Award, the Washington Project for the Arts, TBBCA Culture Encounter Art Award, and MLK Service Award Grant from the Florida Legislation. Her work has appeared in galleries, public collections and as part new community collaboration and special projects. Learn more.

Rose Marie Prins

Rose Marie Prins’ mixed-media paintings and sculptures have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums, cultural centers and galleries throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; the Gulf Coast Museum in Largo, Florida; the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe; the Bridge for Emerging Contemporary Art Gallery in New Orleans; Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar; the Erector Square Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut; the Courtyard Gallery in Alameda, California; the Merlin Gallery in San Francisco; the Woman’s Building in Los Angeles and at the Chautauqua Institution, New York.  Learn more.

Mark Aeling

Mark Aeling, Visual Art, has been consistently awarded multiple public art commissions from 1996 to the present as well as private commissions for his sculpture work. He has been recognized both nationally and internationally including the prestigious Stone Sculpture Triennale 2012. He is president of the board of the Warehouse Arts District Association and Master Plan Committee for the Warehouse Arts District and Keep St. Pete Local. Learn more.

Greg Byrd

Gregory Byrd is an award-winning artist in literature and poetry with a PhD in Literature from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is a Fulbright Fellow in poetry and literature and is a winner of the Yellow Jacket Prize for Florida Straits. Dr. Byrd was nominated by the Tampa Review for a Pushcart Prize: the Best of the Small Presses series.  He has also had writing residencies at the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences and at Bowers House in Canon, GA. Byrd writes “much of my poetry has focused on landscape and culture in Florida and on my family and my recent brush with cancer and with the death of my father has lead me to delve into those themes in a way that makes a metaphysical sense of those experiences.” Learn more.

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