2017 Emerging 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.

Gloria Muñoz

Gloria Muñoz is the author of the chapbook Your Biome Has Found You (Finishing Line Press, 2016). As a Colombian/American writer, she is interested in exploring identity, migration, environmental degradation and race. Her writing has appeared in several print and online publications and has also been honored by the Estelle J. Zbar Poetry Prize, the Bettye Newman Poetry Award, the New York Summer Writer’s Institute Fellowship, the USF Humanities Institute Poetry Award, and the Think Small to Think Big Artist Grant. Gloria holds degrees from Sarah Lawrence College and the University of South Florida, teaches creative writing at Eckerd College and for Keep St. Pete Lit and is also a co-founder of Pitch Her Productions, an organization dedicated to women in the arts. Learn more.

Mark Feinman
Music Composition

Mark Feinman is a drummer, composer and educator who is inspired by individual human experiences and a diverse range of musical influences. As the drummer for the Tampa Bay-based trio La Lucha, Mark has performed at TEDxTampa Bay (2014), TEDxUSF (2015) & TEDxDouglasville (2017). Mark received a B.M. in Jazz Performance at SUNY Purchase and an M.M. in Jazz Performance from the University of South Florida. He is a Drum Set Instructor at St. Petersburg College and the University of Tampa, and he’s currently a board member of Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association, an organization focused on the preservation & education of Jazz in the Tampa Bay area. Learn more.

Nathan Beard
Visual Art

Nathan Beard was awarded a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Colorado State University in 2001 and then worked in galleries and as an Art Consultant in Denver, CO for seven years. He grew up on a dairy farm in western New York. Prior to his university studies, Nathan lived in Egypt for one year as an exchange student and, upon his return, worked as a cowboy in Wyoming for two years. Nathan currently maintains a studio in St. Petersburg, FL, where he lives with his wife and six year old daughter. His work is represented in Pinellas County by ARTicles Art Gallery (St. Petersburg, FL). Nathan also serves as Curatorial Assistant at Dunedin Fine Art Center and as Preparator at Scarfone/Hartley Gallery, University of Tampa. Learn more.

Shannon Leah Halvorsen
Visual Art

Shannon Leah Halvorsen has dedicated the last 6 years to perfecting her own unique style of scratchboard technique. When not in her studio, she also runs her own business as a photographer for real estate and architecture. Shannon has participated in a number of gallery shows and festivals, from Miami Beach to Seattle, and has had her work published in Emboss Magazine and three anthologies of art, published by Out Of Step Books. She is a member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists and American Women Artists. Surrounded by an endless supply of pens, papers, paints, fabrics and clays, Shannon grew up in the Florida Keys and was taught proper wheel-throwing and coiling techniques before mastering her shoe laces. Learn more.

Elizabeth Barenis
Visual Art

Elizabeth Barenis is an artist living and working St. Petersburg, FL. Her parents, who owned a music store, nourished Elizabeth’s creative spirit by enrolling her in private art lessons during childhood. Elizabeth completed high school at the Mississippi School for Math and Science, where, although math and science were the focus, she received a painting award. Following high school, Elizabeth studied at the Sarah Lawrence College in New York and the Chautauqua Institute for Art. Elizabeth’s subject matter is grounded in reality as it is derived from her photography and paints in a style she calls “Abstract Precisionism,” through which she generalizes forms using clean and precise lines. Learn more.

Kellie Harmon

Kellie Harmon has choreographed and taught master classes for Santa Fe College, St. Petersburg College and the University of South Florida St. Petersburg Campus. Kellie’s experiences outside of Florida have inspired her to bring her signature voice to the local modern dance community by founding Rogue Dance. Beyond her own company, Kellie is also a founding member of the St. Petersburg Dance Alliance and seeks to curate professional dance in the Southeast. Kellie has studied in Paris and holds a BFA in Modern Dance from the University of South Florida. She has performed works from Jacqulyn Buglisi, Doug Varone, Marina Mascarell Martinez, Paul Selwyn Norton, Rosie Herrera, Stephanie Batten-Bland and Doug Gillespie. Learn more.

Desireé Moore
Media Arts

Desireé Moore is a film, video and media artist based in St. Petersburg, FL. She uses film and the nuance of time, color and play to dissect the roles and representations of women. Her films have shown nationally and internationally in theaters, drive-ins, and museums. Currently, her work is on view at the John and Mable Ringling Museum as a part of the Skyway exhibition. Moore has collaborated as the Director and Editor of What the Bringback Brought, the debut film project by artist Trenton Doyle Hancock. The Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant will assist in the production of new video work and elements of presentation to culminate in Moore’s first solo exhibition by years’ end. Learn more.

Jacob Troyli
Visual Art

Jake Troyli is an oil painter from St. Petersburg, Florida. A multi-ethnic man, Jake’s work is an examination of the condition and idea of Otherness. Utilizing a graphic style, a meticulous attention to detail, and subtle levity to inform thoughtful subject matter, Jake provides through his work an ongoing investigation of what it means to be the Other, and what happens when the role is shifted. Jake is a prolific contributor to the local art scene, showing work throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough county, and has recently begun exhibiting in Orlando. He received his BFA from Lincoln Memorial University in 2013, and is currently pursuing his MFA in studio art from the University of South Florida. Learn more.

Kenny Jensen
Visual Art

Kenny Jensen is a multidisciplinary artist working in St. Petersburg with a diverse creative background in sculpture, painting, photography, multimedia installation, video production, graphic design, performance art, and music composition. He has a long history of involvement with the Tampa Bay area arts community both as a maker and as an orchestrator of dozens of cross-discipline group and solo exhibitions both in grassroots and official gallery settings. He has worked with multiple St. Petersburg based organizations including the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and The Morean Arts Center. Most recently Kenny was the Gallery Curator at The Studio@620 which he left this past spring to focus on developing his vocation as a professional artist. Learn more.

Jeff George
Media Arts

Writer/Director Jeff George was born and raised in Clearwater and began his filmmaking career in high school as an intern with the St. Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission. A film school graduate of New York University and University of Central Florida, Jeff’s senior thesis “g.p.” took home honors from a number of national film festivals. He has worked with producers from Phoenix Pictures on “Basic,” starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson, while observing the direction of John McTiernan, then as the Camera PA on “The Punisher,” working under D.P. Conrad Hall, Jr. and Writer/Director Johnathan Hensleigh. Embracing both the creative and commercial aspects of the art form, Jeff looks forward to expanding strong visual storytelling in the area in a sustainable way. Learn more.

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