Get to know the grantee artists and their art practices

Seeing Myself In the Art

In Tampa Bay between Pinellas and Hillsborough, I can count on one hand Black theater directors. There aren’t that many and I’ve worked or know all of them. As I… Read More

Finding Time

I’ve been consistently writing since my late teens, and during all that time, I’ve been a part of countless writing groups, classes, workshops, and readings. After all that time, at… Read More

Marie Cummings with award winning painting "Kings Ransom."

About Me

ABOUT ME The grand marble staircase, flanked by knights’ metal armor circa middle ages, led to the 2nd floor of the Detroit Institute of Art. I played on those stairs… Read More

Any boxing fans?

      Hi. I’m Dennis DeBon, glass artist,  boxing referee, and screenwriter.  Probably, the only one you’ll ever meet.  So, I’m wondering if there are any boxing fans reading… Read More

Christophe Vorlet

Clay’s Journey to My Purpose

Blog Post 3 As a continuation of my previous post (blog 2), today I will share the evolution of my work over time and how it was a process of… Read More


Sometimes an artists influences may not be readily detectable in the art work. And arguably as seeing, hearing feeling humans isn’t it very possible everything is an influence and the… Read More

Reflections on Matthew Wong’s Retrospective

Hi everyone and happy new year! Today I want to share with you my reflection on Matthew Wong’s Retrospective, “The Realm of Appearances” at the Dallas Museum of Art in… Read More

acrylic painting of man falling

What to paint, what to say?

Hello, My name is Jenipher Chandley.  I am going to start my first blog post ever off by skipping all the simple pleasantries and get right into it. You want… Read More

Aimee Jones Emerging Artist Grant 2023

Hello everyone! My name is Aimee Jones, and I am so honored to be a grantee of Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant 2023. I want to first introduce myself and… Read More

Troy Bernardo’s Writing Studio

Hey everyone, I put together a short video on my writing studio and some items in it that help keep me inspired. I’m so excited to write more this year… Read More

A Blossom Born of Cloud

Over the past several months, I’ve been creating a new series of paintings that have emerged by letting go of expectations and tuning in to a deep space of tenderness…. Read More

Before and After

Before I met up with my mentor Jason Hackenworth I had a few paintings I needed to revisit and review, they were not making any sense to me. If they aren’t… Read More

“Never Stop Talking It”: My Creative Why

“You should be angry. You must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use… Read More

sculpture, ceramic

How did I realize my “why” in the Emerging Artist application?

Photo by Celso Yamachita Blog Post 2 Although applying for the Creative Pinellas Grant seemed bureaucratic and even daunting at first, I thought it was the perfect eye-opener. Everything is… Read More

Add to Cart

If I was a mathematician I might have sprung into action quicker but, slowly as I began to realize by the scoring and the odds I would be one of… Read More

A Show Is Born

One of my roles as a Creative Pinellas 2023 emerging artist is to create several blog posts over the course of the grant cycle. For this first introduction to my… Read More

best news, emerging artist

BEST NEWS EVER: Emerging Artist of 2023

Blog Post 1 – Agueda Zabisky On October 17, 2022, I received wonderful news. This news came out in an open review and the grading was via Zoom. I was… Read More

New York (Audition) State of Mind

September marks the beginning of the opera audition season! Let the singing begin! So, I’ve touched upon opera auditions briefly before in past blogs, but I figured I’d break down… Read More

Back to Teaching

pc: Sorcha Augustine I have been teaching dance for 20+ years. When the pandemic happened, like many others, I took time to assess what I wanted for my life and… Read More

Broadway Bound: Backstage with Blanche!

Broadway Bound was a MASSIVE success. Now that we finished our final show on Sunday (back-to-back performances, I might add), I’ve had time to relax and reflect on this amazing… Read More

That time I visited the National Museum of African American History & Culture…

Earlier this year, I had the privilege of visiting the National Museum of African American History & Culture and it was honestly the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in… Read More

The Show Must…

Most of us will recognize the romanticized image of the tortured artist, suffering for their creative life. Artists have famously struggled with their mental health- Vincent van Gogh. Kurt Cobain…. Read More

Do Art. Feel Better.

Do Art. Feel Better. Art is about filling space – or, where there is nothing apparent – and creating, weaving SOMETHING out of, or within, that space, that apparent nothing…. Read More

Actor’s Etiquette, Part 1

  It’s show week for the production of Broadway Bound and I’m very excited! The cast and crew have been hard at work with preparation and final steps and everything… Read More

Why Shakespeare Matters

To understand who we are, we need to understand where we came from. Ben Jonson, a contemporary of Shakespeare, wrote that Shakespeare was “not of an age, but for all… Read More

Actor’s Etiquette, Part 2

In my last blog post (Part 1), I detailed the basic and recommended guidelines for Actor Etiquette in live performance. I think these details can be applied to any performance… Read More

Remembrances of September 12th.

September the 11th, 2001. You remember. Think about how you felt on September the 12th. You remember. Wake up.  It was all real.  Get up.  The numb sickness of a… Read More

Gathering of Artisans

From April 17 to the 21st, I participated in a faith-based artists conference in the Blue Ridge mountains of North Carolina. The Gathering of Artisans drew about 300 artists, musicians,… Read More

The Role of Juror

I was invited to be a juror on September 1 for an exhibition at the Art Center Manatee in Bradenton. One hundred and fifty-one artists responded to the open invitation… Read More

Zion Uncovered

In early 2000 I taught an art class while working with the Sulfur Springs non-profit art organization Community Stepping Stones. I taught art classes in a vacant apartment in Robles… Read More

Preparing For DARKMATTER

Planning for DARKMATTER started last year. It is hard to describe how much goes into planning for creating a sculpture or installation. Its even more mind-boggling when you throw in… Read More

Making The Sculptures

It’s a spiritual practice The process for making these large sculptures is arduous, back-breaking, and finger wrecking, but it is so so satisfying. Firstly I must say there is no… Read More

Two Sculptures One Life

How can art remind us of what matters more? Like so many people, I felt compelled to make work that would resonate the strong fracture in our society over the… Read More

The afroQuantum Experiences: Artmaker Talks, Episodes 1 – 3

One of the commitments for my artist laureate year has been hosting afroQuantum Experiences: ArtMaker Talks. afroQuantum is a term I think I made up – I say I “think” because I’ve… Read More

Afrofuturism: Art, Technology, Economics, Culture, past-future-now

I’m generally not interested in how people classify, label, or box-in my consciousness or unconscious…so it’s hard for me to initially get behind terms or labels for movements…even those formed… Read More

A Question Of Control

A drawn out battle. Another painting included in DARKMATTER, Caging Of The Angels was created over several sessions in the studio.  Originally my intention was for this to be a… Read More

Beyond The Drama and Into The Symbolism

The symbols happen spontaneously but are edited with consideration. Many of the marks I make even in the form of numbers, letters, or words happen spontaneously. There is often an… Read More

Come Sing with Me

I’ve shared many aspects of my performance career, especially with respects to commercial acting and theater work. I will say, there is a lot that goes into being an actor…. Read More

Let the staging begin!

We’re well on our way with pulling together the wonderful show, Broadway Bound, with Vivid Theatre productions and the Tampa Bay JCC! Personally, I’m refining my memorization and my extensive… Read More

Why Make Them So Big

Making Huge Paintings Is Exciting But The Challenges Are Just As Big An important component of my DARKMATTER exhibition are the four extra-large paintings. When guests walk in to the… Read More

Love Letters

The paintings below are all part of a series of “Love Letters.” For me these represent the foundation for who I am and the inspiration for the works that I… Read More

Making Large Paintings 2

The Framework For An Exhibition I wanted all of the works in DARKMATTER to feel evocative and turbulent yet still convey some sense of optimism and joy. For me this… Read More

Work in Progress

STANDING, work in progress. Photo by Sorcha Augustine. If you’ve been following my blogs, you’ll know that I have been putting together a repertoire dedicated to Ukraine titled, STANDING. I… Read More

Lemonade Stand Signs

When Words Become Mark-Making Some of the paintings included in DARKMATTER look almost like a sign you might see by the side of the road. This is of course intentional… Read More

The Side Job

Whoop Whoop! The kids are officially back in school! And don’t you worry, because they have me  The best substitute ever! It’s my 2nd year subbing and I really love it!… Read More

If it’s meant to be…right?

Let’s just say the past 3 months have been very difficult. I’m currently working on producing a project that I don’t own the rights to. Therefore, one of the things… Read More

I have a problem, and I’m ready to talk about it.

Okay, so I’ve never told this to anyone. Please don’t judge me. I, Tamia Iman Kennedy, am addicted to romance novels. There, I said it! At first, it started small…. Read More

Broadway Bound!

Next up on the docket is Broadway Bound by Neil Simon! I’ll be reprising my role as Blanche Morton once again for the Tampa JCC’s JStage Series production this September! This will… Read More

Preparing For DARKMATTER

    Pencil drawing study for DARKMATTER   A couple years ago I was thrilled to discuss the possibility of doing an immersive exhibition at the amazing gallery at Creative… Read More

Making Large Paintings For DARKMATTER

You Can Do This! I’ve wanted to make really large paintings for a long time. My studio isn’t very big but with the idea of having a show at Creative… Read More

The Inspiration for The Concept

Finding The Muse in The Madness After figuring out what the concept for the show would be, I needed to find a muse that would act as the inspiration for… Read More

Painting As A Portal

The Process Is The Portal It is imaginable that one of the first ways early humans communicated was through mark making. This would have likely occurred by the use of… Read More

Paintings That Point To Our Social Failings

Over the course of the first half of 2022, a big part of my process was channeling my frustration and rage into my paintings. In doing this I found the… Read More

STANDING performance

I am finally able to share the recording of my performance of STANDING, a work mentioned in my previous blog. Unfortunately, the video projections are not coming through very clearly… Read More

Secret to Self-Tape Success

After a very active summer full of self-tape auditions and successful bookings (I booked a SAG film, but I’ll get to that in a future post), I figured I should… Read More

Featured Clips of Nightmare PTA Moms

  I’m VERY excited to share some clips from my recent Lifetime movie, Nightmare PTA Moms! It was filmed right here in Pinellas County and recently premiered July 10th, 2022…. Read More


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Art Supplies and Stuff Part II

There is a colorful free-standing paper mâché sculpture of a rhinoceros about 4’ high and maybe about 8’ long standing on the curbside in front of 2036 Central Ave. St…. Read More


Sarasota Contemporary Dance Intensive

This past July, I had the privilege of setting a new work on some of the intensive students of the Sarasota Contemporary Dance (SCD). It was a week-long process and… Read More

Travel Traditions

I have always enjoyed travel. When I was a child, one still dressed up to ride in an airplane. It was a very special event that most folks didn’t do… Read More


Characterization in writing should go beyond height and hair color. If you’re doing your job as an author, it should go beyond personality traits and predilections as well. Consider this… Read More

RECAP: PAG Conversation #1

I enjoyed participating in the PAG Conversation on July 13th, 2022. It was inspiring to check-in with and conduct a dialogue with the other amazing and immensely talented grantees. I… Read More

Art Supplies and Things Part 1

Get art supplies by just giving a donation of any amount! Really? Yes, at Creative Clay on First Ave. South St. Petersburg. They have a thrift store of art materials…. Read More

No Place Like Home

There Really Is… No place like home. It is the place we crave (whether we crave the reality or the memory or the fantasy of “home”) when things are not… Read More

A Premiere to Remember

It’s been a fun couple of weeks!    Shortly after my stint working on corporate training videos for JW Marriot, the movie Nightmare PTA Moms premiered on Lifetime, July 10th,… Read More

Grand Prize Winner

A few weeks ago, I won a pitch competition for Black On The Scene, hosted by the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Inc, Tampa Bay Chapter. This wasn’t my… Read More

And that’s a wrap!

It’s been a whole month since I wrapped filming for the movie “Blackview”, and I am missing being on set already. As you know, I was casted for a leading… Read More

Theatre In The Time Of Plague.

As our company in Prague battles with Covid outbreaks, I am thinking about how Shakespeare’s world of theatre survived near devastation from the Bubonic Plague, which claimed nearly a third… Read More

Inspired by the Jazz Jam

On Monday nights from 7-9 the Hangar Restaurant at the Albert Whitted Airport in downtown St. Petersburg overlooking Tampa Bay is the place to be if you like jazz! This… Read More

Woyenji, Mother of Fate (Excerpt, AQUARIUS and RIETTA)

Woyenji, Mother of Fate (Excerpt, AQUARIUS and RIETTA) Note: In the Woyengi creation myth of the Ijo people of Nigeria, she is known as the goddess of fate or destiny,… Read More

Music Can Do Anything

Music Can Do Anything. It might seem strange for a writer to say, but I believe music was my first voice; my dad was a jazz pianist, and sitting on… Read More


Do you remember that Teen Talk Barbie Doll from the early 90s that was promptly removed from shelves after accusations of sexism? She had an embedded speaker that said, “Math… Read More

Jason Hackenwerth

At the planning stage…

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Let’s chat about erotica. You may already be aware of Bands of a Small Hurricane, my next literary fiction release due out in just a few months, Oct 4. But… Read More


The Greatest Joys As an actor, I live my craft as a storyteller. The characters I play help to tell a part of a larger story peopled by other characters… Read More

On set, dance film

On set at the St. Pete Pier

This week I went into filming for my short dance film, the project for which my Creative Pinellas Grant is funding. It is a solo work that I am dancing… Read More

Art Judge

In Winter Haven there is a small but lucrative gallery called Ridge Art Association. To the wider art establishments in the state of Florida it is an insignificant place, yet… Read More

My Toolbox.

There are so many approaches to acting- to building the character. Some from the inside out (what is often referred to as “method acting”) or from the outside in (which… Read More

A day at Michael’s

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Director of Operations & Events- Jeff Surrena

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Phase 3

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Call me Carmen!

Another WONDERFUL opportunity in the books!    I was recently hired to participate in a corporate training series for JW Marriot! E-Training projects, like this one, are a great way… Read More

July In My Studio

Recovering from my trip from Jamaica after hours of delay, gate changes and crowded planes, I arrived back in St. Petersburg. I returned just in time for the deadline to… Read More


Watch an author’s (humiliating, ridiculous, naively absurd, and unexpectedly comical) attempt at recording her first audiobook! Bands of a Small Hurricane is my new literary fiction release, and you can… Read More

Sarah Emery

Dance Performance Training

I wanted to take a moment and give recognition to the organization, Dance Performance Training, based in Tampa, FL. Discovering them recently, they are a husband and wife team –… Read More

Level 2

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July 4th in Prague.

It is not strange to be in another country, far away from the US on this day. It is a blessing. Being as busy as we are here, we have… Read More

Artwork By Casey Wullner

Casey J. Wullner

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Art created by Julia Pasqua

Julia Pasqua

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1 out of 5 of Endangered Species

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A few days ago I received my author proof for Bands of a Small Hurricane! The proof does not yet have a coating on the cover, hence the very obvious… Read More

Take My Selfie for a Walk

I few years ago I made a plaster cast of my face. (Or my two sisters did) The old-time process is hard to endure for the recipients, applying coats of… Read More

Hank Rippert, My Dad

What can I say about my Dad? I could speak for hours and hours about him and about our relationship. I’ll do my best to give a deep glimpse into… Read More

Ricks and Rippert; A Friendship Steeped in Forever

Ricks & Rippert, a friendship steeped in forever… Kellie Ricks and I met in art school at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 1989. Kellie’s roommate, Tracy, was in… Read More


Prague Diaries, June 28

The weather in a new place is always a surprise. Prague is an odd climate- yesterday, it was cold and rainy all day (about 68 degrees Fahrenheit) and today it… Read More

Sarah Emery

Why Dance?

Dance has made enormous progress in popularity over the last decade. It used to be considered a serious art form and something for only the elite to enjoy. Perhaps one… Read More


I recently went down a mental rabbit hole thanks to a scene in HBO’s WestWorld. Somewhere near the tail end of Season One, a main character, Bernard, mentions something about… Read More

Lights, Camera, Action…Literacy

Summer offers wonderful opportunities in the realm of commercial acting work. I don’t think I’ve addressed this aspect of my career yet. A first!  A commercial or any type of… Read More

“Di Times Change”

To exhibit overseas is no easy task for an artist. Plane fares, shipping work, lodging can be very costly. Fortunately, I have close friends in Kingston Jamaica where  I can… Read More


When my words flood out onto the page, someone’s paint splatters across a canvas or melodic tunes drift by on a whisper of the wind only the musician can hear…… Read More