Get to know the Emerging and Professional artists and their art practices

Not Just a Decoration

By Antonia Lewandowski

Not Just a Decoration The comma, that is. Commas, and punctuation in general, confuse many people. Maybe that’s why students and some writers avoid using them. I’ve been seeing more… Read More

Victoria Jorgensen

Artist Mentors – The Greatest, Immeasurable Gift

By Luci Westphal

As our 2024 Emerging Artist Grant Cycle comes to a close (this is the last week, you can see our group exhibit), I want to highlight and celebrate one of… Read More

Why Poetry?

By Antonia Lewandowski

Why  Poetry? A better question might be, why not?  The story forms we currently rely on are video games, streaming, and maybe reality shows that package how we live or… Read More

Making-of Video and Art Talk for “Public Walls and In-Between Spaces” Installation

By Luci Westphal

On June 1st, I hosted an artist talk about my interactive mixed-media installation at the Creative Pinellas Gallery. As much as the opening reception in May was the highlight of… Read More

Planned Obsolescence

By Vanessa Cunto

Here in St. Petersburg, we are incredibly fortunate to host a museum dedicated to the Arts and Crafts Movement. This museum is a testament to a period that emphasized the… Read More

A Foot Forward

By Antonia Lewandowski

Putting My Foot Forward Early in February, while most people were thinking about hearts, flowers, and chocolate, I was paying attention to the color gray – specifically the dull gray… Read More

writing on the public walls and in-between spaces installation at Creative Pinellas

Your Thoughts, Feelings, and Actions Inside In-Between Spaces

By Luci Westphal

If you have seen the installation I created for the 2024 Emerging Artists Exhibit, then you probably know it’s a growing, changing, and interactive artwork. There three main dynamic aspects… Read More

My Artist Talk: A Revelation

By Fran Failla

Well, the opening reception for the 2024 Emerging Artists has come and gone. It was an amazing and thrilling evening. Hundreds of people came out, many of whom I know… Read More

Old Box #13: Because Art, Like A Dermatologist in Love, Knows Exactly How to Read A Viewer’s Face

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

The photographer steps in, when, at the very second the art being viewed turns the viewer’s face into an art influenced by art, another expression of the artist or shall… Read More

Public Walls and In-Between Spaces, installation by Luci Westphal, Creative Pinellas Gallery, 2024

Photo Reference Map of “Public Walls and In-Between Spaces”

By Luci Westphal

For my installation currently on view at the Creative Pinellas Gallery, I used 229 photos. Here are three photo reference maps, one for each wall, so you can see when… Read More

pretend this is great art, public walls and in-between spaces, installation, Luci Westphal, street art, Rio, Brazil, Hamburg, Germany, wood transfer

Mixing More Media: Growing (Through) A Grant Installation

By Luci Westphal

On the evening before the day of the opening reception for our 2024 emerging artist group exhibit, it is time– no I’m finding / making / taking / stealing time… Read More

Old Box #12: You Will Own Nothing Unless You Own A Camera And Enough Obelisks to Make A Hi Res (Rise) Picket Fence

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

Protect me, Dear Camera, for these are scary times, times that develop so fast no library pigeon will visit the fountain of stop bath between the old and new wing,… Read More

The Business of Art: More Insights

By Fran Failla

Hi again! I have to laugh at myself. When I first started writing this blog/grantee story I thought to myself “how in the world will I be able to come… Read More

Words of Protest

By Antonia Lewandowski

Words of Protest Poetry has many uses. We write to capture a moment, illuminate an idea, express visual delight, mark a significant event, confess an emotion. Another one of poetry’s… Read More

Old Box #11: Bothering the World and Being Bothered by It Because Reality is Alive!

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

Both in the red and both in the ring, both an Other versus another, the new bot that is always there, there in the black and white where the broth… Read More

The Business of Art: Some “Take-Aways”

By Fran Failla

I decided several years ago to move from the realm of just painting art into the business of selling my art. It’s two completely different activities and each one has… Read More

Experimental Erasure

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

We are wrapping up our Emerging Artist Grant, we’ve delivered all the work to the gallery, shared event information with interested parties, and are awaiting opening night. I am excited… Read More

Obtained, Exchanged, Stolen, Valued, and Collected

By Vanessa Cunto

Material possessions often act as both symbols of wealth and markers of individual achievement. Pictures adorned with opulent goods serve as commemorative monuments to prosperity, while taste and consumption are… Read More

Analog Print in a Post-Digital World

By Kaitlin Crockett

Choosing to work in analog print mediums in 2024 doesn’t mean I’m a Luddite who opposes technology. In fact, much of my work is facilitated by the internet. Through online… Read More

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Print in Practice

By Kaitlin Crockett

Working as a print and book artist and operator of a community print shop, I’m conscious of the resulting waste and carbon and water footprint. According to Temporary Services in… Read More

Old Box #10: Chatty Camera Chatty Camera Bang Bang!

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

My camera talks too much. It goes on and on and on, all up in my face, until I have offered it something it deems worthy of photography. Opinionated and… Read More

Extending an Experience

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

In my last Artist Story post, I mentioned sharing my painting process and how I build ‘bayscapes.’ The journey starts with an experience. I may take photographs while walking along… Read More

Revelations of an “Emerging” Artist

By Fran Failla

First, I’d like to say that today was a very special day. Today, I delivered my three completed paintings to the Gallery at Creative Pinellas for the 2024 Emerging Artist… Read More

Star Booty: Mimi Reilly memorial zine

By Kaitlin Crockett

I was inspired to make a zine about Star Booty to memorialize Mignonne “Mimi” Reilly. After we lost Mimi, I saw someone post “St. Pete lost its Mom” and it… Read More

Inspiration Everywhere: Found Text and Images

By Kaitlin Crockett

As a printmaker and book artist with keen observation, I often draw inspiration from the world around me in the form of found text and images. Ever since childhood I’ve… Read More

Imperfect

By Antonia Lewandowski

Imperfect Most creative people have files, cabinets and closets full of unfinished projects. No surprise there. Not everything we try to do comes up to expectations. Sifting through my files,… Read More

Against the Grain

By Vanessa Cunto

For this drawing I created a still life with a handful of Spanish needle tied up in the knot of a taper candle. Spanish needle often finds itself labeled as… Read More

The Thing about Florida

By Tyler Gillespie

My essay collection The Thing about Florida: Exploring a Misunderstood State turns three years old this month! To celebrate, I wanted to give a behind-the-scenes look at my writing process. … Read More

Poetry Month: “it’s in the cards (tarot sonnet)” zine

By Tyler Gillespie

Poets! It’s April. Our month! I say we’re all poets. Therefore, it’s a month for all of us. To celebrate, I want to share a recent poetry exercise as a… Read More

Printing with Wood Type: Traditional to Experimental

By Kaitlin Crockett

I discovered letterpress printing not through graphic design, like many, but through writing and my love of words. As an undergraduate Creative Writing student I was driven to self-publish chapbooks… Read More

Printed Matter, MoMA, and the NYPL: More in NYC

By Kaitlin Crockett

The zine exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum wasn’t my only print stop in NYC that weekend. I also visited Printed Matter in Chelsea, the Museum of Modern Art, and the… Read More

Cohort Check-In Recap

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

  April 10th marked the third of the virtual cohort check-ins as part of the Creative Pinellas 2024 Emerging Artist Grant. We are weeks away from the exhibition opening and… Read More

Graphite as a Medium

By Vanessa Cunto

Graphite, a humble mineral found abundantly in nature, holds an esteemed place in the realm of fine art. Often paired with paper, it forms a timeless medium that speaks to… Read More

Old Box #9: Not Dreaming but the Borrowed Isms Between Old Memories and Remembering

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

I dream too much. It’s strange. I also know that I am not in my body when I dream. I am traveling. The dream, the images of it, happen outside… Read More

Poetry Alley: Plate Poems

By Tyler Gillespie

One of my favorite aspects of poetry is its associative quality. The genre allows us to make leaps — over the canyons we call cracks in the (figurative) pavement. These… Read More

Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines at the Brooklyn Museum

By Kaitlin Crockett

For my birthday last month I got to see the Copy Machine Manifestos: Artists Who Make Zines exhibition before it closed on March 31st at the Brooklyn Museum.  As a… Read More

Looking Forward to the EAE

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

I’ve been using the writing portion of the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist 2024 Grant Cycle to tell my journey as an artist as well as publish updates about the grant… Read More

Embracing Empowerment

By Fran Failla

The Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant experience is now in its final phase. My artwork for the long-awaited exhibition, which is only about a month away, is completed, including the… Read More

Old Box #8: Snap, Snap, Snap, Synaptic Slapstick Sneak Thief

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

You want to discuss the photograph, to hear about it. Ear Art. I want to discuss the creative process, visual timing, the galaxy behind my ball clock eyes. Equipment, don’t… Read More

Terza Rima Anyone?

By Antonia Lewandowski

No, it’s not a fancy new cocktail or even a rich, continental dessert. Terza rima is a verse form. We associate its development with Dante writing the Divine Comedy in… Read More

Florida Man: Poems in the Courtyard

By Tyler Gillespie

On Tuesday, March 12th, I launched Florida Man: Poems, Revisited (Burrow Press) with Chad Mize and Gloria Muñoz at Tombolo Books. The bookstore set up its glorious courtyard for the… Read More

From Poetry Prints to Greeting Cards

By Tyler Gillespie

At the book launch Q&A for Florida Man: Poems, Revisited, Gloria Muñoz asked Chad Mize and me about our multiple artistic pursuits. Chad creates work from murals to merch, and,… Read More

Old Box #7: Fleeced by Repetition, The Love Song of Photo Op Prude Frock

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

You are my candy kitchen not my sweet and low religion, not my cold cut keeper. I kid you not. I’m here for the sundae, homemade in dairy heaven, not… Read More

Overcoming Challenges

By Fran Failla

There are a gazillion platitudes out there about how to stay positive, rise above the noise and push on to ultimate victory. It’s at your fingertips, they say. It’s all… Read More

Motherhood and the Pursuit of Self

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

    So far I’ve briefly mentioned three chapters in my past; beginnings in Barbados, education in different states, and cultural studies in Newcastle upon Tyne. After these sojourns I… Read More

Old Box #6: Operating in the Impossible Comparative to Purposely Fail

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

Give or take a few of the sentences that include nothing but dialogue, the “he say she say” that frequently displaces imagery preventing a writer from inserting a picture into… Read More

Completing the Third and Last Painting

By Fran Failla

First, I have to say that I’ve learned a valuable lesson regarding the subject of stress. For the past several weeks, I’ve been thoroughly stressed out about completing the third… Read More

Florida Man: Poems on TV

By Tyler Gillespie

In my family, Fox 13’s Linda Hurtado is iconic, so I was beyond honored to be a guest on her segment “Tampa Bay Reads.” The week before the release of… Read More

The Third Triptych Painting in Progress

By Fran Failla

As mentioned in my previous story, I am continuing to guide you, the reader, through the process of creating this third and final painting in the triptych series of “The… Read More

My Mother's Hands

Artist Story – David McCauley

By David McCauley

David McCauley is an interdisciplinary artist based in St Petersburg, FL. Since 2012, he has founded multiple 501c3 organizations such as The Rise Up Gallery, The Laundromat Art Space, and… Read More

Exploring a New Medium: Stained Glass class at the Museum of the AACM

By Kaitlin Crockett

It can be necessary to step out of your comfort zone and try something new, not just as artists, but as humans. This month, my mother and I took a… Read More

Look Behind the Scenes of the Historic Kenwood Artist Enclave

By Luci Westphal

By Luci Westphal. Every year artists in St. Pete’s Historic Kenwood district open our home studios and backyards to the public to look behind the scenes of the creative process, mingle with fellow art lovers, enjoy performances and purchase hyper-local art…. Read More

Women on Screens

By Kaitlin Crockett

Although women have always been part of the printing industry, our work has been historically undervalued and underrepresented.  In the 17th and 18th centuries when printing was extremely labor intensive,… Read More

A Room Full of Suspense

By Antonia Lewandowski

In January I segued from writing poetry to taking a six-day workshop in suspense writing at the well-established Writers in Paradise Conference held at Eckerd College. Through its 20-year history,… Read More

From New Mexico to Newcastle

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

This article is dedicated to my journey as an artist. I left Barbados at the age of 16 to act as an ambassador of sorts at the Armand Hammer United… Read More

Cabinet of Curiosities

By Vanessa Cunto

Balthasar van der Ast, a prominent Dutch painter, left a special mark on the art world with his exquisite depictions of nature. A testament to his lifetime of works was… Read More

SPZF24 Recap: Reflecting on the St. Pete Zine Fest & Symposium

By Kaitlin Crockett

SPZF24, St. Pete Zine Fest & Symposium, was held on Saturday, February 17th from 11am-3pm at the West Community Library at the St. Petersburg College-Gibbs Campus. It was a magical… Read More

Florida Man: Poems with Prints

By Tyler Gillespie

During a recent poetry/memoir panel at ReadOUT, an audience member asked about my poetry prints. The poet wanted to know: 1) if I write poems with prints in mind (meaning,… Read More

Florida Man: Poems with a Heat Advisory

By Tyler Gillespie

A lot has changed – both in Florida and my writing – since the original publication of my collection Florida Man: Poems in 2018. To reflect this reality, the publisher… Read More

Guenter Westphal, Luci Westphal, exhibit Hamburg

Reflections – An Artist Father’s Daughter

By Luci Westphal

In a way, I lost part of my emerging artist grant cycle because of two “interrupting” trips to Germany (adding up to 6 weeks) to help my ailing father, Günter… Read More

The “Journo-Poems” of Florida Man

By Tyler Gillespie

In March 2024, the Orlando-based publisher Burrow Press is releasing a new edition of my poetry collection Florida Man: Poems. The book “revisits” the original work and extends its themes… Read More

Zines: Intensely Personal, Yet Universal

By Kaitlin Crockett

I’ve always loved zines from the moment I discovered them, but one of the first zines that *really* left an impact on me was “Fat at the Gym” by Kallie… Read More

Inky Hands Full Heart

By Kaitlin Crockett

I’ve always loved ‘Love’ and Valentine’s Day. Some of the very first greeting cards I printed when I got my Chandler & Price tabletop press and started my printmaking practice… Read More

We Are All Magic

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

Last week I started to write about my progression as an artist starting with what it was like growing up in Barbados and the support I received from the artistic… Read More

The Poetry of Broadsides

By Tyler Gillespie

After we met at Indie Flea, Kaitlin Crockett and I got coffee at the Black Crow on Central. We talked about Florida and poetry and her experience as a printmaker…. Read More

Inspiration for a Still Life

By Vanessa Cunto

I am very inspired by Dutch painter Adriaen Coorte, whose work often features elements on the verge of falling. His compositions are set up in a way that imply “imminent… Read More

Broughtupsy Banner

Bajan Broughtupsy

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

Broughtupsy: (noun) Diminutive of brought up. (Caribbean) good manners.    What was it like growing up on a Caribbean Island? This is a bit of a loaded question. I lived… Read More

Public Poetry: “Flowers for a New Year”

By Tyler Gillespie

On the last day of 2023, I stand in an alley with a staple gun. My artist/poet friend Keifer hands me one of the poetry collages we’ve made with our… Read More

Beginning the Third Painting of the Triptych

By Fran Failla

As promised, I am continuing to take you through the development process involved in the creation of a themed triptych of oil paintings. The theme that embraces all three works… Read More

Empty and Full

By Antonia Lewandowski

Empty and Full In what sense might we say a poem is ordinary?  For the most part, thoughts that come from unexpected directions get pulled together by everyday language. I… Read More

A Florida Man Comes Back Home

By Tyler Gillespie

I’m a fifth-generation Floridian born and raised in Pinellas County. I’ve written about Florida for over a decade, so people often ask me about it. Recently, they’ve been asking if… Read More

Letterpress: A Multi-Sensory Experience

By Kaitlin Crockett

. . . One of the things that keeps me coming back to Letterpress in my art practice is the way it engages my senses. When much of my day… Read More

COLLATE composing stick "Support Artists"

Community Building as Practice

By Kaitlin Crockett

Community building is an important part of my art practice as a printmaker and book artist. Finding ways to engage others in the work brings meaning to my personal work,… Read More

Mindful Marketing

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

Once I heard that I’d received the 2024 Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant I knew that I wanted my artist stories to journal the process from beginning to end.  Last… Read More

Open your eye girl, graffiti, brick building, photo transferred to wood, Luci Westphal

Now What? How To Choose Your Art Path

By Luci Westphal

My biggest dilemma as an artist: So little time, so much to create. There seems to be a lot of talk about where to find inspiration. But I’m more concerned… Read More

Completing the Second Painting

By Fran Failla

Well, the second painting of the series I’m creating is now complete. Its title is “The Big Apple is Burning” and it’s a rather dark metaphor of the destruction of… Read More

Painting to Grow and Growing to Paint

By Fran Failla

At the end of December 2023, I completed the first painting in the series I’m creating for the upcoming Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Exhibition. I documented that journey from initial… Read More

Reflecting on the Anthropocene

By Vanessa Cunto

When I first learned about the proposed idea of the Earth entering a new geological epoch, transitioning from the Holocene to the Anthropocene, I was fascinated to be alive during… Read More

Old Box #5: My Sun Daze Obsession, A Fable

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

It’s easy to make a Sunday. All you need is faith, the desire to explore the invisible geometry and the forced matrimony between stages of light. In an old box,… Read More

Telling A Story

By Antonia Lewandowski

A Good Story Seven-year-old Vilemina and I sat down to write a story. “I don’t know,” she began. “Well, I suggested, “Let’s think about what happened this week. What do… Read More

Old Box #4: Loco Foto Motion

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

One of my favorite, normal Florida things to do is to drive from St. Pete to Amtrak’s Tampa Union Station, park my car in the weakly fenced lot, take the… Read More

Old Box #3: Temporal Slices of Literacy

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

I hate bookshelves but that has not always been the case. I once had an apartment with a full bookcase of shelves built into the wall––one end of the main… Read More

Featured Image Exloring my Options

Meeting My Mentor Maureen McDole

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

As part of the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant, grantees are paired with mentors. I think it’s only fitting to use alliteration in the title of this article because my… Read More

The Next Steps: The Painting Process

By Fran Failla

So far you have seen the beginning steps to creating an oil painting, going from the initial idea and sketch phase to the first “underpainting” on the stretched canvas.  These… Read More

Old Box #2: Candid “I” Exams

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

Because creation, both capital C and small c, is continuous, there is no such category as non-creativity not even amidst a waste land. The all of life, included death, bleeds… Read More

Igniting New Life

By Gabriela Rosa

As we strolled through the soft white sand towards the calm water at Treasure Island beach, the clear skies above seemed to promise the perfect backdrop for a sunset –… Read More

Accelerate: who me?

By Antonia Lewandowski

I search for time. Not the gap of fifteen minutes between boiling pasta and serving dinner, but time like a safari, two or three hours tracing my steps in the… Read More

Old Box #1: A Difficult Love

By Thomas Sayers Ellis

A friend of mine, a local photographer, and I were brainstorming a name for a new photography magazine. Back and forth, in a cafe, the math of verbal volley. No… Read More

street art, this is not a test, graffiti

Opportunity, Inspiration, Discipline, and Anxiety Ahead

By Luci Westphal

I’m not sure which feeling came first: honored or startled. A few weeks ago, I sat through a rather intense online experience with many invisible peers, as we watched a… Read More

Continuing the Painting Process

By Fran Failla

The Next Step In my last blog/story, “Beginning the Painting Process”, I outlined the first steps to creating a finished still life oil painting. There I took the process from… Read More

An Ode to Our Library System

By Vanessa Cunto

Being an avid user of our library system, I often find myself led to unexpected literary treasures. In a quest for William Morris’s ‘How We Live and How We Might… Read More

Original oil painting of Old Tampa Bay

In Constant Conversation

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

When I sit to think about what I want to share for the Artist Story blog Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant Artist Story I ask myself what has already been… Read More

Beginning The Painting Process

By Fran Failla

As a visual artist, working with oil paints as my medium, I usually go from initial idea, to setting up the still life, to sitting down in front of my… Read More

A Leap Forward

By Antonia Lewandowski

One Wednesday afternoon in fall  2021, I walked into the Creative Pinellas art gallery, having read about it in the Sunday Tampa Bay Times. The work I saw in the… Read More

Inspiration Behind the Drawing “Override”

By Vanessa Cunto

In this drawing, I am working with elements often found in Dutch Golden Age paintings that not only symbolize the transience of human existence but also serve as poignant reminders… Read More

Brimming with Excitement

By Harriet Monzon-Aguirre

. . . Brimming with excitement. That is how it feels to have been awarded the Emerging Artist Grant from Creative Pinellas. I admit that painting on larger canvases instills… Read More

Entering The Experience

By Fran Failla

The Start I’m sure that there have been dozens of artists before me that were lucky enough to receive an artist grant from Creative Pinellas. So technically, I shouldn’t feel… Read More

That’s a wrap!

By Elizabeth Barenis

As the grant period draws to a close, I look back at the past five months in gratitude to Creative Pinellas for their continued support of my journey as a… Read More

A Rose by Any Other Name (except Idalia)

By Elizabeth Barenis

There’s nothing quite like the threat of losing everything to shake up one’s life. My first major hurricane experience came in 2017, when Irma was headed straight for us as… Read More

Making New Work

By Andee Scott

First of all, thank you. Thank you to Creative Pinellas for the incredible support you provide for artists in Pinellas County. Thank you in particular to Charlene Harrison. Charlene, please… Read More