Traveling Community Public Art Project

An interactive, community-building public art project that will travel throughout Pinellas County

LATEST NEWS

Creative Pinellas is pleased to announce that SPACEcraft has been chosen as its BP settlement funded traveling public art project. As envisioned by artists Carrie Boucher, Bridget Elmer and Mitzi Gordon, SPACEcraft will travel to locations throughout Pinellas County, offering participants the opportunity to “play, write, create and make” and delivering unmatched access to art for residents and visitors alike.

SPACEcraft consists of a set of two brightly colored, reimagined and redesigned shipping containers that will be used to create a temporary home for interactive activities and shared art experiences that feature programming on the themes of Make/Play and Read/Grow. The project will reflect and respond to each community it visits, tailoring experience to each location with support from local teachers, artists and more.

By repurposing locally sourced shipping containers, the project takes products of modern consumption and turns them into creative spaces. The containers will also harvest rainwater and run on solar power, allowing the variety of resources that Pinellas County offers to shift how the people can see both spaces and themselves.

The Make/Play space will focus on creation and play for all sorts of folks.

The Make space could include:

  • Art workshops
  • Maker-space programs
  • Tool and equipment demos

The Play space could include:

  • Bands
  • Films
  • Instruments
  • Board games
  • Playground games

The Read/Grow space will dedicate itself to reading and writing, as well as growth in various forms.

The Read space could include:

  • Poetry readings
  • Free-exchange library
  • Writing workshops

The Grow space could include:

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Horticulture Classes

How does this connect to Pinellas County?

Each host community will be asked to share what they feel they need the most from these Make/Play and Read/Grow spaces. This way, the residents can bring something of themselves to the project and the programming shapes itself around the neighborhoods that the project visits.

Together, the artists want to make sure that SPACEcraft can reach as many communities as possible and enable participants to see themselves as creative beings, letting art take root and grow in everyday life through active social engagement.

Carrie Boucher explores how people relate to one another while engaging with interactive materials presented in a public setting. Through her current project, the NOMAD Art Bus, Carrie provides democratic access to open-ended creative engagement, empowering communities and finding the gaps, facilitating experiences for people who wouldn’t normally have access. In her work with the Art Bus she attempts to address inequity through direct action, as well as by organizing and empowering a network of creative support around those who lack access.

Bridget Elmer is the coordinator of the Letterpress and Book Arts Center at the Ringling College of Art and Design, and she also owns the Print St. Pete Community Letterpress and Southern Letterpress. Her work focuses on providing hands-on education of the old-world crafts of papermaking, bookbinding, and using antique letterpresses to create new and exciting art.

Mitzi Gordon is a community organizer who has worked with community- and arts-related groups such as CARMADA, the SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival and the St. Pete Women’s Collective. She also runs the Bluebird Books Bus, a traveling library that promotes book culture through literacy, expression and craft.

Mission

The spirit of this project is to foster community through a county-wide traveling art experience by transforming and activating public places. By bringing interactive art to the community, we encourage our residents to have a personal experience with the art. In doing so, we aspire to create a legacy of communal participation and ownership across Pinellas County.

Project Background

In 2017, the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners set aside $500,000 in BP settlement funds for an innovative, traveling public art project. Creative Pinellas will manage this process from start to finish, bringing this unique and engaging project to communities throughout the entirety of Pinellas County, generating discussion on the role the arts play in our daily lives and cementing the County’s legacy as an arts and culture destination.

Project Outlook

A jury of Tampa Bay arts educators, artists, community builders, and business influencers heard our five finalists’ proposals and chose SPACEcraft as the project to fulfill the program’s mission.

From here, the artists will work with Creative Pinellas to establish a fabrication schedule to bring the project to its first locations in Spring 2019.

Associated Media

Presentation updating the county on progress, March 30, 2018

Confirmed Locations

Oldsmar

Clearwater East Community Library at St. Petersburg College

Largo Central Park Performing Arts Center

Pier 60 Park

Josiah Cephas Weaver Park

War Veterans Memorial Park

Weedon Island Preserve

Lealman Community Center

Project Lead

Jessica McCormick, Public Art Project Coordinator

Jessica McCormick Public Art Project Coordinator

As the Public Art Project Coordinator for Creative Pinellas, Jessica will oversee this project over the course of its exhibition throughout Pinellas County. She will work closely with the project artist to ensure that all aspects of the project are fulfilled, from fabrication to installation.

A long-time Florida resident, Jessica received her B.A. in Communications from Stetson University and has lived in Tampa since 2008. She brings both a focus on education and a diverse project management background to her current position.

Potential Community Art Experience Sites

Our Progress 60%

Project selected by jury.

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