Opening Week

May 11, 2020 | By Steph Hargrove

Opening Week

It’s here! The Creative Pinellas emerging artist exhibit opens this week!

Yes, it’s a virtual opening, so no FLow seashell installation from me just yet. But I’m super excited to share the FLow photography series AND see all of the amazing work from my fellow grantees. Bonus – it’s 100% germ free.

But wait, there’s more! As some of the coronavirus restrictions have been lessened, Pinellas county has lots of openings to celebrate this week . Restaurant dining rooms (sort of), hair salons (still too chicken to try this one myself), and my favorite… BEACHES! My husband and I braved the crazy weekend traffic to get back on the sand and back in the surf:

Totally. Worth. It.

Beach access is immensely important to me, not only for my health and well being and because I freaking love it, but also because coronavirus closures put me behind in my shell collecting (small price to pay – totally support the closures). The 2,511 seashells used in FLow took me over a year to collect. In order to keep new installations on track, I collect shells and other materials year round. Gotta hit the beaches to get caught up! Fortunately, physical therapy is paying off so I’m actually physically able to walk the shores and pick up new goodies. YAY!!

My next art installation will feature giant cockle shells. No, seriously, that’s what they’re called – “giant cockles” – and for good reason. These massive seashells are thick and sturdy, making them perfect for a large scale art installation. I’ve been collecting cockles since 2018, and it’s time to begin the process of transforming them into my next piece.

As per usual I don’t have an exact plan for these guys, because I really like to leave room for a project to evolve. I do however have a general direction and I’m anxious to start playing with colors, patterns, and some cool effects using lighting. As soon as I’m done gluing the last string of lucine shells for my Creative Pinellas FLow installation, the giant cockles will take over my studio.

Until then, I’m happy to celebrate all of these new openings. Also I’m terrible at keeping secrets and it’s been sooooo hard not to share images from the FLow photography series, so here’s a sneak peek:

surf, 36″ x 48″, photography print on canvas

Ahhhhhhhh that felt amazing!!!!! I hope to ‘see’ you all at the virtual opening this Thursday from 7p to 8p!

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