Creative Pinellas’ 2020 Arts Annual is returning for its third year – and this year, like so many other events scheduled during the pandemic, it will also have a virtual component.
The November 15 Arts Annual Virtual Festival will celebrate Pinellas County artists through music, dance, poetry, short film, theatrical performances and more, live from 4 to 6 p.m. this Sunday.
Creative Pinellas has joined forces with local artists and partners to create a way to experience the Arts through multi-layered virtual and on-site programming.
The online festival can be experienced through any mobile device or computer, allowing audiences to enjoy artwork at home or anywhere they may be. The Creative Pinellas Virtual Galleries provide an immersive experience, allowing guests to digitally walk through an exhibit space and sense the scale of the artwork displayed. Audiences will be able to access additional media such as videos of the artist’s insights and process.
The physical component of the exhibition returns to the Gallery at Creative Pinellas at 12211 Walsingham Road in Largo, from November 14 through December 20. In-person visitors to the exhibition will be able to view and purchase artwork created by Pinellas County artists in a safe, socially distant manner. The exhibit will also be available online through December 20.
The 2020 festival features over two dozen visual, literary and performing artists ranging from emerging, up and coming creators to internationally recognized creators. Many artists produced new work that will debut at the show.
Artists working in a variety of mediums are to be featured. Among these artists is Cora Marshall, a Gulfport artist specializing in painting, photography and mixed media.
“Often, my art is centered in spirituality and I create work that seeks out the connections to and lessons from my African and Native American familial past,” she says. “By mixing and melding symbols and meanings, I am able to conjure new multi-layered narratives.”
One series of Marshall’s pieces titled STILL I RISE is a collection of mixed media collages featuring archival facsimiles of portraits gathered by W.E.B. DuBois, 19th century historian, author and civil rights activist. The featured photos were first exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exhibition as a display of Black economic, social and cultural achievement post-slavery.
Marshall’s take on these portraits features quoted text from Maya Angelou’s 1978 poem “Still I Rise,” embedded within brushstrokes.
Another featured visual artist, Christina Bertsos, creates sculptures from stone to produce a “moving expression of sensual form.”
“For me, sculpture is a sacred dance – a union between the divine nature of earth and the creative spirit,” she says. “I learn through every stone, and together we find our unique message, for like everything beautiful in this world, there are no two stones alike.”
Bertsos finds inspiration for her stone sculptures in Ancient Greek as well as modern abstract expressionist artwork. Her work has been featured in exhibitions across the Tampa Bay area.
Performance and musical arts will also be showcased during the festival. In an uncertain world shaken by a pandemic, these artists continue to produce their work without packed audiences. Among these artists are choreographer Paula Kramer, dancer Marquis Floyd, composer and pianist Tom Sivak and trombonist David Manson with EMIT Jazz Trio.