We Are All Magic

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 community from a young age. This article returns to chronicling the Creative Pinellas Art Grant.

Over the course of the past few weeks grantees have met with Senior Senior Director of Arts and Cultural Programming, Beth Gelman, to discuss preliminary visions for the exhibition. We also met online to discuss our experiences thus far and any upcoming events.

Then on Saturday February 10th I was invited by my mentor, Maureen McDole, to visit St Petersburg, Fl who gratefully became my chaperone for different creative events; The St Petersburg Fine Art Festival on South Straub Park, an open air performance by Buffalo Strange, and Art Walk

For those who may not know Second Saturday ArtWalk is where St Petersburg galleries and studios from the 5 districts open their doors to the public. The network is expansive so we focused our attention on the Warehouse Arts District.

Our adventure started at Art at 400 with tours of the space belonging to painters, sculptors, and photographers followed by a visit to Five Deuces Galleria where we saw the All Things Florida exhibit featuring over 100+ original artworks by over 60 local artists. Lorrie Dairda proudly showed me her King Tut Seahorse made from beads.

Art from All Things Florida exhibition at Five Deuces Galleria


Lolo (Lorrie Dairda) proudly shows King Tut

From Five Deuces we walked to ArtsXchange campus. We visited the Tully-Levine Gallery and the ArtsExchange Studios where we met with artists such as Susan Antoinette and enjoyed the integration of graffiti and digital projection by Zulu Painter and Reid Jenkins. 

I met with fellow oil painter Janie Haskins in her shared studio and marveled at the work and studio of Carrie Jadus of Jadus Fine Art, and the exhibition at the beautiful Soft Water Gallery where I admired works by Jeff Aeling.

Thunderstorm Over Tampa Bay, oil on panel by Jeff Aeling

There were so many studios, artists, and venues. I collected as much information as I could; names, artists statements, mediums, pricing, and tried to absorb as much as I could from everything the Warehouse Arts District had to offer. Even though everyone was welcoming and inviting it was easy to be overwhelmed considering the sheer size and creative output of St Petersburg, Florida. 

Leaving for the night, a message caught my eye. A mural by Sarah G Shepard read “We Are All Magic” and it was a reminder to myself of two important lessons I have learned from a course by Bonnie Christine that we are all born creative and your uniqueness is gold. I am part of the whole. My art adds or multiplies rather than subtracts and I should not fear what may seem like market saturation or let overwhelm deter my artistic pursuits.

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