Final Report – New Images Made On This Grant

Final Report – New Images Made On This Grant

While on this grant I traveled out West to do The Grand Circle. That trip was already planned and paid before this grant was announced. I flew out the week after the announcement. This new series has been the art I focused on for the grant. Here are some I posted on Instagram that are not in the showcase exhibition. I created the new instagram during the grant period. I had another instagram but it wasn’t my full frame nikon dslr pics . It was more like my personal cell phone adventures.

I went to Dry Tortugas National Park in July with Richard Auger. Years of wanting to try an Aquatech water housing, I bought one. Probably not the best decision financially. And I was really tired and cranky at this point in the summer anyways but here are some images I am playing with. Haven’t shared anything yet.

Then I took a day off from work one day to take this image for MIZE exhibition ‘!!!!’.

The image above was featured in the Tampa Bay Times website representing the show. The piece was placed in the front window. It was a statement piece taking the direction I was given literally in protest and anger.

Siesta Key 08.02.18
Xina Scuderi
Digital Photography

I took the Aquatech to Rainbow Springs. Dry Tortugas was too crazy. This was chill.



Thank you to Creative Pinellas for having a grant for emerging artists. Thanks for choosing a photographer. ME! Thanks Chris and Danny for putting up with me.

I want to thank my boyfriend Kyle Fleming and my family.

I want to thank the 4 people who wrote kick ass Letters Of Recommendation for me. In my opinion this is what got me the grant.






Artist Update 8.19.2018 – New Studio

Artist Update 8.19.2018 – New Studio

Last weekend Kyle and I moved my parents into assisted living with 5 other people helping. This weekend we had to move my personal items out of the house – mostly my artist studio. It has been about 4 years since I had a studio open to the public. That was at Bloom in 2014.

I have moved into Segal & Schuh where Kyle works as a Paralegal for the attorney Lee Segal. Jill Schuh offered me an empty office in exchange for me to hang my art in the common areas like the above the couch wall in the lobby and the hallway. They have lots of blank walls. Segal & Schuh moved into this glass building in December. I am on the waiting list for 5663 Studios in Pinellas Park. I might not want to leave though. I am sick of moving!!! I want to settle down in one place for an extended amount of time. Extended amount of time as in 6 months to a year minimum. I’ve already been displaced / lost in transition for almost 4 months since my mom had ‘strokes on both sides’ while driving to my solo show at Bok Tower Gardens. We will see how it works. If it works out well I will stay. I need to get back in my groove! The new space is really inspirational actually. It’s beautiful. I get to curate a collection in a working space. I have to give my studio a total makeover / attitude change to fit in there. No more old bucket as a trash can. People will be able to visit my studio by appointment. It will be nice, professional, comfortable, inviting. I want it to be a little crazy and eclectic but still clean. There is a conference room that has a television for presentations. I have already used that for one meeting with my mentor MK Foltz.

Immediately I have to arrange this new studio and begin to unfit a selection of frames for the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Showcase. Right now I think I am doing 7 pieces for the show. I have to order prints and have them mounted by Adam Unger at Frame St. Pete. He mounts all my prints with ‘Kool Tack’. I would PREFER all my prints to be fine art prints from Erickson Digital Arts, but that is something I absolutely cannot afford anymore. I have stacks of prints laying around that have cost so much money that I am just not willing to do that to myself anymore unless someone special orders it. That means I am stuck with glossy prints from Bay Photo. I do love them but they all have to be mounted for any serious type of exhibition especially in large sizes because if there is any air pockets behind the prints you can see it waving in the frame. I wish I could Kool Tack them myself. It takes a machine that I don’t have.





Artist Update 8.5 – Goals Achieved

Artist Update 8.5 – Goals Achieved

The Business Side

This week I completed 3 business related goals that I’ve been meaning to do that are important: 1. new instagram account for pro pics only, 2. start the Files & Film website, 3. get my demo from www.callforentry.org.

I love my personal instagram but it really isn’t doing anything for me as a photographer because I don’t spend the time to put pro pics on it with hashtags. I finally created that @xina_scuderi. The next thing I know I should do is to make a Facebook page for my art. I’ve been neglecting my branding problem of operating my page Scuderi Studios also as a page for my art, but they are 2 totally different things. Sucks that I’ll have to get new Likes!

I have owned www.filesandfilm.com for I think 5 years but I never made it an active site. I always used a page on www.scuderistudios.com for Files & Film. Looking forward the event deserves it’s own website. My boyfriend Kyle is helping me with this. We might have to pay a guy through envato to install the plugins because it looks kinda weird and not right.

I finally got my demo from www.callforentry.org!!!!!!!!!! This is so exciting! St. Pete Arts Alliance graciously sponsored Files & Film to be posted on www.callforentry.org. The service costs money, money I never felt comfortable spending out of my personal money before because I didn’t know if I could pay myself back after all the books were balanced. John Collins showing his support is giving me the confidence that in the future maybe I can pay myself back. Maybe I can go ahead and get this service for us every year. The service is awesome. It collects the money, all the data, and files. It makes everything so much easier for everyone involved. This next show is the experiment.

The Artist Side

This week I met with my mentor at the new location I am moving my studio to in Clearwater. I am moving my studio in next weekend.

I actually did end up doing my environmental project for !!!! at Mize Gallery. Of course like most images I create I always want to DO IT OVER! I wish the image was taken at sunset. Hard to say if dead fish will still be on the beach at sunset. Cities are cleaning up dead wildlife quickly everyday.


Artist Update 7/29/18 – Next Life, Shows Coming Up

Artist Update 7/29/18 – Next Life, Shows Coming Up

Preparing For the Next Life

I have unplugged my machines in my father’s shop. As mentioned in previous blogs I am getting ready to sell my parents house. I can no longer make frames or panels. It’s a really weird feeling. I am going through so much emotionally. The major change is that was my shop is no longer available to me. For 5 years I’ve been channeling my energy into art projects. Often it was an escape, a way to get away from stress. The rest of the time I spent there making art was to have fun and experiment. Whether I was in my shop happy, or not so happy – it was a good place for me to go. It was my safe place.

I was becoming more confident in what I was as an artist and who I was as a person. Looking into the future I can’t really see what I am or who I am anymore or what I want to do. I became really comfortable with the life that I was living taking care of my mom and dad, having my studio at their house. It is so painful but I know that won’t last forever. My boyfriend and I are kind of wondering what we are going to do with our lives when I am not going to check on my parents all the time and help them. Definitely more kayaking and day trip adventures.

Shows Coming Up

!!!! – August 24th @ MIZE

I am in this show at Mize. What I dream is to go down to the coast south of here around Boca Grande to take an image for this show in reference to the current environmental disaster that is happening. I decided not to do that. People are very upset in the South meanwhile the toxic water is moving north. It has reached Manatee county. Pinellas is next. There was another idea that I had earlier in the year that was more fun and less depressing. It’s not as powerful of a protest as my red tide x algae bloom idea. It’s more cute and funny.

More info about the red tide x algae bloom disaster happening right now CLICK HERE

ex·cla·ma·tion – a sudden cry or remark, especially expressing surprise, anger or pain.
the act of exclaiming; outcry; loud complaint or protest.
Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Showcase – April 27th @ Creative Pinellas
What a weird time for me to be doing this. I dreamed of receiving the grant for a few years. Now I’m in a bad mood from having such a life changing summer. If this happened in the spring before my mom ended up in the hospital I probably would’ve gone crazy with it. Gone wild. Went BIG.
I am showcasing ‘The Grand Circle’ Series from my trip in May. I am meeting with my mentor this week with some proofs. Hard part is that my collection of frames that I use aren’t very consistent in size. Obviously I wish I could have all large frames in the same size handmade in my shop. This is pretty expensive actually and people don’t want to pay for good framing. Most people want Ikea frame prices. For example my 24 x 36 cost me $120 to make it myself. I milled the wood and made the cuts from a block of lumber. Then I painted them. That means value in time added onto the material costs. I might be moving into Ikea frames like everyone else. It was something that was special about me as an artist. I can’t afford custom framing.

Story Time

Story Time

Here are some fun stories that I can share from my grant period. People I meet and silly things I do.

I paid $200 to enter a canyon with a tripod.

This is about what it’s really like to be a National Park photographer, or a destination or travel photographer.

I paid $200 to enter Upper Antelope Canyon at ‘prime time’ with a tripod the Friday before Memorial Day. Most Navajo companies won’t give photography tours on holidays. Friday before is considered the holiday. To get to the area I had to fly to Vegas. Then I had to rent a car. I traveled 1,500 miles in a week already before I arrived in Page, Arizona. Even considering if I went to Page directly from Vegas, think of the gas money, Airbnbs, food, ect. We’re not even talking about cost of equipment, printing or framing here so don’t get me started.

When you’re looking at pretty pictures, don’t forget what it takes to make quality images and quality art.

Maury Brooks – Dry Tortugas

I am pretty sure that is what the guys name was. When Richard and I were in Dry Tortugas, there was this hippie guy that was by himself. He has long white hair with a hairy chest. Very tan, very nice. I saw him doing yoga at sunrise and sunset. Then we got to talking. He liked to chat. This guy turn his kayak into a sailboat, and KAYAKED ALL THE WAY TO DRY TORTUGAS – BY HIMSELF!!!!!!!!!!! He said he skipped along the keys all the way from Key Largo starting in April by himself. No wonder he liked to talk. We just couldn’t believe it. I said WHERE DO YOU SLEEP!!!?!?! He said I sleep on the kayak in the water. I said NOOOO!!! NONOOONO! That must be crazy. He said oh its wonderful, I love it. Later he said he was low on food. I said don’t you eat the fish? He said no I don’t – I don’t eat much. I made sure to give him my almonds on the last day. We went to the beach on the last day waiting for the ferry to open the bar and leave. We saw him going to Loggerhead but then he went way out much further in the wrong way away from Loggerhead until we couldn’t even see him anymore.

What a crazy man!

Steve Melton – Cowboy Poet

This guy bought my dad’s power hammer for his Agricultural and Machine Museum in Dade City. I didn’t know if it was legit or not while we were in talks of selling/buying. I really had to sell this power hammer. It was 900 pounds and 80- years old. Later we looked him up. He’s legit!!!! What a cool guy. He was such a gentleman. He writes cowboy poetry and he has a huge YouTube following. I am going to have to visit Steve on his farm.



Artist Update 7.16.2018 – New Studio?!

Artist Update 7.16.2018 – New Studio?!

Photo by Michael Oliver (2014).

My studio has been at my parents house since 2013. We are getting ready to sell the house. I lived there part time for 2.5 years, then I moved in full time with my boyfriend Kyle in his one bedroom condo in 2015. The condo is too small to make art or have any art stored. I really liked to see my parents all the time, and to help them with all the things they need. I also didn’t want to spend 350$ a month for a studio at ArtsXChange. So I kept my studio there at my parents house. It was really exciting for my dad to have me around making art, especially when I was in Winterpark and Gasparilla Emerging Artist Programs last spring. This spring I was there making my collection for Bok Tower Gardens. My dad was an artist. He loves to see me making art! I have been working from his shop. I did pay a small amount of money as well which was helpful for them.

The thing about your art studio being at your parents house who are old and disabled – is that you cant have people over for studio visits. I’ll save you from the details. Sometimes I would have good friend come over to see my shop. Other than that I didn’t have people over.

At first I thought ‘OK, I’ll get a storage unit’. A couple weeks have gone by. I got to thinking, and I said ‘Kyle, what if I moved into an empty office at your work’. My boyfriend is a paralegal at a law firm that just moved into a huge beautiful office in a glass window building in Clearwater. They are such nice people. Jill Schuh is a family lawyer who VOLUNTEERED to help Kyle write the Power of Attorney and all the other forms for my parents for no charge. Kyle agreed, his boss might actually agree to this. They have empty private offices. So I said ‘yea, they need art anyways. I will give them art.’

Today Kyle talked to Jill Schuh. He works at Segal & Schuh Law Firm. She said yes. Hopefully this works out!!! No more wood shop, but I still work at the warehouse at HSN where I can maybe get some stuff done if I need table saw cuts. They have a planer. I could make my frame moldings. The guys at the warehouse are pieces of work though. They might not say OK to that. OR I can have Anderson Lumber do it for me.

Maybe I’ll survive all this craziness. Still be able to make art. It will be like another phase of life. Deal with rebranding later. No more Scuderi Studios?


Standing On A Cliff

Standing On A Cliff

My friend Nin McQuillan told me not to stand out on cliffs. Last year Nin saw video of me looking over a cliff in El Yunque National Forest Puerto Rico. That was awesome because a cloud was moving up the mountain blowing in my face. Then he saw me standing on the ledge at Rough Ridge. He said “YOU CAN”T BE DOING THAT!!!”

This photo is me out on a cliff on North Rim Grand Canyon National Park. Suddenly it became very windy. I got down and laid on my back until it was calm. Snapped this photo.

Hey Nin, me trying to be an artist is kinda like me standing on cliffs.



Dry Tortugas Inspiration Deck

Dry Tortugas National Park Inspiration Deck

As an Emerging Artist Grantee, I was assigned a Mentor by Creative Pinellas. My mentor MK Foltz and I talked on the phone the other day. She sounded like she was trying to envision the images I was planning on my trip to Dry Tortugas. I thought it was a good idea for my blog this week to create an inspiration deck.

This process is part of every trip I make. I don’t normally create a presentation. I research plants, animals, and major points of interest (landscape views) for my images. I also find inspiration images by other people help me figure out specific views. In this case for Dry Tortugas my traveling on site is very small, because its an island, plus an island 3 miles away. Usually I have a car and I drive hundreds (last trip thousands) of miles, then I use www.alltrails.com to research and coordinate timing of hikes. I will stay busy over the 2 nights on the island nonetheless, as long as the weather is good.


Dry Tortugas is a great place for milky way and star photography. I have the recommended lens for star photography. As inspiration I will present this video. This is nothing like what I will be doing. This is expert level star photography skills mixed with a professional motion artist touch. Its going to BLOW YOUR MIND.

You have to watch the whole thing



Not sure how much I’ll be sleeping on this trip.

Half and Half (half under water)

Two years ago when I went to Dry Tortugas, I was inspired by a Carlton Ward Jr. exhibition I saw at the gallery in St. Pete on the first floor of the Bank of America Building. It switched names a few times. I think it’s still called The Gallery. I took my friend with me to Dry Tortugas in 2016. He got a similar shot to Carlton Ward Jr. (but the fish was composite). All he talks about for 2 years is how much money he made off it!!! I am hoping to get a decent one myself to add to my National Park Collection.




My main project last time was to capture Macro Images for my Macro Collection. I did that. They weren’t the great resolution quality that I normally work in because its underwater. At the time I was operating with a Dicapac – which is a very fancy plastic bag. I only ever printed them at a 12 x 18 size or smaller. I will try to do this again, but not stay out so long. I over worked myself last time.

For this I am leaving you with an excerpt from PBS about a documentary I watched on Netflix called ‘Chasing Coral’. I recommend you see it. The macro coral are TIME LAPSE with corals in AQUARIUMS. I do not have access to corals like this.


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