Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Time Travel Tuesday- Feed a Starving Artist

Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.
-Pablo Picasso

Two story mural
Behind my office
Yesterday's newspaper carried a picture of this new mural covering the side of a massive two story commercial building. For this week's playdate, thought it would be fun to go in search of other exterior art. I was shocked at what I discovered. Beyond just the one featured in the paper, they are popping up all over downtown. There is an entire alley gallery behind my Central Avenue office facing First Ave North.  In fact, this one to the right is next to the backdoor of my office. I just went out that door last week to take out the garbage. Which made me question whether I am that oblivious to my surroundings or whether this one cropped up overnight.  There were no signatures, no advertisements. It was as if someone saw a blank wall and that was all they needed.  Which was inspiring and a little bit sad.

There was no curator to inquire about smaller prints, just a transient sifting through the dumpster. Doesn't every artist deserve a formal exhibition with the IT crowd noshing on cheese and staying until the wine runs out? As I focus this month on childlike sincerity, I wonder if this is what it means to be a real artist. To create knowing full well that there will be no fame or fortune.

I have developed a bit of an addiction to local art lately, or rather local artists. Specifically, I am addicted to the look on someone's face when you recognize their talent. It all started with a t-shirt purchase at a place that teaches art to adults with disabilities. Or maybe it started when I went to my friend’s gallery opening and bought a print. No, it actually started before that when I found a local illustrator raising cash on Kickstarter for a children’s book.  You don’t need a trained eye to know a look of true appreciation when someone’s creative talent is valued. They light up. Maybe more than money or even food, acknowledgement can nourish a starving soul.
A subtle change is happening in our family as this addiction grows. Suddenly, my teenage son is enthusiastic about going to a glass blowing class. Lately, my daughter can’t leave the house without her markers and coloring book. Even I am more willing to put myself out there with my writing. It seems the more we feed other’s creative endeavors, the more confident in our creativity we become. 

So to whoever you are that painted that funky fruit family or nailed Frida Kahlo's unibrow- please accept my sincere appreciation. You are an inspiration to anyone with the courage to create. You make this place we call home that much more special.

Have you appreciated someone's else labor of love lately?


  1. These murals have been around for months now. Jennifer Kosharek, an artist who owns the Eve-n-odd Gallery in the Crislip arcade painted the Frida Kahlo mural, as well as the ones on the very top right and bottom right of this page. Chris Parks, of Pale Horse Design, also on the 600 block, painted the giant mural on the backside of the State Theater a few months ago. Derek Donnelly, artist/owner of Saint Paint on 6th Street/1st Avenue North started the mural featuring recently passed artist Bill "Woo" Correira on the night he Woo died. sebastian Coolidge painted the guy squeezing the lemon on the outside of the urban men's store, Freshly Squeezed. He also painted one inside the tap room and some others farther down Central Ave, I think. I'm not sure about the other murals and the painters. All the ones I mentioned, spoke to the building owner after spying a wall that inspired them. They're still in search of new walls to paint. I love them and have been photographing them as I see them and keeping them in a FB album on my page, Jenn Likes It. Here's a link to the album. There are a couple of murals posted there that I don't see here. You should check them out, like the big one on the side of Gallery @620 by Hunter Payne and Palladino.

    1. Yes, I love that mural on studio 620- just noticed that one too. The swing guys painted it? I will check out your photo images. Thanks so much for filling me in on the mystery and sharing the contact pages for the artists. That was wonderful! Are you an artist as well? You know so many. Will check out your page.

  2. It warms my heart to see my fellow artists' work discovered organically--the way you described. I, too am a fan of the amazing depth of talent in downtown St Pete, and the murals appearing there. I was privileged to join many of those artists on the WooMorial pictured above last December. And I just happened to finish editing and posting a video capturing my piece in the mural, as well as the progress of some of the others and its unveiling. Hope you and your readers enjoy it--the mural, my video and original song are all a tribute to a very much missed member of the local art community, BC Woo. Video here:

    1. HI Mark. Thank you for taking the time to read the blog. Thank you for your contribution to that beautiful mural. It made my day to see it and wonder how it was designed. I wasn't able to access the link. Can you resend it? Either here or on FB? I would really like to see it. Thanks again. Tracey Locke

  3. Ah, I so love the Central Arts District. Wish I got down there more often. We should have a lunch/walking art tour date :)


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