How about sun, sand and ART EVERYWHERE!!!
Recently, we left the bitterly cold weather of the mountains of Virginia to spend some time in the beautiful, gulf coast community of Saint Petersburg, Florida. It was my first time to the sunny vacation spot, and I was instantly knocked out of my dreary winter doldrums and catapulted into a fun frenzy of artsy bliss! This place is THE PLACE for art lovers who also love, sun, the beach, relaxed atmosphere, high end crafts, great restaurants, the beach, friendly people, easy commuting, and did I mention the beach…! ;)
We spent time discovering the Artist Enclave area, Also known as the Kenwood District, where artists are allowed to sell commercially from their homes. A special zoning exemption for artists! Our first stop The Craftsman House. This amazing house was the model for the many historic bungalows that line the cobblestone (yes real cobblestone) streets of Kenwood. Mike and I were instantly enchanted by the craftsman style building and the wonderful arts and crafts work that it housed. We found many big names In the arts and crafts style and some favorites like a series of Motawi tiles, and Roycraft-like clocks. Mike also fell in love with a fused glass vase by a local artisan. What was even cooler, was that I noticed that the colors and textures that make up the arts and crafts movement are what is trending for spring this year. Visit my Esty Treasure page to see some beautiful inspirations.
It just so happened that we were there for their second Saturday art walk which happens between the hours of 5 and 8 pm second Saturday during the winter months. Jeff, the proprietor of The Craftsman house, and arts and crafts aficionado suggested we take the free art walk trolley. It was a cold evening for St. Pete’s, hovering around 55 degrees, but we managed to enjoy the ride in the open air trolley which took us through downtown including the Central District, and Warehouse District which had the amazing Duncan McClellan Gallery.
In four hours we hardly scratched the surface of what this town has to offer. In fact we were so focused on the smaller galleries and studios that we missed the biggies: The Dali Museum, the Chihuly collection, and Museum of Fine Arts with lots of impressionistic art. But it was a great time, as folks were getting on and off the trolley at various stops along the way, buying art, enjoying a good wine, and some wonderful music. We met a lot of kindred spirits and were delighted at how easily we made friends.
We truly fell in love with this community of honest, creative folks, making and promoting their art. And the support of the local government and business community for the arts was a joy to see in action! The encouragement and support that we saw for the artists and artisans was incredibly inspiring. We walked away from the experience with a fresh feeling for our own individual/personal work, and our collaborative pieces. It was just what we needed to rejuvenate our frozen spirits!
We loved St. Pete’s so much that we plan to make it our second artist home, and with that we hope to have some of our collaborative pieces there very soon! Stay tuned!
For more information about the Arts in St. Petersburg, FL, visit: http://www.stpeteartsalliance.org/