Wow! The September Second Saturday ArtWalk was amazing. As with many towns around Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg holds a monthly ArtWalk where local galleries remain open late and often have special exhibitions or openings. St. Petersburg has one of the best in the area. This month we were lucky enough to have ArtWalk coincide with the finale of the St. Petersburg Mural Festival (SHINE 2016). Here are a some of our favorites. The Festival attracted official and unofficial entries…with many businesses adding public art.
Some of the murals weren’t quite complete so we were able to watch some of the artists still applying paint. Lucky for us, unlike a chalk festival, we can return during the next few months to see ones that we missed and revisit our favorites. A map of the murals and information on all these great artists can be found here.
In addition to the murals, twenty-one museums and galleries had special exhibits. Each month is different so before we headed out we downloaded the monthly map and guide from ArtAlliance website. As the ArtWalk covers about four square miles, we have found it better to decide in advance to focus on one or two of the five arts districts .
We usually choose a centrally located restaurant, park nearby and walk to galleries. You can also use the trolly. Central Avenue continues to evolve into a gastronomic haven, with new restaurants and cafes opening every month. Our restaurant choice this time was the recently-opened Hawkers Asian Street Fare. Check out this intriguing, yet inexpensive menu. It was worth the wait.
By far, the Warehouse district has the largest number of galleries that participate in the ArtWalk and it has been many a month that we spend a large part of our Saturday night at Duncan McClellan’s Gallery sipping wine and watching the glass blowing demonstration where a featured artist creates amazing art glass. These are great photo ops! During ArtWalk a food truck is set up and often they have live music.
I can’t promise that ArtWalk will be this exciting every month….but with more new galleries and restaurants opening all the time, you can’t go wrong visiting St. Pete during this monthly event.