• The St Petersburg Arts Alliance Announce 2017 Artist Grant Recipients    

    The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance established an Individual Artist Grant Program in 2015 with funding provided by the Office of Cultural Affairs, and is a proud partner to continue the grant program this year.  The grants are intended to provide financial assistance to resident artists for projects that support public engagement of their work.


    This year artists represent music, dance, theatre, fine arts, multimedia and expressive arts  programs.

    1.     Elizabeth A. Baker, New Renaissance Artist, featuring Dancer/Choreographer Helen Hansen French, will create a new performance work that explores fear as a reaction to our changing environment and circumstances.  This new work will examine how the surfeit of information spread quickly and seamlessly by electronics in our modern age, effects the fear responses of modern humans. By manipulating video/audio of government archival footage, as well as sound and movement, with interactive electronics, Elizabeth and Helen are able to quantify the very real and human emotion of fear.  Blurring the lines of confusion that breeds fear, performers step in and out of the mediums of dance and music — Who is the dancer and who is the musician? Public workshops and performances will be held at the St. Petersburg Main Branch Library, the James Weldon Johnson Branch Library, and St. Pete Opera.

    2.     Erich Barganier will present a sound installation that will run for one week on the grounds of Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.  Four speakers play individual tracks that overlap and blend with the sounds of the park. During the first and last Saturday of the installation, Erich will perform live and utilize handcrafted, self-made electronic instruments that capture and process sounds of the park. He will also host an artist talk with the youth from the summer camps of Boyd Hill, Morean Art Center and the YMCA. The attendees of the artist talk will learn how Erich used computer programming to make the sounds, the impact of science in art and the importance of preserving nature.

    3.     Daniel “R5” Barojas will create a mural using a visual illusion which will have original art overlaid on the illusion, each painted in light and dark color tones, allowing the illusion to remain visible. Smaller sculptural elements of wood will allow the work to expand beyond the mural wall. Local at risk teens will be invited to participate in the creation of the piece, which will be located in an area of the city that might benefit from urban beautification. Subject matter will include elements/references native to St. Petersburg including natural fauna and wildlife, and ancient indigenous tribes and cultures of the area.

    4.     Sheila Cowley will collaborate with actors and dancers to develop a play that celebrates cycles of life as parents die and children have to take their place. Trio uses the simple theatrical magic of children’s theatre to explore family with characters who are gay, bisexual, and straight. The script will be workshopped, with a staged reading and audience discussion at The Studio@620. The project provides a creative space for local actors and dancers to work with a local choreographer, theater director and playwright on a piece that will premiere next year in Austin.

     5.     Coralette Damme will produce a solo exhibition of new work inspired by nature and folkways at The Studio@620 in November, 2017. The exhibit will include hand printed images, assemblage works, art books, and interactive pull-toy puppets. Visitors to the gallery will be able to participate in a hands-on “make-and-take” activity during the 2nd Saturday ArtWalk on November 11, 2017. Additional workshops will be offered to engage people directly with the creative processes used in making the displayed artwork.

    6.     Wendy Durand will create a series of “Floating Platters” that can be used by the Free Clinic to leverage financial support and community awareness using art as the vehicle. An exhibit, talk and presentation of the work will be held at the St. Petersburg Sculpture Museum on May 11 from 5-7 p.m. All proceeds from the live auction will benefit the St. Petersburg Free Clinic Food Bank

    7.     Helen Hansen French will produce Capturing Dance, a project that seeks to identify the diverse dance community living and/or working in St. Petersburg, and capture them in photographs.  Working in conjunction with established photographers Tom Kramer and Charlotte Suarez, Helen Hansen French will curate Capturing Dance  by pairing dancers with locations through out St. Petersburg in an effort to showcase the natural beauty of our city and shine a spotlight on dance artists who live, work and create in St. Pete.  The initial project will be available for viewing in an online gallery, and the community will be able to join our event virtually through Facebook and Instagram and follow along through out the project period. Once the project is complete a select number of images to be printed, framed and displayed in a various venues through the city. 

    8.     John Gascot will lead a group of 10 multicultural youths on a 5-week expressive arts program. Providing instruction and guidance as the students create stylized culturally expressive self-portraits celebrating their heritage and ancestry. Each portrait will be composed of 4 panels which will be separated and mixed with the portraits of others to create “mosaic” cross-cultural portraits, which will be exhibited in a show at the Studio@620. The project will bring youth from varying cultural backgrounds together for cross-learning and cross-cultural creative teamwork.

     9.     Mitzi Gordon will present a traveling, collaborative art piece that engages the community in building a paper chain at a series of public events. Multicolored paper, damaged books, and magazines will be recycled and pre-cut for use in the chain. These and other materials will be shared on Gordon’s vehicle, the Bluebird Books Bus, at up to 10 locations during the Good Moves tour May 2. At each stop, visitors receive tools and instruction for participating in the project. The finished piece will be exhibited as part of a new mixed-media installation entitled Nexus, designed to illustrate connectivity, on display May 13 in the Warehouse Arts District.

    10.  Kellie Harmon will produce a dance project based on a Soundstichting piece by Cassia Kite, which transforms color from a hand-stitched image, “Pot Luck Dinner at Longboat Key Center for the Arts” into a musical composition. The public will be able to see the performance at three open rehearsals and one artist panel discussion held at Mirror Lake Studios. There will then be three live performances and film screenings in conjunction with Cassia Kite’s exhibitions, at Rogue Dance Fall Fundraiser, and Rogue Dance 2017-18 Performance Series.

     11.  April Hartley will create a new body of work consisting of quilts, tapestries, and a site-specific installation of sewn-together receipts of three years’ worth of her personal purchases, exploring the ideas of accumulation, scarcity, identity and culture. She will  address  questions of how material accumulation is so satisfying, why it fades so quickly, “retail therapy.” The project culminates in a pop-up exhibition in the Old Southeast in August 2017, providing a space for visitors to experience art in a refreshing and relevant way.

    12.  Bob Devin Jones will produce and direct “Voodoo Macbeth,” an interpretation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth influenced by Orson Welles’ historic 1936 production. It will feature an all African American cast and will employ numerous musicians, artists, actors and stage crew and will include an educational outreach to local high schools. The play will run for three weeks of performances at The Studio@620.

    13.  Beth Reynolds will attend a workshop on the Photo Encaustic process at the Woodstock Center for Photography where she will learn the process of printing photos on Japanese papers and combining them with encaustic techniques. She will then give an artist talk on this process at the Morean Art Center, along with two free demo/hands-on workshops, providing supplies, handouts, and materials lists for students, as well as “try-it-out” stations for people to experiment. Her new work will be displayed at the Morean photo gallery.

    14.  Takeya Trayer will produce artwork expressing color, contrast, and organic matter using a resin and acrylic mix on plywood. She is attempting to explore the movement of plants, vegetables, and flowers and their fluidity by mixing mediums that continue to move and mix until the mixture is completely dry. She will explore the response of the viewers in relation to images of the living matter as opposed to the living matter itself. She plans to show the work locally within the art, agricultural community and beyond, including Farmers markets, farms, and local sustainable restaurants and brewing companies.

    15.  Catherine Weaver will produce the Artist of Tomorrow Youth Arts and Crafts Show at the Uniquely Original Art Studio in the Warehouse Arts District.  Ten youth ages 14-18 will be selected to create a variety of art to display and sell during the 2nd Saturday ArtWalk on May 13, 2017. Each participant will attend four consecutive Art and Business instructional workshops leading up to the show, learning the basics of business, advertising, and marketing their work to the publi 

    The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance is an arts resource center, the community voice for the arts — empowering artists, arts organizations and creative businesses to work collaboratively. As an umbrella arts organization, we advocate for the arts, facilitate the growth of the arts community, and drive arts-related economic development in St. Petersburg.