October 1, 2012 | St. Petersburg, FL – The St. Petersburg Chamber is helping Sam’s Club connect with local business and local art by hosting an event in conjunction with Sam’s Club entitled “Sam’s Club Celebrates the Arts!” on October 11 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm. The event will bring Chamber members and individuals from the community together in a celebration of local artistry in support of the efforts of DMG School project, a 501(c)(3) created by Duncan McClellan Glass.
“We wanted to find a way to start building relationships with businesses and nonprofit organizations in the community, as part of our effort in opening our new location,” says Ryan Rodgers, Membership Assistant Manager of Sam’s Club. “We know St. Petersburg’s reputation for outstanding artistry, and we were searching for a way to connect with that. The Chamber was instrumental in finding DMG School Project and when they shared the story of what Duncan was doing, it was so inspiring that we said, ‘We want to be involved in that.’”
“Sam’s Club came to us with this great message – they were proactive in wanting to partner with a nonprofit in a way that was going to be meaningful for our community,” says Chris Steinocher, President and CEO of the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce®. “It was really an easy connection to make. Duncan’s work is so strongly associated with this community, and his new charity has such a great story and holds so much promise for how we can move the arts forward in our community.”
Duncan McClellan has been a resident of St. Petersburg for 3 years after relocating from Tampa. He transformed a 7,800 square foot one time fish, and more recently, tomato packing plant into a work/living gallery where he displays his art alongside other local, national and international artists. The old loading dock is even an outdoor space filled with tropical fruit trees, bananas, mango, pomegranates and more. Construction on a new hot shop is nearing completion and is expected to be open in the late Fall. Named the St. Petersburg Hot Glass Workshop, it will encourage artistic development and education by providing a place and environment where artists can rent space, attend master and intermediate glass classes, while also gaining a public interest by setting up demonstrations to the community.
“I see Duncan as being on the vanguard of a movement that is transforming St. Pete into the arts center of Florida,” says Steinocher. “He is so far ahead of the curve with his vision.”
Duncan moved his studio because of the other artists and arts organizations that were already beginning to establish a vision of the Warehouse Arts District – “Where Art is Made”, an area where artists can work and live within the same space.
“It’s nice to see the neighborhood grow. It is very encouraging to see what it’s becoming,” says McClellan.
The DMG School Project started in response to what McClellan saw as the dwindling role the arts play in our public schools. “Schools are cutting arts programs all the time, and I wanted to find a way to bring them back,” says McClellan. The DMG School Project built a Mobile Glass Lab to bring a hands-on experience to schools throughout the Tampa Bay area. The unit will also be available for corporate or special events.
“This is such a great example of art as an entrepreneurial endeavor,” says Steinocher. “Duncan saw a need in our community, and he created something to fill that void. As a community we need to ask ourselves, how can we continue to foster that kind of innovation and spirit? How can we help these new business models be successful?”
McClellan says, “We are proud to be a part of the continuing efforts to connect the arts and the business community. The support to DMG School Project from Sam’s Club is much appreciated.”
About the St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce®
The St. Petersburg Area Chamber of Commerce®, originally founded in 1899, now serves over 900 member businesses. Finding ways to create and enhance opportunities to do business in St. Petersburg, the Chamber works to improve the local economic climate and to build a thriving business environment. The Chamber is the voice of local business in St. Petersburg, providing leadership on important business and community issues.
About DMG School Project
DMG School project, is a 501(c)(3) created by Duncan McClellan Glass. Its mission is to provide educational opportunities to artists and the community while contributing to the development of glass as a creative medium in both St. Petersburg and the international glass community.
About Sam’s Club
Their new location in St. Petersburg at 1725 34th St. North, will celebrate its Grand Opening on October 25th.