The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance established an Individual Artist Grant Program last year with funding provided by the Office of Cultural Affairs, and is proud to be able to continue the grant program in 2018. The grants are intended to provide financial assistance to resident artists for projects that support public engagement of their work in the visual arts, dance, music, digital arts, and theater disciplines.
This year the finalists will begin their artful projects in June, and later present their photography, playwriting, dance, sculpture, and multi-media.
- Arnie Arluke will be photographing Deadly Rival roller derby skaters dressed in skating attire while posed in open, brightly-lit, often visited, iconic, or historical St. Petersburg locations, such as the MFA, Sunken Gardens, and the Dalí Museum, to name a few. He hopes to exhibit approximately 21 photographs at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and the Slayground. Most of the displayed images will be skater portraits, but he would also include some of the grittier photographs of skaters at the track. Little visibility of this St. Petersburg asset is unfortunate because Deadly Rival Roller Derby is a thrilling sport to watch, operates on one of the few banked tracks in America, and provides opportunities for local women who wish to participate in a competitive team sport.
- Bob Barancik is an award-winning painter, print maker, and video producer. He is also a docent at the Florida Holocaust Museum. His mission is to make the Holocaust relevant to Americans living through a disturbing period of increasing public bigotry and intolerance. He will use his art as a seed crystal to produce podcasts and video blogs for hiscom website. Bob has over 150 paintings, prints, and handmade artist books in the FHM’s permanent collection.
- Dewey Davis-Thompson will present a staged reading of the new musical Sunshine City, written in collaboration with award-winning composer Tom Sivak, in the summer of 2018. Free and open to the public, this reading will employ 8 professional musical-theatre actors and a director to do a staged reading/concert performance of a new musical set in 1920s St. Petersburg. The second draft includes much more local flavor than the first and will allow the community to see the development of this project as it nears readiness for off-Broadway performances.
- Donald Gialanella using Atmospheric Air Pressure Implosion, will create a series of tests to determine the optimal amount of heating, steel gauge, and degree of deformation needed to construct an air- pressure formed sculpture. The final sculpture will be imploded as a demonstration “event” in St Petersburg, at a venue to be determined. As the raw sculptural form is imploded, it’s final image and shape will be dramatically revealed. Local artists and spectators see the marriage of science and art applied in a meaningful way, and will feel empowered to do similar experimental work themselves.
- Katherine Gibson created Drive-by Window, a new and innovative gallery concept. Artists selected for Drive-by Window will be able to feature work in 1980 Central Avenue while building their respective exhibit resume. Artists also will be able to increase public awareness of their work, provide possibilities for art sales, and gain experience working with a local business and an independent curator.
- Nicole Desirée Hays is a fine art bodypainter featured on Game Show Network’s bodypainting reality show, “Skin Wars”, currently on Netflix. She also runs The Curiositorium, LLC, St. Petersburg’s Premier Entertainment Company featuring unique circus acts, original shows, and costumed characters. St. Petersburg’s “Art of Body Experience” is a fine art bodypainting coffee table book that will showcase the body art of Nicole through the photography of Michael Sheehan in diverse settings throughout the city.
- Kenny Jensen is a multidisciplinary conceptual artist with a deep interest in Florida’s unique natural environment. He will be producing a pop-up exhibition in mid-July at Intermezzo Coffee and Cocktails in partnership with collector Christopher Eaton, local conceptual painter Jon Seals, and local singer songwriter Adam Randall. The grant will be used to promote the event and fund the creation of several more intimate works continuing to explore the themes of the “Paths of Consumption” project exhibited at the Morean Arts Center last fall. One goal for the event is to sell work and gain Patreon patrons toward supporting his ongoing studio practice, so that he can have more time and resources to produce his next solo exhibition. Through this art he hopes to inspire new ways of seeing and encourage deeper more nuanced conversations about ourselves our community and our connection to the natural world around us.
- Akiko Kotani will present Views of the Bosphorus a series of 5 panels, 40” wide by 20” high that are stitched with bamboo threads on paper. Because the stitches are raised slightly above the paper ground, a shadow box frame presentation is preferable. The funding will also be used to have a hanging armature device constructed for Roll. The black threads in Roll are of silk and are stitched to be seen mainly from the front but also peak out from the bottom of the work. She will exhibit a series of her works at the Leslie Curran Gallery@ ARTicles in a two-person show in September, 2018.
- Paula Kramer will produce Take A Chance Dance, a Choreo/Theater project that includes new works created by Literature and Performing Artists, Bob Devin-Jones, Fanni Green and Maureen McDole, all major contributors to St. Pete’s ever growing arts scene. This collaborative project will also allow Ms. Kramer to hone her own choreographic skills and work with artists that have desired to expand their artistic visions, but have not yet invited dance into their writings and/or performances. Each piece will be a celebration of our city and will emanate from three very different perspectives. Each artist will perform his/her work in individual showings at selected sites that carry deep meaning to the work.
- Mikhail Mansion will start a new media arts community in St. Petersburg that is focused on
using computer code as a medium and tool deriving new forms of expression. For this project, he
will use Meetup.com and other social media websites to define, to initiate and advertise this
group. Nature is a strong source of artistic inspiration, so this group will focus on nature as a
subject, and input, for using technology creatively.
- David Manson is a jazz music composer, producer and trombonist. He would like making a free concert open to the public in St. Petersburg in August of 2018. This concert featuring his original new compositions, performed by the Brazilian jazz sextet O Som Do Jazz. This concert of original jazz compositions fosters not only interest in modern jazz, but also accentuates an international aspect to our city, with Brazilian-influenced music.
- Veronica Leone Matthews founded 2015 the Petersburg Shakespeare Festival in 2015. She will collaborate with Studio@620 on two readings during workshop adaptations, resulting in a fully staged play in Williams Park in fall 2018. The project will provide accessible opportunities for students and the community to experience Shakespeare’s works.
- Desiree Moore is a multidisciplinary artist with an active collaborative practice. As an artist in residence at BreakCreate in Breckenridge, CO this summer, she will utilize her time to transform Barter Boat, a large public art project by Radar Art, into a mobile version, the Barter Bike which will allow spontaneous social interactions in Downtown St. Pete. Barter Bike will beckon brave citizens to trade for a myriad of “treasure” in the Barter Bike Cargo. What do you want out of a deal? Would you trade a pencil for a baseball card? How about a boxing ticket stub for a postcard from 1901? All trades are then cycled into new hand-held assemblages for the next willing participant.
- Rose Marie PrinsPhD will engage various groups in workshops, one at the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum, another at the St Petersburg Museum of History and a third at Creative Clay Cultural Arts Center. These workshops will involve St Petersburg residents of three generations in the creation of autobiographical altered books (altered books being a form of artists’ books.) The mission of these books is to present, interpret and preserve St Petersburg’s history and to engage a broad and diverse audience through these activities. This project will educate participants and viewers about aspects of the history of St Petersburg from the viewpoint of members of its diverse population. It will also broaden our understanding as to what it means to be an artist. For a preview of the project, and to try your hand at making an altered book, visit the artist in the lobby of St Petersburg’s Vinoy Hotel on Friday, May 4, between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. The event is sponsored by Bella Unica Gallery and Events and the Vinoy Hotel.
- Andee Scott will create a site-specific dance residency/performance project for 5 female choreographers that seeks to place the work of making and performing dance within the context of recognized forms of “work”. This project seeks to contextualize dance as public art, providing audiences multiple opportunities to encounter dance in their everyday lives, with both the rehearsal/creation process and the performance occurring during regular business hours, free and open to the public. By using non-traditional venues, this project has the potential to reach a larger audience, including an incidental audience that perhaps would not buy a ticket to see a performance in a theatre.
The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance strives to be 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.