Make us your home page
Instagram

SHINE Mural Festival in St. Petersburg and its many meanings

ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg recently became more vibrant now that the second SHINE Mural Festival has concluded, adding 21 new murals, four of them created as projects with community participation. Those from the first festival have remained, remarkably, since murals often are short-lived.

Murals add color, of course, and a level of cool to a city because of their stylistic associations with graffiti, a subversive modern art form. They're fun and photogenic; our mural sites have become selfie ground zeros.

SEE THEM ALL: Photos and a map for every new St. Pete SHINE mural

There is something deeper, though, in murals' appeal.

Murals, also known as street art, provide us with a freedom and accessibility to explore something new. They cost us nothing and require no special plans to be seen. They ask us to stop and really look at a place we may have passed hundreds of times, inviting us to re-evaluate our surroundings. They are frequently painted over, making way for a new mural, reminding us that change is inevitable and, with the right perspective, can bring something wonderful. They are free of demographic distinctions, engaging us together, so that a group looking at a mural could include a parent with young children, a business executive and a homeless person. In the viewing, we are equal. When I have seen this dynamic, no one looks uncomfortable; everyone has the same agenda.

This year's crop is riveting in quality and variety. Compare the thrashing movement of fish, almost kinetic, by Pantonio to Zulu Painter's mysterious, quiet portrait of two children in a boat. Both are created with limited palettes but couldn't be more different. Or Nosego's lyrical sweep of a bird to Daniel Mrgan's whimsical imagery. And marvel at the exuberant literalness of Cecilia Lueza's graphic street mural on an actual street intersection. You perhaps will like one better than another but you'll have so much context in which to make that decision.

We are brought to all these experiences almost as a gravitational pull. A mural's sheer size draws us toward it. It will not be ignored.

And here's the fundamental contradiction that makes murals so great, so compelling: We cannot buy them. But we do, for a time, own them.

Contact Lennie Bennett at (727) 893-8293 or lbennett@tampabay.com

SHINE Mural Festival in St. Petersburg and its many meanings 09/22/16 [Last modified: Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Hernando Events for Sept. 22

    Events

    22 Friday

    Academia Hernando Fall 2017 Lecture Series: "Eleanor Roosevelt at the U.N. — Human Rights," by Susan Marie Frontczak. Series includes eight lectures and one field trip. Field trip only open to subscribers. 10 a.m. to noon. $65 for the entire series, including field trip; $9 per …

  2. Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Sept. 22

    Events

    Festivals

    Music and brews: "Brews and Wine on the Bayou," a benefit for Youth and Family Alternatives, will be from 2 to 6 p.m. Sept. 23 at Gill Dawg Marina, 5419 Treadway Drive, Port Richey. The event will feature all-you-can-taste beer and wine, with 20 craft beers and 20 wines. There will be a …

  3. 5 things you didn't know about 'Wall Street' on its 30th anniversary

    Blogs

    It’s hard to think of the 1987 movie Wall Street and not picture Michael Douglas as a megalomaniac tycoon spouting “Greed is good” until shareholders fall in line. 

  4. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Ciccio executive chef Luis Flores prepares an Impossible Burger Wednesday at the Epicurean Hotel Food Theatre in Tampa.
  5. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.