1. Visual Arts

Here's how an expanded Salvador Dali Museum might look

ST. PETERSBURG — An exterior covered in creeping fig. A sweeping new wing. A hall that welcomes out-of-town visitors with digital information about the area.

Renderings from the Salvador Dalí Museum's expansion proposal illustrate how the museum would grow physically and digitally if a new plan goes through.

The museum filed an application seeking $17.5 million of bed tax money from Pinellas County to support an expansion that includes a new parking garage, event spaces and room for its new digital exhibits, which leaders are calling Digital Dalí. Those exhibits will use artificial intelligence and augmented reality.

According to the documents, the two-year expansion is estimated to cost more than $38 million, $30 million of that in construction. It would add a new wing with 20,000 square feet for community spaces and digital exhibits. It also plans for a 150,000-square-foot parking garage, increasing the number of parking places from 130 to 400.

Pinellas County commissioners voted unanimously on April 9 to forward the Dalí's application to the county's Tourist Development Council.

The Dalí Museum worked with architecture firm Harvard Jolly to create the renderings, in three workshops with Yann Weymouth, who designed the existing museum, Joe Blouin and Hank Hine, the museum's executive director.

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Some exhibits that would go into the new digital space were announced earlier this year. "Dalí Lives" uses artificial intelligence to resurrect the Surrealist master. The museum partnered with Goodby Silverstein & Partners, a San Francisco-based advertising agency, to bring back Dalí, who died in 1989. On screens throughout the museum, Dalí will talk about his art and comment on current events.

His paintings get the digital treatment with "Visual Magic: Dalí's Masterworks in Augmented Reality." The exhibition aims to get a more in-depth look and understanding of his most famous paintings.

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The museum is already using technology, most recently in the exhibition, "Magritte and Dalí," with an augmented reality portion where guests insert themselves into a painting from each artist.

Expanded community and education spaces would grow the museum's creative training program, Innovation Labs at the Dalí. A bigger event space would hold up to 350 people. The Dalí plans to position itself and St. Petersburg as a destination wedding site.

Contact Maggie Duffy at