Advertisement
  1. Visual Arts

The ArtsXchange project in St. Petersburg continues to grow

ALLIE GOULDING   |   Times A piece of metal from tower one of the World Trade Center after 9-11 is seen on Thursday, July 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. The piece will be used to create the monument called “Rise” at the ArtsXchange Warehouse Arts District in St. Petersburg.
ALLIE GOULDING | Times A piece of metal from tower one of the World Trade Center after 9-11 is seen on Thursday, July 11, 2019 in St. Petersburg. The piece will be used to create the monument called “Rise” at the ArtsXchange Warehouse Arts District in St. Petersburg.
Published Jul. 15, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG — As St. Petersburg's art scene keeps spreading its wings, so does one of its main players. The ArtsXchange project, located in the Warehouse Arts District at 515 22nd St. S,, has completed phase two of a long planned renovation.

"We're continuing to fulfill our mission to provide artists an affordable place to work," said executive director Diane Bailey Morton.

The ArtsXchange was created in 2014, when the Warehouse Arts District Association bought 50,000 square feet of warehouse space. By 2017, more than 16,000 square feet of those warehouses were renovated into 28 art studios, the 1,600-square-foot Tully-Levine gallery and a 1,000-square-foot second floor gallery.

The most dramatic recent change is the removal of several uninhabitable warehouses in the center of the compound, opening up visibility to 22nd Street S. The space will remain open and will be turned into a pavilion where art markets can be held.

The Burka member lounge and member artists' gallery is also part of the expansion. The space has added air conditioning and a kitchenette, gallery lighting and an administrative office. Art work will rotate every three months and members can use the space as a place to gather during art walks and other events.

Additionally, a 2,000-square-foot former convenience store in a strip center on the compound has been renovated into an available studio space.

Future plans include an education center that will be equipped as a dance studio with springboard floors and barres. It could also be used as a yoga or fitness studio.

"We're happy to blend health with art," said Morton.

Sculptor Mark Aeling, president of the Warehouse Arts District Association, has been the volunteer project manager of the renovations from the beginning.

"This is a bridge that brings some of the energy from Central Avenue to another area," he said.

Aeling said the association has worked hard to make the Warehouse Arts District not only a place for artists, but for the community of Midtown, where it's located. The Warehouse Arts District Association also spearheaded a public private partnership with the city of St. Petersburg to illuminate the Pinellas Trail from 20th to 24th streets south, which took four years.

He's also working on a sculpture that will reside on the compound. It's a 9/11 memorial that contains a piece of metal from the World Trade Center. The project is through Florida-based American Freedom Distillery, started by a group of soldiers who were among the first boots on the ground in Afghanistan post 9/11. All 50 states have received a piece of the World Trade Center.

Much like the renewal happening in the ArtsXchange, Aeling's sculpture, "Rise," is about rebirth. He's conceived wings wrapping around the sculpture, inspired by mythical creature the phoenix.

Morton said they are continuing to raise funds for future projects and that the interest in the ArtsXchange continues to grow. She said they get hundreds of people at their monthly exhibitions during art walks. Currently, all of the studios are rented and there is a 400 person waiting list.

"I consider us the anchor of the area," she said.

Contact Maggie Duffy at mduffy@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8572. Follow @maggiedalexis.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Pablo Picasso's scene design for Pulcinella is part of the "Art of the Stage: Picasso to Hockney" exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, which will open on Jan. 25. [Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg]
    ‘Art of the Stage’ opens at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Tampa Museum of Art opens ‘White Gold,’ plus Art Festival Beth-El returns.
  2. Photographer Griff Davis captured the first meeting of Vice President Richard Nixon and Martin Luther King, Jr. and their wives, Patricia Nixon and Coretta Scott King, on Independence Day in Accra, Ghana on March 7, 1957. [Courtesy of Griffith J. Davis Photographs & Archives]
    A famed photographer captured Martin Luther King Jr. and Nixon in a conversation that was incendiary at the time.
  3. Roberto Gomez, of Puerto Rico, dressed as Darth Vader, attends the world premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" on Dec. 16, 2019, in Los Angeles. [CHRIS PIZZELLO  |  Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP]
    The massive fandom was built on the strength of a universe that continues to expand beyond the movie theater.
  4. A photograph by Anastasia Samoylova from the "FloodZone" series, on view at USF Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa through March 7. [Courtesy of USF Contemporary Art Museum]
    Plus, check out site-specific installations from the Morean Center for Clay.
  5. Demetri Martin will perform at Tampa Theatre on Jan. 18. [Courtesy of the Tampa Theatre]
    'A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘The Screwtape Letters’ and ambitious Florida Orchestra collaborations round out the list.
  6. Ai Weiwei's "Zodiac (2018) Lego" is on display through Feb. 9 at the Ringling Museum. [Courtesy of the Ringling]
    Ai Weiwei’s ‘ Zodiac (2018) Lego’ is the big draw, but four other exhibitions each hold their own.
  7. Janna Doughty's "Friends" is included in "Please Stand By," which will open on Jan. 10 at Mize Gallery in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Chad Mize]
    Plus, a quartet of new openings and an artist’s talk with contemporary Chinese artist Sun Xun.
  8. A crowd watches Tibetan Buddhist monks from India's Drepung Gomang Monastery dissolve their sand mandala during the Sacred Art Tour at Florida CraftArt in St. Petersburg in 2018. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times (2018)]
    Plus, ‘Halloween in January’ features work by the Peach Moon and there’s an outdoor photography exhibit in Sarasota.
  9. Audio of the artist reciting a poem plays while visitors explore the Yayoi Kusama: Love is Calling exhibition in the Tampa Museum of Art on September 26, 2018. [Times 2018]
    With new museums, world class exhibitions, arts districts and an abundance of murals, Tampa Bay has grown into an arts destination.
  10. Helen Hardin's "Mimbres Kokopelli" is part of the "Spirit Lines: Helen Hardin Etchings" exhibit at the James Museum in St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of the James Museum]
    Plus, St. Petersburg gets a politically-charged ceramic exhibition and dystopian sculptures invade Ybor City.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement