What to know when Mainsail Art Festival returns to St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park this weekend

Plus, artists Show Off! in a collaboration between Sketch Night Tampa and Mergeculture.
Published April 17

Award Winner: Mainsail Art Festival

Mainsail Art Festival returns to downtown St. Petersburg’s Vinoy Park this weekend, bringing more than 250 artists from across the nation. In 2018, the prestigious festival was named among the top 35 of the “100 Best Fine Art Shows in the Nation” by Sunshine Artist magazine. The show always draws a number of national artists, but many local artists are participating in just about every category, including Carolina Cleere, who won a $2,000 Bronze award last year for her mixed media work. Even the juror is local this year. David Connelly is an adjunct humanities instructor at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg and was director of public relations at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg for 21 years before he retired in 2017.

The festival also includes children’s activities in a Create Art Tent featuring Great Explorations on Saturday. See what the next generation of artists is up to at the Young at Art display. Enjoy food and beverages in the food court. And hear live music, including Ella Jet and Future Soul on Saturday and Selwyn Birchwood closing the festival on Sunday.

Because parking can be drama, there are free shuttles with wheelchair lifts that run the entirety of the festival with pickups every 10 to 15 minutes. Stops are at Progress Energy Park at the South Core parking garage (east side of First Street S just south of First Avenue S), Sundial Parking Garage (east side of First Street N mid-block between First and Second avenues) and Vinoy Park, on the north side of Seventh Avenue NE just west of Bayshore Drive. Free. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. 701 Bayshore Drive. mainsailart.org.

Live Painting: Show Off!

People love to watch art in progress, and artists love to get together and make art. The two come together Thursday at Armature Works with Show Off! In this collaboration between Sketch Night Tampa and Mergeculture, local and regional artists will create works in their own style, live. Speaking of style, it ranges from black and white ink drawings to watercolor paintings. A few are street artists whose murals you may have seen, like Jujmo and Scumrag. Once they’ve finished, the audience can bid on the pieces, with 10 percent of the proceeds benefiting Well Built Bikes. Taste beers from Collective Arts Brewing and groove to tunes from the Crate Brothers. The artmaking happens from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and bidding follows until 10. Free. 1910 N Ola Ave., Tampa.

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