1. Visual Arts

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

On Saturday and Sunday, Carolina Cleere’s mixed media works are on display at the Mainsail Art Festival in downtown St. Petersburg. [Courtesy of Mainsail Art Festival]
Published Apr. 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.

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.


  1. "Ai Weiwei: Zodiac (2018) LEGO" will be on display at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota starting Nov. 16. Courtesy of Jason Schmidt
    Plus, Tampa Museum of Art presents “the Making of a Museum” and Karen Lamonte takes over the Imagine Museum.
  2. Jamie Randall and Mark Clarson have collaborated to make decanters based on extinct birds. Courtesy of Alec Miller Arts
    There’s ‘Sweater Weather’ at Mize and a lecture at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts, too.
  3. “'The Grasshopper and the Ant’ and Other Stories as Told by Jennifer Angus" installation, which is composed of 5,000 dried exotic insects, is on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg through Jan. 5, 2020. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Jennifer Angus’ installation, ‘The Grasshopper and the Ant,’ is her largest to date.
  4. An electrical box is seen directly across the street from John Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg on Oct. 31. A mural by Shine mural festival artist iBoms was removed after parents' complaints. CHRIS URSO  |  Times
    The edgy work by Jabari Reed, a.k.a. iBoms, was installed near John Hopkins Middle School.
  5. Leslie Peebles is the featured artist at Dunedin's Art Harvest on Saturday and Sunday. Courtesy of the Junior League Clearwater-Dunedin
    Plus, Babette Herschberger’s deceptively simple surface studies bring color to the Leslie Curran Gallery in St. Petersburg.
  6. A cyclist heads east on the Pinellas Trail in St. Petersburg on Monday. With a grant from NOAA, mural artists Blaine Fontana and Jeremy Nichols, both of Portland, Ore., are creating a mural for the Shine Mural Festival on the exterior of Bama Sea Products that features Florida sea creatures. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    The St. Petersburg mural festival ends with a daytime party on Saturday.
  7. Work continues on the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement, seen here in August 2019. The museum was scheduled to open in December, but now the date has been pushed back again to early spring of 2020.
    The Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement was originally slated to open in 2017. That has changed many times.
  8. Muralists Blaine Fontana and Jeremy Nichols, both of Portland, OR., are creating this piece for the Shine Mural Festival that features Florida sea creatures with a grant from NOAA. SCOTT KEELER  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Plus, you can take a ride through the Terror Tent at the Pinellas Art Villages’ Spookfest.
  9. Art collector Stanton Storer talks about "Unbound," the exhibit of his art collection at the University of Tampa's Scarfone/Hartley Gallery. LUIS SANTANA  |  Times
    A new exhibition at the University of Tampa includes works from his extensive collection of renowned artists and locals.
  10. Chad Mize, left, and Jay Hoff in front of the "Pride and Love" mural they completed with LGBTQ youth this month as part of St. Petersburg mural fest Shine. Courtesy of Annie West Ellzey
    Shine is loaded with a wide range of events this year, including a street party at the Morean Arts Center.