The eclectic art scene of St. Petersburg, Florida is turning this once sleepy city into a destination for art lovers. The 32 arts and cultural institutions (like the glorious Dali Museum) attracted 1.3 million visitors in 2009. Despite budget cuts, the art scene continues to grow, becoming more vibrant and innovative as new artists and ideas thrive under the palm trees dotting the sun-baked streets.
But there’s a less renowned art space that I discovered last week. The alley north of Central Avenue, between 6th and 7th streets has been transformed into a gallery of incredible street art. The talent on display is varied, colorful and absolutely stunning.
Mural of Bill Correira, a.k.a Woo
Some artists incorporated elements from the buildings into their artwork, like these window eyes:
Painting over this door:
And this placement of “Only a paper moon” in a window fitting above a dumpster:
In fact, the beauty of this gallery is that this area still functions as a place to throw out trash and chug cheap vodka on the sly. It smells like garbage and piss warmed up by the sun. The dumpsters, drains and things that are usually behind buildings so they will not be seen are part of the artwork.
So I highly recommend you get down to St. Petersburg soon to see this gallery while it’s still smelly and jumbled and chaotic.
Some day soon it will be written about in some glossy magazine and it will turn into something completely different. It’s almost inevitable. The writing is quite literally on the wall.