Summer Art In St. Pete

By: Sean Mills

Story Highlights
  • Did you know St. Petersburg got its name in a coin flip? Learn the full story by checking out "Building the Sunshine City" at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
  • The 27th annual St. Pete Beach Craft Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6.
  • The Next ArtWalk is scheduled for June 12.

The summer of 2021 is shaping up to be a vibrant and colorful opportunity for the arts in St. Petersburg. With pandemic restrictions lifting across Florida, all seven distinct art districts in St. Petersburg are thriving. Galleries and businesses are open. Visitors are being welcomed back with open arms. The world has never needed art more than after the last year we all had.

First up is the 27th annual St. Pete Beach Craft Festival on Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6.
Corey Avenue comes alive with the best crafters in the country setting up shop for the annual festival. These vendors are offering handmade pottery, jewelry, paintings, and much more, with designs and styles flowing from the city and beyond.

The open-air festival will have COVID-19 safety precautions in place. A Green Market will be set up at the festival featuring exotic live plants, handmade soaps, savory dips, and gourmet sauces, right in the heart of St. Pete Beach. Tickets are still available.

Also in June is St. Pete Pride, the largest LGBTQ+ celebration in all of Florida. June 12 to 19 will be Pride Arts & Music Week and will feature Once Upon a SHINE, a citywide video scavenger hunt visiting many of the city’s most beautiful murals.

St. Pete Pride is hosted by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance. And for the rest of the year, the Arts Alliance is once again hosting their ArtWalk around the city on the second Saturday of every month. ArtWalk is a free celebration for the arts a tour through several of the cities prominent arts districts. The next walk is scheduled for June 12.

Visit the Central Arts District for independent artists, studios, and galleries nestled in a blend of urban construction and historic buildings. The historic, seven-block EDGE District provides a unique visual experience of murals, historic buildings, a microbrewery, an escape room, and 16 popular restaurants.

The Grand Central District hosts a wide variety of museums and galleries, including the Imagine Museum and its world collection of glass art, along with Haslam’s, the largest new and used bookstore in the state. The Warehouse Arts District along 22nd Street South was once home to the city’s warehouses and light manufacturing. Now it hosts artists working on large projects that require space and heavy equipment, all available for viewings during the Second Saturday ArtWalk.

Lastly, the Waterfront Arts District features some of St. Peterburg’s most fashionable dining and shopping destinations, along with some of its most unique museums. The Salvador Dali Museum, The Chihuly Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts, and Mahaffey Theater are just a few of the locations to visit.

The St. Petersburg Museum of History on St. Pete Pier has been sharing Florida stories for nearly 100 years and they are once again open to the public. Their newest exhibit is entitled “Building the Sunshine City” and it is a look back at St. Pete’s 150-year history. Museum curators dug through thousands of items in the museum’s archives to share pieces that will take visitors from the city’s start as a simple fishing village to its vibrant, modern-day hub of business, arts, and culture. Did you know St. Petersburg got its name in a coin flip? Learn the full story by checking out “Building the Sunshine City” at the St. Petersburg Museum of History.

Once you’re done at the museums, visit the new and beautiful St. Pete Pier along the city’s picturesque waterfront. Built on 26 acres above the blue waters of Tampa Bay, St. Pete Pier offers parks, restaurants, concert venues, and dozens of popular shops. The Marketplace in the Pier’s Welcome Plaza hosts a vast array of independent vendors set up in individual tents for your convenience. St. Pete Pier is also home to several beautiful art installations. Most recently, internationally renowned artist and Tampa Bay native Janet Echelman has built “Bending Arc”, a billowing net sculpture that is 428 feet wide and 76 feet high. Come get a peek at the sculpture before it blows away in the wind.

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