The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance’s SHINE Mural Festival, Nov. 7-14, will be presented in conjunction with “Sea Walls: Artists For Oceans,” a public art initiative from PangeaSeed Foundation. This year’s festival will carry the theme “Sea Walls: St. Petersburg,” with each mural addressing a different enivronmental issue.
The organization’s director John Collins told the Catalyst in July that Governor Ron DeSantis’ statewide budget cuts had significantly reduced what the Arts Alliance could put into the sixth annual mural festival. DeSantis eliminated the “Culture Builds Florida” grant, which would have provided one-third of the $75,000 budget for SHINE 2020.
“We had decided to just do 10 to 12 artists this year,” Collins said. “We had 22 in 2019. We decided just to work with local artists this year, maybe one or two from Miami, I think. Because of COVID And also that cuts down our expenses big time.”
Festival coordinator Jenee Priebe says the 10 artists who’ll do this year’s painting are indeed mostly local – “the backbone of SHINE” – and will build on the 2019 collaboration with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), with all murals exploring “the inter-connectedness of human health and environmental health as we navigate an ongoing global pandemic.”
Priebe’s “Call For Walls” was issued in May. “It’s been difficult to plan,” she said at the time, “because we really don’t know what to expect come November. When the Grand Prix rescheduled (for October), it landed on what was supposed to be the final weekend of SHINE.
“We decided to reschedule later in the year in hopes the weather is better and Covid is even further behind us, hopefully. Thankfully, SHINE is fairly social-distance friendly anyways.”
The contracted artists – and their assigned walls – will be announced in early September.