tbo: Tampa Bay Online.
Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Mural tours enhance St. Pete’s reputation as ‘City of the Arts’

ST. PETERSBURG — Perhaps nowhere is this city’s passion for street art more apparent than on the walls of many downtown buildings, where colorful murals increasingly adorn warehouses, restaurants and other businesses.

The murals have become so popular they are the focus of weekly tours offered by Florida CraftArt, and will be featured during the SHINE Mural Festival in early September — an event expected to draw national as well as local artists to view and create murals in St. Petersburg.

Many of the murals are within and around a stretch of Central Avenue from downtown west into the Edge District.

Diane Shelly, executive director of Florida CraftArt, says the murals complement St. Petersburg’s growing reputation as “City of the Arts,” with its many museums, galleries and artists’ studios in the downtown area and surrounding neighborhoods.

A few of the murals have themes or promote social causes, but most are “art for art’s sake,” Shelly says. “It’s basically an outside museum,” she says of the outsized creations.

Florida CraftArt’s four-block tours take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Saturday. The cost is $19 for adults, $11 for children ages 6-18, and free for ages 5 and younger. Some of the proceeds help pay for future murals. To book a tour call (727) 821-7391.

The Shine Mural Festival takes place Sept. 1 through 12. For information go to shineonstpete.com.

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