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  • Words & Photos by John Domine

On the Road: St. Petersburg, FL

This year, St. Petersburg's SHINE Festival took place October 5th-14th, drawing from a palette of artists as colorful as the walls they left behind. Joram Roukes, Cryptik, Axel Void, Hueman, Lauren Ys, Sam Yong, and Stephen Palladino to name a few.

Add to this, work from the previous two years of the festival, and other walls not related to SHINE, and you have the makings of a world-class art destination with a tropical vibe.

They had me at tropical, so I took to the road at the beginning of December, as a way to ease into the magnificent mayhem that was ramping up in Miami for the annual Art Basel festivities. It was just what the doctor ordered before joining the throngs of art-lovers just a few hours away.

Flying in to Tampa, it is just a short 20 minute drive to the laid-back beach town of St. Pete. Although a majority of the walls are located on any of a few main streets in the center of town (particularly those for SHINE), I would recommend having a car (or bike), to scout out the art that is further afield.

In its 3rd year, the body of work from the SHINE Festival is quite impressive. And the walls seem to be holding up pretty well despite the harsh marine climate. Here is a sampling of the work I came across from the festival. (For a map of all locations, check out the maps for each year here. They are also printable.)

In addition, there is a huge amount of urban art to be found in St. Pete. Some of the key players whose work I came across include Sebastian Coolidge, Zulu Painter and Derek Donnelly. You can't walk around town without catching a glimpse of their walls.

These artists are also part of something known as the Bloom Collective; a group of artists, together with musicians, writers and others, who work together to create inspiring experiences. Located at 510 5th Avenue North, the building itself is covered in works of art by its members and other artists.

And it that's not enough to convince you to plan a winter escape (or to see the festival next October), I'll leave you with a few more images of some of the incredible work I spotted around town. So, what are you waiting for. The tropical breeze in St. Petersburg is calling.

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