Think of St Petersburg and you might get seduced by the white sands and beach life. But the tropical weather (currently holding the Guinness World Record for the longest run of sunshine days, at 768) and stunning vistas mean that it is a creative hub for the arts community too!
With plenty to see in nature and in the city, you can visit St Pete’s and enjoy some damn fine exhibitions too. Join a walking tour to soak up the downtown street art, which includes the famous Twiggy mural by Chad Mize, or pick up a guide to explore the seven art districts which are filled with local and international artists, galleries and studios.
Perhaps the most famous museum in St Pete’s is the futuristic Dali Museum, which boasts the largest collection of Salvador Dali outside of Spain; And this year, it is set to launch the exciting arrival of the “Dali Lives” experience. Using artificial intelligence technology, a 3D version of the surrealist artist will allow visitors to interact and engage with the lifelike representation via touch screens. With access to authentic writings, archival footage and real-life interviews, this promises to be a totally immersive experience.
Whereas the oldest museum in town The Museum of Fine Arts was founded by Margaret Acheson Stuart in 1965, and was the first art museum in St. Petersburg; Showcasing the most diverse range of art in Florida it covers 5,000 years and is easy to spend a day enjoying the tranquil atmosphere and exhibits. Set in a stunning location on the waterfront, it is a city landmark and you can see works from modern and historical artists including French Impressionist, Monet and American modernist, Georgia O’Keeffe.
If you appreciate the delicacy of glass, Dale Chihuly’s unique glass sculptures which are on display at The Chihuly Collection, are a must. Owned by the Morean Arts Center, The Collection has been designed to bring art and architecture together, and visitors are welcomed with a giant, iconic 20-foot glass sculpture which sets the scene. A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Chihuly is credited with transforming the methods of creating glass art and influencing contemporary art, and each creation is astonishing in it’s attention to detail.
The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is founded by husband and wife Tom and Mary James, who started collecting works that evoke the spirit of a wide open frontier and the beauty of life in the wild. Wanting to share their passion for the wild west, and celebrate wildlife, nature and the beauty of nomadic living, the museum houses over 400 works of original art, celebrating American history. From statues and sculptures of of Native American tribes alongside classical to artefacts, crafts and oil, ink and stone, the gallery is a visual flashback of native art.
Promising a modern building, and five galleries, the futuristic Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement is scheduled for completion in downtown St Petes, later this year. With furniture, pottery, metalwork, lighting, photography and other decorative items from 19th century on display, the American Arts and Crafts movement will be represented across all genres, with permanent and guest exhibitions.
So when you have had enough of the 35 miles of award-winning white-sandy beaches, fresh seafood and craft beers, head to the city for a spot of culture. St Petes and Clearwater is the ideal holiday destination!
Museum of Fine Art
Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement
The Dali Museum
The Chihuly Collection
The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art
Urban Mural Tour