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SHINE mural artists announced for November

Bill DeYoung



Work by St. Petersburg artist Mason Schwacke will be part of the all-Florida SHINE lineup this year.

With its state funding drastically reduced, and with Covid calling a lot of the shots, the sixth annual SHINE Mural Festival, Nov. 7-14, will be more of a close-to-home event. All 10 artists (down from the usual 20 or so) are from Florida.

“I have so much respect for anybody trying to get anything done this year,” festival coordinator Jenee Priebe told the Catalyst in August. “It’s just rough. Everything takes three times as long.

“There’s plenty of artists more than willing to do the work. We just don’t have the money to do it this year.”

SHINE, which is part of the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, was already working with a curtailed projected budget for 2020 (approximately $75,000) when Governor Ron DeSantis vetoed its Culture Builds Florida grant in July. That was a painful loss of $25,000.

Priebe has announced the artists for the 2020 event. Each will paint, over several days, a mural based on a theme from the Hawaii-based PangeaSeed Foundation. The program is called Sea Walls.

“They travel all over the world to different coastal cities and produce full-scale festivals, just like SHINE,” Priebe said. “And every festival focuses on that region’s, or that city’s most pressing ocean issues.”

The artists

All descriptions provided by the St. Petersbug Arts Alliance.

Alex Yanes (Miami). Alex Yanes is known for his vibrant 3D installations inspired by his Cuban roots, his hometown Miami and skateboard culture. With bold colors and complex layers, his work is sophisticated yet approachable. Yanes has worked with Adidas, Red Bull, Sony, Vans and has been exhibited in galleries around the world.

BASK (St. Petersburg). Ales “BASK” Hostomsky returns after painting a SHINE mural in our first year. The artist’s work is immediately recognizable for its rich textures and “anti-iconic” imagery inspired by the similarities between communist propaganda and American consumerism. BASK’s work has been featured in galleries nationwide and in the blockbuster movie Iron Man 3.

Elle LeBlanc (St. Petersburg). Elle LeBlanc creates modern contemporary designs with playful shapes and minimal color palettes. Finding inspiration in everyday objects, her work reimagines what is often seen as mundane, creating beauty from the ordinary.

iBOMS (St. Petersburg). Jabari Reed-Diop, known as iBOMS, uses original characters and thought-provoking symbols to bring viewers into his world. Through a variety of mediums, he challenges perceptions and creates a new narrative through the lens of his own life experience as a young African American male.

Kenny Coil with Marc Berenguer (St. Petersburg). Graphic designer Kenny Coil, along with business partner Marc Berenguer, are the creative powerhouses behind Break Maiden, the award-winning studio specializing in brand identity and packaging design. Both USF graduates, Kenny and Marc designed many of St. Pete’s favorite brands like MADE Coffee and Green Bench Brewery’s Webb City Cellar.

Lili Yuan (Jacksonville). Lili Yuan uses her photography to create hyperreal paintings, often inspired by the dichotomy of Eastern and Western cultures. Originally from China, Yuan uses her natural proficiency for art to explore the contrasting viewpoints she’s experienced.

Mason Schwacke (St. Petersburg). Mason Schwacke creates illustrative designs with playful colors and imaginative characters. As a longtime staple in the local creative scene, Schwacke has been active in many galleries, art shows and streets throughout the Tampa Bay area.

Nneka Jones with Bianca Burrows (Tampa).Nneka Jones is best known for her highly detailed embroidery work, which was recently featured on the cover of Time, and often advocates for issues of social justice. Jones is collaborating with Tampa-based mixed media artist Bianca Burrows.

Tatiana Suarez (Miami). Tatiana Suarez is known for her ethereal feminine creatures brought to life in pop surrealist style. Suarez’s work has been featured in galleries across the country, including San Francisco’s Spoke Art. She’s collaborated with brands like Reebok and L’Oreal. Her murals can be found in countries all around the world.

Brian Butler (Miami). Known for his playful, illustrative style, bold color palettes and his passion for music. In addition to creating merchandise, album art and promotional materials for many labels and musicians, he has “Show Drawn” over 2000 live concert performances. For this special Sea Walls project, Butler has created Carbon Punishment, an “enviro-METAL” project that unites a group of musicians and muralists based on his mural concept.

For additional information: SHINE website.

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