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Your weekend arts forecast: SHINE lite and the kings of Ragtime

Bill DeYoung



Byron Stripling conducts The Florida Orchestra Saturday and Sunday. TFO photo.

The sixth annual SHINE Mural Festival launches Saturday, with 11 murals going up – live, in real time – at locations all around the city.

As we’ve noted previously, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance lost a sizeable chunk of its SHINE money when Governor Ron DeSantis red-lined the Culture Builds Florida grants back in June.

Because of that, and because of the pandemic and other funding shortfalls, there will be 11 murals in 2020, a reduction from the 20-or-so in previous years. And all the artists are Floridian, with a percentage living and working locally.

“Basically,” says festival director Jenee Priebe, “we budget about $10,000 per mural, after we factor in all the costs and everything.” SHINE operates through grants from the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, and a consortium of dedicated area sponsors.

The Hawaii-based PangeaSeed Foundation is the above-the-title partner; the program is called Sea Walls, and each artist will produce an environmentally-themed work.

“Everything is just so different this year, but it just sort of feels like a special edition of SHINE,” Priebe says. “Everything is different in a way that just makes sense. We’re all doing the best we can, it’s definitely smaller than we’re used to, but we really wanted to get some new art out there.”

There are no special events scheduled for SHINE 2020, and no big celebratory bash at the end.

“I was just talking to somebody this morning about how we’re not doing any airport runs,” adds Priebe. “And we’re not driving people around all week, because everyone has their own vehicle. We’re not really at the hotel as much – we still have a few artists at the hotel, but everybody’s driving themselves here. It’s a very different feel.

“But I think it’s wonderful to be able to do this, and still create an incredible festival that’s going to have incredible art at the end of it. Bringing in national and international artists is important to us, and it’s part of building something here that’s bigger than St. Pete. That’s bigger than Tampa Bay.

“So there’s a little bit of that that’s lost. But there is tremendous value, for a lot of other reasons, for having primarily local artists on the lineup.”

SHINE holds a Facebook Livestream conversation – “Environmental Justice + Art as Advocacy” – from 5 to 6 p.m. today.

Here is the official map of the 2020 artists and where they’ll be creating. SHINE wraps up Nov. 14.

Gulfport ArtWalk

Gulfport’s First Friday Art Walk returns Friday from 5-9, along Beach Boulevard. This is the second edition of the newly re-organized Gulfport walks, juried and themed. It’s all fine art: All the crafts, homemade gifts and such have been re-assigned to a different street fair on a different day later in the month.

 “We separated the concepts,” organizer Brenda McMahon said on The Catalyst Sessions in October, “and said ‘Let’s really have an art walk.’ Because Gulfport is filled with incredible artists. And I would ask all these artists, ‘Do you ever show at the art walk?’ And they’d say ‘No way.’ Because it was out of context. You can’t have fine art next to handmade soaps. It just doesn’t work.”

Byron Stripling’s ragtime band

Jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling, a longtime favorite guest of The Florida Orchestra, is back as bandleader for a show called Ragtime Kings Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.) and Sunday (2 p.m.) at the Mahaffey Theater. Remember, these are strictly limited-attendance concerts, with just one-quarter of the theater seats available (around 250) and, for the time being, sold only in pairs. All ticketing and safety info is here.

Stripling will lead a scaled-down TFO on tunes from Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday’s latter performance will also be livestreamed, for free, if that’s your preference. Last week’s Beethoven’s 7th was livestreamed, too, and you can still view that one by clicking here.

For your weekend pleasure

Live events

War of the Worlds at freeFall Theatre

Have Gun, Will Travel at the Palladium

Frankenstein, the Modern Prometheus at the Straz Center

Always, Patsy Cline at the Straz Center

La Lucha’s CD Release Party at the Palladium


Virtual events

A “With the Maestro” special event: Adventures in Verismo Opera with Mark Sforzini of St. Petersburg Opera Company

Letters to Kamala and Fairytales Reimagined by American Stage



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