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Art Populi

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

There's plenty of opportunities to see popular live music acts in the Tampa Bay area, but some major artists rarely pay us a visit. One local tribute band is putting their own unique flair on songs you may never get to hear live.


WUSF Public Media

Throughout this past year, members of WUSF 89.7 and Classical WSMR have been highlighting live music that makes the Tampa Bay Area a little more special as part of our ongoing Art Populi series.

This week on Florida Matters we hear some of those stories.


Marc Haze/WUSF News

As far back as ancient Greece, composers have written music to be performed by children. It's a unique sound that adults can't duplicate.

It seems we hear it more often at the holidays, whether it's singers caroling at the mall or providing heavenly backup for an orchestra or pop singer.

Adam Shaw, bass in hand, peels a sweat-soaked strip of blonde hair away from his face and steps up to the mic. He growls into the microphone as a swarm of fans, clad in black, bounce on their feet around them, screaming back at the band.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

The Tampa Bay area boasts some world class performing arts venues. But you don't have to pay big ticket prices to hear great music. As part of WUSF’s ongoing Art Populi series on live, local music, we visit a restaurant in downtown St. Petersburg where jazz reigns every Monday night.


New Music New College

For nearly two decades, the New Music New College series has been holding contemporary music concerts in Sarasota. It’s featured works from artists ranging from John Cage and John Luther Adams, to pieces composed by New College students.

Photos by Susanna Hancock/Collage by Stephanie Colombini

As part of our ongoing Art Populi series on live, local music in the Tampa Bay Area, we're taking a look at a new group that's trying to expand the way people think of classical music. Called Terroir New Music, the group pairs live performances with craft beer. Their first concert is Thursday, May 4 at the bar c. 1949 in Tampa.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF

Strolling through the halls of the University of South Florida School of Music you can hear students in various practice rooms. But inside Director of Jazz Studies Jack Wilkins' office, teachers are rehearsing too.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

The Florida Orchestra's 2016-17 season wraps up May 19-21 with a trio of concerts featuring works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Sclafani.

Now the first two names might even be familiar to people who don't know anything about classical music. But the third isn't that well known - at least not yet.

Pooneh Ghana

The country's top three music festivals grossed about $130 million dollars last year. But several other well-known multi-day music events managed to lose money and some were outright canceled.

But the same can't be said for two relative newcomers to the festival scene, and both are in Tampa Bay.

Mark Schreiner / WUSF 89.7 News

As part of WUSF's ongoing look at public art around the Tampa Bay area, we decided to examine a place where about 120 works are scattered over 1,700 acres.

It’s the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus, and we recently joined a Friday lunchtime walking tour that examined a handful of the pieces.

Cathy Carter

Commuting in Tampa Bay can be challenging. Often, drivers can get stuck in traffic and endure plenty of red lights.  But in a few local spots, commuters are seeing those mundane gray signal boxes transformed into colorful, vibrant canvases.

Traffic box art isn't a new thing. They’ve been successful public art projects in cities like Tampa and Fort Lauderdale. And now an arts group in Clearwater is jumping on the trend with a signal box public art project called "Thinking Outside The Box." 

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Public art in the Tampa Bay area is not limited to Sarasota, Tampa or St. Petersburg. Heading east to Lakeland, there's an entire organization dedicated to showcasing local artists and bringing art to nontraditional spaces.  Platform Art,  for the last 12 years, has sponsored everything from public monuments to community gardens.

Arts Ambassador Talks Government Support For Public Art

Oct 5, 2016
Artist Larry Kirkland
Craig Collins

Ann Wykell is a consultant to nonprofits and local government on public art.  She's been involved with many public art projects in the Tampa Bay area. 

She developed and managed the art plan for Sarasota National Cemetery’s Patriot Plaza and established St. Petersburg’s first Office of Cultural Affairs. She's currently advising the City of St Petersburg on art selection for the Pier Park project. 

She spoke with WUSF's Lisa Peakes about government support for public art and what makes for effective projects.

Marc Haze / WUSF

It might be that big beautiful mural you pass on the way to work. Or the bike rack that looks like a sculpture.  Public art is all around us in Tampa Bay.

When you walk around your community, are you getting a sense of vibrancy and creativity? If so, that may be because you're experiencing "public art."

Alison Miller

When you think of St. Petersburg, what’s the first image that comes to mind? Time once was that answer was likely to be the Pier or the city’s  famous green benches.

Now, that answer might be murals. In the past few years more than 100 murals have been created and more are arriving all the time.

Daylina Miller/WUSF News

WUSF recently launched an occasional series called “Art Populi,” an occasional series that is focusing on public art.

From city murals to street sculptures and free art, we're hoping to shed a new light on the Tampa Bay's art scene.

For our second story, we follow two artists as they abandon their creations in Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Quincy Walters/WUSF News

A folk trio played outside of the ARTicles art gallery along Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. 

Inside the gallery, St. Pete-based artist Eva Avenue drew portraits of people who stopped in. She said the portraits, which she uses acrylic, colored pencils and pastels, is her own - something she calls "a mixture between realism and feelism".