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SHINE Festival Brings More Art To St. Petersburg

The fourth annual SHINE Mural Festival is back in St. Petersburg until Sunday. The event invites artists from all over the world to add more art around the downtown area. 

Since it began in 2015, more than 55 murals have been created at the SHINE festival. By the end of this year's ten day event, there will be 13 more. 

Most of the murals are painted on local business, but some have been done on roads and overpasses.

This year, the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance invited artists from the area and around the world, including some from Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain and Pakistan.

John Collins, the organization’s executive director, said the festival helps shine a light on the city as an artful community.

“It’s placing St. Petersburg in a great international light,” he said.

The artists are invited to paint whatever they want, something Collins said is quite rare. The styles, themes and sizes will vary among murals. Some pieces will be inspired by Florida or St. Pete itself.

Nomad Clan, a duo from the U.K., created the tallest mural in their country, and requested a large space for their piece. Their work often represents local history or socio-economic issues related to the location of the piece. Collins said the duo has done a lot of research on Florida and their painting will be based on conquistadors.

Although Hurricane Michael passed through the Gulf this week, weather did not affect the festival too much. Collins said they have only lost half a day because of the storm. 

“The last two days, frankly, with the cloud cover and the wind has been really a pleasure for them because it's been so hot, my artists are melting," he said.

All of the work from previous years and information about the artists can be found on the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance website

Credit St. Petersburg Arts Alliance
"Common Ground," a piece by Cecilia Lueza, spreads across the intersection of Central Avenue and 5th Street in St. Petersburg.

Bethany Hanson is a WUSF/USF Zimmerman School digital news reporter for spring 2018.
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