New murals add color, flare to St. Pete streets and trail

Chris Cato reports

- Several local artists and student artists spent their Labor Day laboring over projects that add even more color and flare to downtown St. Petersburg.

Most visible is a street mural that covers the entire intersection of Central Avenue and Fifth Street S.

Created by local muralist Cecilia Lueza, the geometric design is comprised of triangles and trapezoids in red, blue, light blue, green, yellow, pink and orange. Artists started painting it at 9 a.m. Monday and were putting on the final touches by 3 p.m.

At the same time, another team of local artists and students were finishing up an ambitious campaign to turn 52 boring concrete barricades into a series of murals. The 12-by-3-foot barricades are located along the Pinellas Trail at 20th Street S.

Artist Chad Mize led a team of six professional artists and 10 students from Pinellas County Center for the Arts Gibbs High School. Each student was tasked with transforming a barricade into a piece of mural art inspired by the city’s “My Sunshine City” campaign.

“We’re hoping this starts a sort of mural renaissance along the trail,” said Mize. “The city has embraced our art by building an outstanding place where we can create.”

Both projects were undertaken as part of the St. Pete’s second annual SHINE Mural Festival, which runs from September 1 to 10.

According to its website, SHINE is made up of local artists and community members; it intends to illuminate the power of art in public spaces by revitalizing areas, inspiring dialog and uniting the community while reflecting St. Pete’s creative and vibrant spirit.

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