St. Pete artist creating 70-foot mural on Channelside building

It takes hundreds of cans of spray paint and lots of painter's tape for a St. Petersburg mural artist to create a masterpiece. A wall in Channelside is Matt Kress' latest canvas, creating large-format graffiti. 

Kress said he's calling it "Gaspar's Direction," and it's going to be a massive pirate directional sign. The St. Pete artist said the mural on the side of the Channel Club Apartments will be the tallest one in Tampa, towering at 70 feet. 

The goal is to celebrate all the great things in Tampa Bay, Kress said. 

Kress started painting Monday and expects the project to take about a month to complete.  Every shake, spray and stroke done in his signature colorful style. 

"I use some geometric shapes, I use vivid colors, I try to do things my own way in ways that you're going to kind of remember me as a unique artist," Kress said.

He has created about 20 murals so far in the Tampa Bay area. Kress said he was chosen from a pool of about 100 artists for the Channelside mural.

"I think sometimes the biggest reward I get as a mural artist is when people are going about their workday, and they're hustling, and they've got their coffee, and they stop and say, 'Wow, that's really big' and 'Wow, that's really colorful,'" he smiled.

Kress hopes his latest mural will create a moment for people to appreciate art and the beautiful city of Tampa.