St. Pete murals celebrate ‘art for art’s sake’ in an outdoor gallery

For the past several years, St. Petersburg has invited some of the world’s best mural artists to use its downtown buildings as their personal canvas during the SHINE Mural Festival.

"The curation process for SHINE is pretty elaborate," explained Jenee Priebe, the director of the SHINE Mural Festival. "We do aim to bring in the best of the best artists in the world, so that really is what we’re kind of after for SHINE and also to be able to put our local artists on the same platform as national and international artists is huge for our local community. "

The SHINE Festival is an annual event, primarily in the arts district to bring about the power of art in public places. 

"We transform different walls, sometimes the ground, and it is just about celebrating art for art’s sake in an outdoor gallery," Priebe said.

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"This is one of my favorite things about mural art and art in public spaces because it comes from that graffiti scene originally. Whether you wanted the art there or not, people put it there for you to see it and I feel like that spirit still lives on with SHINE. You give the artist full creative expression and with these murals, they’re not commissioned, so we don’t art direct them at all. They can do whatever they want and so that spirit of like this is what the artist said. This is their message and they’re going to put it right in front of you whether you like it or not. It’s going to interrupt your day and it’s going to make you feel something. It’s going to make you think about something and that’s really the value of it," stated Priebe.

Over the past seven years, the city has added 125 murals, including 19 in 2021. Though the festival has ended, the art is still up for everyone to enjoy.

"It’s not behind locked doors," Priebe explained. "You don’t have to get a ticket to come enjoy the murals. There’s so much accessibility with that and it can reach people that might not even know that they love art. "

LINK: To see a map of mural locations, visit


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