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WADA Member Blog

Want to know what the Warehouse Arts District Association is up to?  Learn about the latest in this blog with features intended to keep members up to date. Also, members should join our closed Facebook group: the WADA Member Network

  • 01 May 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous

    Leila Martini is a local artist specializing in the use of color. From abstract to landscape, she uses color to create feeling with her art. From the early age of 5, when she got her first typewriter, Leila was always writing stories and poems, and drawing. When her sister was taking dance classes, Leila preferred drawing lessons at the Tampa Museum of Art. 

    Leila was introduced to painting with acrylics by her grandmother when she was 12. She wrote her first children’s book in her 20s called Where the Light Shines Through and her second in her 30s called Juni and Freska.

    Born and raised in Tampa, Leila is no stranger around town in St. Petersburg, her favorite place to hang out. She has shown her art in WADA member shows, at Black Crow Coffee, and at Tampa Bay Home Furnishings. She has WADA member since 2017.  "WADA gives me a sense of community and connection," Leila said. "I love the members and the opportunity to show my work."

    While Leila’s academic background was firmly rooted in science not art, she always retained a creative side. She has her Doctorate in Public Health, Masters in Public Health in environmental health and toxicology, and a Masters in Library Science. During one of her jobs designing training manuals for public health workers in epidemiology, a training participant saw Leila’s sharpie doodles and suggested that Leila share them publicly. So, she started creating mulicolored geometrical works with markers.


    Always a scientist, Leila was fascinated by the neuroscience concept of synesthesia- a condition in which one sense (such as eyesight) is simultaneously experienced by other senses (such as sound)- so the person with synesthesia might hear color and see sound. Because of the colorful and flowing look of her creations, Leila decided to call her art Synesthesia Artwork. 

    During a trip in 2016 to Asheville, Leila discovered alcohol ink and fell in love with the medium. Leila currently experiments with using alcohol ink on a variety of surfaces to design colorful abstract artwork.



    For more on Leila check out:

    Her website: Olive Branch Research, LLC http://olivebranchresearchllc.com/

    Her artist page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/synesthesiaartwork/





  • 30 Apr 2020 5:59 PM | Anonymous

    The Warehouse Arts District Association proudly announces an Artists Member Art show with the theme “I Need A Drink! Cocktail Hour”. Selected artworks fitting this theme submitted by WADA members, will remain on exhibit for 2 months in the Burka Member Lounge of the ArtsXchange located in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District. The ArtsXchange campus is one of the most widely visited galleries included in the Second Saturday Artwalk. (We’re looking at July Art Walk but the dates may change depending on COVID-19 restrictions.) See more information here.


  • 25 Apr 2020 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    Ted VanCleave has been creating art for more than thirty years while living in San Francisco, Los Angeles & Miami before making Saint Petersburg his home in 2017.

    He says he moved to St Pete from Miami three years ago in large part due to WADA and ArtsXchange.

    "I was looking for a new artist studio and a place to connect with like minded creatives," Vancleave said. "As a WADA member, I am constantly learning about interesting and useful art related subjects via their educational events [free to members]. And having a studio in ArtsXchange is a dream come true." 

    VanCleave's Sinuosity sculptures are sought after for their sensuous shapes, delicate folds & metallic finishes, but they are also a dichotomy. Each sculpture looks like gently folded fabric that could easily be compressed and flattened but they are as hard as a rock and permanently frozen in their final expression.

    VanCleave's media of expertise include sculpture, abstract painting and photography. He always brings an original point of view to his work. 

    Artworks by VanCleave can be found in collections in the USA and internationally and have been acquired by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation as part of their permanent collection. His work was exhibited at the Dali Museum in 2018. He's also exhibited widely during Art Basel in Miami including Art Miami, Art Miami Context and Aqua Art Miami. His work was exhibited in four major fairs simultaneously via four top international galleries. His interviews on CNN among others have received a worldwide audience.

    You can find Ted in Studio 101 at the ArtsXchange in St. Petersburg.

    Check out Ted's work here and at the video below:

    https://www.tedvancleave.com/

    https://www.tedvancleave.com/instagram

  • 21 Apr 2020 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    When asked if the Warehouse Arts District Association could help in getting much needed food to families in need, we said yes!

    In conjunction with Feeding Tampa Bay and Grow Smarter St. Petersburg, the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) hosted a mobile panty on April 20 where volunteers handed out 7,500 meals and 9,000 pounds of food! More than 300 families received food, including meats, fruit, potatoes, bread and more. 

    WADA is dedicated to be an active participant in helping our community in need and hopes to offer regular opportunities in the future for our members to participate in activities that benefit the community. Rock on WADA!

     

    WADA Board Members Veatrice Farrell and Caryn Nesmith and WADA Interim Director Renee Dabbs and Director of Operations and Events Michelene Everett help distribute food to families in need.




  • 13 Apr 2020 11:47 PM | Anonymous

    The membership committee meets the 2nd Friday of the month at 4pm. All are welcome and we need help to do great things for our artistic community. Bring your ideas and roll up your sleeves. Our next meeting is May 8. Email joinwada@gmail.com for more information. We need community now more than ever. 

    Membership Committee Members: Caryn Nesmith, Nancy Cohen, Susan Antoinette, Mirella Cimato, Teresa Sullivan, Anna Broshears

    Help Needed: 

    • Plan/execute member shows. 
    • Plan /execute WADA Social for May 13 (probably later).
    • Plan / execute Outdoor Marketplace. 
    • Volunteers to serve as Ambassadors at Art Walk.
    • Draft artist and business member profiles for website, emails, and social media.
    • Join the committee; monthly meetings are 2nd Friday of the month at 4pm – all welcome.


    Activities

      • Met with two Business Members from Modern Tampa Bay Homes and Sapphire A/V Experts
      • Met with Foundation For a Healthy St. Pete
      • Organized and led General Membership Meeting in February – over 50 participants
      •  Launched WADA Member Blog, maintaining WADA Member Network Group, 
      • Wrote Member Business Profile on Modern Tampa Bay Homes’ Richard McGinniss and artist member profile on Suzanne Benton.
      •  MBTH–WADA Call to Artists. 22 artists submitted-six were new members - application is still open two more days and submissions are still coming in.
      •  Held two committee meetings on March 13, April 8
    Membership Numbers
      • As of Apr 13, 2020: Active Members: 264 (170 artists, 42 artist supporters, 19 business, 32 Lifetime) 

    Membership Goals: Attract members by: 

          Strengthening sense of community 

          Maximizing artist exposure  (social media, website, regular member exhibits)

          Improving communication with members (membership meetings, newsletters, social media groups)

          Tightening administrative processes (updated benefits, updated website, defined member levels, automated renewal processes)

    2020 Focus

    1.     Conduct Focus Groups to evaluate member benefits. (Conducted Jan 9, 11, 16 and 28) - Complete

    2.     Update Member Benefits - Complete

    3.     Update the automated renewal procss - Complete

    4.     Quarterly General Membership Meetings or Socials (Feb 12, May 13, Sep 9, Dec 9)

    5.     Conduct Quarterly business member meetings. 

    6.     Create Blog and News Digest

    7.     Conduct 6 member shows per year

    8.     Create outdoor member marketplace

    9.     WADA Membership Table @ Art Walk

  • 31 Mar 2020 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    Mike Harting, CEO of 3 Daughters Brewing, writes an open letter to elected officials, on behalf of small businesses in St Petersburg (and everywhere). He writes that small businesses need: 

    Small Business thoughts:

    • Speed is of the essence -- we do not have lines of credit or reserves; we need cash to prime the pump.
    • Tax credits do not help -- we will not make it that far.
    • Loans will not help -- that simply prolongs and defers our struggle.
    • Use the SBA and its lending partners to disperse cash -- NOW.  Create an easy formula for banks to follow; last year verified P&L, average total expense per month x2. 
    • Suspend all taxes and licensing for 6 months. We pay sales tax on rent in my state -- get rid of it. We pay an excise tax on manufacturing in my industry -- get rid of it. We pay tax on the payroll -- get rid of it. Give us six solid months to build up cash.

    His whole letter is viewable here

  • 30 Mar 2020 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund provides rapid response awards to meet the urgent needs, and provide immediate financial relief to Pinellas County artists, arts organizations and creative businesses who have been impacted by an emergency situation/disaster we are facing, and, should the need arise and the resources be available, for future emergency situations as well. 

    View details and apply here.

  • 29 Mar 2020 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    New member Seven C Music (located where Dazzio used to be within the ArtsXchange compound facing 22nd St S, just north of 5th Ave N, is offering to let out of work musicians come in and play one song for $50. They are live streaming the songs on their facebook page. 

    See more about the project here:  https://www.facebook.com/sevencmusic/videos/2372732819494200 

    See videos here: https://www.facebook.com/sevencmusic

    They are taking donations to pay musicians here: http://shop.sevencmusic.com/shop/LOCAL-MUSICIAN-DONATIONS/p/MUSICIAN-DONATIONS-x48131506.htm

    David Gallino is the contact for musicians who would like to perform if you play full or part time and are out of work. Call. 727-265-0842 

  • 09 Mar 2020 12:10 AM | Anonymous

    The man behind the sleek geometric and classic transitional homes popping up in many of St. Petersburg’s and Tampa  neighborhoods is Richard McGinniss, the owner of Modern Tampa Bay Homes. McGinniss’ bio includes being the executive in charge of some of the largest communities and mixed use projects in the Southwest, including a $600 million research facility in North Carolina, a 13,000-acre master planned community in central Florica as well as a variety of large scaled  condominium, hotel and resort facilities. In 2013, McGinniss left the corporate grind to do what he loved: build high-quality, unique modern homes. 

    Four years ago, McGinniss moved his company to the Grand Central District in order to get away from the high downtown rents. Once he spent time in the area, he realized that Grand Central was home to his favorite restaurants, bars, breweries, coffee shops and activities.  Realizing the mind-boggling activity going on in the Warehouse Arts District, just a few steps away, McGinniss concluded that living on Central Ave was the best place to live in St. Pete. 

     “I think the area will become even cooler over time with what is being planned – more culture, more fun places to go, all in a tight neighborhood setting,” he said. “It is exploding.” Thus, his latest project, the AD Lofts was conceived to create modern residences in the heart of the Grand Central District.

    McGinniss is interested in supporting the artistic community in St. Petersburg because the creative vibrancy is what makes the city such a great place to live.  “Since we will be living and working in Grand Central, and admire the beautiful, exciting, and progressive types of artwork done by our local artists, we want to support our neighbors.” McGinniss said. “We thought it would be only right to include some of our local artists work to our buyers.” McGinniss has partnered with the Warehouse Arts District Association to give each AD Lofts buyer a commissioned artwork of their choice.  The Call to Artists is available here

    He added, “We are, in our small humble way, paying homage to our wonderful art community by giving exposure to this important asset of St Pete - our Artists.”   

  • 06 Mar 2020 12:48 AM | Anonymous
    • Feminist, activist, and artist Suzanne Benton is a sculptor, mask performance artist, printmaker, painter, and workshop leader who has worked in 31 countries over the past 40 years.  The native New Yorker has been coming to St. Petersburg since 2004, and has been a visiting artist in printmaking at Eckerd College since 2006 where she recently had an exhibit of her prints at Eckerd’s Cobb Gallery.

      At 84-years-old, Benton might be tempted to slow down, but instead she is evermore the activist.  In 2017, she was honored by the American Civil Liberties Union’s Pinellas Chapter as activist of the year due to her leadership role in catalyzing the Women’s March in downtown St. Petersburg, which brought together 30,000 peaceful marchers together on January 21, 2017.  

      Benton says that her activism fuels her art, and her art fuels her activism.  She is now head of the Women’s Caucus for the Arts, St. Petersburg Branch (WCAFL-SPB), whose mission is to create community through art, education, and social activism. WCA members are currently working on a series of portraits of Women Who Work.

      Benton's artwork has been represented in 175+ solo shows and two retrospectives, and she has traveled and worked all over the world, including in villages in Africa, India, and Nepal.  Her work is represented in museums, and private collections worldwide. Author of the Art of Welded Sculpture and numerous articles, she is listed also in Who's Who in America and Who's Who of American Artists, is a founding member of Veteran Feminists of America, and was featured in a book titled, “Feminists Who Change America.” 

      Benton is also in the process of writing a memoir entitled Spirit of Hope.  When asked about her WADA membership, Suzanne said she hoped for community, exposure and promotion, like most artists. And buyers! 

      In 2018, she gave an amazing and inspiring talk at a Creative Morning St. Pete event, where she talked about her life, her sources of courage and how her art feeds her activism and her activism feeds her art.


    • For more on Suzanne check out:

    Screen Grab from the North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century, By Heller and Heller (2013)

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