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.
Member artist Shelby Dillon wants her art to inspire joy in viewers. Shelby believes a painting starts with her but the real story begins once it finds its home resting place. New to St Petersburg, Shelby came to St. Petersburg to exhibit in the yearly Mainsail Art Show, and fell in love with the city. Her current preferred subjects are the sky and water, while her medium is acrylic paints. Shelby's studio is located on the ArtsXchange campus in the converted strip center across the parking lot from the AX and Softwater Studios. Stop by and you will recognize her by her colorful landscape paintings. We asked Shelby about her art and inspiration.
How long have you been an artist?
I have been painting for 12 years. I am predominantly self-taught and before that, I was a finance major.
What is your medium and how did you arrive at it?
I use acrylic on wood panels. Having lived on 4 different continents has had a huge influence on me. Formerly, I was an oil painter but during our move from Singapore to Brazil, I found it difficult to find the art supplies that I preferred. For instance, they only have straight turpentine or kerosene to clean brushes in Brazil, and the fumes were just awful! Also, acrylic paints are much more travel friendly. Every trip back to the states during those days I would stock up on paint supplies because they are so much cheaper in the US. My husband got used to lugging a 70-pound tub of supplies through airports.
What inspires your art?
Right now, I am most influenced by water and skies. When we lived in North Carolina, it felt like we lived in a forest because of all of the tall pine trees and now I notice the sky so much more.
Are you a St. Petersburg native? How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists?
I grew up on Hilton Head Island around the marshes and low country. As a newcomer to St. Petersburg, the arts community is a huge part of the reason we decided to move here. I was accepted to show at the Mainsail Art Show and fell in love with the city. I look forward to showing in the 2021 Mainsail show.
Why did you join the Warehouse Arts District Association?
An artist all alone in their studio all day every day becomes a crazy person! We work better together if we lift each other up and view other artists as our community rather than our competitors. The more people the better for the community and more art brings in more people to buy art. I am looking forward to future networking events and getting involved since I am new to the area.
Anything else that you would like for us to know about you and your art?
I hope my art brings people joy. The journey of a piece of art simply starts with me. But the real story begins once it is in its new home and enjoyed every day.
Also, I am very passionate about artists knowing what's possible in the arts industry and realizing that art can be a full-time pursuit. There are living artists making a very comfortable living and it's not happening only in New York and San Francisco. I love seeing other artists realize their full potential. The best advice that I have to give is to invest in the right teachers and mentors. I think the first person that made me realize that I could paint as a career was Karin Jurick and Carol Marine of the Daily Painters Movement. I have also learned a great deal about self-promoting. On the other hand, art doesn't have to be a business. You can enjoy it as a hobby. Not everything has to be monetized, meaning if you just want to paint for yourself or friends and you are bringing more joy into the world and that's a good thing!
Is there anything in particular that you would like to promote?
Besides my website and Instagram listed below, every Tuesday at noon I hold a virtual paint-along on Facebook. If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I will send you the link to join the session. During the paint-along, I go over the fundamentals of acrylics, painting design and composition. www.shelbydillonstudio.com , @shelbydillonstudio
The WADA website allows members to add information to your profile. Do it now some simple steps:
Log on to the WADA website.
Click on your name in the upper right corner and click “View Profile”
You will now see all available fields in your profile. Consider adding or changing:
Medium (if artist or gallery)
Art1 and Art2 are fields to add your artwork or business logo.
Website, Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram
Attached Documents could include an artist statement, biography or description of your business!
Here is a great example of what your profile could look like:
There is another great capability that allows you to add “Albums”! Try this:
Below the “Edit Profile” button is a list of options. Click on “Member Photo Albums”
Click on “Add Album” Enter a Title and Description, Click “Submit”
On the next screen you can start to upload your photos - each album can have up to 50 images.
Art Quote of the Week
“The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.”
– Auguste Rodin
It’s hard to believe that it has already been three years since the Grand Opening of the ArtsXchange Artist Studios. We were honored to have St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Steinocher, Congressman Charlie Christ, WADA Board President Mark Aeling, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as well as donor and art supporter Katee Tully to cut the ribbon. Since then, we have held dozens of exhibitions, conducted numerous education classes and hosted many many events. The ArtsXchange - where art is made!
WADA is proud to announce a new Outdoor Marketplace on the ArtsXchange Campus. Member artisans who make products by hand may apply to set up a tent. Products sold may include woodwork, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, mosaics, drawings, glass, jewelry, photography, printmaking or painting. Spaces are limited. Applicants will be selected on a rolling basis and selected in order to provide a variety of products.Deadline Sunday, Nov 1 and those selected will be notified by November 4. See details, fees and application here. Not a member? Join now
Call for Entries: WADA proudly announces its Winter 2020-21 Member Artist show with the theme “Imagine.” Selected artworks fitting this theme - submitted by WADA members - will remain on exhibit for two (2) months in the Burka Member Lounge of the ArtsXchange. Entry Deadline: November 20, 2020 See submission guidelines and important dates here.
Doug D'souza is a prolific creator of unique jewelry designs, spanning from elegant to dramatic statement pieces. Doug strives to create jewelry that is eye catching and distinctive with a rustic and organic flair. While naturally drawn to metal, Doug enjoys working in silver, gold, copper, brass and bronze, as well as alternative metals like aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. Vitreous enamel introduced him to a new world of color and endless experimentation. In his work, Doug enamels his designs on copper, silver-leaf or fine silver and uses them as focal pieces and accents. His artworks range from elegant to dramatic and showcase a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Read more about Doug here.
Artists, musicians, writers and freelancers - find out what you need to know to get started or to grow your own business. On October 29th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, the St. Pete Arts Alliance will bring entrepreneur Eve Epstein, to present the tools you need enabling you to establish your business to qualify for business assistance from the city and county. Learn more and register here.
When shopping on Amazon, choose Amazon Smile. Select “Warehouse Arts District Association” and WADA will receive a percentage of your online purchase. Remember, only purchases made at smile.amazon.com, (not www.amazon.com) generate AmazonSmile donations. Don’t forget to update your settings in your Amazon phone app to reflect the Warehouse Arts District Association. We Thank You!!
We can’t do the things we want to do without dedicated volunteers. Please connect with the chairs of the following committees:
Education CommitteeSusan Antoinettesusanantoinetteart@gmail.com
Fundraising CommitteeTeresa Sullivantsullivan435@gmail.com
Membership Committee Caryn Nesmithjoinwada@gmail.com
Marketing CommitteeTeresa Sullivantsullivan435@gmail.com
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Like so many arts organizations, WADA is struggling during this pandemic. We have great plans to bolster our education programs -- both for artists and the community at large. Please consider a donation to help make our vision a reality in 2021. Anything you can give is gratefully appreciated.
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Doug D'souza is a prolific creator of unique jewelry designs that span from elegant to dramatic statement pieces. He says he strives to create jewelry that is eye catching and distinctive with a rustic and organic flair. While naturally drawn to metal, Doug also enjoys working in silver, gold, copper, brass and bronze, as well as alternative metals like aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. Vitreous enamel introduced him to a new world of color, and endless experimentation. In his work, Doug enamels his designs on copper, silver-leaf or fine silver, and uses them as focal pieces and accents. His art works range from elegant to dramatic, and showcase a variety of colors, patterns and textures.
We asked Doug about his art and inspiration, and he told quite a story of resilience and dedication to his craft:
My journey as a maker started with first being a breaker. As a child, I was fascinated with technology and had a deep desire to understand how things worked. I would meticulously take my toys apart to satisfy my curiosity, then try to reassemble them. I was mostly successful and learned early on that my hands could make things. I guess looking back I've always been a creative person and became a full time Jewelry Artist 21 years ago.
I was born in Mumbai, India where I experienced cultural and religious diversity, and rich colors and textures that would later influence my work. I moved to the U.S. in 1980 to pursue my education and career in engineering mechanics.
After graduation, I started working for BMW, a job I enjoyed for almost a decade. Then one seemingly ordinary day, a high-speed rear collision changed the course of my life, and at the same time turned on a creative light that has shone bright ever since.
After the accident, I could no longer physically do my work, so I set out to nurture my creative side with a course in Graphic Design. This led to an internship in a local studio where I learned how to etch and carve glass. I created edge-lit sculptures, lamps and room dividers using hand-fabricated copper to frame the glass. Unfortunately once again, another accident would change my direction. A back injury during an installation forced me to shrink my canvas to a more manageable size.
I was always drawn to metal. Already familiar with copper, I learned jewelry metalsmithing through books and video tutorials. It all seemed to come quite naturally to me. The process of designing, sawing, shaping and soldering metal is very meditative by nature. I spent hours sitting at my bench totally in the zone, practicing various techniques to achieve my desired results.
My designs are inspired by nature, architecture, culture, spirituality, and the natural beauty of the rustic and organic.
How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists?
I have lived in the area since 1997. St. Petersburg is a wonderful city for artists to be discovered. There are so many opportunities and venues that appreciate and support local artists. I have always felt supported by the local community through the galleries and specialty shops that carry my work.
Why did you join the Warehouse Arts District Association?
I was excited when I first heard about WADA and wanted to be a part of a collective of creative people.
Ironically, after working for years with sterling silver, I developed an allergy to it. This led me to search for hypoallergenic alternative metals to incorporate in my work. I now use surgical stainless steel, aerospace aluminum and anodized titanium. I find these lightweight metals compliment my designs well and I'm able to offer larger and heavier looking pieces that are light and comfortable to wear. I still accept commissions in sterling silver.
We are living through some crazy times for sure. The devastating loss of lives due to the Pandemic has inspired me to create enameled Candy Skulls and hand cut skulls from US coins. It's my way of trying to cope and offer a symbol that celebrates life.
Is there anything in particular that you would like to promote in the article such as your website, etc.?
I am constantly creating new pieces and usually post them on Instagram @dougdsouzajewelry. Some of them are sent out to galleries and shops. Others are shared on my Facebook page and are listed on my website and Etsy shop.
Etsy Store: www.dougdesigns.etsy.com
WADA Member Artist Jim Gigurtsis' art provokes his viewers by taking the familiar and using a variety of media and techniques to express his emotions and feelings. His work strikes a common chord with his audience through unexpected means. Though his preferred medium is oil painting, he has also used video and installations for his expressions. Recent themes for his work have included explorations of decay and re-generation, as well as some of the issues currently facing Americans.
Jim is very active in the St. Pete arts scene teaching and working daily in his studio. His work has been exhibited extensively and can be found in a number of private and public collections in England, Ireland, Norway, Greece, Canada and the USA.
We asked Jim about his creative process, his inspirations and what he's currently working on. Read on for the details of his current exhibit at the Bilmar Resort Hotel on Treasure Island and his upcoming contribution in Creative Pinellas' Arts Annual.
I started painting part-time around 2004 and full-time at the end of 2016.
I am a multi-discipline artist and my work ranges from painting to video to installations. The choice of medium depends on how best a medium works to express my thoughts and emotions. On occasion I use multiple mediums in the same project to reflect the different perspectives of a subject. For example, I recently used portraits together with a video to depict non-verbal communication via Morse code.
I have tried different mediums from watercolour to gauche to acrylics to oils, but oils give me the flexibility to push and pull the composition until I am happy with the result. Oils on canvas or linen is my preferred medium for paintings. For commissions, I always use raw linen that I stretch and prepare myself. At times I even grind my own pigments.
My inspiration comes from my surroundings, events, and news, in addition to my personal experiences and travels. My art expresses my thoughts, emotions and dreams to evoke an emotional bond with the viewer. I create a visual comfort zone for the viewer by using recognizable images, but then juxtapose these images by adding and subtracting lines, shapes and colour to stir the viewer’s visual and visceral responses.
Recent work is driven by themes such as “Mortality” or “Decay and Re-generation”. I research my themes history, chronology and then depict what the theme makes me feel rather than copy an image or paint an illustration. For example, for the mortality theme I created a triptych which reflects the three top death rates: obesity, opioids and smoking. Titled “3 of Too Many” each panel is an oil painting on canvas with added objects such as pills, cigarettes and doughnuts.
Decay and Re-generation is a subject that intrigues me as it is a process we all go through on a daily basis. I am depicting human existence at a moment in time where there is contradiction between what is visually expected and my depiction of the essence of the person. For this subject it is all about allowing my emotions and feelings to drive the composition.
Are you a St. Petersburg native?
I moved to Pinellas County from Europe four years ago. Prior to the pandemic, I was in St. Petersburg every week enjoying arts and cultural activities and also teaching an “Expressive Still Life” course at the Morean Arts Center every Monday.
How is it being an artist in St. Petersburg?
St. Petersburg has a very supportive community for the arts and artists. There are a lot of cultural events, art events and art galleries as well as some amazing music and theatre venues. There are also a lot of opportunities for artists to work with others and to engage the community to participate. The “Second Saturday Art Walk” is just one example of an event that I enjoy.
I wanted to meet other artists, collaborate, network and exchange ideas. WADA is a great organisation that actively promotes collaboration and supports networking.
Can you tell us a little about your creative process?
I work daily in my studio developing ideas. There is not day that goes by where I am not either creating art, studying art or selling art. Some of my time is spent understanding client requirements and discussing compositions for portraiture commissions.
I also work with my collectors going through my art to choose the pieces they like. I tend to meet collectors either through word of mouth or because they have seen one of my commissioned portraits.
Is there anything coming up that you would like to promote, any new works?
My website is www.gigurtsis.com. I developed and maintain the website and I photograph and upload my work to the website. On the website you will also find a dedicated gallery for the latest work, as well as, information on workshops and courses. To view the comprehensive collection, please visit the website.
I have had the pleasure of participating in many exhibitions over the years in both the U.S. and Europe. With the support of Creative Pinellas, I am currently exhibiting a number of my atmospheric landscapes at the Bilmar Hotel Resort, Treasure Island. These are on display around the reception area of the hotel. I hope you can make the trip to see them.
I am also working on a number of exciting new pieces that will be exhibited at Creative Pinellas’ Annual Art Exhibition. These works further explore the subject of Decay and Re-generation and also address some of the challenges we are currently facing in the USA. I hope you can all come and see the work at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas November 12th to December 20th.
I teach portraiture courses. One course is focused on tools and techniques I developed for capturing the likeness of a person for a portrait. This is a 6 week course, with 3 hours per week, using a life model. By the end of the course each artist will have completed at least two portraits.
At the Morean Arts Center every Monday night I teach an “Expressive Still Life” course. I give demonstrations on still life and portraiture painting techniques to groups of artists and give private art lessons in my studio.
Information for the courses and demonstrations can be found on my website under “Resources.”
Oil on flat Canvas
16 x 20
Oil on Canvas
30 x 24
3 of Too Many (Triptych)
Oil on Canvas, Cigarettes, Pills, Artificial Donuts, Glue
The Desperate Man, Interpretation of "Le Desespere" by Gustave Courbet (1819 - 1877)
Oil on Linen, Eyelets, Hooks
The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) proudly announces the winners of the Artists Member Art show with the theme “I Need A Drink! Cocktail Hour.” Thanks to WADA Business Member Damien Bertucelli of Vantage Point Advisors of Raymond James who sponsored this member show, we are offering 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes of $300, $200 and $100, respectively for best of show paintings!
Winners were selected based on based on overall impact, originality, creativity, composition and mastery of technique. You can find all the entries here.
And the winners are:
ArtsXchange resident artist, Tripp Farrell's fun, edgy paintings will surely catch your attention as well as make you smile. Tripp has a keen eye for finding inspiration everywhere -- whether it’s in people, reading new literature, identifying fashion trends, traveling abroad, or just listening to new music. Tripp has been exposed to cultures from all over the globe, and his family roots from Australia have helped to give his artwork a unique, eclectic, colorful, and nostalgic feel. He invites you to visit his studio #209 every 2nd Saturday Artwalk or by appointment. Enjoy an interview with Tripp!
I began painting in 2008, although I grew up educating myself in all art mediums and briefly dabbled in musicianship. My art logo/brand is called McNealyART.
I paint in mixed media. As I researched other artists, I found that I looked up to mixed media artists and how they mastered their techniques.
What inspires your art? I seem to have a keen eye for finding inspiration everywhere-whether it’s in people, reading new literature, identifying fashion trends, traveling abroad, or just listening to new music. Also, I find life experience is a creative catalyst for me and I believe “we should all aim to teach or be taught wisdom by another at any given moment.” Each new encounter has a purpose, each person a piece to the overall puzzle of his exciting life. You can identify that puzzle ideology in my paintings, where I construct figures seemingly from puzzle pieces that comprise the person or object of focus in each work of art.
Are you a St. Petersburg native?
Yes, my family and I live in the Coffee Pot Bayou area of the Old Northeast.
Very supportive! We're lucky to live in an area where art is encouraged in all mediums.
I saw being a member as an opportunity for personal and local growth.
What else should we know about you?
I want to be on the front page of opportunity and I want to make our world better for having been here. Please visit my website: https://trippfarrell.wixsite.com/mcnealy for more art and an overall background into my life. And, since I am not one to rest on my laurels, I have completed my Master's Degree in Global Merchandising from Florida State University and recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy named Whit into the world with my lovely and always supportive wife Jennifer. Last but not least, things show no sign of slowing down for me as there are “a lot of colors, shapes, and tastemaking” that go into manifesting my work—and I just want to grab viewers and continue to engage them.
Jessica Rivelli is the Founder of Working Women of Tampa Bay. The organization has been in existence for 11 years and currently has 750 members. It is the largest women’s networking organization in Tampa Bay. Keeping networking simple is key. They promote professional and business growth through establishing relationships that can provide referrals, new skills, and connecting women with resources. The organization strives to hold 20 events a month.
Jessica was born in Rhode Island but grew up in Florida. She graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a television news producer for 10 years. During this time she desired to connect and network with other women professionals and created Working Women of Tampa Bay as a result. The organization grew rapidly and she decided to dedicate herself to the organization full time.
Her interest in WADA is a focus on assisting women artists with the business aspect of their art. Working Women of Tampa Bay can assist artists with website building, graphic design, social media, and anything else a budding art business requires. She sees the organization as being symbiotic as well as reciprocal to women artists. In addition, she wanted the organization to be affordable and easily accessible. Late 2019, Working Women Of Tampa Bay hosted a headshot party at the ArtsXchange change Tully Levine Gallery. She brought in makeup artists and photgraphers for the event. She understands that owning your own business can be a rollercoaster ride. There will be slow seasons and seasons that are completely packed. Words that resonate with all artists. We welcome Working Women of Tampa Bay as a business member of the Warehouse Arts District Association. Visit workingwomenoftampabay.com to view their events and learn information on how to become a member.
Founder Jessica Rivelli and other Working Women of Tampa Bay members
Dylan Todd is a varied artist. While Dylan’s commission work spans the spectrum of photography, from portraiture to weddings, products to real estate, his fine-art is often self-as-subject portraiture and landscape photography.
Dylan, born 1991, began studying photography in high school and continued to the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies where he learned and worked at the Southeast Museum of Photography in their collection and youth programing.
In 2014, Dylan moved to Tampa Bay. After working in various roles, he picked the camera back up in 2017 and opened his first studio space in the Pinellas Park Arts Village. In late 2019, he moved his studio to the ArtsXchange in the Warehouse Arts District.
Currently, Dylan is the Art Director for Watermark Publishing Group, LLC and operates his business, Dylan Todd Photography.
Dylan’s fine art primarily focuses on the states of ‘self' versus ‘other' in understanding and considering the relationship of the subject to its environment either physically or implied. His fine art landscapes often involve visual repetition and emphasis of the weight of spaces. As a person who welcomes variety, Dylan is primarily a digital photographer using a DSLR or drone. He also utilizes his black and white darkroom in his studio.
“Moving to St. Petersburg has been one of the greatest decisions that I’ve made! Moving here, the city’s art scene was just starting to gain momentum. The amount of growth is inspirational. This is still a city of potential and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”
I joined the ArtsXchange as an opportunity to gain more traction as an artist and as a photographer for hire. I hope by being in here that I can not only further my business, but be a resource for artists and the arts community in St. Pete.
Dylan Todd is for hire for your portrait, wedding, commercial, and fine art needs.
Sculptor, Dominice Gilbert, is ready to welcome you to her new self-curated slice of paradise located at 2341 1st Avenue South! The moment you arrive, you can tell that she is a meticulous designer and creator of all things metal. The studio is poised for a grand opening as soon as Covid-19 allows. Until then, please take a moment to read an interview with Dominice on what inspires her to create and how she decided to move her business from Chicago to St Petersburg. Aren't we lucky?!
How did you come by such a beautiful name, Dominice? It was my grandmother's middle name. She was from Lithuania.
How long have you been an artist? Forever. I have never had another job that was not art-related. Growing up in rural Indiana, I was a very driven kid and attended art programs at several schools to learn all types of art techniques. I graduated from high school early and attended Chicago Institute for Art and completed my artist residencies at CrabTree Farm in Lake Bluff , Illinois and The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.
How did you decide on metal as your medium? I have worked with various mediums from plastic, paper, wood and fell in love with metal as it is the most forgiving medium and easily manipulated. It was suggested to me by a high school teacher that I should consider taking a class called Agricultural Welding as I was known to pull things out of dumpsters to use in my art. I knew from the first class that metal sculpture was what I was going to do with my art career.
What inspires you? Essentially, I am inspired by the elements and creating the best work I can is my primary focus, I am always pushing myself to the next level which causes my sculpture to be constantly evolving, as every new design works off the last. My work is about a feeling, I like to create tension between forms, mixing opposing textures and shapes in harmony, creating balance in opposition. My sculptures are a replication of my emotions, but also a reflection of the viewer."
Do you teach? Yes, before Covid-19 I offered classes but not sure going forward. I had a "safety first" education and managed a metal shop where I oversaw that safety rules were followed. It is hard to teach someone in a short amount of time how to use all of the tools and safely work with the equipment, not to mention the protective gear involved with the craft.
This is a fabulous studio! What's the story? My partner, JR and I bought the property 10 years ago. We saw an opportunity to own commercial property in an art-friendly city zoned for creating 3-dimensional art, as well as have their home adjacent to the studio. The building is brand new but I designed it years ago. I followed JR to St Petersburg for the opportunity to have an on-premise live and work lifestyle which would be cost-prohibitive for Chicago. Also, I enjoy the warm weather and I make my living exhibiting at Florida craft and art festivals including the 2020 St Petersburg Mainsail show.
How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists? Besides being zone friendly as mentioned before, I have been very appreciative of the grants that were made available during this pandemic that helped me to continue to create and keep the studio running.
Why did you join WADA? Because I live and work in the Warehouse Arts District and I find that WADA appeals to working artists.
Is there anything that you would like for our readers to know? Yes, the studio is open by appointment, or I will go on-site for custom design consultations. I hope that everyone will check out my website and plan on stopping by the studio when artwalk resumes.
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