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Arts In: Peter Callender

While in St. Petersburg to direct the acclaimed production of A Raisin in The Sun at American Stage, the Artistic Director of the African-American Shakespeare Company talks with Barbara St. Clair about the teachers who guided him to a career in the arts and the relevance of Raisin right now. He shares an insightful analysis of the play, and of last year’s production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. From Peter Callender’s studies at New York’s High School for Performing Arts...


Arts In: Gregory Green

“I’m a nice guy, really!” laughs Gregory Green. The artist and pacifist teaches at The University of South Florida and is internationally known for his 3D installations of realistic bomb-making workshops and nuclear missiles. It’s art with a political edge and educational aim, seeking to spur conversations about violence - and alternatives to violence - and exploring how information and technology are tools of social change. Gregory Green shares the theatricality behind his work, which...


Arts In: Steven Kenny

Steven Kenny’s paintings are startling and beautiful, and utterly unique. He’s an internationally-known Surrealist, and an anchor of the St. Pete arts community. His exquisite skill with oil paints may remind you of Old Masters, or Salvador Dalí. But the characters who look directly at you from his works are wholly original, set in worlds and costumes that blend the natural world with the very personal. In this engaging conversation, Steven Kenny talks with Barbara St. Clair about the...


Arts In: Bob Devin Jones

Bob Devin Jones is the heart of St. Petersburg. The St Pete arts community revolves around The Studio@620, an imaginative arts space that is home to a wide range of visual arts, dance, jazz, kites, gospel, quilts, opera, boating, theatre, film, photography, workshops and lectures, poetry, puppetry and pretty much anything established and emerging artists can come up with. Bob’s a gifted director, actor, writer, artistic director and enabler of creative projects that bring life and joyous...


Arts In: Zev Buffman

Zev Buffman runs Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall. With hundreds of major concerts in multiple venues each year, and an education arm that works with public schools and trains teenagers that Zev books to open for bands like Chicago. Zev spent his own teen years carrying a machine gun in the Israeli army. He invented dinner theatre in L.A. when he was in his 20s, owned a network of theatres in Florida and produced dozens of hit Broadway shows. Zev reworked Andrew Lloyd Webber’s only flop and...


Arts In: Carol Dameron

The detailed and imaginative paintings of Carol Dameron focus on allegories, unspoken stories and turning points. Her visual style echoes European masters, seen through American eyes. In this conversation, Carol talks about her European training, new techniques she’s using to re-energize old canvases and the discipline of working as a full-time artist. She details the visceral pleasure of painting on wood, and the allure of creating luminous colors in oils. She also tells us about a...


Arts In: Allen Loyd

Allen Loyd spends more than a year every year, putting together St. Petersburg’s biggest New Year’s Eve celebration. First Night is a family-friendly celebration of the arts, a way to roll out the old year and swing in the new with music, dance, visual art, theatre, fireworks and even fire sculptures, now on its 25th year. It’s aimed at letting people of all ages play, and create art themselves. And it’s where Allen’s creative genius has sparked artistic collaborations for decades. Allen...


Arts In: Akiko Kotani

Akiko Kotani’s art embodies the surprising power and attraction of simplicity. Imagination and a sense of play infuse her work, ranging from miniatures to the striking “Soft Walls” many viewers remember from the recent Skyway Exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art in St. Petersburg. Her work contains a depth of feeling within an economy of means. Kotani’s work is in private, corporate and museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We’re grateful that after a teaching career up...


Arts In: Mark Aeling

Mark Aeling is a master sculptor, a lifelong craftsman and, as he calls himself, a maker. His artistic practice is translating ideas into tangible, physical - and often very large - objects. Mark’s MGA Sculpture Studio is a mainstay of St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District. Through his work with the Warehouse Arts Association, Mark’s helping to create the new ArtsXchange, with affordable studio space for working artists. His sculptures are created in a traditional artisan studio, with...


Arts In: Holly Bird

Master artisan and printmaker Holly Bird is working in the Arts & Crafts Revival, creating art through hands-on methods that haven’t changed for hundreds of years. She worked on the cutting-edge of digital design as those techniques were developing. And storyboarded the classic movie “Caddyshack.” Holly’s lifelong love of sailing and Florida’s waterways give her work a unique look in the Arts & Crafts Movement. She explains how homeowners renovating historic bungalows are keeping the work...


Arts In: Carla Bristol

Carla Bristol runs the Gallerie 909 in St. Petersburg. It’s the only African American art gallery south of Atlanta. Carla doesn’t just display original works of art and sell them, she opens the doors of the gallery to her community, and invites young people who’ve never explored an art gallery or museum into a welcoming place of creativity and conversation. Gallerie 909 is in the historically African American neighborhood known as The Deuces. The gallery is home to music, poetry, festivals...


Arts In: Peter Meinke

Peter Meinke is what he didn’t think was a real job when he started writing - a professional poet. The first Poet Laureate of St. Petersburg is now the Poet Laureate of Florida. He’s friendly and funny, sharp and engaging. And he’s passionate about the sound of words. You’ll enjoy Peter’s conversation with Barbara St. Clair, as he explains the special nature and appeal of poems, the hard work behind it and how poetry is part of life. Peter Meinke named Florida Poet Laureate, Tampa Bay...


Arts In: Dora Arreola and Andrea Assaf

Dora Arreola and Andrea Assaf are longtime collaborators and award-winning theatremakers who create adventurous works that focuses on women, immigration, war and military veterans. Their projects blend music, dance and text to create theatre that is beautiful and powerful. It’s theatre as activism, and as healing. Dora teaches in the University of South Florida School of Theatre and Dance, where Andrea is a frequent guest artist through the nonprofit group, Art2Action. In their inspiring...


Arts In: Babs Reingold

Babs Reingold is a nationally-known mixed-media artist whose works and large-scale installations are displayed around the country more often than they’re seen near her home in St. Petersburg. Her work asks questions about poverty and climate change. She explores aging and animal rights through her creations. Human hair is a material she often uses in her work. And Babs Reingold’s work is beautiful. In this conversation sparked with passion and laughter, we explore Babs Reingold’s many...


Arts In: Tom and Paula Kramer

Paula Kramer is a dancer and choreographer whose graceful, powerful and adventurously creative. Tom Kramer is a dance photographer known for strikingly beautiful images of dance. The Kramers’ lifelong collaboration has made their life together a vibrant work of art. Now both in their 80s, Paula is still performing and choreographing and Tom is still creating vivid photographs of dancers and musicians. The Kramers are a vital part of St. Pete’s arts community, constantly collaborating with...


Arts In: Catherine Woods

Catherine Woods has a visceral passion for color. She shares the possibilities of ever-changing light through large-scale glass sculptures that change from every angle, and shift their appearance by day and by night. In a conversation rich with laughter, Catherine details the work involved in public art commissions that combine art with engineering and construction crews. She explains the practicalities of leaving a secure job for a full-time art career, and the work required to push...


Arts In: Chad Mize

If you’re near downtown St Pete, you’ve seen the cheerfully iconic Mr. Sun mural and Twiggy’s dreamy, gazing eyes. The striking Paris-London-Tokyo-St Pete graphic is now a proud city emblem. Many of the city’s signature images spring from the quick-witted mind of Chad Mize. Chad talks with Barbara St. Clair about the allure of mural work, and the draining physical labor of mural creation. He shares his many inspirations, the business sense that lets him earn his living as an artist and the...


Arts In: Becca Mccoy

The vibrant actor Becca McCoy shares her passion for Shakespeare and the sublime storytelling of musical theatre, in a jolly conversation with Barbara St. Clair. Audiences experienced Becca’s four-and-a-half-octave vocal range in her acclaimed performance last year as the Lady of the Lake in Spamalot, and in the intimate cabaret setting of the Palladium Side Door. In recent months she’s tackled Tennessee Williams, nostalgic radio-style comedy and an experimental duo with a dancer at the...


Arts In: Rose Marie Prins

Rose Marie Prins shares her thoughts on the beauty of abstract art, and the artist’s need to adapt to changing situations and available materials. Her work connects to nature and to healing, both visibly and viscerally, and below the surface. She explores subjects such as habitat destruction and Florida’s water. Viewers often experience an emotional reaction to her paintings and imaginative installations. Born in South Africa, Rose Marie’s paintings, sculptures and mixed-media works are in...


Arts In: Maureen McDole

Maureen McDole is a passionate reader and passionate writer. And passionate about creating opportunities for everybody in St Pete to read and write. As the founder and director of Keep St Pete Lit, Maureen has made her literary nonprofit a vital part of the local arts scene. And she’s woven literary arts into visual and performing arts, with the Fantastic Ekphrastic, the Museum of Fine Arts Book Club, the SunLit Festival, First Night and the 100+ writing classes KSPL provides each year at...


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