The 37 artists of SHINE 2018

If you couldn’t make it to St. Petersburg this year, here is a recap of 2018′ best artworks. Iryna Kanishcheva aka GNV Urban Art traveled to Pinellas County to meet the artists and take pictures of the most interesting masterpieces. It is impossible to publish all of them here – so many beautiful moments – but you definitely can get a feel of the 2018 mural festival’s atmosphere.

For its fourth year, SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival returned showcasing over 37 inspiring artists from around the world. To be exact, the line up included six international, five national and 26 local artists!

International Artists

To begin with, the biggest mural of the year was created by DAAS. His work is instantly recognizable for the combination of colors and abstract elements that convey emotion and put forward a positive and often spiritual narrative.


DAAS – Japan/Florida

DAAS is a Japan-based Florida artist with a distinct geometric style, using lines and angles reminiscent of origami folds. His bright, bold designs masterfully blend cubism and abstract techniques to create powerful human and animal images. DAAS has been creating large-scale murals around the United States, Japan, Jordan, and Nepal since 2011.

The title of the mural is We Are Going to Be Friends.

I am basically telling the story of a young girl and her experiences in life, mostly involving interactions with animals and the natural environment. It is sort of my way of going back in time to memories of when life was more playful, imaginative and carefree. I was really impressed with the people of St. Petersburg and how excited they are about the mural festival. It really shows how, when the community gets behind a project, the artists are more inspired to put their best work out there.  It was a great experience and the organization of the event was top notch.- DAAS, artist.

His work has also been featured in SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival Exhibition, a group show in Morean Arts Center. Currently on display until October 27, 2018.

On the left: It should be obvious, but it’s not.122 x 122cm (48 x 48 in). Acrylic on canvas, 2018. On the right: Letgo.122 x 122cm (48 x 48 in). Acrylic on canvas, 2018.

Among other invited artists, Nomad Clan, an internationally acclaimed street art duo from the UK, who have painted giant murals all over the world. In 2017 they created what’s been called the UK’s tallest mural, in the city of Leeds!  Each mural by the duo has a strong significance to the environment, combining scenes from local heritage.

Nomad Clan – England

Nomad Clan is a collaboration between street artists Cbloxx (Joy Gilleard) and AYLO (Hayley Garner). Hailing from Manchester, United Kingdom, Nomad Clan is an internationally known duo whose work often celebrates local history or highlights socio-economic issues relevant to their location. Nomad Clan’s dark yet playful folkloric murals have been featured across Europe, most notably the tallest mural in the UK.

The title of the mural is Return to the Sea.

The story of the mural was inspired by the happenings of a Spanish conquistador and soldier Panfilo De Narvaez. He was an important figure in the conquests of Jamaica and Cuba in the years between 1509 and 1512. He acquired a reputation for ruthlessness; Bartolome de Las Casas, who was a chaplain on the Cuba campaign, recounted horrible tales of massacres and chiefs being burned alive. On April 14 or 15, 1528, Spanish explorer Pánfilo de Narváez landed near Tampa Bay. Battered by hurricanes and attacked by local Timucua and Apalachee Indians, Narváez’s men built boats, possibly near the St. Marks River, and attempted to flee Florida. After eight years, only four survivors made it back to Mexico. One of the survivors, Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, wrote an account of his experience titled Naufragios y Comentarios.

While Nomad Clan’s design is clear and understandable, LOOK the Weird created mysterious artwork with a deep meaning behind.

LOOK the Weird – Germany

Founding member of the internationally renowned graffiti crew, The Weird, LOOK (Lars Wunderlich) is an accomplished visual artist from Germany best known for his diverse, highly detailed graffiti-style characters. His murals can be found throughout the world. LOOK is also a founding member of the design collective Peach Beach with Vidam the Weird.

The title of the mural is Existence is Absurd that is hidden in the artwork.

My piece in St. Pete is all about Florida and the environment. I love to provoke questions. A lot of people came by and asked what am I painting?! I said, “Florida”. So, they dived in and saw things they could relate to. Before I came to Florida, I made some research about the current situation in this State, especially about the environmental damage that we all brought to Florida. It was a lot. I took and mixed some things together and recombined connections. I like to paint things that are real. Reality is hard when you look up from your screen or your bubble. It’s nothing new but that’s how it is. – LOOK the Weird, artist.

LOOK the Weird has showcased some of his artworks at Morean Arts Center and painted a small but weird mural right on the gallery wall. Does it remind you of anything?

Recent LOOK’s artwork and activities unveil an increased number of group and solo exhibitions, as the artist progressively develops himself as a visual artist. Still, his graffiti origins and passions are not forgotten, as he engages in many wall painting activities.


Finally, the star of the international group of artists, Belin, made it to St. Petersburg, FL this year! A pioneer of photorealism, well known around the world because of his spray skills. He inspired many artists to work very hard painting in the street.

Belin – Spain

Miguel Ángel Belinchón Bujes, commonly known as Belin, is a Spanish artist best known for his unequivocal Postneocubism style. Belin masterfully blends realism with Cubism to create a uniquely modern technique reminiscent of Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. His highly acclaimed paintings and sculptures can be found on walls and galleries around the world as well as featured with brands like Dockers, Sephora, and Kat Von D’s High Voltage Tattoo. Interestingly, Belin is a self-taught artist. Using libraries, museums, different books, and multiple ways, he got the right information to be the professional he always dreamt.


National Artists


Angela Faustina – Georgia

Atlanta based artist Angela Faustina captures macro details of juicy fruit at the height of ripeness. Her vibrant perspective into the sticky sweetness of organic produce reflects the colors and beauty of life. Faustina’s work has been internationally collected and shown in galleries in the United States, Italy and Portugal since 2006.


Gibbs Rousavall – Kentucky

Gibbs Rounsavall is an abstract artist exploring perceptions of space through the relationships of line, shape, and color. His precise use of geometry creates movement, and carefully selected colors elicit memories for viewers. His work can be found in public and private collections worldwide.

Other national artists: J&S Signs from Oregon and Matthew Hoffman from Illinois.


Local Artists


Bekky Beukes – St. Petersburg, FL

Originally from South Africa, fine artist Bekky Beukes, explores the internal and external interaction between dark and light, inspiring reflective dialogue through her work. Her evocative ethereal forms and intricately twisted compositions are easily recognizable and can be found throughout the Tampa Bay region on public walls and most commonly in Gallery exhibitions.

Bekky was fully involved in SHINE 2018 by creating a mural, a canvas and participating in Secret Walls!

The title of the work in Morean Arts Center is ANTITHESIS. I talk about duality in the work, the internal conflict we all endure as humans between light and dark. I hope to open this dialogue through my art. I was inspired by the support and love from the St Pete community, it’s tough being out in the sun and working 18 hour days, when people stop and say thank you or offer any kind of encouragement it gives you the energy to push through and finish for them. – Bekky Beukes, artist.

Bekky Beukes was invited to be part of the Secret Walls, the “Fight Club” of the art scene, inspired by Marvel comics and graffiti. A fixture in the global art community for over 12 years, Secret Walls (Formerly Secret Wars) is the World’s premier live art event. Two artist teams had 90 minutes to coat their white walls in black markered or painted images, while the crowd cheered artists for their vote.

The team with Bekky Beukes is on the right.

I love doing secret walls, this was my second one! I don’t mind that we didn’t win, the experience is more valuable than winning. Grateful to Anna Serena from @dontstop for the invitation to participate. – Bekky Beukes, artist.


Matt Kress – St. Petersburg, FL

Matt Kress created a colorful mural made out of shapes and circles and dedicated it to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, professional American football franchise based in Tampa, Florida. The Buccaneers currently compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member team of the National Football Conference (NFC) South division.
I was asked to create something Buccaneers themed. I wanted to do something that doesn’t just reach football fans but also those that appreciate art, color, scale and the city we live in. I’ve been painting most of my life with influences from artists like Klimt, Chuck Close, and Picasso. I’m definitely looking forward to doing more large-scale projects. I like to use lots of shapes and colors so the viewer can get lost in it, or perhaps stop and think a little… – Matt Kress, artist. 

Other local artists: Cecilia Lueza, Ya La’Ford, and the Vitale Brothers who collaborated with Noirs One this year.

Open Call Artists

The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance in partnership with the Public Art Project selected several artists through an Open Call. To find out more about future opportunities, sign up for the updates on the project’s website: opportunities. This year’s winners:

Justin Wagher

Justin Wagher is a graduate of Gibbs High School and one of the youngest working artists in the city. The content of his work focuses on the subtle aspects of life to capture familiar, often overlooked surroundings in new ways. His style typically uses black, white and gray to convey a strong sense of emotion. His work can be found around Tampa Bay, Miami and Kansas City.


Melanie Posner

Fine Arts graduate from the University of Tampa, Melanie is best known for painting photo-realistic women with beautiful blends of the rainbow. Her signature style using vibrant colors and mixed media bring an immersive and striking aspect to her work. Her portraits can be found all around the Tampa Bay Region, in galleries and local businesses.

Michael Vahl

A visual artist born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Michael Vahl specializes in one-off detailed portraiture and other uniquely crafted styles of artwork that draw influences from pop art and modern culture. Vahl’s murals can be found primarily in St. Petersburg and Tampa.

Other artists: Sarah Page and Jake “Tasko” Jacquillard.


SHINE’s Events 2018


Mural by duo Illsol []. Michelle Sawyer and Tony Krol are a husband / wife team working in Tampa Florida. They host the mural tour on the Tampa side with Coast.


Coast Bike Official SHINE Mural Tours

The SHINE Mural Festival partnered with Coast Bike Share and Florida CraftArt to offer official SHINE bike tours during this year’s Festival. Residents of St. Pete and guests of the town enjoyed discovering over 30 present and past murals produced by the SHINE through the guided tour. Mural Tour ride was approximately a 22 block radius, covering the back streets and alleys of four Arts Districts. Every attendee also received one free month of Coast Bike Share’s monthly membership, which comes with 60 minutes of ride time every day, to try the bike share system again at their leisure. A portion of the proceeds from the tours will be used to fund future murals.



You Are Beautiful Community Mural

Similarly to Before I Die… project of 2017, this year SHINE invited the local community to leave their messages of love and positivity on a wall. In partnership with the Public Art Project and Matthew Hoffman’s You Are Beautiful Project that has been installing one sign in each state across the US.

You Are Beautiful projects has collaborated with many cities and organizations around the globe, on both temporary and permanent installations, with long-term planning and fast track projects. When the phrase “You Are Beautiful” is integrated into a city or community, it creates an immediate positive dialogue. Often, due to the upbeat and universal message, the installations quickly generate human interest stories online, in print, and on TV. The mission is to leave the world a little better than when we found it.


SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival Exhibition: Finale Reception

The SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival finished the successful edition of year four with a Finale Reception held at the Morean Arts Center. In conjunction with the annual SHINE Festival, this exhibition featured artists from this year’s festival as well as local street artists and muralists. Among them, Daniel “R5” Barojas, BASK, Bekky Beukes, DAAS, Angela Faustina, Illsol, J&S Signs, Jennifer Kosharek, Ya LaFord, LOOK the Weird, Cecilia Lueza, Chad Mize, Palehorse, Gibbs Rounsavall, April Seelbach, the Vitale Brothers, Justin Wagher, Zulu Painter, and more. The exhibition will be open to the public until October 27th.

To find out more about the mural festival, please visit SHINE’s official website, Facebook page and follow @shineonstpete on Instagram.

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