SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival: 2017 Recap and 2018 Preview

Represented by numerous independent galleries and museums devoted to such big artists as surrealist Salvador Dalí and glass artist Dale Chihuly, rank St. Petersburg, FL as one of the most attractive art destinations. Museum on the streets where everybody can see work of Internationally accomplished artists for free, SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival, even strengthens this position for years to come.

SHINE is a good example of a mural project highly supported by the local community. St. Pete’s Mural Festival intends to illuminate the power of art in public spaces by revitalizing bold vacant walls, inspiring dialogue through artists’ messages and gathering the community at public events.

I’ve been following the project since 2015. Artists selection and organization meet and even exceed expectations since then. Among participated artists such well-known names as Axel Void, Evoca1, Pixel Pancho, Michael Reeder, Caratoes, Jade, Pantonio, Dasic Fernandes, Mark Gmehling, Hueman, and many more! For 3 years, the project has hosted artists from 13 different countries to show the diversity in styles. The energy and the excitement around the whole town during the festival days are what makes me keep wanting to come back and take some pictures. This year, I have another reason to visit the event – the GNV URBAN ART provides SHINE some additional street art media support. – Iryna Kanishcheva, the Founder and Owner of GNV URBAN ART LLC.


What to expect from SHINE 2018?


  • More than 17 new murals will be created by a diverse group of local and international artists during one week of October 6-14.
  • Coast Bike Official SHINE Mural Tours. Guided tour of SHINE St. Petersburg murals past and present. October 6 & 13.
  • You Are Beautiful Community Mural. Everybody is invited! October 6th, 9a-4p.
  • Reveal: St. Pete Streets, a semi-annual showcase event. Features a lecture on street art history and interactive panel with street art professionals. Something new this year: fashion installation!  October 12, 5p-12a.
  • SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival Exhibition: Finale Reception at the Morean Arts Center. Features artists from this year’s festival as well as local street artists and muralists. October 13th, 5-9pm.

Visit SHINE’s official website to learn more about the 2018 program and see the mural map.


2017 SHINE Mural Festival Recap


Still not sure if the event worth a two-hour drive from Gainesville? Read a brief recap of the SHINE 2017  and start planning your trip! We collected the best walls of the past year to share with you.

We will start from artists  Axel Void and  L.E.O. who created murals in Gainesville, FL as part of 352walls 2015 curated by Iryna Kanishcheva. A story about one of those murals you can find here. For the SHINE 2017, Axel Void, collaborated with his good friend, artist and musician Reginald O’Neil aka L.E.O.  Inspired by the shooting in Las Vegas, the two talented artists created an amazing thought-provoking piece.

This mural is based on a juxtaposition of two images. The one in the background is an interpretation from a photograph taken in Washington Square Park, where people get together once a year and have a pillow fight. In the circle, a launch drill in North Korea.
The concept of this wall is an attempt to understand human behavior and its relationship to power. From the power that technology allows us: vehicles that can make us go faster than we can run or weapons that can harm more than we can physically. To an emotional, social or political power over others.
This wall was done shortly after the shooting in Las Vegas. This gave us the curiosity to know or understand what was the nature of this action. These events are considered anomalies or out of the ordinary, however, its recurrence shows that it is or has become part of our natural behavior. We find strange that even though we can’t directly empathize with this behavior it is a part of our idiosyncrasy. – Axel Void, artist.

The Southern Californian artist, Cryptik, created a mural from a palette of wonder, where all science, math, and true art spring from equal mystery.  “We meditate on the most adored Supreme Lord, the Creator, whose effulgence illumines all realms. May this divine light illumine our intellect.” – Stated Cryptik about this shining artwork. He hypnotically blends Eastern philosophical mantras with calligraphy in his artworks, from murals to canvases and installations.


Los Angeles based Mikael Brandrup combined bold colors with geometric shapes building a dynamic universe on of the St. Petersburg streets.

The belief that you can take any crazy vision and turn it into reality…I had this in mind when I created the mural “Inner Visions” experimenting with the warm the cold, the sharp the soft, the light the dark. All merged together as a vibrant energetic explosion bringing my canvas style alive as a large scale mural.  With “Inner Visions” I want to keep dreams alive. Sticking with your vision and what you believe in is so important. When you have a vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude becomes optimistic. – Mikael B.

One of the most interesting features of the SHINE 2017 was the show “Outside In“.

As an outdoor installation at the “Outside In” exhibition, James Oleson created a sculpture CANO with glowing lava and smog, based on his Incredibuds character.  Ricky Watts painted a 3D interactive corner, the best space for photoshoots.

I always have trouble explaining a meaning or purpose or inspiration behind my work. Because it’s not a recognizable subject like a face or a plant, it’s tough to explain why something is the way that is. What I have is a process that I’ve developed over the last 6 years. It’s become what I’m now known for and I’m letting it play out to see where it takes me. The majority of the time, I go into it with no pre-conceived sketch of what it’s supposed to look like. I start somewhere and it just builds off of itself. I think maybe one or two steps ahead, but that’s more of a paint saving measure than anything else. This past year, the painting process (or style) has taken a different direction and become more dimensional. I’m exploring new ideas and techniques (like the holes and rip effects), really trying to make the art pop off the wall. This Shine 2017 piece is a good example of that. – Ricky Watts, artist.

In 2017, SHINE arranged several social projects. Among them a community mural. Volunteers and, most importantly, the kids ages 6-17 worked together to plan out their ‘Dream Big. Be Big.” mural at Childs Park Recreation Center. SHINE brought back the CLEAN campaign with Current Initiatives’ Laundry Project. A series of colorful laundromat murals aimed at delivering a positive message through street art that can be seen across Tampa Bay and the country. As part of SHINE,  the project kicked off Corner Canvas where local artists took over bland traffic boxes around the city. To top it off, they organized a family-friendly SHINE ‘Outside In’ Art Exhibit & Finale Event, with large-scale installations by The Yok and SheryoJames OlesonThe Artwork of Ricky WattsVitale Bros.Sentrock and many more.


Interview with Chris Parks (Curator)


Iryna Kanishcheva got a chance to speak with SHINE’s curator and the Founder at Pale Horse Design, Chris Parks, at the “Outside In” show. He was very busy welcoming visitors but took a moment to answer several questions for GNV URBAN ART.

What is the difference between 2017 edition and 2015-2016? I assume it is the “Outside In” exhibition?

We always try to have a final event to gather people together to celebrate the new murals. The first year [2015] we had more traditional gallery event at Morean Art Center. The second year we had an outdoor music festival, pop art gallery, street market, artist talk. This year we were looking for a large space for big installations, so that was kind of a catalyst to this event.  We have taken over a warehouse space at Behar + Peteranecz Architecture. It has 5,000 sq. ft of air-conditioned space that makes it perfect for such event that could host large-scale installations, indoor murals, outdoor installations, DJ’s, interactive works also.

What is the massive installation in the middle of the space?

New York-based The Yok and Sheryo collaborated on the “Gator Lounge” installation with local people. Heinz Hinrichs built the whole structure for about 4 days, shops donated plywood, local artists worked on the video projection on the Gator. So, it was kind of community effort. A special performance by Sound Bath featuring Manuel Mendez and Chris Silva was a very nice match with the installation piece. Rather than putting a DJ, we created kind of loud noise, in the big space, we had a nice resonant sound of this wild psychedelic healing music.


As a curator, what are your criteria for choosing artists? 

Since the beginning, we keep the same mix of traveling and local artists. We normally do about 5 local artists and 10 traveling. We choose artists that we are big fans of their work. We have Miami Wynwood and Art Basel nearby, and a chance to see many different artists. We do a lot of travelings to different countries, different festivals, find interesting talents and happy to bring some of them here. It’s cool to be able to have an international show.

Our goal is to have a variety of artworks. Artists that are seen in the gallery and have also powerful works on the streets. Thus, we had Evoca1 for the first year, Jade for the second year, Axel Void in 2017th. It helps people open horizons. For those who never would go to a gallery to see these artworks can now see them on streets. We usually look for a variety of different messages and styles. – Chris Parks, Curator.

What should we expect for the next, 2018 year? 

We always take a break for a while, it is kind of mystery for me at the moment. You never know but I would keep it doing as long as we can, for sure.

I think the mission of making streets beautiful and bring people a great vibe and hope is successfully accomplished. Wishing you many more editions to illuminate the power of art in public spaces and have all the most adorable artist in the future line-ups! The GNV URBAN ART looks forward to attending the SHINE 2018! 

To see more murals from SHINE 2017, read this article:
Brooklyn Street Art: Selections From SHINE Mural Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida

Stay tuned for the updates from St. Petersburg, FL!

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