Many of the murals are but fleeting images to those familiar, or unfamiliar, with downtown St. Petersburg. Managing to snag a non-metered space off Central within a reasonable walking distance to whatever shop or lunch destination, a brightly colored 350 square foot mural might garner some attention.
In an effort to focus attention on the pleasant use of visual space I’ve put together a not-quite-comprehensive walking tour of murals around downtown in the Central Arts District. For locals, this guide might bring you to some work you’ve never stopped to really look at; for visitors this guide is a great introduction to the Central Arts District and a taste of what art over the bridge has to offer.
Grab your shoes and get in the car, let’s go! I’m going to start you one block south of Central on 1st Avenue South and 6th Street. There’s a few of those non-metered parking spaces on the block. The first stop should be in your face; a diagonally split black and white mural signed by Palladino and Hunter. One visit to their respective websites (palladinoart.com and huntermadeit.com) and it becomes obvious who owns which half.
Head north along 6th Street, crossing central and make a left into the alley. You’ll know you’ve got the right one, because you’ll be standing alongside the next stop created by Central Ave Arts District artists in honor of Bill Woo.
This alley is filled with treasures, particularly this piece by Jennifer Kosharek.
Some are bizarre, but completely worth walking around behind the buildings on Central.
The most vivid mural is Mammoth Eye Candy painted on the back of the State Theater, signaling the back door from the street for visiting bands. The work is a collaborative effort from the Vitale Brothers, Tes One and Pale Horse.
After exiting the alley, take a right onto 7th Street and follow it for a half block to 1st Avenue North. Take a left onto 1st. We’re following this avenue to the furthest west mural on the corner of 9th Street. Have no fear, you won’t walk the two blocks without getting something to hold you over.
Once you’ve reached the corner of MLK and 1st you’ll be standing next to one of the last stops. Sebastian Coolidge’s piece over Freshly Squeezed Street Wear wraps around the building, playing with the elements of the location and drips down onto the sidewalk.
Take a left onto MLK, follow to Central and take another left onto Central. The last leg is a three block trek with plenty of places to stop and peruse, or filter out the sun bleached shots in your phone’s gallery. The last stop, is Hernandez’s comic book mural along the side of Foolish Pride Tattoo.
This stop is a two-for-one, with another mural just to the left on the same wall by Christian Thomas.
When you’re done checking the last piece out, you should be able to turn around and see your car. Provided you were able to snag a parking spot on that block.
This walk is by no means comprehensive, so feel free to share your favorite murals in St. Pete or call me out on something I missed. Happy mural hunting!