Downtown Clearwater Will Be Transformed With Five Murals

The walls of Downtown Clearwater will soon be transformed.

The city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has hired five teams of muralists to convert five buildings by adding majestic colors and artistic designs that will enhance, enrich and excite Downtown Clearwater. In partnership with five downtown property owners, the CRA has commissioned murals that tell the story of Downtown Clearwater’s past, present and future from different points of view.

Three muralists are from the Tampa Bay region, one is from Gainesville, Fla., and one team is from Uruguay. The muralists will start their work on Nov. 19 and continue through December. The goal is to complete all the murals by the end of January.

Four of the buildings are privately owned, and one building is owned by the city of Clearwater. The city’s CRA staff worked with the Downtown Development Board, the Public Art and Design Board, the property owners and the artists to collaborate and choose unique mural designs.

After receiving more than 100 applications from local, domestic and international muralists, the organizations chose the muralists.

• Justin McAllister and the Gibbs High School Mural Club of St. Petersburg will design and paint the mural at the Flag Company, 1360 Cleveland St., Clearwater. They plan to start Nov. 19.

• Florencia Durán and Camilo Nuñez of Uruguay will design and paint the mural at the city’s Garden Avenue Garage, 28 North Garden Ave., Clearwater. The mural will cover several stories of the parking garage. They plan to start Nov. 20.

• The husband-and-wife team of Michelle Sawyer and Tony Krol of Tampa will design and paint the mural at Creative Contractors, 620 Drew St., Clearwater. They plan to start Nov. 25.

• Cecilia Lueza of St. Petersburg will design and paint the mural at a commercial property at 512 Cleveland St., Clearwater. She plans to start on Nov. 30.

• Julia Morrisroe of Gainesville, Fla., will design and paint the mural at Clearwater Tower Parking Garage, 33 North Garden Ave. The mural will cover several stories of the parking garage. Morrisroe will begin her work in December. A specific start date hasn’t been set.

“The murals will not only improve the visual appearance of downtown, but they will celebrate the nuance, complexity and diversity that exists among the residents and businesses here,” said Amanda Thompson, the city’s CRA director.

About the muralists:

• Justin McAllister is an illustrator, muralist and visual arts instructor at the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High   School. He has painted murals across the United States and even overseas. Five years ago, he initiated a collaborative public art project with students and community organizations on the island of Saipan. He believes public art provides a platform to share information about history and culture with visitors and local residents.

• Florencia Durán and Camilo Nuñez, who live in Uruguay and paint under the moniker Colectivo Licuado, have painted murals in capital cities and in small towns in different parts of the world. They are inspired by traveling and encountering new cultures and customs. Their artistic themes are cultural diversity, women and inspiring stories. They are highly influenced by classic art, where they take references of composition, lighting, poses and clothing.

• Michelle Sawyer and Tony Krol are a husband-and-wife team who work out of Tampa under the moniker Illsol. The name Illsol combines the names of Sawyer and Krol and references the Spanish word for sun. It also pays homage to Sawyer’s Cuban heritage. Their work together is in the realm of large murals and installation projects in which final pieces are subtly textured with overlaying clear images and bold lines.

• Cecilia Lueza is an Argentinian-born visual artist who is known for her vibrant public art pieces in a range of mixed media. Her geometric and natured inspired murals can be found in unexpected locations, including rooftops and street intersections. Lueza’s work is a personal expression of her lifelong fascination with the visual effects of color and the concepts of space, movement and transition. She resides in St. Petersburg.

• Julia Morrisroe is an artist and writer whose work has been exhibited internationally. Morrisroe’s abstract visual language examines the flood of images and information (relevant or not) to expose the impossibility of meaning in this oversaturated environment through installations, murals, prints and clusters of painting. Morrisroe is an associate professor in painting and drawing at University of Florida.

For more information on the mural project in Downtown Clearwater or to interview the artists, contact Anne Lopez, the CRA’s program specialist, at (727) 562-4039 or anne.lopez@myclearwater.com or José Patiño, city of Clearwater public information specialist, at (727) 562-4664 or jose.patino@myclearwater.com.

Downtown Clearwater Pop-Up Market Offers Unique Specialty Gifts for Holiday Shopping

The Pop-Up Market at Second Century Studios will open in Downtown Clearwater just in time for the holiday shopping season.

The market will have unique specialty shops each week offering an assortment of gifts for holiday shopping, including jewelry, handmade purses, clothing, artisan soaps, hand-painted wood and canvases, body care, gourmet popcorn, home decor and lighting and more.

The Pop-Up Market will open from 5 to 8 p.m. Nov. 16 as part of the Holiday Extravaganza grand opening celebration at Second Century Studios, 331 Cleveland St.

From Nov. 17 — Dec. 23, the Pop-Up Market will open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The market will close on Thanksgiving Day.

The vendors will rotate weekly to provide the ultimate holiday shopping experience in Downtown Clearwater. Visit each week to meet the different vendors and discover great gift ideas.

The market is sponsored by the city of Clearwater’s Community Redevelopment Agency.

Visit DowntownClearwater.com to get detailed information about the Pop-Up Market. Follow us on Facebook at Downtown Clearwater-CRA.

Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road Announces The Return Of Clearwater’s Blast Friday

Blast Friday returns to Downtown Clearwater for its 9th season. This free food and craft festival kicks-off featuring a live concert starring Fastball and special guests The Black Honkeys on Friday, January 25 from 5:30 to 10 pm on the Tampa Bay Times Cleveland Street Stage. Food trucks and vendors will be serving a wide variety of freshly prepared specialty food and beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages that will be available for purchase. Concert goers are welcome to bring their lawn chairs to watch the concert. Please see concert listings below (line-up, date and time subject to change). VIP packages go on sale Friday, November 9 at 10 am.

Beer sampling, live local music and other activities will be located in the 600 block of Cleveland Street.

Friday, January 25
Fastball with special guests The Black Honkeys

With nearly 20 years of musical explorations and milestones under its belt, two-time GRAMMY®-nominee Fastball remains one of the most consistent and continuously celebrated rock bands on the road these days. After rising to prominence in 1996 with the debut disc Make Your Mama Proud, the Austin based trio exploded into a household name with hits like The Way, Out Of My Head and Fire Escape.

Known for their soul, funk and rhythm ‘n’ blues music, The Black Honkeys have won awards in multiple categories for three years running in Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay Reader’s Choice Awards. Front man, Brother Phil Esposito, is supported on vocals by the lovely Nicole Simone, with guitarist Greg Czinke, Will Harris on bass, Steven Tanner on drums, John “Dash” Dixon on keyboards, along with the fabulous Ebony & Ivory Horn Section with Scott Myers on trombone and Terry Clark on trumpet.

 

Friday, February 22
The FIXX

The FIXX has been often heralded as one of the most innovative bands to come out of the MTV era. Instantly recognizable, The FIXX sound is unmistakably unique and stands out among the thousands of artists filling the airwaves. Songs such as One Thing Leads To Another, Red Skies and Saved By Zero remain everyday staples in television, films and on radio stations that continue to break new acts inspired by the era that The FIXX helped to define. The FIXX were then and still are now; Cy Curnin on vocals, Rupert Greenall on keyboards, Jamie West-Oram on guitar, Adam Woods on drums and bassist Dan K. Brown.

 

Friday, March 29
The Rippingtons

The Rippingtons, known for hits like She Likes To Watch, Caribbean Breeze, Snowbound, Wild Tales, are a GRAMMY®-nominated contemporary jazz group, founded by guitarist and composer Russ Freeman in 1985. The group has passed the 30 year mark and continues to innovate. Under Freeman’s production, the group has released 22 albums, all of which have attained top 5 Billboard status, with 5 of them reaching #1. Their debut album, Moonlighting, which Jazziz magazine has called “the number one most influential contemporary jazz album of all time.”

 

Friday, April 26
Home Cookin’ V – The Greg Billings Band with Ronnie Dee and the Superstars

The Greg Billings Band is a continuation of a phenomenon that began when popular ‘80s Florida band Romeo signed to Epic Records and released its first album after a name change to “Stranger”. The band features two members of Stranger, lead vocalist Greg Billings and bassist Tom ‘King’ Cardenas and also includes lead guitarist George Harris, drummer Mark Busto, guitarist Kyle Ashley and Rob Stoney on keyboards.

Ronnie Dee and the Superstars recently released their debut album #ThankYouMusic, which includes hit songs like Ballad Of The Bad Seed, Warming Up, Depending On Love, Soul Biscuits and more. Dee is the son of ‘60s rock star Joey Dee and currently resides in Tampa.

The concert for Friday, May 31 will be announced soon.

A limited number of SUPER VIP packages for all Blast Friday concerts, priced at $49 are available. SUPER VIP tickets include a seat in the first three rows of reserved general admission seating directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage, a meet and greet opportunity with band members, two complimentary beers or wine and access to super VIP tent, which includes snacks. In addition, a limited number of VIP packages for all Blast Friday concerts, priced at $29 are also available, which includes a general admission ticket in the reserved seating section directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage and two complimentary beers.

VIP and SUPER VIP packages will be available in advance at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400.  The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Patrons may also purchase tickets at www.AtTheCap.com 24/7. Packages may also be available the day of each concert at the Capitol Theatre Box Office.

Be a part of BLAST FRIDAY and join in Clearwater’s premier FREE street festival!  Become a vendor to offer specialty food items, refreshments, crafts and homemade goods.

Every participating vendor receives a reserved 10’ x 10’ space at one low fee. Blast Friday is held the last Friday of every month through May. Vendors should reserve their space by downloading and filling out the online application here.    For more information, please email blastfriday.vendors@gmail.com.

Macy’s Presents Miracle On Cleveland Street, a Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience, on Saturday, December 1 at 5:00 p.m.

Macy’s presents Miracle on Cleveland Street, a Ruth Eckerd Hall Experience, in downtown Clearwater on Saturday, December 1 from 5 to 10 p.m. VIP packages go on sale Saturday, November 3 at 10 a.m.

This free holiday festival returns for the 12th year when the 400-600 blocks of downtown Clearwater will be transformed into a holiday wonderland complete with falling snow, an ice skating rink, horse drawn carriage rides, pictures with Santa & Mrs. Claus ($5 per photo). New this year, Mayor George Cretekos will be lighting the tree at Station Square Park. Festivities will also include a giant gingerbread house, face painting, inflatable bounce houses, a scavenger hunt with the chance to win a brand new child’s bicycle, courtesy of Baystar Restaurant Group and more. The following activities require a wristband, which can be purchased for $8: horse drawn carriage rides, ice skating, inflatable bounce houses, Rockem Sockem Robots.

The festival will feature vendors with arts and crafts and holiday themed-food and refreshments available for purchase throughout Cleveland Street.

Entertainment will include a free concert by Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Celebrating over 40 years since their founding in 1977, the New Orleans-based band has taken the traditional foundation of brass band music and incorporated it into a blend of genres including Bebop Jazz, Funk and R&B/Soul. This unique sound, described by the band as a ‘musical gumbo,’ has allowed the Dirty Dozen to tour across 5 continents and more than 30 countries, record 12 studio albums and collaborate with a range of artists from Modest Mouse to Widespread Panic to Norah Jones. Forty-plus years later, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band is a world famous music machine whose name is synonymous with genre-bending romps and high-octane performances.

The band is comprised of Roger Lewis (Baritone Sax/Vocals), Kevin Harris (Tenor Sax/Vocals), Gregory Davis (Trumpet/Vocals), Kirk Joseph (Sousaphone), TJ Norris (Trombone), Julian Addison (Drums/Vocals) and Takeshi Shimmura (Guitar).

A limited number of SUPER VIP packages, priced at $49 are available and include priority seating in the first three rows of reserved general admission seating directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage, a meet and greet with members of Dirty Dozen Brass Band, two complimentary beers and access to the Super VIP tent which includes complimentary snacks. In addition, VIP packages priced at $29 are also available, which includes priority-seating beginning in the fourth row directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage and two complimentary beers or wine.  There will also be live local performers on the Station Square Stage.

Miracle on Cleveland Street is proudly supported by the City of Clearwater, the Community Redevelopment Agency and the Downtown Development Board and is produced by Ruth Eckerd Hall On The Road.

VIP and Super VIP Packages may be purchased at the Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office located at 1111 McMullen Booth Road in Clearwater or by calling 727.791.7400.  The Ruth Eckerd Hall Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Patrons may also purchase tickets at www.rutheckerdhall.com/miracle  24/7. Packages may also be available day of at the Capitol Theatre Box Office.

World-Renowned Artwork on Display at Second Century Studios

Two world-renowned artists will exhibit their artwork at Second Century Studios in Downtown Clearwater from Oct. 23 through Nov. 11.

Dick Zimmerman and Jim Warren, who both live in Clearwater, have brought their artwork together to present a spectacular exhibit.

The artwork will rotate and focus on distinctive themes, including rock ‘n’ roll, portrait paintings and Marilyn Monroe.

Second Century Studios, located at 331 Cleveland St., will open from 8:30 a.m. to midnight every day. There will be coffee and art each morning. The studio will also offer art lessons, poetry readings and live music. The artists will be at Second Century Studios at 6 p.m. on select evenings.

Zimmerman, who has been painting for more than 45 years, is best known for his iconic image of Michael Jackson that was the cover of the “Thriller” album. He also was commissioned by the painter Salvador Dalí to take a photograph portrait of Salvador Dalí and his wife in honor of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Warren, a Disney artist, has been painting since 1967. He has created artwork for Alice Cooper, Prince, Clive Barker and Robin Cook. He painted the cover of Bob Seger’s album “Against the Wind.”

Second Century Studios will also host the local artwork of Carlos Cardenas, Kim Braun, Kim Nasr and Kathleen Slaven from Nov. 5 – 11.

The exhibit is organized and presented by the Seahorse Art Gallery of Clearwater. For information on programming or on the sale of the artwork, contact Mila Nedelkovska, owner of the Seahorse Art Gallery, at mbbn2004@yahoo.com or (727) 776-5124. For details about this exhibit and other events in Downtown Clearwater, visit DowntownClearwater.com.

Drink or Treat on Cleveland Street in Downtown Clearwater Oct. 26

Come dressed in a clever Halloween costume and let loose your inner persona as Downtown Clearwater marks Halloween with Drink or Treat on Cleveland Street from 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26.

The free event will feature live music on Cleveland Street and prizes for the best costumes. More than 10 participating businesses will offer drink and food specials. More information is available at Facebook.com/TheDowntownClearwaterScene.

The event will be held on Cleveland Street between Osceola and East avenues in Downtown Clearwater.

The event is produced by the Downtown Clearwater Merchants Association and sponsored by the Clearwater Downtown Development Board.

Free Photography Classes and Photo Exhibit Celebrating Clearwater Opens at Second Century Studios

The Florida Center for Creative Photography will showcase 50 photographs celebrating Clearwater in a free photography exhibit entitled “Our Bright and Beautiful Home from Beach to Bay.”

The photographs celebrate the city through a variety of black and white images and color photographs created by members of the Florida Center for Creative Photography.

The exhibit opens Friday, Sept. 14  with an opening reception from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at Second Century Studios, 331 Cleveland St. in Downtown Clearwater. The exhibit will remain open through the month of September and a part of the month of October.

The regular hours of the exhibit will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Second Century Studios. The exhibit will end with a closing reception that is scheduled from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Oct. 12.

Along with the exhibit, the Florida Center for Creative Photography will offer free photography classes in October at Second Century Studios. The classes will be taught by Jeff Donald, the organization’s director.

The schedule for the free classes is as follows:

• Beginning Photography, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 2

• Guidelines for Better Photo Composition, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 2

• Learn Lightroom Mobile, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 3

• Learn Lightroom Mobile, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 3

• Get Your Camera Off Auto and Shoot in Manual, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 4

• Get Your Camera Off Auto and Shoot in Manual, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 4

• Shutter Speed, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 5

• ISO and Exposure, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 8

• Beginning Flash Photography Part I, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 8

• ISO and Exposure, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 9

• Beginning Flash Photography Part II, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 9

• The Camera, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 10

• Beginning Flash Photogaphy Part III, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 10

• The Camera, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. Oct. 11

• How to Shoot and Edit HDR Photographs, 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 11

The Florida Center for Creative Photography is based in Clearwater and has more than 4,400 members. Contact the organization at (727) 365-4784 or visit Facebook.com/FCCP.org to learn more.

New Standards Streamline Downtown Clearwater Development Process

The city of Clearwater has established new Downtown District and Development Standards designed to streamline the approval process for residential and commercial development in Downtown Clearwater.

Under the new standards, most commercial and residential development in Downtown Clearwater can be approved at the staff level, instead of requiring a public hearing.

The city’s Planning and Development Department has created standards to complement the different neighborhoods that makeup Downtown Clearwater, and it has developed a guide to make it convenient to know what is permissible and not permissible on each Downtown Clearwater property.

The new standards also eliminate parking requirements, allowing businesses to determine the amount of parking they will provide. Townhomes and small apartments are now allowed in the residential neighborhoods in Downtown Clearwater, which will make it easier for incremental changes and infill development that is compatible with these downtown neighborhoods. The standards also recognize key downtown corners where active uses such as restaurants, brewpubs or retail are required.

“We are very excited to complete this update to the Community Development Code,” said Michael Delk, the city’s Planning and Development Department director. “We have provided for a predictable and expedited review process that should assist our business community in making changes necessary to accommodate a wide range of exciting business opportunities in Downtown Clearwater.”

The standards apply to Downtown Clearwater property located at Clearwater Harbor to the west, Highland Avenue to the east, Drew Street to the north and Court Street to the south. In some areas, Downtown Clearwater extends to Cedar Street to the north and Druid Road to the south.

The new standards apply to new properties or existing properties where substantial changes are being made.

“New zoning is key to unlocking the development potential of downtown,” said Amanda Thompson, the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency director. “With our new approach to parking and design standards, Clearwater is creating a business-friendly environment.”

“The city worked hard to create a code that we hope will stimulate additional projects and quicken the approval process for those who want to invest in Downtown Clearwater – which will only strengthen the business climate in North Pinellas County,” said Carol Hague, the Clearwater Regional Chamber of Commerce president and chief executive officer.

Visit myclearwater.com/downtownplanupdate to learn more.

Final Downtown Clearwater Art Walk Set for Aug. 31

Downtown Clearwater businesses will host the final Downtown Clearwater Art Walk that will feature a curated art exhibit and live artwork by a local artist from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31.

Diana Aitken, who lives in Clearwater, will exhibit her artwork at Second Century Studios, 331 Cleveland St. in Downtown Clearwater. She will also demonstrate how she creates her artwork and discuss what inspires her.

Second Century Studios will also feature a photography exhibit from the Florida Center for Creative Photography.

The Tampa Bay Society of Photographic Artists will host “The Abstract Expression,” an exhibit at Pour Yours, 522 Cleveland St. The Stacie Krupa Gallery of Art, 628 Cleveland St., will host its grand opening.

Other locations displaying art along Cleveland Street include Chiang Mai Thai and Sushi, Kara Lynn’s Kitchen, Marlene Rose Gallery, Clear Sky on Cleveland, Tony’s Pizza & Bar, Grindhouse Coffee, La Fondita de Leo, Buzzazz Business Solutions and Downtown Vaporium.

All participating Downtown Clearwater locations will have food and drink specials.

The event will also feature an opportunity for guests to explore Downtown Clearwater by receiving a Downtown Clearwater Art Walk Passport. Visit all participating locations, get your passport stamped and enter a raffle to win a stay at a Clearwater Beach hotel.

Pick up the Downtown Clearwater Art Walk Passports by visiting Second Century Studios from 6 to 8:30 pm. Friday, Aug. 31.

The event is coordinated by the Downtown Clearwater Merchant’s Association and sponsored by the Clearwater Downtown Development Board.

Learn more about the Downtown Clearwater Art Walk by contacting Anne Fogarty France, the city of Clearwater’s downtown manager, at anne.fogarty-france@myclearwater.com.

 

 

Clearwater Employee Art 2.0 is Happening Again at Second Century Studios

Second Century Studios announces the city of Clearwater’s Employee Art 2.0 – this is the second art exhibit at the gallery featuring employee art.

 

The art will be on display from Aug. 1-24 at Second Century Studios, 331 Cleveland St. The studio will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday and Friday.

 

The exhibit features the artwork of 10 city employees presenting a variety of styles, themes and techniques. Employees submitted metal sculptures, oil and acrylic paintings, photography, digital art and quilling designs.

 

A closing reception, which is open to the public, will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 24.

 

The exhibit will feature a People’s Choice Award, where visitors to the studio throughout the month of August can vote on their favorite work of art. The city’s Achievement Awards Committee will also select a Choice Award from the exhibit. Both awards will be announced at the closing reception.

 

Second Century Studios is an art space located at the corner of Cleveland Street and Osceola Avenue in Downtown Clearwater that has been supported by the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA). Second Century Studios has hosted a number of art exhibits and art classes since its September 2017 opening.

 

The space also serves as a location to introduce the public to future Downtown Clearwater initiatives, including planned enhancements to Coachman Park, Cleveland Street and the Downtown Gateway.

 

To learn more about the art exhibit, Second Century Studios or Imagine Clearwater, contact Anne Lopez, the CRA’s executive assistant, at anne.lopez@myclearwater.com or (727) 562-4039.