For more than 15 years, The Studio @ 620 has been a cultural incubator in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Studio @ 620 has hosted countless exhibitions and events as well as helping many beloved local cultural organizations get their start. It’s safe to say that it has been integral to the cultural renaissance that has revitalized St. Petersburg in the 21st century.
But even as St. Petersburg continues to thrive and grow, the pandemic’s impact on the community was serious and some are struggling with anxiety, grief and loss. Lives were disrupted and many of those working in the arts suffered a long professional hiatus. As the arts community in St. Pete gets back on its feet, the Studio @ 620 asked 30 local artists how their creative practice sustained them through the pandemic. Some artists reflected on the times. Rachel Schwermin (below left) or James Bennett (below right) expressed their stress and their feelings of confinement during the lockdown.
Many artists found solace in nature, particularly the ocean and its denizens. For example, Myron Hansen’s wonderful Glades is a reflection of the Florida landscape (below left). When real life adventures came to a halt, other artists found excitement and escape in myths and legends, like Casey J Wullner (below right).
I was both proud and humbled to have a few of my artworks (below, left) in this show. For me, the pandemic meant disruption, coping with the unexpected, putting aside my plans, and adjusting my expectations. But this forced me to live more fully the present moment. And my paintings are about the joy in that kind of improvisation. I see a similar attitude in Jean Sheridan’s Come Dance with Me (detail, below right).
These are just a few highlights from a great show, and I highly encourage you to get out to see the exhibit which runs through May 30th, and also to consider supporting The Studio @ 620 and their wonderful line up of events in general.
The closing reception is May 29th from 12 to 3.