By Mark Griffin
When the seventh annual SHINE Mural Festival concluded, St. Petersburg has added 20 new murals to its collection.
Throughout the years, SHINE has drawn in artists from around the world to showcase their skills in large-scale mural paintings.
The St. Petersburg Arts Alliance (SPAA) produces the event each year. The local non-profit organization said its goal is to, “raise money through individual and corporate gifts, event sponsorships, and grants that support community-wide arts efforts.”
During SHINE, which ran Oct. 15-24, artists could be seen creating their art while mingling with the city’s residents.
This year, seven artists from the Tampa Bay area participated in the SHINE Festival. One Tampa artist who goes by the name of Jujmo created her illustrated version of a jungle that can be found at 2221 5th Ave. S.
Jujmo was also involved with one of three “Bright Spot” murals that were designed to teach children in the area about mural painting and art. She draws her inspiration from anime, color and folklore which is evident when looking at her artwork.
When asked why she participated in this year’s SHINE festival Jujmo said, “I wanted to participate because not only do I get to paint a massive wall, being with your artistic peers that you’ve looked up to through the years is just a different experience. I literally get so excited being around them.”
As residents walked around the downtown area seeing the murals in their beginning stages, a sense of community took hold. People could be seen snapping pictures of the work in progress. Local shops and bars were full of patrons who were drawn in by this year’s event. Artists interacted with residents and shared their inspiration with admirers.
BakPak Durden, an artist from Detroit, Mich., showcased their mural at 919 1st Ave. N, which is home to local bar The Bends, known for its live music and monthly art shows.
“Pretty much the entire experience has been delightful. Everyone has been very kind. The festival organizers are very thoughtful, and I could tell how much care and intention went into everything,” Durden said. “And the folks at The Bends were excited for me to paint, so that was great.”
More than 100 murals have been painted since SHINE’s beginning in 2015. Now, 20 more can be enjoyed by locals and tourists walking through the city.