The lines that separate what we’ve come to expect in a traditional art gallery and this new world of murals in St. Petersburg are beginning to fade away revealing something uniquely wonderful. The rest of the world is taking notice too. In the summer of 2020, St. Petersburg’s new mural galleries shared an international stage with Toronto, Canada and São Paulo, Brazil as innovators of outdoor art gallery experiences in this msn.com article. With murals gaining popularity as a way to enjoy art during the pandemic and so many new mural galleries popping up, we thought it might be a great time to review the mural gallery options that the residents and tourists of St. Petersburg have at their disposal anytime, rain or shine!
Belin – 2018
Mural Galleries are Free
One of the first differences you might notice from a traditional art gallery is that the mural galleries of St. Petersburg are 100% free. By their nature, murals are free and publicly available art, so it should come as no surprise that mural galleries are also free to enjoy. If you enjoy using the mural galleries of St. Petersburg, please thank the artists and organizations that produce them the next time you feel like giving back. Whether you choose to decorate your living space with art from local artists or donate to one of the many arts organizations here in St. Petersburg, your support fuels our growing art scene!
The Basics – Using PixelStix
To use any of the galleries listed below, you’ll need the free PixelStix app. PixelStix plays two major roles in allowing you to enjoy mural galleries in any city. First, you can use the app to locate murals from a particular gallery or collection (Main screen > map icon > select a gallery). Second, you can use the app to interact with the murals by touching your phone to the smart plaque on each mural. More info is available here.
Gallery 1. The entire SHINE Mural Gallery
All 95 of the murals curated by the SHINE Mural Festival so far have been turned into one giant mural gallery. You could bring up the SHINE PixelStix Map and start visiting them all. Some very devoted mural lovers certainly do this. The whole gallery, however, does take many days to fully enjoy as each piece has full audio narration providing information about the art and artist. Our recommendation for a shorter outing is to check out one of SHINE’s smaller collections of murals from their gallery like the ones listed below. Then you can use the full SHINE gallery when you’d like to find pockets of murals nearby or ones that you’ve not seen or learned about yet. The SHINE mural gallery is curated and produced by the St Petersburg Arts Alliance.
Gallery 2. SHINE 2020
This mural gallery specifically shows you the SHINE murals that went up in November 2020 as a part of the SHINE Sea Walls Mural Festival. Once you open PixelStix Maps (Main screen > map icon) search for “shine_2020” in Popular Maps (or scroll) to find the gallery. Select the gallery to see the locations of the murals on the map. There are 12 murals in this gallery and it is ideal for biking or driving. Enjoy the new pieces – they are beautiful!
Gallery 3. The Drive-In Mural Theater
These 9 murals have been made into a smaller, specialized mural gallery that all have large parking lots that you can easily park your car in to enjoy the mural’s narrated audio analysis from your car’s speakers. Once you open PixelStix Maps in the app (Main screen > Map icon) just search for “mural theater” in Popular Maps (scrolling works too). When you tap the gallery badge you’ll be presented with a map of all 9 to go and visit. Detailed instructions oh how to use the Drive In Mural Theater are available here.
Gallery 4. The Warehouse Arts District Gallery
Bayboro Brewing in the Warehouse Arts District has a plaque on the wall near their merchandise section that, when you touch with your phone using the PixelStix app, will start you on a self guided tour of all 8 SHINE murals in the Warehouse Arts District. This is a great way to enjoy a localized collection by bike or foot while also supporting our friends James and Kelcy that run Bayboro. They are huge supporters of the arts here in St. Petersburg and can be found at 2390 5th Ave S.
Gallery 5. The Edge District Gallery
Similar to our previous entry about the Warehouse Arts District gallery, there is a plaque near the entrance of Greenbench Brewing that you can touch with your phone to start on a tour of the 10 SHINE murals found in the Edge District. The Edge District murals are very walkable and surrounded by great local businesses which makes this mural gallery ideal for a beer/kombucha/coffee crawl. Greenbench can be found at 1133 Baum Ave N.
Gallery 6. Individual Local Artists
Kosharekart – 2020
There are over 300 artist galleries in the PixelStix app, so why not meetup for a coffee date and embark on a self guided tour of one of the artists you’ve discovered. ZuluPainter, iBOMS, Jennifer Kosharek, Cecilia Lueza, Derek Donnelly, JamesE, or Leo Gomez are some local heavy hitters (just to name a few). When you open the PixelStix Maps in PixelStix (Main screen > Map Icon) search or scroll until you find the artist you want to hunt for. Just note that only the SHINE murals have the docent narration added to them. Where artists have added their own plaques you might find a timelapse video or the artists webpage. Actually, there’s no telling what they programmed into their plaques. Similar to the uniqueness of their work, expect each one to be an experience!
Self proclaimed ‘Street Art Scientists’ PixelStix has been continuously creating and improving it’s mural gallery technology since 2018. With a current focus on the murals of St Petersburg, FL and Flint, MI mural galleries using PixelStix will soon be showing up all over the country. Stay tuned and you can learn more about the PixelStix platform here.