Saturday, November 26, 2011

Art Blog: Embers at the Emerald

As my art life journey proceeds, I stop and catch glimpses of the sights and sounds of my current St. Pete world. This past year, I have spent a lot of time downtown at my studio trying to stop the relentless feeling of being an odd duck in this tropical pond. I have had an open mind and embraced the things that I favor. I love driving down Central Ave. It has a history and atmosphere that I love. I was heartbroken when I read reviews of the recent art fair held here last week. A few exhibitors wrote things like:

“The neighborhood is a business district that looks like its seen better days, like maybe 50 years ago. The storefronts on the block I was set up on were a mix of vintage clothing, tattoos, a used record store and a quick mart advertising "cigarettes and beer!"

After reading that I screamed “SHUT UP!!” Well, actually there were a few curse words too, but I will leave those out here. This is one of the reasons I have never felt comfortable down here in touristville. It is too nicey, nicey, prim, proper, and kind of boring for lack of better words. (Remember, I am still a gritty, industrial Dee-troit old girl. I am of the era of “Kick Out the Jams Mother F……..”…you know the rest. I like “rough around the edges”.) LOL In fact, those same old buildings, alternative shops run by tattooed, purple haired proprietors is a cool thing about downtown St. Pete. At least I think so.

Shortly after reading the negative reviews, synchronicity struck again. Somebody on Facebook put out a photo album of an artist meetup downtown. I looked at the photos and flashes of my own past rushed at me. I remember my days in Detroit art bars surrounded by all my young, brash, artist friends. That was long ago. We were so puffed up and ready to take on the world. The pics of the St. Pete artists reminded me of loving art for art sake. Back then we all felt so edgy and bold. There was a kind of boastful spirit when we would identify ourselves as ARTISTS. I still exude that same pretense to this day.

Ironically, this morning I got a FB invite to an art opening. The show is called “ArtWars at the Emerald”. It is the same artists I saw in the photo album. As I watched the promotional video, I smirked as each young artist explained what art is to them. I love their boldness and even their naïveté is refreshing. It dawned on me as I watched. This is one thing St. Petersburg needs. It needs more verve and spark. I see these young artists as the warm, glowing embers that could ignite a whole new heatwave of art thinking here in the ‘burg. I am not expecting a bonfire, but a few fresh flames would be good to see. I wish them all great good luck with their show and their art lives. If you live in the area, check out their upcoming exhibition. Details below:

(Click to watch video)

“ArtWars at the Emerald”
Friday, January 27, 2012 at 8:00pm
The Emerald Bar
550 Central Avenue
Saint Petersburg, FL 33701

1 comment:

Jen designs said...

Man thats so, well for a lack of a better term, kick ass! Thank you so much for your insight into the real Burg, the one not led by the flights of fancy, from those who have never known this town. St. Petersburg is full of history and love for one another. Long live the artist, in all of us. See you at the show. It's everyone show. Thank you