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WADA Member Blog

Want to know what the Warehouse Arts District Association is up to?  Learn about the latest in this blog with features intended to keep members up to date. Also, members should join our closed Facebook group: the WADA Member Network

  • 07 May 2020 8:05 PM | Anonymous

    Modern Tampa Bay Homes and Barkett Realty have selected eight contemporary artists to showcase and ultimately commission works for buyers of a new seven-unit development in the Grand Central District, called AD Lofts. These eclectic residences will celebrate local artists in the area, with close proximity to all the Warehouse Arts District has to offer.

    The artists selected include: Carrie Kilgore, Dana Killion, Geoffrey Baris, Lesley Jeffery, Mark Mitchell, Nathan Beard, Pamela Van Sant, and Tom Amidon-Rivero.

    MTBH and Barkett partnered with the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) for a call to artists in April to commission and selected the artists from an extremely talented roster of submissions.  MTBH will feature the artists on its website and in a catalogue for its buyers and will give each buyer a credit of up to $3,000 to purchase an artwork from this exclusive catalogue. The purchases also support the WADA mission of promoting a vibrant artist community in the district and the city.  

    “Since we will be living and working in Grand Central, and admire the beautiful, exciting, and progressive types of artwork done by our local artists, we want to support our neighbors.” WADA Business Member and MTBH owner Richard McGinniss said. “We thought it would be only right to include some of our local artists work to our buyers.” 

    For more on why McGinniss supports the arts, view this member profile here.  See more about the selected artists below. 

    Carrie Kilgore  
    Kilgore paints vibrant, iconic portraits.  She paints the face in a unique way that best captures the spirit and character of that particular individual. The work is visually rich and meaningful, with vibrant color and playfulness.

    Shine on
    Oil on canvas
    4 x 4 ft 


    Dana Killion
    Killion is an abstract painter interested in bold mark making and intuitive, layered processes.

    What's Going On
    acrylic on canvas


    Geoffrey Baris

    Baris is an abstract nature photographer.

    Headed Home 
    Photographic Print on Canvas
    30x40 or 40x60

    Leslie Jeffery   

    Jeffery’s main interest is large format abstract non-representational acrylic paintings that are about the process and feature layers, texture, line and shapes, and color. She also does large bird nests which are popular with many of her followers.

    Taste of Honey
    Acrylic on Canvas

    Mark Mitchell

    Mitchell is a Conceptual Pop Painter in the tradition of classic pop artists like James Rosenquist and Tom Wesselman — with his own spin. He believes in art that conveys ideas. By using meaningful juxtaposition and social commentary, his work is intended to encourage viewers to ”look deeper.” Because by exposing things that are hidden, each piece is designed to invite the viewer in, challenge them to find meaning, and ultimately see the world a little differently.

    State of Independence
    Acrylic on Gallery-Wrapped Canvas w/ Black Painted Sides. 2-Coats UV Gloss Varnish. Frameless with Hanging Hardware
    36" X 36"

    Nathan Beard 
    Beard has two main bodies of work: Exit Music and Pond's Edge. He employs a variety of processes to achieve complex, multi-layered artworks inspired by the human conception and experience of Space-Time. The meaning of Beard's work is inextricably tied to the process of its creation, with each color, form and technique chosen for its metaphorical possibilities. He draws inspiration from the density and variety of Floridian flora, the natural and cosmological sciences, as well as mathematics and anthropology.

    Exit Music #70 (Life Lines)
    acrylic and soil on panel, unframed with finished edges
    60" x 84"

    Pamela Van Sant
    Van Sant loves to create mixed media abstract works that incorporate all kinds of materials, aluminum,  salt, image transfers, nail polish  and anything else I find interesting. She also loves  to paint flowers in oil.

    Cave Clubbing
    Mixed Media on canvas
    24" x 46"

    Tom Amidon-Rivero
    Amidon-Rivero paints Impressionistic abstracted reality.

    Blue Boat
    60 x 48

  • 01 May 2020 4:22 PM | Anonymous

     In this time of uncertainty, there's a fundamental truth that gives us hope - that together we can do extraordinary things. Over the past few weeks and months, the entire world has been coming together to stand up, help out, give back, and heal. Whether that's through donations to community organizations, celebrating doctors and nurses, or reaching out to a neighbor to help with groceries, generosity has beenhelping the entire world get through this global pandemic.

     As you know, our organization is dedicated to building and sustaining a vibrant arts community in St. Petersburg that supports the success of all artists and the community at-large through a broad spectrum of tools including community revitalization, marketing, advocacy and educational programming. But we can’t do it without you!

     To continue delivering on our mission and engaging with our community we need your help and support. Please save the date and consider a gift to the Warehouse Arts District on May 5, 2020, for #GivingTuesdayNow. Give Day Tampa Bay is a 24-hour, online givingevent presented by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay to showcase nonprofits like the Warehouse Arts District Association.The Warehouse Arts District will be raising money for a WADA Artists Relief Fund to help those who brighten our community with their exceptional talents and make St. Petersburg an amazing city in which to live, work, visit, and play.

     Join the movement on #GivingTuesdayNow. Make a gift, spread the love, and tell your friends and family why you believe in our work and encourage them to support us too!

     Together. We unite. THANK YOU for being a part of our team!  https://www.warehouseartsdistrictstpete.org/Donate

     A special #GivingTuesday is will take place on May 5, 2020, as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. 

    May 5, 2020


    - https://now.givingtuesday.org/

    Together. We Heal.

  • 01 May 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous

    Leila Martini is a local artist specializing in the use of color. From abstract to landscape, she uses color to create feeling with her art. From the early age of 5, when she got her first typewriter, Leila was always writing stories and poems, and drawing. When her sister was taking dance classes, Leila preferred drawing lessons at the Tampa Museum of Art. 

    Leila was introduced to painting with acrylics by her grandmother when she was 12. She wrote her first children’s book in her 20s called Where the Light Shines Through and her second in her 30s called Juni and Freska.

    Born and raised in Tampa, Leila is no stranger around town in St. Petersburg, her favorite place to hang out. She has shown her art in WADA member shows, at Black Crow Coffee, and at Tampa Bay Home Furnishings. She has WADA member since 2017.  "WADA gives me a sense of community and connection," Leila said. "I love the members and the opportunity to show my work."

    While Leila’s academic background was firmly rooted in science not art, she always retained a creative side. She has her Doctorate in Public Health, Masters in Public Health in environmental health and toxicology, and a Masters in Library Science. During one of her jobs designing training manuals for public health workers in epidemiology, a training participant saw Leila’s sharpie doodles and suggested that Leila share them publicly. So, she started creating mulicolored geometrical works with markers.

    Always a scientist, Leila was fascinated by the neuroscience concept of synesthesia- a condition in which one sense (such as eyesight) is simultaneously experienced by other senses (such as sound)- so the person with synesthesia might hear color and see sound. Because of the colorful and flowing look of her creations, Leila decided to call her art Synesthesia Artwork. 

    During a trip in 2016 to Asheville, Leila discovered alcohol ink and fell in love with the medium. Leila currently experiments with using alcohol ink on a variety of surfaces to design colorful abstract artwork.

    For more on Leila check out:

    Her website: Olive Branch Research, LLC http://olivebranchresearchllc.com/

    Her artist page on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/synesthesiaartwork/

  • 30 Apr 2020 5:59 PM | Anonymous

    The Warehouse Arts District Association proudly announces an Artists Member Art show with the theme “I Need A Drink! Cocktail Hour”. Selected artworks fitting this theme submitted by WADA members, will remain on exhibit for 2 months in the Burka Member Lounge of the ArtsXchange located in the heart of the Warehouse Arts District. The ArtsXchange campus is one of the most widely visited galleries included in the Second Saturday Artwalk. (We’re looking at July Art Walk but the dates may change depending on COVID-19 restrictions.) See more information here.

  • 25 Apr 2020 9:13 AM | Anonymous

    Ted VanCleave has been creating art for more than thirty years while living in San Francisco, Los Angeles & Miami before making Saint Petersburg his home in 2017.

    He says he moved to St Pete from Miami three years ago in large part due to WADA and ArtsXchange.

    "I was looking for a new artist studio and a place to connect with like minded creatives," Vancleave said. "As a WADA member, I am constantly learning about interesting and useful art related subjects via their educational events [free to members]. And having a studio in ArtsXchange is a dream come true." 

    VanCleave's Sinuosity sculptures are sought after for their sensuous shapes, delicate folds & metallic finishes, but they are also a dichotomy. Each sculpture looks like gently folded fabric that could easily be compressed and flattened but they are as hard as a rock and permanently frozen in their final expression.

    VanCleave's media of expertise include sculpture, abstract painting and photography. He always brings an original point of view to his work. 

    Artworks by VanCleave can be found in collections in the USA and internationally and have been acquired by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation as part of their permanent collection. His work was exhibited at the Dali Museum in 2018. He's also exhibited widely during Art Basel in Miami including Art Miami, Art Miami Context and Aqua Art Miami. His work was exhibited in four major fairs simultaneously via four top international galleries. His interviews on CNN among others have received a worldwide audience.

    You can find Ted in Studio 101 at the ArtsXchange in St. Petersburg.

    Check out Ted's work here and at the video below:



  • 21 Apr 2020 9:52 AM | Anonymous

    When asked if the Warehouse Arts District Association could help in getting much needed food to families in need, we said yes!

    In conjunction with Feeding Tampa Bay and Grow Smarter St. Petersburg, the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) hosted a mobile panty on April 20 where volunteers handed out 7,500 meals and 9,000 pounds of food! More than 300 families received food, including meats, fruit, potatoes, bread and more. 

    WADA is dedicated to be an active participant in helping our community in need and hopes to offer regular opportunities in the future for our members to participate in activities that benefit the community. Rock on WADA!


    WADA Board Members Veatrice Farrell and Caryn Nesmith and WADA Interim Director Renee Dabbs and Director of Operations and Events Michelene Everett help distribute food to families in need.

  • 13 Apr 2020 11:47 PM | Anonymous

    The membership committee meets the 2nd Friday of the month at 4pm. All are welcome and we need help to do great things for our artistic community. Bring your ideas and roll up your sleeves. Our next meeting is May 8. Email joinwada@gmail.com for more information. We need community now more than ever. 

    Membership Committee Members: Caryn Nesmith, Nancy Cohen, Susan Antoinette, Mirella Cimato, Teresa Sullivan, Anna Broshears

    Help Needed: 

    • Plan/execute member shows. 
    • Plan /execute WADA Social for May 13 (probably later).
    • Plan / execute Outdoor Marketplace. 
    • Volunteers to serve as Ambassadors at Art Walk.
    • Draft artist and business member profiles for website, emails, and social media.
    • Join the committee; monthly meetings are 2nd Friday of the month at 4pm – all welcome.


      • Met with two Business Members from Modern Tampa Bay Homes and Sapphire A/V Experts
      • Met with Foundation For a Healthy St. Pete
      • Organized and led General Membership Meeting in February – over 50 participants
      •  Launched WADA Member Blog, maintaining WADA Member Network Group, 
      • Wrote Member Business Profile on Modern Tampa Bay Homes’ Richard McGinniss and artist member profile on Suzanne Benton.
      •  MBTH–WADA Call to Artists. 22 artists submitted-six were new members - application is still open two more days and submissions are still coming in.
      •  Held two committee meetings on March 13, April 8
    Membership Numbers
      • As of Apr 13, 2020: Active Members: 264 (170 artists, 42 artist supporters, 19 business, 32 Lifetime) 

    Membership Goals: Attract members by: 

          Strengthening sense of community 

          Maximizing artist exposure  (social media, website, regular member exhibits)

          Improving communication with members (membership meetings, newsletters, social media groups)

          Tightening administrative processes (updated benefits, updated website, defined member levels, automated renewal processes)

    2020 Focus

    1.     Conduct Focus Groups to evaluate member benefits. (Conducted Jan 9, 11, 16 and 28) - Complete

    2.     Update Member Benefits - Complete

    3.     Update the automated renewal procss - Complete

    4.     Quarterly General Membership Meetings or Socials (Feb 12, May 13, Sep 9, Dec 9)

    5.     Conduct Quarterly business member meetings. 

    6.     Create Blog and News Digest

    7.     Conduct 6 member shows per year

    8.     Create outdoor member marketplace

    9.     WADA Membership Table @ Art Walk

  • 31 Mar 2020 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    Mike Harting, CEO of 3 Daughters Brewing, writes an open letter to elected officials, on behalf of small businesses in St Petersburg (and everywhere). He writes that small businesses need: 

    Small Business thoughts:

    • Speed is of the essence -- we do not have lines of credit or reserves; we need cash to prime the pump.
    • Tax credits do not help -- we will not make it that far.
    • Loans will not help -- that simply prolongs and defers our struggle.
    • Use the SBA and its lending partners to disperse cash -- NOW.  Create an easy formula for banks to follow; last year verified P&L, average total expense per month x2. 
    • Suspend all taxes and licensing for 6 months. We pay sales tax on rent in my state -- get rid of it. We pay an excise tax on manufacturing in my industry -- get rid of it. We pay tax on the payroll -- get rid of it. Give us six solid months to build up cash.

    His whole letter is viewable here

  • 30 Mar 2020 1:36 PM | Anonymous

    The Pinellas Arts Community Relief Fund provides rapid response awards to meet the urgent needs, and provide immediate financial relief to Pinellas County artists, arts organizations and creative businesses who have been impacted by an emergency situation/disaster we are facing, and, should the need arise and the resources be available, for future emergency situations as well. 

    View details and apply here.

  • 29 Mar 2020 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    New member Seven C Music (located where Dazzio used to be within the ArtsXchange compound facing 22nd St S, just north of 5th Ave N, is offering to let out of work musicians come in and play one song for $50. They are live streaming the songs on their facebook page. 

    See more about the project here:  https://www.facebook.com/sevencmusic/videos/2372732819494200 

    See videos here: https://www.facebook.com/sevencmusic

    They are taking donations to pay musicians here: http://shop.sevencmusic.com/shop/LOCAL-MUSICIAN-DONATIONS/p/MUSICIAN-DONATIONS-x48131506.htm

    David Gallino is the contact for musicians who would like to perform if you play full or part time and are out of work. Call. 727-265-0842 

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