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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

  • 10 Mar 2021 7:19 AM | Julia Wingle


    WADA Artist Member, Carrie Jadus, and her contribution to "You Good?".


    A painting is an account of life, a narrative. It embodies the slow heat rising off the pavements, the watery reflections of the universe, and the shaky essence of a soul. As an artist I manifest these truths in my art, and I aim to ignite the imagination of others with the reflections of the physical world.

    A finished piece is the artistic equivalent to a solved equation—suddenly it’s clear and coherent on the canvas before me.  All the colors and forms come together in a gradual but clear impression.

  • 05 Mar 2021 9:22 AM | Julia Wingle


    WADA Artist Member, Venessa Diana LaVesque, and her contribution to the WADA Art Tubs Project


    Venessa Diana LeVesque created the artistic rendering of the Palladium for the WADA Art Tubs Project.

    Artist Statement

    As an artist I am most inspired by the everyday things around me: people, places and things.  I find beauty and wonder in my daily world and it is the ordinary that often inhabits my art.  Heavily influenced by a background in classical Renaissance art, I enjoy a realistic approach to my subject matter. Another heavy influence in my art is my long standing love for all things miniature; the majority of my work is six inches or less in any direction.  In order to appreciate miniature artwork, you need to stop what you’re doing and get up close to the piece; the more you look, the more you find. I find that stopping to appreciate a miniature world immerses you in the art and the beauty of our daily lives. 


  • 27 Feb 2021 5:20 PM | Julia Wingle

    Join us at the Warehouse Arts District for Second Saturday Art Walk!

    Come enjoy our newest member show, "More Than a Woman" in the Burka Lounge. Also, come view our show in partnership with the Pinellas Wellness Connection, "You Good?" in the Tully Levine Gallery.

    March 13, 2020. 5pm - 9pm

    Free · 515 22nd St S, St Petersburg, FL 33712

  • 26 Feb 2021 10:31 AM | Julia Wingle

    Would you like to have WADA sell your artwork at the Second Saturday Art Walk? 

    Active WADA members can participate in our March Art Store on the Plaza. 

    Fill out the form, and bring your artwork by March 12th. It's that easy!


  • 21 Feb 2021 1:44 PM | Julia Wingle

    WADA Artist Member, Nick Davis, and his contribution to the WADA Art Tubs Project

    Nick Davis created the artistic rendering of the Carter G. Woodson African American Museum for the WADA Art Tubs Project.

    Nick's Artist Statement

    Hi my name is Nick Davis & I am a 29 year old Digital Artist from Saint Petersburg, Florida. I am inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, Kehinde Wiley, Kara Walker & others. I use my art as a way to express everyday life , as a person who deals with anxiety and depression my goal is simply to encourage my community and others that you’re not alone but that your

    Black Is Beautiful.

    Visit Nick's Website: https://ndartlife.com/ 


  • 20 Feb 2021 10:40 AM | Julia Wingle

    WADA Artist Member, Junkyrd, and his contribution to the WADA Art Tubs Project

    I am a full time visual artist. I work with multiple tools and mediums like canvas, wood and even skin as far as tattooing. Most of my work is acrylic on canvas and one can describe my work to be abstract and impressionistic. I’m aware of popular culture and paint what’s on my mind in the moment, influenced by history. The majority of my work shows movement with layered brush strokes. Also, music is critical to my process from start to finish. I rely on hip hop, jazz and live instrumentation to fuel my drive. Art is the getaway to my imagination, challenging me and channeling my youth.

    As I grow, I continue to pay homage to what art has done for me beyond talent and practice. My goal is to shed light on the inspiration all around us and continually shift perceptions by pushing limits of 2 dimensionality. My art helps express feelings words fail to describe in our complex and dynamic world. Art can bridge the gaps of cultures, backgrounds and people from all walks of life. Art has allowed me a space to explore and interpret the world around me.

    I have my work in galleries in Florida such as Lulu Laboratorium and non-profit organizations such as Youth Concept Gallery as a way to give back to communities and educate others on the importance of art in life.

    In art, like Bob Ross said, “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”

    Smile - Fary Charles - Visual Artist

  • 16 Feb 2021 9:15 AM | Teresa Sullivan (Administrator)

    WADA Artist Member, Zoe Perez, and her contribution to the WADA Art Tubs Project

    Zoe Perez created the rendering of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement for the WADA Art Tubs Project. 

    Zoe’s Artist Statement

    Creating awesome art is my passion. I use my computer to create most of my art but I love painting as well. My creativity started when I was very young and as I have gotten older I have been able to explore so many types of art. This project was so much fun and I haven't done something like this before. I hope that you are inspired to go and create your own works of art. Thank you for letting me share my work with you! 

    Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement by Zoe Perez

  • 15 Feb 2021 2:58 PM | Teresa Sullivan (Administrator)

    WADA Youth Outreach to Local Elementary Schools in Collaboration with Foundation for a Healthy St. Pete

    The Warehouse Arts District Association is wrapping up the development of WADA Art Tubs for selected K-5 art teachers to use in their classrooms to support their established curriculum.  The project focuses on six art focused buildings in St. Petersburg with remarkable architecture.

     “Tubs” exist for math and science and not yet for art. The goal is to provide an art experience that supports the established classroom structure by sharing WADA resources and highlighting the talent of 15 WADA member artists. 

    All will fit in a plastic tub, the size a 5-year-old can carry independently, with artisan crafted wooden blocks of various shapes and architectural details, natural finish and sealer for easy cleaning and disinfecting.

    The four sides of each WADA  Art Tub has a photograph, simple line drawing and artist rendering of each of the six art-focused St. Pete buildings. Each tub will include an artist statement and headshot for all 15 commissioned artists involved as well as varied directions for each grade level and descriptions of each building. 

    The art-focused inspiration buildings are:

    Dali Museum

    Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum

    Museum of Fine Art

    Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement

    Royal Theater


    Considering the impact of COVID on schools, our best hope is to launch the tubs for the Fall 2021 school year.

  • 06 Jan 2021 3:05 AM | Anonymous

    Dear Warehouse Arts District Association Members

    • For the last year, I volunteered as Membership Chair of the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) and I spent the last four years on the Board, serving in many different capacities during that time. I wanted to let you know that I am stepping down from both positions, but I leave truly excited about all the good things that are on the horizon for the district and the association.  

      Despite a difficult year that evidenced the necessity for flexibility and resilience, WADA had many accomplishments in 2020.  WADA was established in 2014 with a goal to advocate for artists and the arts community and provide affordable artist studios. We originally bought five old warehouses. Soft Water Studios was the original space that was operational, along with MGA Sculpture Studios next door.  After years of fundraising and hard work, WADA opened the ArtsXchange studios in September 2017. In 2019, WADA acquired an adjacent strip of commercial spaces we call The Shoppes and renovated several of them to rent as additional studio space. 

      We now have about 40 artists with studios on the ArtsXchange compound and another approximately 240 artists who are not on site. This year we installed pavers, added landscaping and streetlamp lighting, with electrical outlets and water spigots, which enabled us to begin holding an Outdoor Marketplace. In July, artist and WADA Board Member Ya La Ford collaborated with a group of students from Mt. Zion Christian Academy to create a mural “Community Woven Revealed” on the ArtsXchange campus. 

      Regarding membership, a year ago, founding Board Member extraordinaire Teresa Sullivan and I conducted focus groups to determine what our members valued and needed from us.  From what we heard, we developed these priorities:

    1. Strengthen community (among artists and to the broader community)
    2. Promote artist members (social media, website, regular member exhibits)
    3. Improve communication with members (membership meetings, newsletters, social media groups)
    4. Tighten administrative processes (updated benefits, updated website, def ined member levels, automated renewal processes)

    Here’s a recap of what we’ve done related these priorities:

    1. Strengthen Community

    • Frances McSwain Pruitt and J. Crayton Pruitt Arts Education Center. WADA raised $225,000 to build an Arts Education Center at the ArtsXchange Campus.  The groundbreaking is happening in early 2021. We are thrilled. The center will house a dance studio and three classrooms to serve local youth and adults from South St. Petersburg neighborhoods. We can't wait to have children and adults learning and growing through art classes. See our list of sponsors and consider a donation (Thank you!).
    • Artist Education. Despite limitations related to COVID and social distancing, WADA’s amazing education committee organized a free three-day painting workshop with professional artist, Robert Simone, available here, and an encaustic workshop with Shelly Jean. They additionally collaborated with local museums to bring private tours to WADA members, including the James Museum, the Tampa Art Museum and the Imagine Museum.
    • WADA Art Tubs for select Pinellas County Schools. WADA Art Tubs are a student directed, independent activity allowing students to explore architecture through a set of artisan-made building blocks where students have the opportunity to create their own buildings, inspired by art-focused buildings in St. Petersburg, Florida. Tubs are set up for elementary art classrooms for grades K-5. 
    • Artist Relief Fund. WADA was fortunate to have the generous support of donors; we were able to give 20 grants of $500 each earlier this summer. See more info here.
    • In April, WADA hosted a community Feeding Tampa Bay food bank. In June, we hosted a community “Meal and Heal” event that offered meals and free access to therapists.  
    2. Improved Communications 
    • We now have a weekly email newsletter, a WADA Facebook Member Network group (for members only), and a blog on our website
    • We hosted General Membership Meetings in February and September where organization leaders provided updates.
    • A Membership Committee of amazing volunteers met monthly to discuss membership and collaborate.

     3.     Promoting Members

    • Profiles and Promos. We began profiling a member every week in our blog, digest, and on social media. We list your events on our website calendar if you provide them. (Fill out this form to have your events listed or email us).  We have also now a social media coordinator assisting us in promoting members! 
    • Second Saturday Art Walk. Though the city canceled Art Walk from March through July, WADA and select others have been hosting Art Walk in a limited capacity since August. The ArtsXchange Outdoor Marketplacebegan in November during Second Saturday Art Walk and will be held each month with Art Walk, giving a vehicle for more artists and artisans to exhibit and sell work. 
    • Calls to Artists
      • Despite a crazy year, we had five artist calls this year for members. See here. We had two member shows – with the themes “Cocktail Hour” and “Imagine” in the Burka Member Lounge.  Additionally, ArtsXchange artists presented a gorgeous display of their collective works in the Tully-Levine Gallery. 
      • Call to Artists for the WADA Art Tubs sought artistically detailed color renderings of these six local buildings: Dali Museum, Museum of Fine Art, Carter G. Woodson Museum, Royal Theater, Palladium, and the Museum of American Arts and Crafts Movement. 
      •  In partnership with the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, we just wrapped up a Call to Artists related to the mental health community campaign called “You Good?,” which is an initiative of the Pinellas Wellness Connection.  See more at www.yougoodpinellas.org. We will be awarding $20,000 in artist commissions. See the You Good Call to Artists here
      • Modern Tampa Bay Homes Artists Call. In April, MTBH 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. Check out this MBTH catalogue featuring these member artists.

    Given all this growth, thank goodness we were able to hire new staff: Audrie Cuddy-Ranon is the new WADA Director of Operations and is holding regular office hours from 10 – 5pm, Monday – Friday in the Burka Lounge at the ArtsXchange. 

    I am thrilled to have been a part of WADA for so long and intend to stay part of the community and volunteer.  A new membership chair should be forthcoming in the near future, but for now, should you have questions or concerns, you can continue to reach out to me at joinwada@gmail.com or to Audrie at audrie@whereartismade.com.

    Let’s hope for an amazing 2021. 


    Caryn Nesmith

  • 14 Dec 2020 2:35 PM | Anonymous

    Sally Dee is the proud owner of a successful public relations and marketing firm known as Playbook Public Relations. Sally had an unconventional 8 year route to achieving her success. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, she excelled in golf and basketball in high school. She left Syracuse for Tampa to attend the University of South Florida where she was an Academic All-American and graduated Cum Laude in 1994. Sally then proceeded to enjoy a successful career on the LPGA tour. After golf, she worked at various companies until going back to USF to pursue an MBA and graduated in 2011. In 2012, she founded Playbook Public Relations, LLC. 

    Sally became involved with the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) through friends at Smith and Associates. She has been an active member of WADA since its inception. Supporting WADA, Sally not only attended but provided the PR for the groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremony, as well the grand opening of the Studios at the ArtsXchange in 2017. 

    Living and working in Tampa, Sally supports the Warehouse Arts District Association from across the Bay. “I urge businesses to support the arts,” Sally says. “Art is what makes a region great!”  When she isn’t attending a Warehouse Arts District function, you can find Sally at work at Playbook Public Relations, 3105 W Granada St., Tampa, Florida, 33629.  In the market for public relations or marketing needs? Check out Sally Dee at www.playbookpublicrelations.com.


      Playbook Public Relations
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