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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

  • 02 Nov 2020 2:32 PM | Anonymous

    The WADA website allows members to add information to your profile.  Do it now some simple steps:

    1. Log on to the WADA website.  

    2. Click on your name in the upper right corner and click “View Profile”

    3. You will now see all available fields in your profile. Consider adding or changing:

      1. Profile Picture

      2. Medium (if artist or gallery)

      3. Art1 and Art2 are fields to add your artwork or business logo. 

      4. Website, Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram 

      5. Attached Documents could include an artist statement, biography or description of your business!

    4. Click “Save”

    Here is a great example of what your profile could look like:

    There is another great capability that allows you to add “Albums”! Try this:

    1. Log on to the WADA website.  

    2. Click on your name in the upper right corner and click “View Profile”

    3. Below the “Edit Profile” button is a list of options.  Click on “Member Photo Albums”

    4. Click on “Add Album” Enter a Title and Description, Click “Submit”

    5. On the next screen you can start to upload your photos - each album can have up to 50 images.

    6. Click “Save”

  • 28 Oct 2020 2:22 PM | Anonymous

    Art Quote of the Week

    “The main thing is to be moved, to love, to hope, to tremble, to live.” 

    Auguste Rodin

    Three Years Ago the ArtsXchange Opened!

    It’s hard to believe that it has already been three years since the Grand Opening of the ArtsXchange Artist Studios.  We were honored to have St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Chris Steinocher, Congressman Charlie Christ, WADA Board President Mark Aeling, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman as well as donor and art supporter Katee Tully to cut the ribbon.  Since then, we have held dozens of exhibitions, conducted numerous education classes and hosted many many events.   The ArtsXchange - where art is made!

    Calling All Artists: New Outdoor Marketplace on Second Saturday Art Walk November 14!

    WADA is proud to announce a new Outdoor Marketplace on the ArtsXchange Campus. Member artisans who make products by hand may apply to set up a tent. Products sold may include woodwork, jewelry, ceramics, textiles, mosaics, drawings, glass, jewelry, photography, printmaking or painting. Spaces are limited. Applicants will be selected on a rolling basis and selected in order to provide a variety of products.Deadline Sunday, Nov 1 and those selected will be notified by November 4. See details, fees and application here. Not a member? Join now

    Call to Artists: WADA Artist Member Show "Imagine"

    Call for Entries:  WADA proudly announces its Winter 2020-21 Member Artist show with the theme “Imagine.” Selected artworks fitting this theme - submitted by WADA members - will remain on exhibit for two (2) months in the Burka Member Lounge of the ArtsXchange.  Entry Deadline: November 20, 2020       See submission guidelines and important dates here.

    Featured Member Artist: Doug D’souza

    Doug D'souza is a prolific creator of unique jewelry designs, spanning from elegant to dramatic statement pieces. Doug strives to create jewelry that is eye catching and distinctive with a rustic and organic flair. While naturally drawn to metal, Doug enjoys working in silver, gold, copper, brass and bronze, as well as alternative metals like aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. Vitreous enamel introduced him to a new world of color and endless experimentation. In his work, Doug enamels his designs on copper, silver-leaf or fine silver and uses them as focal pieces and accents. His artworks range from elegant to dramatic and showcase a variety of colors, patterns and textures. Read more about Doug here

    For Members: How to update your Member Profile on the WADA Website

    The WADA website allows members to add information to your profile.  Do it now some simple steps:

    1. Log on to the WADA website.  

    2. Click on your name in the upper right corner and click “View Profile”

    3. You will now see all available fields in your profile. Consider adding or changing:

      1. Profile Picture

      2. Medium (if artist or gallery)

      3. Art1 and Art2 are fields to add your artwork or business logo. 

      4. Website, Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram 

      5. Attached Documents could include an artist statement, biography or description of your business!

    4. Click “Save”

    Here is a great example of what your profile could look like:

    There is another great capability that allows you to add “Albums”! Try this:

    1. Log on to the WADA website.  

    2. Click on your name in the upper right corner and click “View Profile”

    3. Below the “Edit Profile” button is a list of options.  Click on “Member Photo Albums”

    4. Click on “Add Album” Enter a Title and Description, Click “Submit”

    5. On the next screen you can start to upload your photos - each album can have up to 50 images.

    6. Click “Save”

    Learn How to Become a Creative Business 101

    Artists, musicians, writers and freelancers - find out what you need to know to get started or to grow your own business.  On October 29th from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, the St. Pete Arts Alliance will bring entrepreneur Eve Epstein, to present the tools you need enabling you to establish your business to qualify for business assistance from the city and county. Learn more and register here.



    When shopping on Amazon, choose Amazon Smile. Select “Warehouse Arts District Association” and WADA will receive a percentage of your online purchase. Remember, only purchases made at smile.amazon.com, (not www.amazon.com) generate AmazonSmile donations. Don’t forget to update your settings in your Amazon phone app to reflect the Warehouse Arts District Association.  We Thank You!!

    Volunteer for WADA Committees! 

    We can’t do the things we want to do without dedicated volunteers. Please connect with the chairs of the following committees:

    Like What You See?  Please Donate.

    Like so many arts organizations, WADA is struggling during this pandemic.  We have great plans to bolster our education programs -- both for artists and the community at large.  Please consider a donation to help make our vision a  reality in 2021.  Anything you can give is gratefully appreciated.

    Donate to WADA 

    Become a Member!

    Join WADA Today!

  • 28 Oct 2020 4:08 AM | Anonymous

    Doug D'souza is a prolific creator of unique jewelry designs that span from elegant to dramatic statement pieces. He says he strives to create jewelry that is eye catching and distinctive with a rustic and organic flair. While naturally drawn to metal, Doug also enjoys working in silver, gold, copper, brass and bronze, as well as alternative metals like aluminum, stainless steel and titanium. Vitreous enamel introduced him to a new world of color, and endless experimentation. In his work, Doug enamels his designs on copper, silver-leaf or fine silver, and uses them as focal pieces and accents. His art works range from elegant to dramatic, and showcase a variety of colors, patterns and textures.

    We asked Doug about his art and inspiration, and he told quite a story of resilience and dedication to his craft:

    How long have you been an artist?

    My journey as a maker started with first being a breaker. As a child, I was fascinated with technology and had a deep desire to understand how things worked. I would meticulously take my toys apart to satisfy my curiosity, then try to reassemble them. I was mostly successful and learned early on that my hands could make things. I guess looking back I've always been a creative person and became a full time Jewelry Artist 21 years ago.

    What is your medium and how did you arrive at it?

    I was born in Mumbai, India where I experienced cultural and religious diversity, and rich colors and textures that would later influence my work. I moved to the U.S. in 1980 to pursue my education and career in engineering mechanics.

    After graduation, I started working for BMW, a job I enjoyed for almost a decade. Then one seemingly ordinary day, a high-speed rear collision changed the course of my life, and at the same time turned on a creative light that has shone bright ever since.

    After the accident, I could no longer physically do my work, so I set out to nurture my creative side with a course in Graphic Design. This led to an internship in a local studio where I learned how to etch and carve glass. I created edge-lit sculptures, lamps and room dividers using hand-fabricated copper to frame the glass. Unfortunately once again, another accident would change my direction. A back injury during an installation forced me to shrink my canvas to a more manageable size.

    I was always drawn to metal. Already familiar with copper, I learned jewelry metalsmithing through books and video tutorials. It all seemed to come quite naturally to me. The process of designing, sawing, shaping and soldering metal is very meditative by nature. I spent hours sitting at my bench totally in the zone, practicing various techniques to achieve my desired results.

    What inspires your art?

    My designs are inspired by nature, architecture, culture, spirituality, and the natural beauty of the rustic and organic.

    How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists?

    I have lived in the area since 1997.  St. Petersburg is a wonderful city for artists to be discovered. There are so many opportunities and venues that appreciate and support local artists. I have always felt supported by the local community through the galleries and specialty shops that carry my work.

    Why did you join the Warehouse Arts District Association?

    I was excited when I first heard about WADA and wanted to be a part of a collective of creative people.

    Anything else that you would like for us to know about you and your art?

    Ironically, after working for years with sterling silver, I developed an allergy to it. This led me to search for hypoallergenic alternative metals to incorporate in my work. I now use surgical stainless steel, aerospace aluminum and anodized titanium. I find these lightweight metals compliment my designs well and I'm able to offer larger and heavier looking pieces that are light and comfortable to wear. I still accept commissions in sterling silver.

    We are living through some crazy times for sure. The devastating loss of lives due to the Pandemic has inspired me to create enameled Candy Skulls and hand cut skulls from US coins. It's my way of trying to cope and offer a symbol that celebrates life.

    Is there anything in particular that you would like to promote in the article such as your website, etc.?

    I am constantly creating new pieces and usually post them on Instagram @dougdsouzajewelry. Some of them are sent out to galleries and shops. Others are shared on my Facebook page and are listed on my website and Etsy shop.

    Website: www.dougdsouzajewelry.com

    Etsy Store: www.dougdesigns.etsy.com

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DougDsouzaJewelryDesign/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dougdsouzajewelry/

  • 18 Oct 2020 9:30 PM | Anonymous

    WADA Member Artist Jim Gigurtsis' art provokes his viewers by taking the familiar and using a variety of media and techniques to express his emotions and feelings. His work strikes a common chord with his audience through unexpected means. Though his preferred medium is oil painting, he has also used video and installations for his expressions. Recent themes for his work have included explorations of decay and re-generation, as well as some of the issues currently facing Americans.  

    Jim is very active in the St. Pete arts scene teaching and working daily in his studio.  His work has been exhibited extensively and can be found in a number of private and public collections in England, Ireland, Norway, Greece, Canada and the USA. 

    We asked Jim about his creative process, his inspirations and what he's currently working on.  Read on for the details of his current exhibit at the Bilmar Resort Hotel on Treasure Island and his upcoming contribution in Creative Pinellas' Arts Annual.

    How long have you been an artist?

    I started painting part-time around 2004 and full-time at the end of 2016.

    What is your medium and how did you arrive at it?

    I am a multi-discipline artist and my work ranges from painting to video to installations. The choice of medium depends on how best a medium works to express my thoughts and emotions.  On occasion I use multiple mediums in the same project to reflect the different perspectives of a subject. For example, I recently used portraits together with a video to depict non-verbal communication via Morse code.

    I have tried different mediums from watercolour to gauche to acrylics to oils, but oils give me the flexibility to push and pull the composition until I am happy with the result.  Oils on canvas or linen is my preferred medium for paintings. For commissions, I always use raw linen that I stretch and prepare myself. At times I even grind my own pigments.  

    What inspires your art?

    My inspiration comes from my surroundings, events, and news, in addition to my personal experiences and travels. My art expresses my thoughts, emotions and dreams to evoke an emotional bond with the viewer. I create a visual comfort zone for the viewer by using recognizable images, but then juxtapose these images by adding and subtracting lines, shapes and colour to stir the viewer’s visual and visceral responses.

    Recent work is driven by themes such as “Mortality” or “Decay and Re-generation”.  I research my themes history, chronology and then depict what the theme makes me feel rather than copy an image or paint an illustration. For example, for the mortality theme I created a triptych which reflects the three top death rates: obesity, opioids and smoking.  Titled “3 of Too Many” each panel is an oil painting on canvas with added objects such as pills, cigarettes and doughnuts.

    Decay and Re-generation is a subject that intrigues me as it is a process we all go through on a daily basis. I am depicting human existence at a moment in time where there is contradiction between what is visually expected and my depiction of the essence of the person.  For this subject it is all about allowing my emotions and feelings to drive the composition.

    Are you a St. Petersburg native?

    I moved to Pinellas County from Europe four years ago. Prior to the pandemic, I was in St. Petersburg every week enjoying arts and cultural activities and also teaching an “Expressive Still Life” course at the Morean Arts Center every Monday. 

    How is it being an artist in St. Petersburg?

    St. Petersburg has a very supportive community for the arts and artists. There are a lot of cultural events, art events and art galleries as well as some amazing music and theatre venues. There are also a lot of opportunities for artists to work with others and to engage the community to participate. The “Second Saturday Art Walk” is just one example of an event that I enjoy.

    Why did you join the Warehouse Arts District Association?

    I wanted to meet other artists, collaborate, network and exchange ideas. WADA is a great organisation that actively promotes collaboration and supports networking.

    Can you tell us a little about your creative process?

    I work daily in my studio developing ideas. There is not day that goes by where I am not either creating art, studying art or selling art. Some of my time is spent understanding client requirements and discussing compositions for portraiture commissions.

    I also work with my collectors going through my art to choose the pieces they like. I tend to meet collectors either through word of mouth or because they have seen one of my commissioned portraits.  

    Is there anything coming up that you would like to promote, any new works?

    My website is www.gigurtsis.com. I developed and maintain the website and I photograph and upload my work to the website. On the website you will also find a dedicated gallery for the latest work, as well as, information on workshops and courses. To view the comprehensive collection, please visit the website.

    I have had the pleasure of participating in many exhibitions over the years in both the U.S. and Europe. With the support of Creative Pinellas, I am currently exhibiting a number of my atmospheric landscapes at the Bilmar Hotel Resort, Treasure Island. These are on display around the reception area of the hotel. I hope you can make the trip to see them.

    I am also working on a number of exciting new pieces that will be exhibited at Creative Pinellas’ Annual Art Exhibition. These works further explore the subject of Decay and Re-generation and also address some of the challenges we are currently facing in the USA. I hope you can all come and see the work at the Gallery at Creative Pinellas November 12th to December 20th.

    I teach portraiture courses. One course is focused on tools and techniques I developed for capturing the likeness of a person for a portrait. This is a 6 week course, with 3 hours per week, using a life model. By the end of the course each artist will have completed at least two portraits.

    At the Morean Arts Center every Monday night I teach an “Expressive Still Life” course.  I give demonstrations on still life and portraiture painting techniques to groups of artists and give private art lessons in my studio.

    Information for the courses and demonstrations can be found on my website under “Resources.”


    Oil on flat Canvas

    16 x 20

    Inward Significance

    Oil on Canvas 

    30 x 24

    3 of Too Many (Triptych)

    Oil on Canvas, Cigarettes, Pills, Artificial Donuts, Glue

    48x36 (x3)

    The Desperate Man, Interpretation of "Le Desespere" by Gustave Courbet (1819 - 1877)

    Oil on Linen, Eyelets, Hooks

  • 05 Oct 2020 12:08 AM | Anonymous

    The Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) proudly announces the winners of the Artists Member Art show with the theme “I Need A Drink! Cocktail Hour.”  Thanks to WADA Business Member Damien Bertucelli of Vantage Point Advisors of Raymond James who sponsored this member show, we are offering 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place  prizes of $300, $200 and $100, respectively for best of show paintings!  

    Winners were selected based on based on overall impact, originality, creativity, composition and mastery of technique. You can find all the entries here.

    And the winners are:

    • 1st place: Darlene Meisenholder – “Missing You”

    • 2nd place: Zhanna Thomas – “Give Me A Break” and “A Sip of Wine”
    • 3rd Place Qing Wang “It’s Time to Drink”

  • 04 Oct 2020 11:24 PM | Anonymous

    ArtsXchange resident artist, Tripp Farrell's fun, edgy paintings will surely catch your attention as well as make you smile. Tripp has a keen eye for finding inspiration everywhere -- whether it’s in people, reading new literature, identifying fashion trends, traveling abroad, or just listening to new music. Tripp has been exposed to cultures from all over the globe, and his family roots from Australia have helped to give his artwork a unique, eclectic, colorful, and nostalgic feel. He invites you to visit his studio #209 every 2nd Saturday Artwalk or by appointment.   Enjoy an interview with Tripp!

    How long have you been an artist?

    I began painting in 2008, although I grew up educating myself in all art mediums and briefly dabbled in musicianship.  My art logo/brand is called McNealyART.

    What is your medium and how did you arrive at it?

    I paint in mixed media.  As I researched other artists, I found that I looked up to mixed media artists and how they mastered their techniques. 

    What inspires your art? I seem to have a keen eye for finding inspiration everywhere-whether it’s in people, reading new literature, identifying fashion trends, traveling abroad, or just listening to new music.  Also, I find life experience is a creative catalyst for me and I believe “we should all aim to teach or be taught wisdom by another at any given moment.” Each new encounter has a purpose, each person a piece to the overall puzzle of his exciting life. You can identify that puzzle ideology in my paintings, where I construct figures seemingly from puzzle pieces that comprise the person or object of focus in each work of art.   

    Are you a St. Petersburg native?

    Yes, my family and I live in the Coffee Pot Bayou area of the Old Northeast.

    How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists?

    Very supportive! We're lucky to live in an area where art is encouraged in all mediums.

    Why did you join the Warehouse Arts District Association?

    I saw being a member as an opportunity for personal and local growth.

    What else should we know about you?

    I want to be on the front page of opportunity and I want to make our world better for having been here. Please visit my website:  https://trippfarrell.wixsite.com/mcnealy for more art and an overall background into my life. And, since I am not one to rest on my laurels, I have completed my Master's Degree in Global Merchandising from Florida State University and recently welcomed a beautiful baby boy named Whit into the world with my lovely and always supportive wife Jennifer. Last but not least, things show no sign of slowing down for me as there are “a lot of colors, shapes, and tastemaking” that go into manifesting my work—and I just want to grab viewers and continue to engage them.

  • 28 Sep 2020 1:22 PM | Anonymous

    Jessica Rivelli is the Founder of Working Women of Tampa Bay.  The organization has been in existence for 11 years and currently has 750 members.  It is the largest women’s networking organization in Tampa Bay.  Keeping networking simple is key.  They promote professional and business growth through establishing relationships that can provide referrals, new skills, and  connecting women with resources.  The organization strives to hold 20 events a month.  

    Jessica was born in Rhode Island but grew up in Florida.  She graduated from Elon University in North Carolina with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a television news producer for 10 years.  During this time she desired to connect and network with other women professionals and created Working Women of Tampa Bay as a result.  The organization grew rapidly and she decided to dedicate herself to the organization full time.  

    Her interest in WADA is a focus on assisting women artists with the business aspect of their art.  Working Women of Tampa Bay can assist artists with website building, graphic design, social media, and anything else a budding art business requires.  She sees the organization as being symbiotic as well as reciprocal to women artists. In addition, she wanted the organization to be affordable and easily accessible.  Late 2019, Working Women Of Tampa Bay  hosted a  headshot party at the ArtsXchange change Tully Levine Gallery.  She brought in makeup artists and photgraphers for the event.  She understands that owning your own business can be a rollercoaster ride. There will be slow seasons and seasons that are completely packed.  Words that resonate with all artists.  We welcome Working Women of Tampa Bay as a business member of the Warehouse Arts District Association.  Visit workingwomenoftampabay.com to view their events and learn information on how to become a member.

    Founder Jessica Rivelli and other Working Women of Tampa Bay members

  • 21 Sep 2020 1:43 PM | Anonymous

    Dylan Todd is a varied artist. While Dylan’s commission work spans the spectrum of photography, from portraiture to weddings, products to real estate, his fine-art is often self-as-subject portraiture and landscape photography. 

    Dylan, born 1991, began studying photography in high school and continued to the Southeast Center for Photographic Studies where he learned and worked at the Southeast Museum of Photography in their collection and youth programing. 

    In 2014, Dylan moved to Tampa Bay. After working in various roles, he picked the camera back up in 2017 and opened his first studio space in the Pinellas Park Arts Village. In late 2019, he moved his studio to the ArtsXchange in the Warehouse Arts District. 

    Currently, Dylan is the Art Director for Watermark Publishing Group, LLC and operates his business, Dylan Todd Photography. 

    Dylan’s fine art primarily focuses on the states of ‘self' versus ‘other' in understanding and considering the relationship of the subject to its environment either physically or implied. His fine art landscapes often involve visual repetition and emphasis of the weight of spaces. As a person who welcomes variety, Dylan is primarily a digital photographer using a DSLR or drone. He also utilizes his black and white darkroom in his studio. 

    “Moving to St. Petersburg has been one of the greatest decisions that I’ve made! Moving here, the city’s art scene was just starting to gain momentum. The amount of growth is inspirational. This is still a city of potential and I can’t wait to see what happens next.”

    I joined the ArtsXchange as an opportunity to gain more traction as an artist and as a photographer for hire. I hope by being in here that I can not only further my business, but be a resource for artists and the arts community in St. Pete. 

    Dylan Todd is for hire for your portrait, wedding, commercial, and fine art needs. 

  • 13 Sep 2020 1:46 PM | Anonymous

    Sculptor, Dominice Gilbert, is ready to welcome you to her new self-curated slice of paradise located at 2341 1st Avenue South! The moment you arrive, you can tell that she is a meticulous designer and creator of all things metal. The studio is poised for a grand opening as soon as Covid-19 allows. Until then, please take a moment to read an interview with Dominice on what inspires her to create and how she decided to move her business from Chicago to St Petersburg. Aren't we lucky?!

     How did you come by such a beautiful name, Dominice? It was my grandmother's middle name. She was from Lithuania.  

    How long have you been an artist? Forever. I have never had another job that was not art-related. Growing up in rural Indiana, I was a very driven kid and attended art programs at several schools to learn all types of art techniques. I graduated from high school early and attended Chicago Institute for Art and completed my artist residencies at CrabTree Farm in Lake Bluff , Illinois and The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, Tennessee.

    How did you decide on metal as your medium? I have worked with various mediums from plastic, paper, wood and fell in love with metal as it is the most forgiving medium and easily manipulated. It was suggested to me by a high school teacher that I should consider taking a class called Agricultural Welding as I was known to pull things out of dumpsters to use in my art. I knew from the first class that metal sculpture was what I was going to do with my art career.  

    What inspires you?  Essentially, I am inspired by the elements and creating the best work I can is my primary focus, I am always pushing myself to the next level which causes my sculpture to be constantly evolving, as every new design works off the last. My work is about a feeling, I like to create tension between forms, mixing opposing textures and shapes in harmony, creating balance in opposition. My sculptures are a replication of my emotions, but also a reflection of the viewer."  

    Do you teach? Yes, before Covid-19 I offered classes but not sure going forward. I had a "safety first" education and managed a metal shop where I oversaw that safety rules were followed. It is hard to teach someone in a short amount of time how to use all of the tools and safely work with the equipment, not to mention the protective gear involved with the craft.

    This is a fabulous studio! What's the story?  My partner, JR and I bought the property 10 years ago. We saw an opportunity to own commercial property in an art-friendly city zoned for creating 3-dimensional art, as well as have their home adjacent to the studio. The building is brand new but I designed it years ago. I followed JR to St Petersburg for the opportunity to have an on-premise live and work lifestyle which would be cost-prohibitive for Chicago. Also, I enjoy the warm weather and I make my living exhibiting at Florida craft and art festivals including the 2020 St Petersburg Mainsail show.  

    How supportive do you feel the St. Petersburg community is for the arts and artists? Besides being zone friendly as mentioned before, I have been very appreciative of the grants that were made available during this pandemic that helped me to continue to create and keep the studio running.  

    Why did you join WADA?  Because I live and work in the Warehouse Arts District and I find that WADA appeals to working artists.  

    Is there anything that you would like for our readers to know? Yes, the studio is open by appointment, or I will go on-site for custom design consultations. I hope that everyone will check out my website and plan on stopping by the studio when artwalk resumes.  

  • 13 Sep 2020 1:22 PM | Anonymous

    On September 9, the Warehouse Arts District Association (WADA) held its twice-yearly General Membership Meeting virtually, with 47 people attending. It was great to see the faces of our WADA family, some of whom have been part of the community for a long time, and some new faces as well.

    Below are the updates from the meeting, summarized below for the benefit of members who could not attend.

    Board Member Changes: 

    • Outgoing board members are Jamie Marcario Moore and Julie Angerosa. We’re grateful for the service they have given. Julie Angerosa has been Education Chair for three years and we’re grateful for all she’s done.  
    • New board members are Richard McGinniss, a local developer, and Jessie Javens, a retired military officer. Welcome! 
    • Julie’s board position is an artist representative position, and we are accepting nominations among artist members to fill her position. If you are interested please send your interest and resume to audrie@whereartismade.com 

    ArtsXchange Compound Updates 

    The ArtsXchange is the name for the entire compound owned, developed and managed by the Warehouse Arts District Association.  Soft Water Studios, the Studios, The Shops, and Seven C are all part of the ArtsXchange.

    • ArtsXchange lot. We secured $50K in donations to pave the plaza area and put in lighting, a power grid, landscaping, irrigation and water supply.  This will allow us to host open air markets. We’re in the final stages of grading the surface and adding banners, planters and planting beds. We hope to complete this by late September. 
    • Education Center. Next to the ArtsXchange Studios, we’re planning to renovate a space for an Education Center that will be a huge asset for community programming. There will be a dance floor and three classrooms. The project cost is $225K to develop. WADA received HUD funding (federal funds allocated by the city) of $150K and we have been trying to raise the additional $75k. We currently have raised $50K but still need $25K more. We will lose HUD funding if we don’t find this additional $25K in the next month. We’re so close! It’s a tough time to fundraise as there is a lot of need right now. All help welcome. If you know a potential donor for the Eduction center please reach out to Executive Director, Renee Dabbs renee@reneedabbsllc.com

    • Welcome Seven C Music.  In the warehouse where Dazzio Art Gallery was formerly, Seven C Music is coming to the ArtsXchange compound. Owners Dave and Tamara Hosler are renovating the space and planning to open in October. We’re excited about this as it will also have a musical venue and bring a musical component to our artist’s compound. They are a well-known guitar repair shop and champion of the local music scene. They will offer a musical venue. 
    • Eric Higgs and Chris Booth Sculpture. On the corner of the ArtsXchange compound, where 5th Ave S and 22nd St. S meeting, Eric Higgs and Chris Booth are developing what was formerly the Air Hydraulic Small Engine Repair (the place with all the lawnmowers in front) into a sculpture studio, which should be open in the next couple of months.
    • Catering Kitchen.  WADA will allocate a small studio in the ArtsXchange Studios for a catering kitchen to facilitate holding events.  Many thanks to Jim Aresty, who donated the kitchen equipment!
    • 22nd Street S Corridor development. A developer plans to redevelop seven acres along the 22nd St South. They are working with the city to open up the current zoning from just industrial usage to commercial and residential usage. You can find out more about their plans at www.22imix.com  
    • We currently have approximately 250 members.
    • The WADA Membership Committee organizes quarterly events (alternating between membership meetings and social mixers) for members to mingle, network and learn about the latest events happening in the District and with the Association.  With COVID, we haven’t hosted social mixers this year. 
    • Member Shows: Since the beginning of the year, we’ve held to two member shows, one for ArtsXchange studio residents in the Tully-Levine gallery and one for general membership in the Burka Lounge. They are both currently on view. Take a 3D Virtual Tour see the Condensed, SuperCut Video or view the Full Video Walkthrough Tour. Our goal is to host member shows six times per year, once the COVID situation normalizes. 
    • Sponsorship of Member Shows.  We are deeply thankful to Business Member Damien Bertucelli for being the first member show sponsor which allows us to offer artist prizes for best of show for our I Need a Drink: Cocktail Hour member show.  
    • Five new artists in the ArtsXchange Studios. We’re so excited to welcome Babette Herschberger, Saumitra Chandratreya, Zulu Painter, IBOMs, and Nick Davis to the studios at the ArtsXchange.  
    • Three new members in the ArtsXchange Shoppes. We're super excited to welcome artists Zhanna Thomas, Shelby Dillon, and Beth Miranda in the shops across from the studios, which is also part of the ArtsXchange property.  Be sure to visit. 
    • Outdoor Marketplace. Membership Committee is organizing an outdoor marketplace on Second Saturday Art Walk and hope to start it in November. See more info here.
    • Improved Communications. In focus groups with members at the beginning of the year, we heard from members the desire for more communications and updates.  We now have a weekly email newsletter, the WADA Facebook Member Network group (for members only), and a blog on our website
    • Promoting Members. Our focus groups also wanted ways to promote member work.  We have been profiling a member every week in our blog, digest, and on social media. We will also put your events on our website calendar. Fill out this form to have your events listed in our digest and website. 
    • Modern Tampa Bay Homes Artist Call. 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.
    • Ask Miss Lonely Arts!  We have our own guru to answer to answer your questions about art, love, relationships, and WADA.  Send your questions and comments to: MissLonelyArts@gmail.com
    • WADA has had an active, amazing education committee for three years, that provides professional development classes/workshops for artists and free for members. They are also working to create arts enrichment programming for the school-aged midtown population and the broader community.
    • In July, the committee organized a free three-day painting workshop with professional artist, Robert Simone, available here. They are currently in the process of planning our 2021 class roster so if you have any suggestions or have skills you would like to donate for a future class, please drop me a note: susanantoinetteArt@gmail.com. 
    • 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. A Call to Artists 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. 
    • The committee is collaborating with local museums to bring you private tours of collections and an opportunity for follow up questions and answers, all live on Zoom! See the James Museum tour. Next up this fall is the Tampa Art Museum on September 26 and the Imagine Museum. Stay tuned for more information!


    • 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.
    • Grants. The HUD grant will allow us to build the Education Center, which we hope will allow us to seek out more grants for community programming.
    • Online Sales Platform for Artists. We’re developing the capability to allow artists to exhibit and sell work on our website.  We think this will be a huge member benefit. Stay tuned as we work on this platform.

    We get most of this work done thanks to volunteers! We have a membership, education, fundraising and marketing committee that would love your involvement. If you’d like to get involved please contact me @ joinwada@gmail.com and I’ll match you with activities that align with your interests.  

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