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Eckerd College St. Pete Center launches exhibition of eclectic works by local artists

By Grey Curcio '24
Published November 30, 2022
Categories: Community Engagement, Public Events, St. Pete Center
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Attendees enjoy their time appreciating local art at the first Skyway Marina Art Exhibition. Photo: Jennifer Fessler

The sounds of an Eckerd College student sax-and-drums band filled Cobb Gallery with rhythmic music on Nov. 20, creating an inviting atmosphere.

About 150 visitors grazed on catering from a nearby Italian restaurant, Portofino, and took in works from 11 local artists at the opening reception of the first Skyway Marina Art Exhibition.

The exhibition was designed as “a love letter” to artists in the Skyway Marina District—the south St. Petersburg neighborhood that Eckerd’s campus calls home—and was “the first step towards fostering a robust arts community,” according to organizers.

Sponsored by the Eckerd College St. Pete Center for Civic Engagement and Social Impact, the free reception and indoor block party were open to all of Eckerd’s neighbors and provided local art, music and refreshments. The dual event extended the St. Pete Center’s partnership with the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance to nurture culture and innovation with an emphasis on liberal arts—building a community focused on civic engagement.

The themes and mediums of the artists varied wildly, with everything from oil painting to clay work and glasswork.

Rain Mays, a junior visual arts student from Charlotte, North Carolina, says that going to events like this and observing art is especially important for students.

“You can get a lot of inspiration by looking at other people’s art,” Rain says. “I think it’s important to see what styles speak to you and see what you like and then incorporate that and modify it for your own art.”

Rain’s favorite piece in the exhibition was Alchemist’s Dream, a sand-sculpted glasswork by artist Duncan McClellan. “To me, the most important thing about art is … self-expression,” Rain says. “Not only for yourself but also for issues that you care about.”

In total, four pieces of artwork were sold that evening.

The free exhibition featuring unique, local and inspirational art will be open in Cobb Gallery until Dec. 16. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.