Take a Tour of St. Petersburg's Amazing Public Art Murals

St. Pete, Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, but it's hard to miss the city's stunning murals. Travel Channel shares the artists' inspiration for these amazing works of art.

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Photo By: Leo Daniel Sheridan

"Moonbeam Dream2" by Zulu Painter

We asked some talented mural artists what inspired their work in St. Petersburg. If you're interested in touring these incredible works of art, we recommend a bike tour to take it all in.

"This mural reflects the idea that strangers can share the same journey and can help the common goal by working together," says Zulu Painter. "The children in my mural are only separated by the span of the boat. They are headed the same direction in the darkness — one child paddles while the other navigates. They are totally different individuals working together to reach a common goal. Teamwork makes the dream work."

"Attack of the Saybots" (L) and "Gretchen" (R)

Attack of the Saybots
"How I ended up in St. Pete was kind of a random trip," says artist Mr. Say. "I posted on social media that I was traveling and was looking to trade artwork for a place to rest my head. A fellow artist that I’d met at a mural show back in 2010 hit me up, and I ended up in St. Pete for about three months. This mural, titled Attack of the Saybots, was inspired by my visit and how I wanted to leave my mark within such a welcoming art community." To see more of Mr. Say’s work, follow him on Instagram.

Gretchen
"My mural is about my signature character, Gretchen," says artist Jennifer Kosharek. "She stands for the right for women to exist and to thrive. She stands for the happiness and joy of women, children and all people not traditionally included. This mural was done in the middle of the #MeToo movement, so she is standing with her hands on her hip and is demanding to be seen. If women can be seen and heard — in the world and in the arts —hooray! I make street art so my work can be seen by anyone. It's a free museum for the masses. My greatest wish is to bring others joy with whimsical characters and bright colors."

"Lizard King" by Derek Donnelly

"This piece is titled Lizard King, as a loose tribute to Jim Morrison of The Doors and his brief time spent in the Tampa Bay area," says artist Derek Donnelly. In the spring and summer, the vines and leaves cover most of the top and side portions of the mural, creating the illusion of this huge lizard emerging from the foliage." To see more of Derek's work, follow him on Instagram.

"Afternoon in the Park" by Daniel Mrgn

"In short, the mural was inspired by St. Pete's wonderful city parks and residents," says artist Daniel Mrgn. "I love observing people in their daily rituals and making up little narratives and dialogues to describe them. The intention was to create a mural that would be colorful, whimsical and make the passerby stop and smile at the silliness. I decided on an idyllic picnic scene narrated by a cartoon worm because picnics are cool, and who doesn't like talking cartoon worms?! It made me smile and judging by the feedback I received after its completion, it did the same for others. Mission accomplished!"

"Paper Moon" (Top Right) by Rebekah Lazaridis

"The mural was inspired by one of my favorite old-time tunes, It's Only A Paper Moon," says artist Rebekah Lazaridis. "The lyrics talk about a make-believe world in which real love exists. It's a darling song and makes me smile."

"Tocobaga Tribute" by Daniel "R5" Barojas

"This mural was painted as a tribute to the first settlers of the area — the Tocobaga tribe, indigenous people of the Tampa Bay area," says artist Daniel 'R5' Barojas. "It is intended to give tribute to the Tocobaga as well as all ancestors, reminding us of the importance of our elders and the roots of where we live. A special blessing ceremony was given to the mural, to show gratitude and give reverence to the Tocobaga, all ancestors and the four directions. Community children also helped on one occasion, allowing them to take a bit of ownership in the work and project." To see more of Daniel's work (and some cute dog pics), follow him on Instagram.

"Eye of the Storm" by Ricky Watts

"I painted this in September of 2015 in collaboration with the inaugural SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival," says artist Ricky Watts. "The painting is titled Eye of the Storm due to a tropical storm that was barreling in on St. Petersburg the week of the festival. Luckily, the storm diverted course and the project was successful. I started in the middle of the wall with the yellow circles and spiraled my way out like a hurricane. This was the first time I had ever started in the middle of the wall. Usually it's the top right corner (superstitious, I suppose), and I work my way down. Everything is spontaneous — I have a painting process but never a plan or a sketch. I just start and it builds off of itself. I try to think a step or two ahead, but that’s mostly just to save on paint. The entire wall is painted with aerosol spray paint (approximately 750 cans total). It's my preferred medium as it allows quick coverage."

"Pink Frida" by Jennifer Kosharek

"I painted Frida in January of 2013 and was inspired to do so by her life and art," says artist Jennifer Kosharek. "Her hot pink portrait has faded over the years but she is still one of the beloved original murals of St. Petersburg."

"Florida in the Sky" by Jujmo

"The mural I did was inspired by cloud formations in the sky that resembled different animals native to Florida," says artist Jujmo. "I wanted to make sure that the piece exuded harmony as that is the type of feeling I want my viewers to feel when looking at my work, specifically this piece."

"Mad Hatter Tea Party" by Sarah Sheppard

"The inspiration for the mural started with the business owners of China Finders," says artist Sarah Sheppard. "When they reached out to me about painting a mural on their building, they suggested a Mad Hatter tea party scene since their business deals with fine China. I then came up with some design ideas, and together we fine-tuned it to what you see on the wall today. I wanted to incorporate a sense of whimsy and use the bright colors to attract attention to the building."

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