Mural Mania Arrives on Beach Drive

The Burg is covered with a fine tapestry of murals that pay homage to our history and make bold, brilliant statements about the community, the country and the world. Even before Shine Mural Fest began in the Burg a few years ago, artists such as Chad Mize, Sebastian Coolidge, Leon Bedore (Tes One), Thirst McFly, Ya La’Ford, The Vitale Bros, Sarah Sheppard and Carrie Jadus were painting their awe-inspiring works on walls all over St. Pete.

The alley behind the 600 Block is a prime example of how the Sunshine City has transformed into a open air art gallery that is free and open to the public 24/7. That transformation has aided in both cultural and economic growth.

Now, the mural movement hits bustling Beach Drive. Famed local artist, prolific muralist and creator of COVE in Pinellas Park, Derek Donnelly, is tasked with adding a piece on the side of Smith and Associates office located at 330 Beach Drive Northeast.

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*Mural by Sarah Sheppard on China Finders, 2823 Central Avenue

Derek Donnelly gives Beach Drive to get its first mural 

Smith and Associates has long served as an adamant patron of the arts in the Burg. The local real estate company is keenly aware of the positive effect the ambitious and attention-grabbing projects have had on artists and businesses in the Burg.

The imagery will be a classic “postcard-esque” design with modern flair, highlighting timeless cultural elements of beloved St. Pete, Smith and Associates noted in a press release.

As one of the many creative professionals in this city, I am humbled and ecstatic to be doing this project. The immense inspiration and support from the people of our area are what keeps me going and gives these projects purpose.

  • Derek Donnely

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*Mural by Michel Mirabal on the side of Soft Water Studios facing the Pinellas Trail. 

Art continues to connect St. Pete districts 

This mural is a perfect representation of how the city continues to better connect all of its districts through the proliferation of local art.

“With outdoor art, you don’t have to pay a gallery entrance fee to see something beautiful,” said Bob Glaser, President and CEO of Smith and Associates Real Estate. “I felt that the busy corridor of Beach Drive was an excellent opportunity to bring art to our local population and the tourists traveling here. We think St. Petersburg is a special place to live and Derek’s design reflected the love we have for this community.”

Smith and Associates is a steadfast supporter of local art 

Glaser was honored with an IMPACT Award by Tampa Bay Businesses for Culture and the Arts in 2016. His company enjoys equal notoriety for its involvement with worthwhile nonprofits and fundraising initiatives; Smith and Associates participates in over 50 organizations throughout region.

Donnelly’s mural should be completed in three weeks time, with a time-lapse video to be published upon completion. If you find yourself out and about on Beach Drive in the evening, you may be lucky enough to catch the mural master at work.

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me