The following feature on St. Pete muralist Reid Jenkins is sponsored by Trevor Burgess and Gary Hess, along with Metro Inclusive Health.
Reid Jenkins is a multidisciplinary artist. He paints, he illustrates, he’s a tattoo artist at Ink Werkz, and he is a muralist with pieces across the Sunshine City. Jenkins aims to paint the human experience, and the experience of those seldom seen in the ‘Burg. Most of all, as an artist, he wants to capture the small moments that so many of forget to appreciate.
“Artists are a reflection of their communities,” said Jenkins on a balmy May morning in South St. Pete. That morning, Jenkins met with I Love the ‘Burg in front of his vibrant mural on the side of the new Star Booty Salon at 1741 16th Street South. The piece feature a super sized cheetah set against a bright geometric background. The color scheme itself seems plucked straight from the 90s.
For murals such as this, Jenkins works closely with the business to understand their aesthetic, and what they want on the side of their brick-and-mortar. Not far from this Star Booty mural is a piece he painted for SHINE Mural Festival back in 2021. The mural depicts two young women amidst an array of different greenery and sun flowers. Those two young women happen to be Reid Jenkins’ daughters. This was a design that meant a lot to the artist, and as he relayed the story to St. Pete Distillery, where the mural is located, the owners also fell in love with the meaning behind the art.
In our interview with Jenkins, which you can watch in full below, the creator discusses the rising cost of being an artist in St. Pete. It’s easy to admire these massive works of art without fully understanding the time, labor, and money that goes into making them a reality. Overall, Jenkins says, 33% of the pay day for a mural goes toward supplies. That’s before you even put gas in your car.
Murals have been a major economic driver for the Sunshine City. So many artists have worked exhaustively to turn the ‘Burg into an open air art gallery. Artists in the Tampa Bay region have come together to uplift and support one another. Jenkins notes that spaces like MIZE Gallery, COVE in Pinellas Park, Woodfield Fine Art, and d-gallerie represent spaces for creatives to be seen.