Orange-themed pop-up art show illuminates the Morean Arts Center

two artists standing in front of a wall of art

A pop-up art gallery at the Morean Arts Center, Orange! The Exhibition is entering its final week of operation, and already two of its pieces have been selected to be put on permanent public display in The ‘Burg. Sponsored by First Citrus Bank, the orange-themed show runs through June 30th and is open to viewing from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. on Sundays, at the Morean Arts Center in downtown St. Pete. 

First Citrus Bank CEO and President Jack Barrett and Chief Deposit Officer Jessica Hornoff were invited by the arts center to select a winner from the 80-plus entries to receive the President’s Award and be put on display at the bank’s new branch in downtown St. Pete. Overwhelmed by the number of deserving entries, they picked two different pieces to receive honors, as St. Petersburg artists Martha Gipson and Greg Read were both recognized for their work.

Morean Arts Center remains a home for local art

Barrett and Hornof chose Gipson’s piece Full Circle: 70s Remnants to receive the President’s Award, while Read’s Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana! received the First Citrus Bank Purchase Award.

“The Orange exhibition is an amazing opportunity to explore the talent within St. Pete, as well as gain a deeper understanding of our local community,” Barrett said in a release. “And, simply put, Jessica and I could not walk away with just one piece of artwork. Read’s energetic piece easily captures the essence of First Citrus Bank with its bright play on the orange theme. Meanwhile, Gipson’s oil and mixed media captivated us with a sense of freedom and expression that we often see among our Tampa Bay entrepreneurs and small business owners.”

Gipson is a psychiatric nurse specialist, who also teaches painting to adults living with severe mental disabilities. An expressionistic and ethereal artist, her piece is oil and mixed media on cradled birch wood.

First Citrus Bank supports the local arts community

A retiree and an amateur artist, Read was inspired by the orange theme of the show, creating “a full of indulgence orange” with an acrylic painting on museum canvas.

Morean Arts Center Executive Director Howayda Affan said they were honored to offer engagement and support to the arts community in St. Pete, fostering the creative passion that helps the city shine.

“We are proud to showcase and support talented artists and appreciate that First Citrus Bank understands the critical role the Arts play in the economic development of our community,” Affan said.
The Morean Arts Center is located 719 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg. After the final days of Orange! The Exhibition, the winning art pieces will be on permanent display at First Citrus Bank’s new downtown St. Petersburg branch, located at 300 1st Avenue South.

Written by Bob Carskadon

Bob Carskadon is a writer with a background in journalism and an interest in the shared experiences of sports, food, drink, and art. Originally from Mississippi, he swapped catfish for grouper and now calls Florida home.