The Muse, ARTpool Gallery's most revealing show of the year, was held the evening of February 9th, 2013. Designs were painted on stunning models head to toe for a fashion show in the outdoor courtyard. Previously held indoors, this annual event has grown to the size that the crowd can no longer all fit inside. It was a beautiful Florida night with perfect weather, so everybody was comfortable, even if only wearing paint. Opening the body art fashion show, Marina Williams said, "I am so grateful and humble to have a gala event right here in St. Petersburg, the city where I was born.”
"Love, sex, nudes and St. Valentine's Day was the theme of The Muse event," said ARTpool's owner Marina Williams. Artists were invited to express their ideas based on this theme in artwork to hang on the walls, or on the human models who participated on the runway. There was an interesting mix of models, artists and spectators, some newbies participating for their first time, and others who had been involved in many shows at ARTpool.
Charlotte Stirk, who was a painted model in the show, wrote, "I have been in many ARTpool body painting events, and I was so happy to see the huge crowd at Muse IV! It's such a long evolving process that takes most of the day to prepare for these events. My boyfriend and I were so happy to participate again. Marina and her family really have created a place where artists can showcase their talents and people of all shapes and sizes are able to feel like super stars!" Charlotte Stirk was painted by Joanna Ledingham, an artist who resides in St. Petersburg. Her boyfriend, Matt Blankenship, was painted as a steam punk tin man by Douglas Stevens, an artist from Tampa. They were both photographed by Carol Gallagher, Downtown Carol Photography.
"We want to thank everyone very much for being super spectacular, amazing, beautiful, creative and oh so lovely at The Muse show," Williams said. "We can't thank you enough for all of your hard work, and stunning collaboration. It was such a magical night, we hope you all had a blast!"
The Muse included over 25 fully painted men and women, The Hoola Monsters, Tokyo Belle Burlesque, David Meek video art and more. The Vera Violets, a band including Jonathan Beadle, Neal McCamis, Bryan Thompson and Gregg Alexander Neville, played their original alternative psychedelic rock and roll music. Flickering video projections on the wall behind the runway, and a back-lit screen beckoning dancers to perform behind it, added more dimension to the ambiance.
More photos of the show:
The MUSE art & BODY ART show 2.9.13
By Brentwood Photography
5th Annual Muse Art & Body Art Showcase - 2/9/13
by Jeffrey Moellering
What makes these events so special is the collaborative nature of the shows. Prior to an ARTpool event, an open invitation is made to the local creative community to bring in their ideas and plan the things they want to do, whether it is visual art, performance art, video, photography, costume design, whatever the inspiration of the individual. "The events have exceeded our expectations, and they have grown in such a beautiful way," said Williams.
Sheldon Blake's balloon and body art creation, "Contemporary Valentine Ragdoll," was a fabulous finale for the fashion show. Amy Dunn was his model, quite a stunning vision of performance art. Blake is a magician-escape artist-balloon sculptor-stilt walker-body painter -professional entertainer. The day after The Muse show, February 10th, Sheldon Blake celebrated his performing anniversary. He started in 2009. "I started performing on the streets," he wrote. "All I had was a deck of cards and a table I made to perform on. This is when my web site was created. I only made $1 to $2 a day for a little while. I just looked at pictures from when I started to now and it humbles me to see how far my performance and costumes have come in such a short time. I am so thankful to all of you for the support and LOVE you give me on my posts with Facebook. I am honored and blessed to know each of you. I am very excited to see where my career takes me."
ARTpool will be celebrating their 5th year anniversary soon, on April 13th, 2013. "We’ll have our greatest event ever, highlighting our folks - the best of the best - from our last five years, the new talent from the last five years, fashion, body art, video art, visual art, everything combined," Marina Williams said.
ARTpool Gallery’s 5th Anniversary Art Party
Saturday, April 13, 2013, 8:00pm until 12:00am
Event page on Facebook
ARTpool will be hosting a night of the best of the best and a brilliant blend of art/music/fashion/body art/video art/burlesque/fire eating/the works! All ages are welcome to the show.
Since ARTpool was founded in April of 2008, it was always planned as a place that creative people could gather to express themselves. "We started as an art gallery, and we stayed true to our roots," said Williams. "We try to be a place for people of all different ages, ethnicity and styles. You can be collaborative here as an artist, a designer, or a model. I think every city needs a place that is cool and creative and welcoming."
ARTpool is located in the Grand Central District. "We are happy to be a part of the renaissance here in St. Petersburg on Central," Marina Williams said. "We are so appreciative that our city, our friends and neighbors help keep us going. The amazing artists that find us keep us going. They have collaborated with other people that find us here. I think we are a really cool place in St. Petersburg. We have been inspired by a lot of people, but there has never been this kind of entity here before."
"The events are our primary source of income," Williams said. "We enjoy them very much. Putting on these events is not for people who want to get 8 hours of sleep every night, though."
ARTpool is a family business, with Marina's mother working in the retail area, and Marina's life partner, Evan Williams, running ARTpool Records. Marina does almost all of the graphic design and the social media design.
There is a cafe at the venue now, so you can enjoy dinner there before the shows start. The cafe serves homemade food, coffee, 30 craft beers, wine, mimosa, & sangria. A healthy, yummy, unique breakfast or lunch is available for vegans, vegetarians and carnivores, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Art Pool Records is the personal business of Evan Williams within the Art Pool complex. "I started Art Pool Records right when the cafe started, three months ago," he said.
"We’ve always had the records here, but it was much smaller," Marina Williams said. "Evan’s record store is just amazing. He has over 1,000 records in stock and he is buying, selling and trading records every day."
"We have had the growth of the cafe, restaurant, vintage furniture shop, home goods, and we have lots of retro and funky vintage finds," she said. "We do a lot of custom jewelry here and our artists do custom art. Just ask and ARTpool can connect you with the artist to do custom art pieces and commissions."
"We just want to make sure that we can sustain the growth that we’ve had lately and be an artistic destination for the city," Evan Williams said.
The next event coming up is The Mad Hatters Masquerade Ball Art Party on March 9th, 2013, so come out and have some fun! This is ARTpool's fanciest ball of the year. It's a unique night and blend of art-music-fashion-body art at the gallery, mixing mysterious masks and mad hats for an out of this world celebration. All guests must wear a mask or hat to enter, no exceptions! There will be some at the door if you need to purchase a hat or mask. All ages are welcome to attend the show. Get your tickets for $10 in advance at the ARTpool location or web site. All art sales go directly to the artist.
Here is a video by J Fisher of last year's Mad Hatter's Ball, 2012.
Internet Cafe - Vintage Store - Art Gallery
2030 Central Ave, Saint Petersburg, FL. (727) 324-3878
Web site, Facebook page
Local art, vintage fashion for men and women, hand made jewelry, vinyl records, indie culture fun, funky retro items and locally made gems. Hand made, locally made, hand crafted, recycled and upcycled art, vintage and antiques, tons of fun and treasures for all ages. Custom art requests welcome.