SPAA NEWSROOM
2020 SHINE Mural Festival - Artist: Alex Yanes

January 3, 2024

MUSE celebrates 10 years of diversity, innovation and inspiration for all the arts and culture in St. Petersburg. This event pays tribute to the remarkable talent and variety that can be discovered around every corner of our amazing city, including the annual celebration of six outstanding 2024 MUSE award winners! These winners are stellar representatives of our “City of the Arts” to the world! Congratulations to:

MUSE Patron of the Arts Award Honoree - Beth Morean - Beth Morean’s investment in the St. Petersburg community has been steadfast since 1994 supporting many philanthropic efforts in the region including: the American Heart Association, All Children’s Hospital, (member of the Art Selection Committee), Mayo Clinic, Moffitt Cancer Center, Morean Arts Center, Tampa Bay Research, Tampa Bay Watch, Academy Prep, Shorecrest Preparatory School, Student Scholarships for the Ringling College of Art, Pass-A-Grille Community Church, Florida Craftsmen Gallery, American Stage Theater Company, Museum of Fine Arts and most recently creating the region's first destination art facility called the Morean Workshop Space.

MUSE Art & Technology Award Honoree - The Dali Museum - The Dalí Museum cares for and shares an expertly curated collection of Salvador Dalí’s work, preserving his legacy for generations to come. The Dalí Museum’s Dalí Alive 360° is an immersive experience celebrating the life and creative genius of one of the most influential and inventive artists of the modern era. This multi-sensory art experience envelops visitors in 360 degrees of light and sound within a monumental new Museum space: The Dalí Dome. The dynamic animations of Dalí’s works featured in Dalí Alive 360° illuminate the challenges and triumphs of his artistic career, providing visitors with the sensation of stepping into Dalí’s life. The experience immerses the visitor in Dalí’s surreal landscapes, iconic melting clocks, and mind-bending illusions, with touchpoints from the artist’s time in Spain, Paris, and America. Each of these eras in the artist’s life prompted a response from Dalí, leading to his constant reinvention.

MUSE Performance Arts Award Honoree - La Lucha - La Lucha is a Tampa Bay based trio that consists of three best friends from three different parts of the world: Colombia (Alejandro Arenas), Mexico (John O’Leary), & United States (Mark Feinman). Their music ventures boldly into a wide variety of musical styles, offering an appealing and fun mix of genres under the jazz umbrella. The combination of their musical versatility and varied musical influences makes for compelling virtuosic performances. Through an engaging stage presence and high level of interaction, La Lucha brings the audience into their world.

MUSE Arts Ambassador Award Honoree - Stacia Schrader - As a Vice President at BayFirst National Bank and a past Actress in New York city, Stacia understands the importance of supporting the local Arts Community. She uses her influence to drive the message about how our local arts scene not only makes our city special but is an important economic driver for St Pete. As clients come to her branch on Central, she makes it a point to highlight the history of our local arts and how they can support the community, so it remains strong. Currently, Stacia is the Vice Chair of The City of St Pete Public Arts Commission, has been a member of the SHINE Mural Festival Committee for 10 years and a board member for Florida Craft Art for 9 years.

MUSE Literary Arts Award Honoree - Tombolo Books - Alsace Walentine founded Tombolo Books as pop-up in 2017, then opened Tombolo’s brick and mortar with her wife Candice Anderson in 2019. Before moving to St. Petersburg, she managed and was event director for one of the nation’s most renowned independent bookstores: Malaprop’s Bookstore and Café in Asheville, NC. There she gained over 15 years’ experience in bookselling, including personnel management, marketing, and event planning. She transformed a modest events program into a robust daily events program. It was during this time that she developed her belief in the bookstore salon space as a crucial element for the advancement of civil discourse.     Candice Anderson grew up in Tennessee where she frequented Davis-Kidd Booksellers through her childhood and into adulthood. Her first career was in farming, agricultural research and sales. Candice's pursuit of better living through vegetables took her to Asheville NC where she met Alsace at Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe in 2003. In January 2021 she retired from agricultural research and sales to join Tombolo Books full time, assisting in accounting and bookselling.

MUSE Visual Arts Award Honoree - The Vitale Brothers - The Vitale Bros. are prolific muralists based in St. Petersburg, FL. Since 1992, they have adorned walls throughout Tampa Bay and played a significant role in elevating St. Petersburg to a world-class arts destination. Following in the artistic tradition of their grandparents, Johnny and Paul Vitale, Johnny and Paul's grandsons turned their creative talents into a family business in Tampa Bay in 1992. Through their own initiative, they secured jobs hand lettering signs, painting storefront windows, and, eventually, after presenting a sketch on a paper napkin to a restaurant owner, they created their first mural. Shortly thereafter, their youngest brother Joey joined the crew, and together they painted murals and billboards for businesses across the bay area. Their foray into commercial design work led to their first warehouse space, which became both their studio and the venue for legendary group art, music, and fashion shows in the late ‘90s and early 2000s. Their mission was twofold: to provide exposure to local artists and, simultaneously, to learn and draw inspiration from them. These shows nurtured St. Petersburg’s emerging art scene and served as the Vitale Bros.' own street art version of a marketing machine, establishing their family brand.

 

A few words, from some of our winners:

“This all started after taking a clay class at The Arts Center and falling in love with the local arts community here in St. Petersburg. 40 years later, the city has become what we all knew it could be, a world-class arts destination. I am excited to say we're not done, and am looking forward to what the future holds. Thank you to the St. Pete Arts Alliance for recognizing me as the City's Arts Patron of the Year. It's been an honor working alongside so many passionate artists and art supporters over the years, continuing to evolve and expand the offerings here in the City." - Beth Morean, MUSE 2024 Patron of the Arts Award Honoree

“We are so honored to be recognized by the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance! We are so proud to live in a city that values literary arts.” - Alsace Walentine and Candice Anderson, Owners of MUSE 2024 Literary Arts Award Honoree Tombolo Books

“I'm humbly honored to be in such creative company for this year's MUSE award winners. Supporting the arts in St Pete is my way of creating a city that I want to live in! St Pete is so very special and I want to do everything possible to keep our creative juices flowing!” - Stacia Schrader, MUSE 2024 Arts Ambassador Award Honoree

 

Join the celebration on January 26, 2024 at Albert Whitted Airport. Sponsorships and tickets are available now!

 

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