Steven L. Spathelf created a mural sensation in Dunedin, Florida when the long-time muralist started painting oranges on garage doors late at night ala graffiti tagging or Obey stickers. Soon the artist started noticing signs on garage doors asking for an orange to be painted there; the community recognized his contribution to the reputation of the art enclave in North Tampa and commissioned the “Welcome to Dunedin” mural. Currently, Spathelf is working on undersea scene murals for a children’s hospital and managing the artist studios at 608 Vine Avenue, an art center with gallery/studio space for local artists similar to Spring Garden Studios in Philly, The Goggleworks in Reading or the Banana Factory in Bethlehem.
Mural by Steven L. Spathelf, Dunedin, Florid. The artist is working on three separate panels simultaneously to be stretched and framed for exhibition in a children’s hospital. Steven & DoN chatted about how important and calming art is for kids (and grown-ups) who are being wheeled into hospital exam rooms. Spathelf is very familiar with Philly’s Mural Arts Program since he’s done private and public murals in Florida for decades, it’s not surprising Philly has a good reputation for public art.
Steven L. Spathelf‘s studio in Dunedin, Florida housed on the second floor of an office building with many solo and shared studios throughout the large art space. The art scene in Dunedin is integrated into the community just as much as the Baseball Spring Training season with Second Friday events, lectures and art events happening though out the village.
Steven L. Spathelf of Sterling Art Studios, 668 Vine Ave., Dunedin, Florida.
The Dunedin Fine Art Center is the hub of the art scene with workshops, galleries and exhibits in a modern, thoughtful art center designed to draw the community together with art. The center has galleries for special shows, faculty exhibits and most importantly student show spaces with professional lighting and installation.
DoN regrets he doesn’t have the artist info on this piece but it reminded him so much of work by the Philadelphia Dumpster Divers with the use of old bundt pans, their memetic nostalgia vibrating with the wacko sculpture. Visiting the art center in Dunedin really made DoN homesick but a studio/gallery near the Gulf of Mexico is really attractive. The artists DoN spoke with all praised the support they’ve received from the public and their community; art is the glue that holds a town together, creating conversation, developing personalities and opening lines of communication.
Jo Schmidt, 3 Feathered Friends, acrylic @ Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Mary E. Haas, The Dream, stone @ The Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Barbara Kampe, Tu Jest Przyjemny Widok, acrylic and Carol Y. Bardes, Incan Kitchen, colored pencil in the hall of the Dunedin Fine Art Center. The art center used all viable space to exhibit art without seeming crammed.
Student gallery @ Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Carol Ann Loven, River Rock, fiber and Stephen Decaire, In The Drink, mosaic @ The Dunedin Fine Art Center.
Bill Renc of The Painted Fish Gallery paints dreamy tropical landscapes from plein air and memory as well as managing a large gallery & frame business. It’s a wonder the gregarious artist gets any work done since he’s more than willing to chat with all the customers wandering through; even though it was a Monday afternoon there was steady foot traffic through the art district.
That’s Bill Renc on the left, his colorful painting of the quirky Dunedin street signs is available as print and cards, the informative and fun sign posts point in all directions at once. The variety of interesting and colorful object, especially all the bright color which feels so alien to DoN‘s city eyes, comment on the lifestyle of the Tampa Bay area.
Bill Renc of The Painted Fish Gallery in Dunedin Florida.
Ira Burhans ceramics at Clay and Paper Gallery of Art are award-winning collectibles with avid clients, the ceramicist sells his work wholesale! Yet also manages a lovely gallery and interacts with his collectors. Burhans was familiar with the Philly art scene since he comes to trade shows here but the warmth and clear light of Dunedin is a great place to make art. The gallery represents about 25 local artists as well as Ira’s beautiful pots. If you’re ever in Tampa, DoN recommends visiting this enclave of art culture in the midst of beach life, it’s a great mix.