St Petersburg FL Art Museums and Art Scene

The St Petersburg Florida art scene is vibrant, not only because of several amazing museums but also because of the active community of artists. As you explore St Pete keep an eye out for decorated dolphin statues, street art murals, and remarkable museums.

dolphin statue in St Petersburg Florida
this dolphin statue is an example of the St Pete FL art scene

The Dali Museum

Visit The Dali Museum in St Petersburg Florida for a magnificent look into the art genius. Early in his career Dali studied Freud then moved on to surrealism. Dali’s first surrealist work, Girl with Curls, in 1926 when he also was expelled art school. He thought that the teachers were not competent enough to judge his work. He later broke from Surrealists when they became Communists.

Dali reveled in recording his dreams. He went to sleep holding a metal key with his hand over a metal tray. When the key fell, the clatter startled him awake and he recorded his dream sequences. The current interactive VR experience at The Dali Museum looks at his dreams.

Check out the interactive VR exhibit at The Dali Museum in St Pete FL
Check out the interactive VR exhibit at The Dali Museum in St Pete FL

In 1976, when Salvador Dali was 72, he completed perhaps his greatest technical challenge. Called Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea, it is three images on one canvas. Up close it is a female looking at Mediterranean sunset, from 20 meters it is Lincoln, and from various distances also Jesus on the cross. Gala was a married woman and the relationship with Dali caused caused his father to boot him from house.

Gala Painting at Dali Museum in St Petersburg FL
Gala Painting at Dali Museum in St Petersburg FL

Find more Dali quirky fun outside The Dali Museum. Sit on a melting clock bench and take a St Pete selfie with the Dali mustache.

melting clock bench at The Dali Museum in St Petersburg FL
sit on the melting clock bench at The Dali Museum in St Pete Florida
take a selfie pic with Dali's mustache
take a selfie pic with Dali’s mustache

Cafe Gala at The Dali Museum serves really yummy food and local craft beer. McCool Travel tip: If more than 5 people in line at cafe, sit at counter for quick service.

great food at cafe at The Dali Museum
great food at Cafe Gala at The Dali Museum

A Dali Museum coupon is sometimes available through Groupon and other sources. Information about Dali Museum discounts can be found on their website.

Chihuly Collection at Morean Arts Center

The Chihuly Collection in St Petersburg FL is housed in a building specifically built for the glass artist’s collection. In fact, it is the first Chihuly installation to be so permanently arranged in a dedicated building for it. Why did Dale Chihuly choose St Petersburg?

Dale Chihuly in St Petersburg FL
Dale Chihuly in St Pete FL

I cannot possibly portray the amazingness of the Chihuly glass artwork. You must visit St Pete and see it yourself.

Chihuly display at Morean Arts Center in St Petersburg FL
Chihuly display at Morean Arts Center in St Pete FL

Museum of Fine Arts, St Pete FL

The permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg Florida covers 5,000 years of creativity up to the present day.

St Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts
St Pete Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts St Petersburg
Museum of Fine Arts St Pete FL

When we visited in February 2018, a temporary exhibit of Star Wars memorabilia was just ending its run. The current “This is Not a Selfie” exhibit (through November 25, 2018) is a look of artist self portraits.

St Petersburg FL Museum of Fine Arts
St Pete FL Museum of Fine Arts

St Pete Street Murals

Explore the buildings, streets, and alleys in downtown St Petersburg Central Arts District to see amazing public art. If you are lucky to visit St Pete in early October, check out the fun SHINE Mural Festival, one of the best Florida Gulf Coast events.

street art in St Petersburg FL
explore the amazing street art in St Pete FL
St Petersburg FL street art
St Pete FL street art

During your explorations, drop into Florida CraftArt (501 Central Avenue) to shop for artwork and crafts from local Florida artists. The Walking Mural Tour also departs from the store every Saturday at 10am.

Florida CraftArt Store in St Petersburg
shop local at Florida CraftArt Store in St Pete FL

St Pete Art Walk

The St Petersburg ArtWalk runs the second Saturday of every month from 5pm to 9pm. St Pete FL art galleries offer cost-friendly new artworks through the Warehouse Arts District, EDGE District, and Grand Central District. You can download a St Pete Art Walk Map from the St Petersburg Arts Alliance website.

Getting to St Petersburg FL

To explore all this amazing St Pete art, convenient flights arrive frequently at various Florida airports. Downtown St Pete is about a 20 minute drive from PIE (St Pete-Clearwater airport), 25 minutes from Tampa, and a two hour drive from Orlando airport.

Have you explored the St Pete FL art Scene? Share your favorites in the comment section.

St Petersburg FL Art Museums and Art Scene was first published for McCool Travel  on 1 Sept 2018.

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23 thoughts on “St Petersburg FL Art Museums and Art Scene”

  1. Thanks so much for this terrific post, Charles. I’ve been to St. Petersburg, FLA several times. But I have spent all of my times there on the beach or feeding the pelicans on The Pier. I’d LOVE to visit again and take in all of these art options.

    Reply
  2. I love checking out the art wherever I go, and the Dali and Chihuly museums were definitely a highlight of my visit to St Petersburg. I didn’t have time for anything else but now I want to go back and do the rest of these!

    Reply

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