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Visit the Central Arts District

Written by Jennifer Schultz

Published on 11.18.2022

I fell in love with the Central Arts District on my first visit to St. Pete 10 years ago. 

The museums, restaurants, and funky local shops and boutiques have such a special feel to them in this area.  The murals that adorned the alleys really drew my attention as an arts lover.  I found this was the place I wanted to be – I had just moved to Tampa from Northeast Pennsylvania and once I found St. Pete – I knew that it was my home and unbeknownst to me at the time – would be where I would launch my first four businesses!  Nestled between the 300 and 700 block of Central Avenue, the Central Arts District boasts a dense population of museums, studios, galleries, boutiques, handmade crafts, live music, and a diverse culinary scene. Visit the Central Arts District for art at Studio@620Florida CraftArtArt Lofts, the Morean Arts Center, the Florida Holocaust MuseumThe Merchant – Purveyor of Local Goods, and the Chihuly Collection.   

In this edition, we will highlight and take a tour the art galleries, studios, and museums along this corridor.

The CHIHULY COLLECTION is a gorgeous, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork.  The art and architecture work together to create a visitor experience unlike any other Chihuly exhibition. A 20-foot sculpture marks the entrance to his beautiful art space.   The Collection includes Chihuly’s spectacular large-scale installations such as Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier.

The FLORIDA HOLOCAUST MUSEUM honors the memory of those who suffered or died in the Holocaust.  The Museum is dedicated to teaching the members of all races and cultures the inherent worth and dignity of human life in order to prevent future genocides.  The museum has permanent exhibitions, as well as special exhibitions.  

FLORIDA CRAFTART is a member-supported, statewide nonprofit organization that carries fine craft art from over 220 Florida artists.  Fine craft techniques are ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, sculpture, and wood. 

ARTLOFTS is located on the second floor of Florida CraftArt’s 100-year-old building which houses 20 artists’ studios.  Additionally, their Creative Loft area holds workshops, lectures, and meetings.

STUDIO @620 has been an award-winning home for the arts since 2004.  Their mission is “to foster the creative, cultivate the mind, and provide a safe haven for exploration of the arts, social justice, and community issues.” 

The MOREAN ARTS CENTER mission is “to connect people with art through innovative, community-oriented art and art education and to contribute to the economic development of the region.”  They carry a variety of locally made art and host exhibits throughout the year.

The MERCHANT – PURVEYOR OF LOCAL GOODS –is an art gallery/gift shop that features over 80 local artists, makers, and craftspeople.  This shop is the brainchild-baby of myself and my artist husband Kevin.  We fuse the modernity of a well-lived urban lifestyle with the charm and nostalgia of an old fashioned  store. Our ever-changing assortment of gifts and wares promotes the creative community of artists, craftsmen, and makers in St. Pete. 

Our next edition will feature Girl Boss brick and mortar businesses to visit during the holiday season and year-around.  We will feature gift shops, womens boutiques, and other gifting locations so you can support your fellow Girl Bosses and local during their big holiday season!

Much love to our artistic community and city!

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