For just one night, Coastal Creative’s warehouse studio space was dedicated to the weird and wilder side of Florida, lovingly curated by artist Stephanie Agudelo.
The show, Friday, August 20, featured Florida-inspired work from more than 50 St. Petersburg artists, including a giant swamp installation featuring a video of a zombie foot and a fire-eating performance.
The Coastal studio has only existed on its corner of Central at 2201 1st Ave. S. for about a year. In the last six months, Agudelo has pulled off a number of sold out exhibits that typically last only a weekend.
“Now that it’s here it’s giving me Ybor City vibes,” Agudelo said. “This is my version of an end of summer show.”
She could have been referring to a faceless mannequin wearing a $333 skimpy beaded bikini propped near a manufactured brick wall, or maybe Achimachi Greg’s gun-toting Mickey Mouse titled “Money Mick.”
Chelsea M. Rowe’s installation stood 16-feet-high in the center of the gallery, clinging to the ceiling with swamp-like blue and pink yarn vines and playing a video loop of the zombie foot.
The monstrous foot belongs to her brother, Rowe said.
“It’s a little bit ‘Frankenstein,’” Rowe, who has a studio at St. Petersburg’s The Factory, said. “The video embedded in the sculpture is my brother’s foot against a green screen. I used all this ‘goo’ to really make it look like it was falling off.”
On the sunnier side of the state, Gulfport artist Kat Silver’s traditional oil paintings featured cartoon-like animals playing, swimming and proposing to one another on a Florida beach.
“It’s all about the energy that Florida has, like an endless summer,” Silver said. “There’s this push and pull of energy on the beach and this element of playful engagement.”
The Friday exhibit had its fair share of alligator art and trailer park references, but the essence of the show was geared toward Florida’s otherworldly charm.
“I had this idea for a quirky, eccentric show centered around what people think of Florida about a year ago,” Agudelo said. “Everything is a character.”