One of the founders of the St. Pete Mural craze is Derek Donnelly.
Derek Donnelly is now seemingly everywhere, spreading his passionately talented artistic expressions, luckily for us, on several buildings downtown. When local favorite Bill “BC” Woo, the Fish Guy, passed in 2013, Derek was there to get paint and love onto this heartbreakingly wonderful commemorative mural.
500 Block, Central Ave., Northside Alley, St. Petersburg, Fl.
“Derek is awesome talent,” says longtime friend Jack. “He’d come into work and I’d shake him, yelling ‘What are you doing here? Go paint!'” Derek took that advice, and is now a local art legend. You can see some of his work at local restaurants as well. “We were hired to paint the world’s largest sangria barrel at the Ceviche in Tampa. I guess they liked it and we got called to do the mural for Rococo,” Derek says.
When Derek Donnelly painted the mural of a postcard of St. Pete on the side of the St. Peterburg Museum of History, he had help from some young budding artists. “I try to include the kids whenever I can. A teacher drew outlines of a boat, a fish, a guitar, just random objects, and then the kids could fill it in like a paint by number,” said Derek. All of his efforts are paying off, and the city of St. Petersburg has allocated $30,000 per year towards funding public art. “The arts make an economical impact. This Mayor gets that,” said Diane Shelly, executive director of Florida Craft Art.
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