LARGO — Creative Pinellas is pleased to announce Stephen Palladino has been selected as the first mural artist for the new Community Enrichment Mural Program in partnership with Pinellas County. The new mural opportunity for Pinellas County artists, was designed to expand the vibrancy, excitement and community pride of mural arts by bringing murals to rights-of-ways countywide. The mural will be painted at the underpass at Boot Ranch at Tampa and McMullen Booth roads.
“The mural program reimagines the way we think about our infrastructure,” said Ken Jacobs, Pinellas County Transportation Division director. “We are working with Creative Pinellas on this project with the goal to transform a public space into a fun and lively public work of art that creates a unique sense of place. We are very pleased that Stephen Palladino is going to be our first community mural project artist, and also that he is the first of many to come.”
A Seminole, Florida based artist, Palladino is known for his linear, single line portraiture style. Originally from the Bronx, New York, Palladino’s fascination with street art started early. When his family relocated to Pinellas County, Palladino attended the arts magnet program at John’s Hopkins Middle School in St. Petersburg.
His childhood obsession with cartoons and graffiti influences his now recognizable style, often evoking feelings of nostalgia. Palladino has been commissioned by Lady Gaga, NBA, Absolut Vodka, Hilton and many other noteworthy brands. He was also a featured artist for the SHINE St. Petersburg Mural Festival in 2017.
Paladino was chosen through a rigorous open call process, that saw participation by nineteen Pinellas County mural artists. Creative Pinellas and the county pulled together a diverse panel well represented by curators, artists and arts leaders in north, central and south county. The panel carefully reviewed the impressive applications, and made a decision based on the portfolio, CV and artist’s statement each applicant submitted.
The first mural scheduled to be painted as part of this program is the underpass located at the intersection of Tampa Road and CR 611 (McMullen Booth), which is also the future home of the newest extension of the Pinellas Trail. This extension (the Pinellas Trail North Loop) will close the existing gap between John Chestnut Sr. Park and the Duke Energy Trailhead.
As the county’s Local Arts Agency, Creative Pinellas and its programs are funded by the Pinellas County, Visit St Petersburg Clearwater, the state of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and by sales of the State of the Arts specialty license plate in Pinellas County.