ST. PETERSBURG –Back in March of 2014, Carla Bristol was speaking to a lady about helping someone get a job at a consignment shop. That’s when she had an epiphany. In that moment she decided to open up an art gallery in the heart of south St. Pete. A short time later, Gallerie 909 opened its doors and the rest is art history.
“We’ve featured a variety of local and national artists from the states and as far away as the Caribbean,” said Bristol.
Bristol’s vision to open an art gallery on 22nd Street South has helped create a cultural hot spot that attracts people from all parts of the Tampa Bay area. Last year Tampa Bay Business Journal Reader’s Choice Awards named Gallerie 909 as one of Tampa Bay’s top three galleries, placing it right behind The Dali Museum and Chihuly Collection.
The gallery, nestled in between Chief’s Creole Café and Deuces BBQ, celebrated its second year by featuring the graphic works of Melissa A. Mitchell from Atlanta.
Wearing a colorful head wrap and orange blouse, Mitchell talked about how she discovered her passion, or rather how her passion found her.
“I was bored during a snow storm in Atlanta and I had to find something to do with my time other than eating snacks and watching TV,” recounted Mitchell.
Mitchell’s boredom led her to rummage around the garage where she found a piece of wood and some paint. “I began to do some doodles. I added some black lines to give the piece some strength.”
Mitchell created her first piece of art and sold it on Instagram, and she’s been creating art every since.
“This might be my calling in life,” said Mitchell, who began selling more pieces of her graphic art and then started doing murals around the city. Like Bristol, Mitchell also had an epiphany.
For every celebrated epiphany there’s a soundtrack and Cleo Hart provided an afternoon of mesmerizing smoky jazz sounds.
One of the last stops in the Warehouse Arts District, Gallerie 909 features a new artist for the Second Saturday ArtWalk. Coming up in May, “A Vice in Color” featuring visionary artist Ramel Jasir will begin at 5 p.m. with an Artist Talk at 7 p.m.
Go to gallerie909.com for more information or call (727) 565-3930.