FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What answers can we give you about Florida CraftArt?
Florida CraftArt is located at 501 Central Avenue in St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.
Monday-Saturday: 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., Second Saturday ArtWalk: 5-9 p.m. Sunday: Noon-5 p.m. Admission is free.
Gallery visitors delight in original, handmade fine craft — ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry, sculpture, and wood — created by more than 250 of Florida’s finest craft artists. Every artist is vetted to ensure that the art is of the highest quality.
During the year, there are seven curated shows in the Exhibition Gallery featuring local, regional, and national artists. Admission is always free to the galleries.
Educational programming includes Creative Discovery Workshops for Children and Families taught by fine craft artists with a curriculum written to Florida schools standards. All materials are provided.
Exhibitions include artists’ talks, lectures, and workshops relating to the exhibition for adults and children.
Adults and children enjoy our walking and bike mural tours where they hear the inside stories of the artists and the making of over 30 murals. 90-minute walking tours start at Florida CraftArt every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The walking mural tour is limited to 10 people, and reservations must be made on FloridaCraftArt.org by 4 p.m. Friday. It costs $19 for adults, $11 for children ages 6-18, free for children under 5.
On the first Saturday of the month are 2 ½ hour bike mural tours. People can bring their own bikes or rent bikes through Coast Bikes. It is limited to 10 people per ride for safety, who must book online only by 4 p.m. Friday. The tour rides about 10 miles covering the back streets and alleys of four Arts Districts. People must be 18 or older to rent a bike. Teens with their own bikes are allowed if accompanied by an adult. Bike tours cost $20 or $25 if you rent a bike.
Bike tours are 9 – 11:30 a.m. from May to September and 2 – 4:30 p.m. from November to April.
We also offer custom tours for groups.
Florida CraftArt’s mission is to grow the statewide creative economy by engaging the community and advancing Florida’s fine craft artists and their work.
Florida CraftArt’s primary goal is the success of the fine craft artists of Florida, helping them develop into profitable professional artists. The gallery staff and board of directors are invested in mentoring artists in product development, marketing, pricing, and business practices.
Florida CraftArt also has a Permanent Collection of Fine Craft and other exhibitions which travel to art museums and organizations in the state.
Fine craft includes handmade ceramics, encaustic, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, mixed media, and wood, beautifully created with expert craftsmanship, design skills, and the artists’ individual expression.
Collecting art offers the opportunity to learn about ideas, concepts, and techniques, meet artists and other art lovers, and share your passion for fine craft art.
WHAT IS THE FLORIDA CRAFTART FESTIVAL?
On the weekend before Thanksgiving (November 19-20, 2022), the annual Florida CraftArt Festival welcomes more than 10,000 people to a free outdoor art show featuring 100 outstanding fine craft artists from around the country. The two-day festival held in downtown St. Petersburg is an ideal time for holiday gift shopping. Sponsored Emerging Artists are mentored and given the opportunity to launch and expand their careers.
Florida CraftArt (formerly known as Florida Craftsmen) was originally organized by Louis and Elsa Freund, professors at Stetson University in Deland, Florida in 1951. Elsa was a jeweler and the couple felt that an organization dedicated to fine craft would elevate the art form to the status it so rightly deserved. Exhibitions were organized and held annually at galleries, art centers and colleges throughout the state of Florida beginning with an exhibition at Florida State University.
The organization was incorporated in 1977 but had no official headquarters. Instead, it continued the tradition of an annual exhibition and conference with workshops featuring local and national craftsmen.
Florida Craftsmen settled into its first physical home when Florida Progress offered space in its building in downtown St. Petersburg in 1986. Several years later, Florida Progress needed the space and Florida Craftsmen moved to the McNulty building in 1992. Neither site was conducive to walk-by traffic or had the look of a true gallery.
It was not until 1995, when George Rahdert offered a reasonable rental agreement for the old Rutland Department store, that Florida Craftsmen had a true space that looked and felt like a gallery. The space had high ceilings and spacious windows and sales in the new space took off.
In 2002, Florida Craftsmen made a bold move and bought the building which now houses a 2,500 square-foot retail gallery, a 1,300 square-foot Exhibition Gallery, and a second floor which is home to 20 artists’ studios known as ArtLofts. Downtown St. Petersburg was still a relatively quiet area at that time, but it has been energized as an arts destination in recent years. In 2014, the name was changed to Florida CraftArt.
Florida CraftArt now finds itself in the heart of the arts district surrounded by art galleries, shops, and great restaurants.
Yes! We have taken care to ensure all our spaces are highly accessible, with extra space in exhibits and the gallery. There is an elevator to ArtLofts and the Creative Loft on the second floor. All exhibition labels are printed in san serif 18-point type.
There are many city parking meters in the blocks surrounding our building. There are also free two-hour parking spaces. Additional parking can be located on the City of St. Petersburg’s website: https://www.stpete.org/transportation/parking_management/public_garages_and_lots.php
Florida CraftArt is the only statewide 501(c)3 non-profit support organization representing and supporting the fine craft artists of Florida. We are a member-supported organization. In addition, we apply for grants from the state and the city, foundations, and businesses. Charitable donors make annual donations and bequeaths. From the gallery sales, artists are sent a 55% commission with the other 45% supporting general operations, advertising and marketing, discounts, and credit card fees.
Volunteers give of their time in the gallery, building maintenance, and administrative functions, as well as at the annual CraftArt Festival.
Yes. Several businesses hold their holiday parties at Florida CraftArt which is seasonally decorated. Organizations hold mixers in the galleries as well. Please contact Janie Lorenz for more information at [email protected].
Florida CraftArt accepts applications for call-to-artists exhibits posted on its website: floridacraftart.org/category/artist-opportunities from local, regional, and national artists. A committee selection team reviews each application received.
We are always looking for fine craft artists living and working in Florida who are producing outstanding artwork. If you are interested in becoming a Florida CraftArt artist, please click on the links below for information and the application for jurying.
Click here for the Application for Retail Gallery Artists
Click here for Gallery Artist FAQs
Artists must be Florida residents six months out of the year to submit work for consideration. Once accepted, artists are required to become members of Florida CraftArt.
The art judging committee uses the following guidelines:
Design: Must show aesthetic individuality, compositional quality, and reflect a unified body of work.
Craftsmanship: Must show a high degree of accomplished craftsmanship and experience with materials, tools of the medium, and its function.
Marketability: Must be priced at a realistic ratio between the value of time and materials to the artist, and the value of the artwork to the customer.
Originality: Must be an originally conceived and constructed idea. If an artist’s work is too similar to another’s, this may affect being accepted.
You can help Florida CraftArt by purchasing art in the gallery, thereby helping to fulfill our mission of helping artists. There are several other ways to help Florida CraftArt: through volunteerism and donations. Businesses and individuals can also sponsor exhibitions. There are frequent volunteer opportunities available and FCA needs monetary and in-kind donations and services. Visit our Support page for more information.
Volunteers run the heart and soul of Florida CraftArt. Even with a mighty team of six staff members, we would not be a success without those who can donate their time and energy in being part of our Board, committee, and volunteer groups. Volunteers assist with the following and much more:
Gallery Host/Hostess (Greet patrons, sales with P.O.S, provide information, answer phone)
Gallery Seasonal Host/Hostess (Provide extra gallery help during the busy holiday season when gallery hours are extended)
Gallery Display and Maintenance (Help put up and take down exhibitions, painting, display changes in the retail gallery, etc.)
CraftArt Festival (Committee, Volunteer Coordinator, information booth, booth sitters, and more)
Marketing and Public Relations (Poster and postcard distribution, social media, and committee)
Special Events (Host/Hostess, serving, bartending, etc., for fundraisers, gallery hops, lectures, and openings)
Administrative Assisting: (Hands-on and/computer work: research, phone calling, writing, filing, etc., assist Executive Director, assist Business Manager)
Florida CraftArt is committed to a diverse and inclusive environment in all aspects in its board of directors, staff, members, artists, as well as exhibitions and programming for the community at large. As a nonprofit art organization, it considers all qualified applicants for employment and participation in the organization without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.
Safety is of primary concern in our facility. During the COVID-19 outbreak, visitors, staff, and volunteers are all required to wear face coverings. There is increased disinfecting of high-touch surfaces before, during and after guests enter FCA. Hand sanitizers are available throughout the gallery. We’ve installed a Touch-free payment + credit card to minimize contact.
Signage throughout the gallery and exhibition space are reminders of 6-feet apart spacing and to ask gallery staff for assistance before handling merchandise.
Have additional questions for us? Contact [email protected]