Sanding Ovations Master’s Cup at Treasure Island Beach

By: Kelsey Al

 

Artists from around the world gather at Treasure Island Beach every November for Sanding Ovations, which is in it’s sixth year. The event is held behind The Bilmar Beach Resort and the finished sculptures stay standing for three weeks after the weekend competition.

First Place sculpture “Love Never Dies” by Jobi Bouchard

First Place sculpture “Love Never Dies” by Jobi Bouchard

There is no theme for the sculptures this year. Most of the artworks are abstract or surreal, and feature human forms. Third place and Sculptors Choice winner is Sue McGrew’s piece titled “Vertigo”. It features a vortex of bodies on one side, being sucked into the eyes of a portrait that loosely resembles the artist on the reverse side.

The sculptors use conventional tools like palette knives and spatulas, as well as instruments unique to the medium such as tubes for blowing away unwanted sand.

Artist Rusty Croft from California describes working with the fragile medium, “You have to find the limit of the sand, how far it will hold”. Croft has been in the sand business for 17 years, and says Florida’s sand has a lot of clay-like chunks that creates an obstacle for sculpting.

The first place sculpture, “Love Never Dies”, is two skeletons embracing each other on the ground, reminiscent of the mysterious skeletons discovered several years ago in Siberia. The artist Jonathan (Jobi) Bouchard is the youngest of the sculptors, and traveled here from Montreal. This is his third year competing and has won first place all three years.

“Go With The Flow” by Rusty Croft

“Go With The Flow” by Rusty Croft

In addition to live art, the beach was packed with food and art vendors. Multiple bands took turns performing. Visitor and artist Aaliyah Martinez says that she thinks this is one of the most unique events in St. Petersburg, and enjoys seeing contestants from all over the world. Two sculptors came from Amsterdam, one from Mexico, and several from the west coast of America.

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Solar Panels at USFSP

By: Jason Saab

 

 

Duke Energy awarded a one million dollar grant to  USFSP to fund the building of solar panels and the research that will follow. The panels are built on the roof of the USFSP parking garage and will provide some shade to the seventh floor.

The panels will also be storing energy in a newly developed battery system that will provide data to the researchers about how this energy will work.They hope this will help promote the use of solar power as an energy source.

The team hopes that the data and research that they gain from the battery storage project will assist them in promoting and using the sun to help offset the growing need for energy in Florida, according to Joe Pietrzak, Dukes Senior Planning Analyst.

Supporters also hope it will bring plenty of publicity due to its size and visibility. Although the panels will only provide a fraction of the nineteen point one million kilowatt-hours of energy that USFSP uses per year, it will still be the largest solar array in St. Petersburg.

Duke’s solar panels are worth it in the long run, but are our parking problems over?

By: Jason Saab

 

The reopening of the parking garage’s seventh floor at USFSP has brought a sigh of relief from many students regarding the parking situation. The solar panels that were donated by Duke Energy are nearly complete, and the seventh floor is available again.

Duke Energy Florida awarded USFSP a one million dollar SunSense grant towards the construction of the solar panels on top of the parking garage. This is for research into the integration of storing solar energy in newly developed batteries that will be installed with the panels.

The State President of Duke Energy Florida, Alex Glenn, said that “this effort is a true collaboration with USF St. Petersburg and the USF College of Engineering”. The panels will also help manage energy costs and promote sustainability, according to USFSP Regional Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska.

The solar panels will measure about 7,100 square feet, with 328 individual panels that will provide an average of 164,250 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year of the 19.1 million kWh USFSP uses, as well as providing some shade on the seventh floor.

However the biggest effect this project will have is reinforcing the idea of the need for sustainability. Duke Energy Senior Planning Analyst Joe Pietrzak said that “this new 100 kW solar array represents one of the largest and most efficient solar arrays in St. Petersburg.”

Pietrzak concluded that “The data and technical research we will gain from the battery storage aspect of this project will assist us in to promoting and using the sun to help offset the growing need for some electricity in Florida.”

The battle for the seventh floor may be over, and though we got some shiny new solar panels out of it, the war for reliable parking is never finished.

Feminism is the New Black: The Impact of Tumblr on the Feminism Movement

By: Sarah Norcini

Over the past few years, the social media website Tumblr has become a large part of the feminist movement. From feminist blogs to the casual feminist post, this subject has become unavoidable.

What’s also unavoidable is the positive impact Tumblr has had on feminism. This blogging website has seriously changed feminism, and will probably continue to do so.

This website has certainly changed the way women feel about being called feminists. Many posts on there seem to say the same thing: that the users came onto the website to blog about their favorite show, and turned out to be radical feminists.

These posts just don’t have a few notes, either. Notes on a Tumblr post keep the count of ‘likes’ and ‘reblogs’, just like Twitter. The notes on those posts range from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands.

There are other types of feminist posts, too. They range from simple statements to commentary on articles from the media, TV shows, movies, and music. The overall gist of these posts is that all of these forms of media are representing women wrong. A big part of the feminist movement is for more and better representation of women in general.

For example, there is something called the Bechdel Test, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. This test, originally meant for films, has now expanded into all works of fiction. What it tests for is if in the work, two women talk to each other about something other than a man.

Tumblr feminists have really rallied around this test, and there are numerous posts on the site regarding it.

All of these women and men are raising their voices on Tumblr, and it’s even expanded to other forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter.  However, there is the argument that social media and feminism in general is a fruitless attempt at making a change. There are users on Tumblr that claim there is no point in being a feminist.

This has spurred men’s right activists and anti-feminists. There is nothing wrong with them having their own point of view. Tumblr users are quick to judge and have no hesitation in expressing their anger at those users.

The point is that Tumblr is the central place for making a change in the feminist movement.

Users from all over the world, both male and female, have started a movement. It also expands to the world of celebrities. Emma Watson and Beyoncé are two of the better known feminists. They call for a change and their passion will hopefully do just that in the coming years.

Feminism is the New Black

By: Sarah Norcini

 

Home to artists and fandoms, Tumblr may not seem like a place for more serious issues. But in the past year, Tumblr has become a stomping place for feminism. From entire feminist blogs to the casual feminist post, the subject has become unavoidable. What’s also unavoidable is the positive impact Tumblr has had on feminism. This blogging website has changed the game of the gender equality movement, and will probably continue to do so.

This website has made women more proud of being called a feminist.Many posts on there seem to say the same thing: that the users came onto the website to blog about their favorite show turned out to be radical feminists. And these posts just don’t have a few notes, either. Notes on a Tumblr post keep the count of ‘likes’ and ‘reblogs’, just like Twitter. The notes on those posts range from the thousands to the hundreds of thousands. Which is a lot.

There are other types of feminist posts, too. They range from simple statements to commentary on articles from the media, TV shows, movies, and music. The overall gist of these posts is that all of these forms of media are representing women wrong. A big part of the feminist movement is for more and better representation of women in general.

For example, there is something called the Bechdel Test, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel. This test, originally meant for films, has now expanded into all works of fiction. What it tests for is if in the work, two women talk to each other about something other than a man. Tumblr feminists have rallied around this test, and there are numerous posts on the site regarding it.

All of these women and men are raising their voices on Tumblr, and it’s even expanded to other forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Even though those websites have different formats, the idea of feminism still is there.

However, there is the argument that social media and feminism in general is a fruitless attempt at making a change. There are users on Tumblr that claim there is no point in being a feminist. Both males and females on the website believe that feminism is something they don’t need. This has also spurred men’s right activists and anti-feminists. There is nothing wrong with them having their own point of view, but Tumblr users are quick to judge and have no hesitation in expressing their anger at those users.

The point is that Tumblr is the central place for making a change in the feminist movement. Users from all over the world, both male and female, have started a making a change in society. This movement also expands to the world of celebrities. Emma Watson and Beyoncé are two of the better known feminists. They call for a change and their passion will hopefully do just that in the coming years.

Oddities in Downtown St. Petersburg

By: Kelsey Al

 

The 600 Block of Downtown St.Pete is known for being the hub of creative spirit. Tucked off the main street of Central Avenue is a gem that goes by the name Dysfunctional Grace.

The taxidermy and oddity shop has been locally owned and operated for two and a half years. Co-owner Elizabeth Ann sells her work and work from various artists from the area that fit the theme of the shop, which centers on the beauty of death and nature.

Preserved dove with roses and faux pearl eyes.

Preserved dove with roses and faux pearl eyes.

The prices of pieces range from as low as 20 dollars for small items such as air plants mounted in an antique frame to upwards of 3000 in the case of a real giraffe with metal gears attached to the head.

Ann says her business began when she got fired from her previous job, and she no longer wanted to be part of the corporate world. She began making morbid artwork for about four years ago, when her father died. According to Elizabeth Ann, the best part of owning Dysfunctional Grace is “being her own boss”.

All of the materials used in the pieces on display in the unconventional shop are ethically obtained. No animals were harmed for the intent of the artwork. The skulls and skins were either found from road kill or obtained from collectors.

Though the company does not have a high influx of customers due to its unusual nature, Dysfunctional Grace does have a lot of regulars. Ann says that a lot of her customers that visit frequently become more like friends.

Weird and Surreal on the 600 Block

By: Kelsey Al

 

The walls are lined with antique medical equipment and animal skulls. Art pieces made of furs and industrial equipment are dispersed around the two spacious, well lit rooms. The 600 Block of Downtown St.Pete is known for being the hub of our area’s creative spirit. Tucked off the main street of Central Avenue is a gem that goes by the name Dysfunctional Grace.

The taxidermy and oddity shop has been locally owned and operated in its current location for two and a half years. Co-owner Elizabeth Ann is one of the many artists that contributes to the pieces on display. In addition to her own work, Ann sells work from various artists from the area that fits the theme of the shop, which centers on the beauty of death and nature.

The prices of pieces range from as low as 20 dollars for small items such as air plants mounted in an antique frame to upwards of 3000 in the case of a real giraffe with metal gears attached to the head. The money keeps the store up and running, and commission goes to the artists that made the pieces possible.

Ann says her business began when she got fired from her previous job. She decided that she no longer wanted to be part of the corporate world. She has been making morbid artwork for about four years, beginning when her father died. According to Ann, the best part of owning Dysfunctional Grace is “being her own boss”. She loves not having to answer to anyone or following her own rules. She gets to sleep in and is surrounded by things and people she enjoys.

All of the materials used in the pieces on display in the unconventional shop are ethically obtained. No animals were harmed for the intent of the artwork. Many skulls and skins were either found from road kill or obtained from collectors. “I don’t even kill bugs” says Ann. The co-owner says she tries to keep her sources local, including searching at thrift stores and estate sales in addition to community collectors. The store and the artists involved strive to support other small businesses in the process of creating revenue in order to keep the vibe local and close knit.

Though the company does not have a high influx of customers due to its unusual nature, Dysfunctional Grace does have a lot of regulars. Ann says that a lot of her customers that visit frequently become more like friends. She allows artists to sketch the objects and pieces on display for any projects they may be working on without purchasing anything.

One regular customer, Hope Williams, says that the items in the store make great gifts for unique people that “may not want soap or candles for their birthday”. She says that a lot of her steampunk and goth friends really enjoy the store and go browsing for fun. Williams says that Dysfunctional Grace is a home away from home for the weird folks looking for a place that fulfills their curiosities.

Elizabeth Ann and her store of oddities are uncommon individuals that serve as a source of inspiration for many in the St. Pete area. While many of her neighboring stores sell art supplies like yarn and thrift store dresses with the shoulder pads cut out, Dysfunctional Grace provides an alternative to the creative community and hopes to reach a wider customer base while continuing to provide one of a kind specimens to the area.