October 2, 2013

St. Petersburg Crochet Coral Reef PR


Florida Craftsmen presents:


St. Petersburg Crochet Coral Reef


A satellite of the Worldwide Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project created by Margaret and Christine Wertheim of the Institute For Figuring in Los Angeles, California.


 Location:   Florida Craftsmen Inc.

501 Central Ave.

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Exhibition Dates:  June 8th –September 1st, 2012

Opening Reception:  Friday, June 8th (World Oceans Day)  5:30-8:30pm


What began as an interesting idea involving the local community has inspired over 250 people from all over the world to create an art installation which will amaze all who come to see it. Florida Craftsmen Inc. will present the St. Petersburg Crochet Coral Reef in its exhibition gallery from June 8th – September 1st“The initial reaction to ‘crochet coral reef’ is often glazing over, but when people see the pieces which have been created, eyes open wide, hands immediately reach out to touch and we often hear, ‘That’s incredible!’” says Florida Craftsmen’s Executive Director Diane Shelly.


The concept of the crochet coral reef comes from two sisters, Margaret and Christine Wertheim, co-directors of the Institute for Figuring in California. Margaret Wertheim, an Australian-born science journalist, first began crocheting in 2003 to try her hand at modeling hyperbolic space, the mind-bending geometry discovered by mathematicians in the early 19th century. She took her lead from mathematician, Diane Taiman, who discovered that she could explain this spatial concept through ruffled shapes created with crochet. Realizing that the shapes looked much like the corals on the Great Barrier Reef of their homeland, the sisters crocheted enough pieces to create an entire reef which first debuted inPittsburgin 2007. It has since traveled to New York, Chicago, Sydney, London, California and most recently, the Smithsonian and has inspired many satellite reefs throughout the world.


Florida Craftsmen, which represents fine crafts artists from around the state, is spearheading the creation of the St. Petersburg Satellite Reef.  The organization has been holding crochet classes and gatherings in community centers throughout the Tampa Bay area including Eckerd College, PACE Center for Girls, area libraries and the Museum of Fine Arts.  Marine scientists from USF, NOAA, Tampa Bay Watch and other marine organizations located in the bay area are providing the expertise with programs which provide insights into the life and death of coral reefs, what affects them, and what we can do to preserve them.


The reef will fill the 1200 sf Florida Craftsmen Gallery in downtown St. Petersburg. Over 250 contributors from around the world have made thousands of pieces forming a  massive reef,  including a bleached reef. Packages of finished pieces have come from countries as far as Germany, Mexico,and Canada, as well as contributions from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and all around the state of Florida. The joy of this project is that anyone could submit a piece, even those who didn’t initally know how to crochet. When asked why the volunteers liked working on this project, they responded with comments about the joy of creating, the community building that happened as diverse groups, including men and kids, gathered to crochet, the inclusive nature of the project and what they learned about coral reefs.  Local crocheters have had such a great time working together on this project that several are forming groups which will continue meeting even after the project is completed.


Expect to see brain corals, star coral, a bleached reef, a secret grotto, fish, shells and watch out for rays, eels, an enormous octopus and lots of other surprises!  The Pier Aquarium will also be displaying their live coral tank to showcase the real thing. During the course of the exhibition, there will be family activity days with scavenger hunts, art activities and information about our oceans.

Admission is free and open to the public.




To find more information about the St. Petersburg Crochet Coral Reef activities contact:


Florida Craftsmen Gallery,

501 Central Ave., St. Petersburg


T. 727-821-7391

Hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5:30pm





About Florida Craftsmen, Inc.   Florida Craftsmen, Inc. is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization that represents fine craft artists from throughout the state of Florida. Our mission is to empower Florida’s fine craft artists, enrich the community and engage the next generation.


CraftArt 2013 Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          

Contact: Diane Shelly, Executive Director                                                                                                                                                                       [email protected]

Florida Craftsmen Present
CraftArt 2013
Downtown St. Petersburg, November 23 & 24

 (May 9, 2013, St. Petersburg, FL); Florida Craftsmen’s 16th Annual CraftArt Festival will be held on Saturday, November 23rd  & Sunday, November 24th, just outside the doors of Florida Craftsmen Gallery, at the crossroads of Central Avenue and Fifth Street  in beautiful Downtown St. Petersburg. 

CraftArt 2013 is an invitation to out-of-town and local visitors to make November 23rd and 24th a fun-filled Florida weekend.  Visitors will be delighted by the work of 130 of the nation’s best contemporary craft artists, artist demonstrations, food trucks, craft beers and the best cultural venues on the west coast of Florida.  Florida Craftsmen is proud to announce that this year’s juror is Andrew Glasgow, the retired Director of the American Craft Council and current Director of USA Projects. He will award $10,000 in cash awards to the artists.

For the sixth year, CraftArt, a juried fine craft art festival, will be held in the heart of the Central Arts District in front of Florida Craftsmen Gallery, located at 501 Central Avenue. This 2 day festival kicks off the Holiday shopping season and takes advantage of the great Florida fall weather. One of the most eagerly anticipated arts events each year by collectors and patrons as well as by locals and visitors who plan a long weekend around the show, CraftArt features some of the nation’s best established and emerging fine craft artists with handmade works in clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, metal, paper and mixed media. The weekend will include artist demonstrations, make and take activities and craft beer from one of Tampa Bay’s local micro-breweries.

CraftArt is only the beginning.   “This year, it is all about enjoying the richness of the downtown St. Petersburg experience.  We’re excited to bring the country’s finest contemporary craft artists to the “best” coast for this not to be missed event” says Diane Shelly, Florida Craftsmen’s Executive Director.

If you are a fine craft artist interested in participating in CraftArt 2013, go to www.zapplication.org to apply. Participating out-of-town artists may take advantage of reduced rates at nearby lodging specially negotiated by Florida Craftsmen for the weekend of CraftArt 2013.

To learn more about CraftArt 2013, visit floridacraftsmen.net, or contact Janie Lorenz at [email protected],

Florida Craftsmen, Inc. is Florida’s only statewide non-profit organization representing established and emerging fine craft artists.  For sixty years, Florida Craftsmen has advanced and celebrated Florida’s fine crafts, in St. Petersburg and throughout the state, through exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs, making it Florida’s most important destination and primary authority for fine craft art.   Our mission is to empower the fine craft artists of Florida, enrich the community, and engage the next generation. Visit Florida Craftsmen at 501 Central Avenue in Downtown St. Petersburg or at floridacraftsmen.net