St Petersburg is a place where art and artists can flourish. From our countless downtown murals to the abundance of quality museums, art is a central part of life in this city. However, art can often be inaccessible to students for a variety of reasons, whether it be location, time or cost.
Luckily, St. Petersburg’s murals are free.
Below is a collection of top-rated museums in the Tampa Bay area available for students to visit at discounted prices.
The Dali Museum
The Dali Museum is one of the most well-known museums in the Tampa Bay area, and for good reason. This beautiful and inviting space holds a large collection of works by Salvador Dali, one of the most influential surrealist painters of all time. This museum also contains visiting exhibitions and is currently showing “The Visit,” a collection of contemporary surrealist art by Uruguayan-Spanish artist Yamandú Canosa. This exhibit explores human perception and reaction to the surrealist movement, focusing on personal experience rather than aesthetic appreciation. With a student ID, you can receive a discounted admission of $25 and Thursdays after 5 p.m. are $14.50.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson African American Museum
This unique museum has over 8,000 works celebrating Black history in St. Petersburg, all for free or a small donation. Various events are free to the public, like viewing of their beautiful, one-of-a-kind Black Lives Matter mural, outdoor garden and collection of works by Haitian sculptor, Patrick Noze, entitled “From Dust.”
Fairgrounds St. Pete
The Fairgrounds is one of the newer installations in the St. Pete area, showcasing immersive art from over 60 local artists. This indoor space features neon and technological art, encouraging visitors to take pictures and explore. The Fairgrounds is located on the grounds of The Factory, another large space for artists, in the heart of the Warehouse District. Tickets are $25 with a student ID. They are closed Monday through Wednesday but are open to the public from Thursday to Sunday.
The Factory is a new, eclectic space for artists located at 2622 Fairfield Ave. This space exhibits not only work by various local artists but also hosts several monthly events like jazz nights, songwriting classes and first Friday “Flowetry” events, which include spoken-word R&B and a hip-hop lyricist lounge. The Factory also has several vending opportunities if you are a local artist that is interested in selling your work outside of Eckerd. Some events and galleries are free, while others require tickets. Make sure to check out this unique and versatile space.
The James Museum is great to visit if you are interested in Western art, especially western portraiture. Currently, they have a special exhibit on display, entitled “Black Pioneers: Legacy in the American West.” This exhibit features several original pictorial quilts telling the story of Black Pioneers and was created and organized by the Women of Color Quilters Network. Tickets are $15 for students with a valid ID.
Red Cloud Gallery
If you are interested in viewing Native American art, the Red Cloud Indian Arts Gallery is a great option. Red Cloud was named St. Pete’s best art gallery by the St Petersburg Award program in 2019, and features authentic art from Native American artists. It is located at 214 Beach Drive North East. All of their art pieces are available for purchase, and the exhibition is free.
The Chihuly Collection
If you are interested in phenomenal and unique glass art, the Chihuly Collection is the perfect place for you. This museum is $14 for students with a college ID and contains the work of prolific glass artist Dale Chihuly. The architecture of the building complements the complicated and distinctive glass art presented in this museum, ensuring a unique and magical experience for those who explore this museum.
John & Mable Ringling Museum.
The John & Mable Ringling Museum is perhaps one of the most unique and interesting museums in the Tampa Bay area. As well as featuring an extensive collection of fine art, this museum also has a separate circus museum, sculpture garden and access to the Ringling family’s 1920’s mansion-turned-exhibit, “Ca’D’Zan.” Tickets are discounted at $5 for students with an ID, so this museum is worth a visit.
Tampa Museum of Art
Although the Tampa Museum of Art is a bit of a longer drive from campus, this museum is free for students and has a range of art in its permanent collection, from ancient Greek art to contemporary sculpture work. They have several temporary exhibitions, including one that highlights Tampa Bay artists that range from 1840 to 1960.
Museum of Fine Arts St Petersburg
The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the best museums available in St Pete. It has a wide collection of art reaching across time from ancient to contemporary and has a variety of temporary exhibitions. Currently, there are several exhibitions: “Women’s Work,” an examination of female photographers across time, and “Fresh Up,” a collection of textile art from Gio Swaby, a Bahamian artist who explores and celebrates blackness in her work. Admission is $17 for students with a valid ID and $12 for everyone on Thursdays after 5 p.m.
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