Get Your Art Fix at St. Petersburg's Morean Arts Center

Explore works by artist Dale Chihuly, or take a pottery-making class

By Kara Franker,

Dale Chihuly's "Sunset Persian Wall" at the Morean Arts Center's Chihuly Collection — Photo courtesy of The Chihuly Collection / Morean Arts Center

Downtown St. Pete has become the culture and arts hub of the St. Petersburg/Clearwater area, offering a variety of attractions, museums, restaurants, art galleries, shopping boutiques and a historic hotel on the waterfront called The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.

With several facilities located in the heart of all the action, Morean Arts Center's family of galleries, art collections and art classes are a must-visit on any savvy traveler’s list. Classes and workshops are available in clay, drawing, fiber arts, glass, jewelry-making, metal sculpture, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking and more.

The main hub is the Morean Arts Center located on 719 Central Ave. in downtown. This location houses the Morean galleries, the store and the Glass Studio & Hot Shop.

Nearby, the Chilhuly Collection is located in the heart of downtown at 400 Beach Dr. And a short drive away, the Morean Center for Clay is located in a historic train station at 420 22nd St.

Exterior of Morean Arts Center on Central Avenue in downtown — Photo courtesy of Randy VanDuinen / Morean Arts Center

Take a closer look at each location and what it offers:

Morean Arts Center

The Morean Arts Center is located in the downtown Central Arts District – a distinct four-block section of St. Petersburg that’s home to many individual artist studios and galleries, hip boutiques, restaurants and music venues.

The center offers classes in studio art, jewelry-making, photography and more. In addition to classes and workshops, the center features some of the area’s top contemporary art exhibitions.

There’s also an on-site cafe with free Wi-Fi.

The Morean Arts Center in St. Pete features works by local artists — Photo courtesy of Randy VanDuinen / Morean Arts Center

Glass Studio & Hot Shop

Also located at the Morean Arts Center, the Morean Glass Studio & Hot Shop is an adventure into art, where working artists create glass pieces before your eyes, while providing a running step-by-step commentary.

Learn about the science behind the glass and the artistic vision guiding the process. There are also opportunities to make your own blown glass piece.

And all glass that is created in the Hot Shop is available for purchase in the retail store – a treasure trove of locally made glass.

Additionally, the on-site glass artisans can do custom work, and the shop features designers who can create speciality glass wall designs.

Artist Douglas "Firebug" Taylor at Morean's Glass Studio & Hot Shop — Photo courtesy of BWL Photography / Morean Arts Center

The Chihuly Collection

The Chihuly Collection is a stunning, permanent collection of world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly’s unique artwork. The collection is housed in an expansive 10,000-square-foot setting in downtown St. Petersburg, which was designed by award-winning architect Alberto Alfonso.

As an introduction to the exhibition, a 30-seat theater showcases a continuous informative presentation. Providing a unique visual experience, each space has been designed individually to complement each installation.

Stand-out artworks include the Ruby Red Icicle Chandelier (created specifically for the collection) and the vibrant Persian Sunset Wall.

Morean Arts Center offers art classes for both adults and children — Photo courtesy of Randy VanDuinen / Morean Arts Center

Morean Center for Clay

Located inside a historic train station, the Morean Center for Clay is the largest working pottery in the Southeast, and it's a must-see for any art and pottery enthusiast.

Meander around the former train depot and view artists working, or take a class and learn how to make your own piece of pottery. Art is also available for purchase.

Take a pottery-making class inside this historic train station building — Photo courtesy of Morean Arts Center

Each of the Morean facilities are also available for group tours, private functions and special events. An event planner guide is available for download at Morean Arts Center's website

And a trolley system links all of the Morean’s facilities together, featuring convenient routes and daily passes that let you ride all day for one low price.

Discover all that downtown St. Petersburg's art scene has to offer, all just minutes from the beautiful Gulf of Mexico.