Before I get to all the shows I created and curated at the Bluelucy Gallery, I want to take a moment to talk about how it all came to be. So the 600 block on Central Ave in St Pete in the beginning of 2010 had become a wasteland. Most of the spaces were closed and the ones that were open were in disrepair and struggling. In an effort to revitalize the block a developer began some basic renovations and upgrades to the main row of storefronts on the Northside of the street. It was when these renovations were complete that I got a phone call from my good friend John Vitale. I answered and he told me he was standing in front of the refurbished spaces on the 600 block and he wanted me to come over and meet him. So I jumped in the car and went over to see what was going on. When I arrived he was in front of 651 Central Ave, he had just signed a lease on the space for the new home of Vitale Studios. He then pointed next door to 653 Central and said that one is still available. The building owners, in an effort to bring life back to the block, made the rents on these spaces incredibly affordable. I couldn't contain my excitement and told John that I would need to convince Chad and that I would get back to him. So I ran home and told Chad about everything I found out and then drove him back up to the space to show him. It wasn't easy, Chad was pretty resistant to the idea and didn't want to be locked into renting a space, but owning and running a gallery was a life long dream of mine. After much convincing on why it would be good for us and the community, I talked him into it. We signed a five year lease and the rent was a $950 a month. Over the next few months we worked day and night to bring the space to life. We had to repair the floors, walls and do a build out that suited our needs. Below are the photos from all the work we did prior to the Bluelucy Gallery grand opening event. I should note that along with bringing our space to life we also took on the task to brand and promote the revitalized block and all the new stores that were opening. I designed a logo, ads, t-shirts and tons of other materials to shine light on what was happening and to get everyone's efforts noticed.
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