Dan Painter once said to Tampa Bay Times that his greatest joy came from working on his small town built on less than an acre in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg.
It makes sense that the artist, 59, will eventually tire of the art installation when there is no more work to be done on it.
“It’s kind of like a painter who keeps painting the same thing over and over again,” Painter said. “Or a band that always plays the same song.”
The 2019 Tiny Town report, in which each building represented a piece of Painter’s life story, drew a lot of attention to the reclusive artist. And visitors, he said, from all over the world.
It was fun for a while, a new adventure, leading to all kinds of events on the property at 2520 Emerson Ave. S. There were weddings, poetry readings and dozens of concerts. A highlight for Painter was seeing the Radolescents (along with former members of the legendary punk band, The Adolescents) perform on the Tiny Town stage.
“We sold tickets through Ticketmaster! ” he said.
Then he demolished Tiny Town so he could create something new, which was Outpost 11, kind of a post-apocalyptic version of Tiny Town with a Mad Max vibe. There were watchtowers, torches and recycled garbage.
“Then it became kind of a bummer,” he said, “because I didn’t want to live in it.”
So he destroyed Outpost 11 to create The Cove, a third incarnation of Tiny Town that’s closer to the original, and meant to feel like a “little Florida beach town you can just chill out in.” . Elements of Tiny Town persist. There is the motel pool and drive-in drive-in.
The property, and the whole little town above, were for sale this week by Luxe Properties International of St. Petersburg, with an asking price of $ 450,000.
Painter said it was time for him to move on to the next adventure away from here, at least for a while.
“I’m going to buy a used car and a used dog and I’m just going to hit the road,” he said. “I gave almost everything. Ultimately, wherever I land, all I need is water nearby, whether it’s a river or an ocean.
Painter said he was not attached to the tiny buildings in Cove, “progress is progress, if it gets destroyed”, but worries about the rainbow eucalyptus he has planted when it was the size of a can of coffee.
Listing agent Gina Marie Foti said she didn’t think Painter would sell to someone who isn’t “a creative type of person or something he thinks is good.”
As of June 3, Foti said there had been interest from a “mini zoo with reptiles,” which looked promising.
The painter sees the property as an opportunity for someone who wants to get involved in the local artistic community.
“It would normally take years, but it would be a turnkey entry,” he said. “If they wish, I will even present them to all my artist friends.
The Warehouse Arts District appears poised for growth. The Factory St. Pete, a collection of event spaces and arts-related businesses in 90,000 square feet of former warehouse space, debuted at the end of 2020 and will eventually be joined by Fairgrounds, a large “venue. ‘immersive art’. Joe Furst, a key player in the development of Wynwood in Miami, purchased nine acres in the Warehouse Arts District for redevelopment.