St. Pete is poised for an 8th mural district at Albert Whitted Airport

St. Petersburg’s one-of-a-kind downtown waterfront got even more unique with the unveiling of the first two hangar murals at Albert Whitted Airport (AWA). 

The “Past-Present-Future” mural, designed and painted by artist Brian McAllister, is located on the large hangar facing the AWA runway. It depicts a young child – as well as various aircraft that have flown in and out of AWA over the years – against St. Pete’s signature sunset. It represents the airport’s rich history and current viability, as well as the wonder, discovery, and opportunity that aviation brings to children. One of the aircraft on the mural, a Beechcraft Bonanza, memorializes the generous contributions of William and Katherine McMannis, whose charitable fund made these murals possible. 

The unique paint-by-numbers mural, facing First Street, was designed and painted by Alyssa Dunlap. It features a bright yellow Stearman biplane bursting from its hangar. This lively mural symbolizes the vibrant culture and mobility of St. Pete and AWA. 

These murals were organized and supported by the Friends of Albert Whitted Airport, the St. Petersburg Art Alliance, and the City of St. Petersburg. Attendees at yesterday’s unveiling heard from both artists, as well as Jenee Priebe, Director of the Shine Mural Festival for St Pete Art Alliance, and Celeste Davis, Director of Arts, Culture and Tourism for the City of St Petersburg.

Although weather has delayed progress on these new works of art, they are well on their way to completion; and should bring enjoyment to patrons of the Hangar Restaurant, thousands of Grand Prix spectators, and the St. Petersburg community. 

Gina Driscoll, the city council member for District 6, had this to say about the murals at AWA: “One of my favorite things about St. Petersburg is that you can find art wherever you go. And now at Albert Whitted Airport, our City of the Arts truly soars!”

Friends of Albert Whitted Airport has set their sights on expanding the initiative. They are currently working with the Art Alliance and the City of St. Pete to develop additional murals on the many smaller hangar doors across the airport.

Photo Credit: Jackie Mitchell