© St. Petersburg Times, published January 31, 2002
Pardon me if I wax sentimental on this, my last Hot Ticket, coinciding with my retirement today. It seems fitting that the date also marks the dedication of Tarpon Springs artist Christopher Still's murals in the Florida state Capitol.
Still was one of four promising area artists whom I interviewed for a story in 1980. Actually, I had asked five leaders of the arts community to select young artists to watch. Two chose him.
Still was 19 then, a scholarship student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. His aim was to learn the fundamentals that would enable him to paint naturally, easily and with substance. Rembrandt was his most admired painter, he said, because you could see his soul in his work. "I see painters with beautiful technique but no soul," he remarked at the time.
The eight murals at the Capitol, 10 feet long by 4 feet high, trace the story of Florida from prehistoric times to the present. The commission, for which he was hired in 1999, has been an enormous project in time and energy as well as size.
Still will hold his annual one-night show and sale at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, on Feb. 20.