Couple caught in the act of an Urban Art Attack

I made a quick U-turn to find out who was painting the Elvis-Shiva-like creature on the Ella's annex building, quasi-concealed and shaded by a plastic tarp.

The mural was the same dark-outlined voodoo-tattoo cartoonish style I recognized from Ella's Folk Art and Cafe's menus and concert fliers.

That's because it was the artist himself, Christian Little, and his wife, Ari. They were painting the Hindu multi-limbed King of Rock 'n' roll as part of the Urban Art Attack.

Ella's co-owner Melissa Deming enlisted the Littles and is one of the founding partners of the mural initiative, along with Elke and Anthony Catania, Seminole Heights residents and owners of Reservations Gourmet To Go; Kelly and Brian Fenstermacher, owners of Southern Brewing and Winemaking; Maria Garcia-Gutierrez, Resident and Owner of 2dogs&a Girl; Sherry Genovar-Simons, resident, artist and president of the Southeast Seminole Heights Community Association, and Randi Raaen, resident and CPA.

The Seminole Heights Urban Art Partners says in its mission statement that it "recognizes that public art creates a unique sense of place and distinction, enjoyment and pride for all citizens and visitors to our community. Through various art initiatives, including the Urban Art Attack, we intend to foster a creative and stimulating environment that will enhance the heritage, diversity and character of Seminole Heights by integrating public art into architecture, infrastructure, landscape and lifestyle."

Urban Art Attack is also responsible for the mural on the Red Star Rock Bar on Florida Avenue. The Littles don't live in Seminole Heights; they currently reside in Palm Harbor. "We hope to move here soon," Christian said.

I have to admit, I used to wonder if downtown St. Pete was outpacing Tampa by leaps and bounds when it comes to public art, but we're not as far behind as many think.

Christian mentioned that the Urban Art Attack is still seeking artists. Click here to submit your idea.

A nice thing to think about instead of that court case, if just for a moment.

  • ELVIS SHIVA: Artists Ari and Christian Little are painting a mural of Elvis Presley as the Hindu god known as "the Destroyer" or "the Transformer."

While my friends participate in the the Zimmerman verdict Tweet-comment-Google-athon, I am choosing to shift my focus, to share a positive discovery made in my 'hood en route to dinner with friends.

Well, we were actually on our way to Publix to pick up food. We would have taken 15th Street North if we didn't need to stop at the store. While turning north onto Nebraska from Caracas Avenue, I saw a unique mural being painted on a little gray building directly across the street from my block.

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