Meatyard, Ybor City's affordable art studios, among Creative Loafing's most read local arts stories of 2022

'Rhonda Santis' made headlines, too.

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click to enlarge Open Workshop for Architecture's work on Meatyard Ybor will also involve the warehouse behind the Dave Gordon & Co historic structure. - Photo via City of Tampa
Photo via City of Tampa
Open Workshop for Architecture's work on Meatyard Ybor will also involve the warehouse behind the Dave Gordon & Co historic structure.
Call it the Tom Brady effect, but The Buccaneers have dominated web traffic in the A&E section since TB12 decided he wanted to play in Tampa Bay. To level the playing field, we took the team out of this collection of top stories (and put our top Bucs coverage elsewhere). Readers flocked to what was largely things-to-do, but they also landed on stories about reality TV, Rhonda Santis, Ybor art studios and even the Rays.

Netflix dating show ‘Love is Blind’ is looking for Tampa contestants

You’re a thirsty bunch, Tampa Bay. Hope you submitted an application because if you’re tired of swiping on dating apps and would prefer your dating life to be filmed from inside a pod, the popular dating show “Love is Blind” was now looking for residents in Tampa, Detroit, Charlotte and Washington D.C. to help form the cast of new singles for its upcoming season. The show, which is now on its fourth season and is hosted by Nick and Vanessa Lachey, is centered on couples speed dating via pods, where they can only talk through a speaker and drink booze from metal cups (for those extra spicy edits). Of course, after 10 days, and after they agree to get engaged, they finally get to go outside and eventually decide whether or not to get married.

Enchant returns for third year at Tropicana Field with massive Christmas maze and millions of lights

You still have time to see Enchant, dubbed the world’s largest holiday-themed light event, since it runs through New Years Day. New to this year’s event is a national sponsor, the Hallmark Channel. The television network known for its cheesy-cute holiday movies will feature at Enchant events with a “Hallmark Cozy Christmas” lounge, photo spots, a wine tasting and a chance for guests to win a visit to the set of a Hallmark movie in production.

It looks like the Tampa Bay Rays’ plan for an Ybor stadium is a bust

At this point, any pub still writing about the Rays eyeing an Ybor stadium is just carrying water for Stu Sternberg in his quest to make St. Pete give him everything he wants . Last June, he took another L in his fight to hold on to as much money as possible, and well, we’re sick of this headline.

The new Batmobile from ‘The Batman’ was in Tampa

Before “The Batman” hit theaters in the spring, fans got a glimpse of the film’s iconic car and costumes at a pop-up experience that stopped in Tampa as part of a four-city tour.

UK artist Lucy Sparrow’s ‘Tampa Fresh Foods’ felt grocery store landed in Water Street

Water Street Tampa’s newest art installation begged the question, “What if food was soft, inedible and had button eyes?” British artist Lucy Sparrow introduced her latest overwhelmingly plush project with “Tampa Fresh Foods,” an entirely felt-based grocery store. The installation showcased more than 50,000 quirky felt artworks representing foods both typical of grocery stores and native to Tampa, all for individual sale.

A St. Pete artist is selling ‘Rhonda Santis’ stickers to benefit Equality Florida

As Florida continues to face unprecedented legislative attacks on LGBTQ+ communities, one St. Petersburg artist is responding with a dig of his own. Chad Mize, multimedia artist and designer, is now selling stickers depicting Gov. Ron Desantis as drag queen “Rhonda Santis.” The design came weeks after the Florida republican expressed support of criminalizing parents who bring their children to drag shows.
“Well, let’s do something even more ridiculous and put him in drag,” Mize told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Rhonda is shown waving a rainbow flag with a speech bubble that says, “gay,” hinting at Florida’s so-called “Dont’ Say Gay” bill that restricts talk of gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom.

Tampa Bay’s Peak Surf Park shares new renderings, findings from analysis of proposed Pinellas site

An opening date is definitely a ways off, and there’s still no location to share, but Tampa Bay inched closer to catching a wave at the region’s first surf park when Peak Surf Park shared new renderings of the project that promises to bring half-a-mile of beach, venues for concerts and events, bars, restaurants, retail and more.

Tampa’s ‘Meatyard Ybor’ could include more than 50 affordable art workspaces and gallery

Plans are still in the site review phase, but an Ybor City warehouse could eventually be home to approximately 55 affordable art workspaces plus gallery space. A representative from the Tampa Arts Alliance told CL that The Meatyard Ybor—located at 1728 E. 2nd Ave.—is named in honor of Jerry Meatyard who was a sculptor in the historic district and professor at Hillsborough Community College’s Ybor Campus from 1969 to 2001. Jerry—which is what his students called him—died in 2016 at the age of 86.

We need to talk about why Disney’ World’s new Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser is getting so much heat

Besides more critiques of the pricetag, criticisms and attacks were leveled at members of the media who visited the Starcruiser and shared coverage—from traditional written reviews and video recaps to Twitter threads, TikTok shorts and photo guides.

As park continues to expand, Busch Gardens Tampa insists its not killing off Kumba

After a two-year delay, Busch Gardens Tampa was finally able to open its highly-anticipated Iron Gwazi coaster in March. With that project now welcoming guests, the park is looking at its next significant investments. Kumba’s size and age are now why rumors are swirling of its impending demise. First reported by theme site Screamscape, the rumored closure of Kumba quickly filled coaster fan message boards. Busch Gardens Tampa, which typically doesn’t respond to rumors, tweeted a cryptic message that included a video of the coaster with a note that “Hear this roar? It’s not going anywhere.” The park also replied to a tweet by Screamscape stating, “PLOT TWIST—the doc pulled the wrong patient files. Kumba’s not going anywhere, but we still definitely recommend riding it ASAP.”

About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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