Raise the Creative Roof

ART/LITERATURE

Initiated by UpScene Magazine artist/designer Mel Taylor, the RaiseUp Art Book is one part limited-edition publication, one part freeform art project highlighting the creative skills of national and international emerging and mid-career artists. More than anything else, however, RaiseUp is an innovative marketing tool and is ultimately appealing because participating contemporary artists help compile the content and have the freedom to decide what they want to include in the finished product. Plus, a series of group exhibitions held in celebration of the publication's launch gives these artists even more opportunities to engage audiences and gain recognition while displaying works not necessarily featured in the book. The second volume of the full-color RaiseUp Art Book features 39 artists and the launch "tour" makes its first stop at C. Emerson Fine Arts in St. Petersburg. The first 300 copies (available for $20 each) come with a sticker and button designed by Jeff Gilligan, as well as an original, signed-and-numbered print by Tracy Midulla. Get yours at this Friday's kick-off party, which begins at 8 p.m. Aug. 4-18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tues.-Fri., noon-6 p.m. Sat. and by appointment, 909 Central Ave., St. Petersburg, 727-898-6068, www.raiseupart.com.