St. Pete’s Historic Nostalgia Featured in ‘CIRCA’ Exhibit

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – The last chance to take a stroll down memory lane in St. Petersburg through the “CIRCA” exhibit at Mize Gallery is Sunday.

If you’ve lived in St. Pete since at least 2010, you’ll remember the colorful doors of the Holiday Motel on North Fourth Street before it was demolished in 2019. Rebekah Lazaridis, a third-generation native and artist from St. Petersburg, wanted to pay homage to popular spots like Holiday Motel around town that date back to the 1930s and 1940s with colorful hand-drawn illustrations.

“A lot of places are disappearing, which is a good thing and a bad thing,” Lazaridis told Patch.

St. Pete native Rebekah Lazaridis presents her exhibition, CIRCA, which pays homage to the city’s nostalgia at Mize Gallery. (Skyla Luckey/Patch)

Before the pandemic, Lazaridis worked in theaters and when hit COVID-19 plays went on hiatus.

“I loved doing sets for theater,” Lazaridis told Patch. “I did a residency at the American Stage Theater, but then COVID hit, and I had to do other things. I started doing art that real estate agents give you for your housewarming gift The pieces for this show I started doing before the pandemic, but during the pandemic I had more time to work on it.”

Lazaridis shares memories with family and friends at well-known restaurants and hip cafes like The Globe.

Illustration of China City, a former St. Pete stable closed in 2016, by Rebekah Lazaridis. (Mize Art Gallery/Rebekah Lazaridis)

“China City was one of my favorite places to go,” Lazaridis said. “I just miss their spring rolls. I used to go there every weekend with my family. I have other favorite places but this is the first that comes to mind.”

Chicken Salad Chick opened in China City’s Once Upon a Time house in March 2021.

A few memorabilia from his family are also on display, such as his grandfather’s clarinet played in St. Petersburg high school and his baseball cleats. Another special place for Lazaridis is Bringe Music on Central Avenue. She remembers very much going there with her father because he was having his instruments serviced.

The connections and space these buildings occupy in the heart of Lazaridis are imprinted beneath each of the Mize gallery illustrations. Other exhibits include the historic Manhattan Casino, the Deuces Live sign, and the State Theater.

Lazaridis received a BFA from the School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2005.

Mize Gallery, 689 Dr. MLK Jr. St. N., St. Petersburg, open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

For more information on Lazaridis’ works, visit his website.

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