Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Award Winners – Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN

First: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

Second: St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman

Third: State Rep. Jennifer Webb

FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVIST

First: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida

Second: Claire Elisan, Project No Labels

Third: Ashley Brundage, Empowering Differences

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2020 hopefuls commit to equality ahead of Florida’s primary

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: “DEMZ” featuring Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden by Chad Mize.

It’s been more than three years since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States, succeeding LGBTQ ally Barack Obama to become the nation’s 45th commander in chief. It’s been longer still since he became the first Republican to acknowledge the LGBTQ community from the podium of the Republican National Convention. On June 21, 2016, he vowed to protect LGBTQ citizens from “violence and oppression” while accepting his party’s nomination.

The promise drew the immediate ire of journalist Tony Schwartz, the ghostwriter who was credited as the co-author of “The Art of the Deal,” Trump’s bestselling biography. Schwartz shadowed and studied the real estate developer for nearly two years to write the 1987 memoir for him, which he says today he would name “The Sociopath.”

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The Last Page: Chad Mize, Artist and Gallery Owner

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

This issue, we check in with St. Petersburg’s Chad Mize, MIZE Gallery owner, multimedia designer and the artist who drew the cover for this issue of Watermark. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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LGBTQ youth lead Come OUT St. Pete project for SHINE Mural Festival

By : Tiffany Razzano
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ABOVE: LGBTQ youth from Metro Inclusive Health and volunteers finalize the first mural for the fifth annual SHINE Mural Festival on Sept. 28. Photo courtesy Chad Mize.

Since the inception of St. Petersburg’s SHINE Mural Festival in 2015, multimedia artist and gallery owner Chad Mize has incorporated a community project into the annual art event.

SHINE transforms the city’s streets by curating large-scale murals painted by renowned artists from across the globe, he says. “We bring international talent to the city to elevate the scene here. It puts us on the map.”

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50 artists honor Stonewall’s 50th for MIZE Gallery’s ‘ICONS: LGBTQ+ Portraits’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Donna Summer by Karen Schremmer.

St. Petersburg-based artist Chad Mize is kind of a big deal. When he isn’t printing his popular “World Tour” T-Shirts which group Paris, London and Tokyo with St. Pete—sold throughout Tampa Bay and worn worldwide—he’s designing licensed, limited-edition snapback hats for the Tampa Bay Rays.

That’s in addition to painting intricate murals, which are found all across Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Tampa, and curating monthly exhibits featuring established and emerging artists at MIZE Gallery. Opened last year, the gallery is bringing art enthusiasts to St. Petersburg’s Historic Uptown neighborhood in droves.

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LGBTQ artists announce multi-venue Pride exhibits for June

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Local LGBTQ artists Chad Mize and John Gascot have partnered to curate two Pride-themed art exhibits across three venues during the month of June.

“LGBTQ and ally artists will be painting the town rainbow this Pride season,” the duo announced via press release May 1. “St. Pete Pride is already well-known as Florida’s largest Pride celebration, boasting a massive parade, a variety of performances, concerts and parties, but this year creatives are making the most out of this yearly tradition to adorn galleries and artful spaces with visual celebrations of individuality, diversity and loving freely.”

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Janet Jackson, a Ybor City impostor and Santa’s little helpers

By : Anonymous
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Janet-Concert-T-shirt-Tampa
Janet Jackson came to Tampa and all she got was this T-shirt, and she could not have been more excited about it. While performing on stage at the Amalie Arena during her “Unbreakable World Tour,” a fan threw a T-shirt on stage. Now gifts being thrown on stage by adoring fans are nothing new to Ms. Jackson, but this one left her visibly giddy as she opened up the shirt, and it read Penny-Charlene-Cleo-Justice, those being the first names of her iconic characters from Good Times, Diff’rent Strokes, Fame and Poetic Justice. The T-shirt was designed by St. Petersburg artist Chad Mize, who was unable to attend the concert, and was tossed on stage by his friend Ryan Prado. The T-shirt design, which lists four similar people, places or things, is becoming quite iconic itself with the World Tour shirt (Paris-London-Tokyo-St. Pete) being all the rage last year. The design even made appearances at this year’s TIGLFF events with the Sundance-Cannes-Toronto-TIGLFF t-shirts. HIGH FASHION!

Can the real Ybor City please stand up?
Hollywood is coming to Ybor… well, sort of. The rights to Tampa Bay writer Dennis Lehane’s novel, Live by Night, were bought by Oscar-winning writer/director/actor/producer/Batman Ben Affleck who will turn it into his next project. The story is set in Ybor City during the 1920s and ‘30s and is about a Boston thief’s rise to power as a Gulf Coast rum runner. Don’t dust off those acting chops just yet though my local performers. While the story takes place in the bay area, the lack of state tax incentives for movie productions has caused Mr. Affleck to head north some 270 miles to Brunswick, Georgia where he is building a fake Ybor City for the film. If you build it, they will come and come he will. The set designers have been busy building since early September preparing for Batman Ben’s arrival to begin shooting the first week of November. Sorry real Ybor and thanks Obama… oops, we mean thanks Rick Scott!

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