ST. PETERSBURG — As Pilot Bank readies to debut its first location in St. Petersburg, local artists are busy crafting a mural on one of the branch’s exterior walls that pays tribute to the city’s critical role in the early days of commercial flight.
The artists, John Gascot and Derek Donnelly, have been commissioned to create an intricate mural on the curved north wall of the Tampa-based community bank’s inaugural St. Pete branch, at 2180 4th St. N. Drivers approaching downtown St. Pete by way of 4th Street will have a beautiful view of the aviation-themed creation, fitting for a city with deep roots in early aviation.
“St. Pete was home to the very first commercial flight, from St. Pete to Tampa, by Tony Jannus, and we have a deep connection with pilots through NAFCO, our aircraft financing subsidiary,” Pilot Bank President Rita Lowman states in a press release. “So it’s very fitting to now have a home in the Burg.”
Gascot, according to the release, spent the first 12 years of his life in Puerto Rico before moving to Florida. He is the founder of Diversity Arts Inc., a nonprofit that serves disenfranchised youth and groups by providing safe environments, guidance and materials for creative self-discovery, expression and sociocultural interaction.
Donnelly, the release states, grew up in St. Petersburg and founded Saint Paint Arts, an art gallery in downtown St. Pete. He also works as an agent and representative for many Tampa Bay area artists.