Image of art installation at Fairgrounds St. Pete
A detail from the massive art installationPHOTO: FAIRGROUNDS ST. PETE 2021
The Arts

Art Immersion in St. Pete
Olivia Mansion ’16 AM opens Meow Wolf-style experience

By Leslie Weeden / January–March 2022
January 24th, 2022

Some 64 local artists were kept busy during the pandemic creating “Fairgrounds St. Pete,” a Meow Wolf–style, 15,000-square-foot, immersive art and technology installation that opened this past fall in the Warehouse Arts District of St. Petersburg, Florida. Director of Communications Olivia Mansion ’16 AM is one of three cofounders along with her husband, Chief Technology Officer Mikhail Mansion, and Chief Executive Officer Liz Dimmit. When work began in early 2020, artists were given a loose theme of “weird, wacky, wonderful Florida.” The resulting space, centered on the Mermaid Star Motel, with its pulsating neon sign, overflows with brightly colored exhibits, sculptures, intricate dioramas, and interactive computer-generated projections and lighting displays. In addition to just exploring the spectacle, guests can find clues to solve mysteries and discover a storyline. “Putting together an immersive experience of this scale has truly been a labor of love,” Mansion says. “It’s been an honor and quite the entrepreneurial journey.”

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January–March 2022
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