NewsPinellas County


St. Petersburg Grand Prix inspires local artist

Ya La'ford
Posted at 4:58 AM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 08:00:30-04

A St. Petersburg artist is getting to put her own touch on the Grand Prix this weekend.

Ya La'ford has done some incredible projects during this pandemic.

She commissioned with the NFL to design 75 art pieces during the Super Bowl, an upcoming show at the Skyway Exhibition with the Ringling Museum, a Courageous 12 Sculpture, etc. To say she's busy is an understatement.

"Most exciting, which is where I am right now, I am involved in a project where you know, and studying and the influences through the tracks and the Indy cars and how my lines and patterns are implemented to pay homage to the racing community," explains La'ford.

Right now, she's working on an incredible piece for the Grand Prix that will be on display at the Tampa Convention Center.

"You know, racing is this art form within itself that has this rich history. And there's a language to racing. And I think really delving into the heat and the passion of the sports. And this radiant love for the fans, I think, and really honing in on that, and design. And this design for the Indy car, I think, will replicate the powerful and the high vibrations that come together during these races," she explains.

An Indy Car fan herself, La'ford explains the project with deep passion. Fans and visitors to the Grand Prix, and even Tampa, will get to see this first hand.

Her work will be on display starting Friday at the Tampa Convention Center before heading to the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance.

But that's not all. She'll also be painting at Indy Car as part of the Vuse Design Challenge.

"It's really a first of its kind opportunity that gives aspiring artists this chance to design an Arrow McLaren racecar that will be on the track. So it's an exciting program. They're also supporting activations all over St. Petersburg, and I'm just honored to be one of the local artists that are commissioned to create this one-of-a-kind installation that has this kind of two phases. That is going to be helping the cultural vibrancy. And you know, I think when you're looking at the turn of such a challenging year, this really is gonna shine a bright light on the Sunshine State," explains La'ford.

Other artists can also compete in the Vuse Design Challenge.

Ya La’ford is also painting an Indy Car live at the Ultimate Pit Stop, Saturday, from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET and Sunday, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. ET.