The World's Greatest Kiting

A Collaborative Kite Art Exhibition and Celebration

Date(s) & Times

September 9- October 8, 2016

Opening Reception Saturday September 10, 5-9 PM

Please see event description for full listing of kiting events.


Most events are free and open to the pubic. Workshops will have a small fee.

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David and Astrid Ellis, Kiteman Productions, Kiting Tampa Bay, American Kitefliers Association, The Drachen Foundation

Red Circle Sponsors: Hal Freedman and WIlli Rudowsky

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The Studio@620 and Drayton Callison are collaborating to bring a new exciting immersive exhibition to the Tampa Bay Area. This event will feature a wide variety of innovative, unique and handmade kites from around the world, ranging from popular sport models, to one-of-a-kind works of art, giant structures to delicate forms that fit in your hand, historic artifacts to contemporary designs, wind propelled to windless kites. There will be an additional mini exhibition featuring conceptual kites created by local artists. Along with this exciting display, The Studio will host educational programming, presentations, demonstrations, workshops, and will organize some hands on outdoor kite flying events.
Workshops require advanced reservations and will have a small admission fee. Other events are free and open to the public.


World's Greatest Kiting Lift Off Event and Gallery Preview Friday, September 9 / 6-9pm (Gallery Preview 6-7pm. Presentations will start at 7pm) Featuring short presentations and storytelling by a dozen world-renowned kiting enthusiasts, experts, and artists, followed by a panel discussion led by Drayton Callison host of

Kite Making Workshop for Adults Saturday, September 10 / 12-4pm $15 (Parents can bring older children to work with them. Advanced reservations required.)
For more information about the workshops, click here.

Exhibition Opening Reception & Kite Flying Performances Saturday, September 10 / 5-9pm Not only will our gallery be full of beautiful, engaging and unimaginable kites, but we will also be holding a night kite fly outside with video art projections and inside the gallery with windless kites from Singapore.

Community Kite Flying Picnic in Lassing Park, Sunday September 11 / 3-7 pm  Join us for this fun opportunity to meet and learn from professional fliers in lovely Lassing Park located on Beach Drive SE around 17 Ave SE. Open to everyone, from the curious to the experts!

Kite Making Workshop for Children - SPF 16: Family Arts Festival in Straub Park, Saturday, September 24 / 12-5pm / Free

Located in South Straub Park – 250 Bay Shore Dr. NE., St. Petersburg

Kite Making Workshop for Adults Sunday, September 25 / 12-4pm / $15 - advanced reservations required. For more information about the workshops, click here.

Giant Kites of Guatemala: Presentation by Indigenous Guatemalan Painter Enrique Cay, Thursday September 29 / 6-9pm (Presentation will start at 7pm) For more information about this presentation, click here.

Kite Inspired Performances (Poetry, Storytelling, Prose Readings and Theatre performed by local artists) & Kite Artist Talk, September 30 / 6-9pm (Performances will start at 7pm)  This will be an evening of creation and performance in response to the exhibition and programming throughout the month. Several local writers, and performers will share kite inspired poetry, storytelling, and theatre readings. We will also have a panel discussion with our “Concrete Kite” artists.

Closing Reception during ArtWalk, Saturday, October 8 / 5-9pm


World's Greatest Kiting

Drayton Callison is a longtime kiting enthusiast, and an active member of the American Kitefliers Association and Kiting Tampa Bay. He is the host and founder of the recently launched World’s Greatest Kiting website and accompanying media sites dedicated to promoting and exposing the efforts of average people in the extraordinary hobby, art and sport of kiting around the world. For more information please visit his website at or connect with the Facebook, Youtube or Podcast pages where you can keep up with kiting events, watch fun videos, and hear compelling stories from some of the greatest kiters in the world.


Kite Project History

This collaborative partnership with the kiting community was conceived of by Artistic Director (Emeritus) and Co-Founder David Ellis and came out of his longtime curiosity and wonder of flight, especially kites and his desire to learn more about it while sharing with others. He has had a long history of developing and designing innovative museum exhibitions and displays to spread his curiosity for the world while educating and inspiring generations of people. He moved to St. Petersburg in the mid 1980’s to create Great Explorations, the Hands On! Museum and was instrumental in several local museum exhibitions throughout the 1990’s. Prior to moving here he was involved in many large national and international projects, in Washington DC and beyond.

David began perusing this project about a year and a half ago by reaching out to prominent individuals in the local kiting community. With the assistance of Kelly and Jay of Kiting Tampa Bay, we connected with Drayton Callison, Wayne Hosking, and Bruce Flora of Kiteman Productions. Since then we have met several times with Drayton to fly kites together and dream of possibilities.


Lift Off Event Presenters (Sept 9):

Drayton Callison is a lifelong kiting enthusiast and the host of the recently launched World’s Greatest Kiting website and accompanying media sites dedicated to promoting and exposing the efforts of average people in the extraordinary hobby, art and sport of kiting around the world. For more information please visit


Bruce Flora is recognized around world for his thrilling Kiteman Productions. He is the steady wind that brought many of the Kiting community together.


Wayne & Janet Hosking are longtime international kite collectors, makers and educators. Wayne is also an accomplished author and historian who will be talking about his extensive collection of rare and unique Japanese Kites, many of which they has been kind enough to share with us and will be part of the gallery exhibition. His fascinating book “Kites Of Japan” cataloging his expansive collection and the many stories involved in acquiring the kites will also be available. Janet has been creating kites all her life, a few of her colorful works will be on display in the Gallery.


John Lutter – A professional kite flyer that flies all around Florida and the world. He is the current president of the American Kitefliers Association and the founder/proprietor of the excellent kite shop


Jay Nunes & Kelly-Mayhew are the heart of the local kiting community. Together they founded and operate Kiting Tampa Bay the largest kiting group in the area. If there is something kite related happening in the Tampa Bay area, they have either planned it or are out to support it. Be sure to join them on Treasure Island in February for their Kitemania festival.


WindFire Designs/ Ruth Whiting & Tim Elverston – this Husband and wife team from Gainesville have created a unique blend of innovative design, beautiful craftsmanship, and expressive performance, resulting in expansive ground and sky installations which they have shown off from the deserts of Nevada to the coasts of Italy.


Also Featuring kite artists Dean Jordan, Rafael Santana, Rick Troup, and world class sport kiters Malcom Jones of Wallaby Ranch Hang Gliding, kite boarder Brant Shively, and world champion flier Vince O'brien.