ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pinellas County man is making sure his family’s artwork isn’t lost and soon, it will be on display.

Paul Nucci is bringing his family’s artwork to St. Pete to share with the Tampa Bay area.

Nucci’s brother, John, recently passed away. He was also a painter. When his brother passed, Nucci said he sealed some of John’s unframed works for posterity, surprised as how many he had done.

“I resolved to make sure his work did not just disappear,” Nucci said.

Nucci said several other members of his family were artists as well. Many of their works were previously lost. He said over 1,000 original works of his father’s were lost after he returned to the states from defensive in World World II. Nucci said he never painted seriously again.

This year, the family will be exhibiting their work across multiple generations, from 90 years ago to the present, at the Mirella Cimato Gallery.

Nucci said it came about after his brother’s death and memorial service in 2020. His sister-in-law asked him to archive his brother’s artwork.

“I had had no idea he had this much artwork, or he had made that much. And it made me feel bad that this artwork wasn’t going to celebrated or exhibited in anyway. And I just thought so much artwork has been lost in my family that I didn’t want the opportunity to pass, so I began to think about it and I mentioned it to other members of the family and pretty soon I realized, there’s a lot of members of the family who have quite a bit of of artwork,” said Nucci.

He said he thought it was a great way to celebrate four generations of artists across his family.

“And the idea sort of grew from there. Every time I mentioned it to somebody, they got a look on their face, very excited, and it’s just a warm story. It’s a very positive story about a family and we just thought it was a great idea to bring the family together for it,” Nucci said.  

Nucci himself has painted in pastels for over 55 years, exhibiting his words in St. Petersburg and elsewhere. He was one of the initial artists to showcase his work at the Mirella Cimato Gallery at the Opera Central Building in St. Pete.

Nucci said he believes others will be surprised to see how the artistic trait runs through families.

“I think we all know that, we all see, ‘well they take after their mother,’ or ‘they take after their father,’ or whatever, but this is a very rich vein. A lot of us have this. And we don’t even really know how long it’s been going on,” he said.

The show will include works by Nucci and numerous members of his own family, including his great-uncles, his niece, two of his sounds, cousins and a grand-nephew.

While he understands that adds up to more then ten, several of the youngest members of the member will be featured in a second section of the gallery called “the next generation.”

Nucci said most of the pieces will not be on sale, as they are family heirlooms, but those that are online will benefit the Saint Petersburg Opera Company, where he is on the board of directors.

The show will go on display right after the Fourth of July and will remain on display through the end of August.

Nucci said he’s excited for others in the Tampa Bay area to see artwork that’s done out of “love and passion.”

“It doesn’t necessarily have a profit motive. It doesn’t have a marketing angle. It’s a thing that people do because they love it. That’s what I would like people to take away,” he said.

The gallery can be seen at the location at 2133 1st Avenue S, St. Pete, starting in July.