A New Home for Lens-Based Art

Exploring the New Home of the
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

. . .

Large, bright rooms, all on one floor, a parking garage one block away that is only $1 an hour – what’s not to love about the new Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) location in Ybor City?

I have been involved with FMoPA on and off since its Hyde Park days over 20 years ago. It has been a rocky relationship at times but we are back together!

The strong, dynamic leadership team of Robin O’Dell and Wendy Leigh gives me hope that this arts organization finally has a clear path to elevate lens-based art as it should be. “We love being part of this arts renaissance in Ybor and with all the creative people here in the Kress Building,” says Executive Curator O’Dell.

Carlton Ward Jr.

Florida has not one but two very important conservation photographers – Clyde Butcher and Carlton Ward. Currently on view at the new FMoPA location is Carlton Ward’s Path of the Panther project. Ward is a National Geographic Explorer and photographer and for nearly two decades has been working tirelessly to educate Floridians about the plight of our state animal.

On exhibit through March 17 are larger than life images of panthers in their natural habitat along with numerous other creatures that require our Florida wilderness to remain wild, to survive. One image that will haunt you is an aerial view of endless cookie-cutter homes pushed against the highway.

Path of the Panther is also a book and successful movie that goes in-depth about the fight we are in to save and expand the Florida Wildlife Corridor.

This new exhibition space gives you room to experience the entire show as the curator envisioned, but also the ability to move in close and have an intimate moment with a single frame. A few moveable walls means each show will be uniquely displayed and feel fresh.

On view through January 14 is the 2023 Members’ Show. A salon-hung display of a wide range of lens-based art that showcases the talent of Tampa Bay photographers.

FMoPA Members are coming back and O’Dell says, “We have many more people walking in which we did not have at the other location – and the majority say they have never been in before and that is exciting.” Indeed it is.

You can treat yourself to these two exhibitions and return for the upcoming exhibition of acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz’s work, set to open on March 24.


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