Picture (im)Perfect — Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts anchors a row of museums in downtown Tampa, including the Tampa Museum of Art and the Glazer Children’s Museum. FMOPA is dedicated to the art of photography and has a prominent place at Tampa’s rich, cultural table.

It’s filled with exhibition and event spaces that showcase photographers and images,from across the globe. It’s a place that celebrates the role of photography in our lives, freezes moments of life and reminds us of the best and worst events we experience. Through the images at FMOPA we define our values, recreate our world and discover places we’ve never seen before.

Current Exhibits

The museum curates national and international exhibits that stir emotion and provoke thought. The exhibit “Hidden Waters/Desert Springs: An Uncertain Future,” by Bremner Benedict, presents beautiful landscapes with lush color and soaring skies. At the same time, it underscores the environment’s fragility, threatened by population growth and climate change. Jeff Whetstone’s “Batture Ritual” explores natural life along the water’s edge of the lower Mississippi River. 

Jeff Whetstone’s “Batture Ritual”

In Noelle Mason’s “X-Ray Vision vs. Invisibility,” Mason uses a collection of images of immigrants illegally crossing into the United States along the southern border. She uses processing techniques to dehumanize the subjects, often hidden in box trucks or on foot in the middle of the night. These haunting images are then framed, woven into tapestry, and embroidered into fabric. The multimedia exhibit is striking, provokes conversation, and confronts opinions about immigration and political policy.

Creating a Community

While exposure to national and international photographers helps solidify the reputation of FMOPA, the museum’s commitment to the local community stands out. The museum offers photography workshops and programs that focus on students and senior citizens, plus offers dedicated space for local exhibits. 

The current community arts project is “Chef’s Special.” It is a collection of more than 80 portraits of local chefs and restauranteurs. It’s a creative and fun look at the people who create the dining experiences that weave together the fabric of our community. You may not know their names, but you know their places, like Bern’s Steakhouse, Mise en Place and The Library. There is great diversity in this collection. From the icons of Tampa Bay’s restaurant scene to bakeries, from ethnic favorites to taco stands, each portrait captures the flavor of our vibrant culinary community.

A Powerful Force

Great photography is a powerful force that stirs our emotions. It tells the stories of our lives, defines what matters and frames the world around us. Photographs take us on a journey by helping us look inside ourselves for the person we once were or the person we want to be. It’s a journey where you can lose yourself and find yourself all at the same time. And that journey can begin here. For more information, visit fmopa.org.


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