Art in Tampa Bay: ‘Flag Series’ exhibit by award-winning artist Maxwell Emcays at the Glazer Children’s Museum

The Glazer Children’s Museum is enhancing the sense of play for children in Tampa Bay with the new exhibition, “Flag Series” by award-winning artist Maxwell Emcays. The exhibit opened on July 10 and will have complimentary admission on Saturday, July 24 and July 31 during museum hours 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

“Flag Series” is a unique exhibit for the Glazer Children’s Museum. The mission of the museum is to help children in the community connect with the world through art. As a learning laboratory, the Glazer Children’s Museum celebrated 10 Years of Play with innovative and educational exhibits in Tampa Bay.

By exposing visitors to experiential art, the museum encourages creativity and self-expression. According to the museum’s website, children learning about the world, and establishing identity, an element of play can teach resilience, empathy and problem-solving. Skills that are necessary, especially as children grow up in the post-pandemic world.

Artist Maxwell Emcays envisioned his new body of work to, “celebrate sovereign individualism within the collective,” Emcays says.

Emcays works with a purpose. His art is activism on the canvas. A visual testament to the struggles of the suppressed and a voice for the unheard. His work has been seen in Gallery Guichard, The DuSable Museum and Miami Art Basel as well as private collections.

Usually, Chicago-based Emcays works solo. For the “Flag Series,” more than a dozen kids helped Emcays with his vision. He said, “I feel mostly like I’m being mentored by the kids. They have tons and tons of wisdom and things that they say that really I’m often always picking up on.” Emcays added, “I hope that people that get to check out this exhibit get a more complete sense of Tampa, and who is represented from Tampa, and the opinions of the youth. This is their expression. These are their ideas.”

The young artists created self-portraits on flags for the exhibit, an opportunity to explore their identities as a part of the collective.

The kids featured in the exhibit come from several areas including Tampa

Heights, Sulfur Springs, Carrollwood and downtown.

Sarah Cole, president and chief executive officer of the Glazer Children’s Museum said, “We are so excited to partner with Maxwell to give children in Tampa Bay a chance to showcase their creativity and celebrate their uniqueness.”

To further enhance the experience for the community, the Glazer Children’s Museum ran the Make Your Mark! contest for children, ages 8-16, as part of the exhibition. Selected young artists were mentored by Emcays to create an original work for the current exhibit. The collaboration was an opportunity for Tampa’s young talent to tell a story, with color and symbolism.

Emcays said he was inspired by the eclectic feel and cultural diversity of Tampa Bay. For children and adults alike, a visit to the Glazer Children’s Museum to see the “Flag Series” exhibition is a chance to experience colorful diversity at play.

The Glazer Children’s Museum is located at 110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa.

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