Best Of 2007

BEST PUBLIC ART PROGRAM: Tampa’s Photographer Laureate

BEST PUBLIC ART PROGRAM: Tampas Photographer Laureate (Above: Steven S. Gregorys We Had Everything)

You won’t catch us defending many of the Bay area’s eye-catching examples of public art — at least, not the bronze tootsie in a toga in front of downtown Tampa’s George E. Edgecomb Courthouse. However, there is one public art program we’d call priceless (and it just happens to cost far less money on an annual basis than the typical public sculpture): the City of Tampa’s Big Picture Photographer Laureate Program. Going strong for its fifth year, the annual program commissions a documentary or fine-art photographer to turn a lens on Tampa’s people and places in his or her own unique visual style; each year brings a new portfolio documenting the city’s history-in-the-making for all to enjoy (online and in a public exhibit). The current photographer laureate is Marion Belanger, whose portfolio has not been released yet. Last year’s was Steven S. Gregory. You can check out his work at stevensgregory.com.