Best Of 2021

“Mi isla” by Gabriel Ramos

Tampa Bay first saw Gabriel Ramos’ “Mi isla” at the MFA during Skyway. The 24-foot-long assemblage of red plastic is noticeably different from Ramos’ past sculptures. It’s also his best yet. “Mi isla” captured the tropics in an innovative way that stands out from the crowd of Florida paradise-themed artwork. It’s even more impressive knowing that Ramos mainly sculpted in wire before this. There were certain things Ramos couldn’t achieve through bending wire, which is why he transitioned to laser-cut plastic in 2020. “It’s almost like you keep getting better at making something and polishing and polishing it,” he said in a July 2021 interview. gbramos.com

See all the winners from Best of the Bay 2021

Best of the Bay 2021 Arts & Entertainment: Creative Loafing Tampa Bay's 2021 readers and critics pick the best in local theater, poets, museums and so much more.

Best of the Bay 2021 Arts & Entertainment


Winner: M. Catherine Wynkoop

Runners-Up: Jadyn Mills “Lend Me a Tenor,” Eugenie Bondurant

Tony Krol

As we interviewed Tampa Bay’s Black artists for our Spring Arts Preview, Tony Krol’s name kept coming up. Krol worked with several Black artists in 2020, created murals with them, provided space for them to show their work, and brought them into conversations about curation. The collaborations introduced Tampa Bay to the Black Activist Photographers and New Roots Art Collective. They brought us Tampa’s Black Lives Matter street mural, “Cultural Currency” at Peninsularium, and “Black Storm” at Cafe Hey. Krol knows that Tampa’s diversity is one of its greatest assets, and he’s making sure that diversity is well-represented in Tampa’s art galleries and streets. mergeculture.com

Elizabeth Brincklow

Brincklow was born with an unfair advantage. You see, her mother Martha taught “arts and ideas” to generations of students at Dunedin High School. This cultural cocoon launched her to the FSU School of Theatre and the study of mime in Paris. Imaginative gigs in D.C. and NYC forged her keen skills. But the trail she’s blazed across disciplines with major artists over the past three decades since returning to Pinellas County is unmatched. She strategically developed St. Pete’s cultural scene, crafted Creative Pinellas’ grants program and shepherded Dunedin’s Public Art Master Plan and implementation of significant installations. brincklow-arts.com

Winner:Naked Came the Florida Man” by Tim Dorsey

Runners-Up: Dogs of the Burg” by Urban Dog Studio, “Curveball at the Crossroads” by Michael Lortz

Winner: Mayven Missbehavin

Runners-Up: Femmes and Follies, Janinie Fatone-Butler