We'd like to congratulate Old Hyde Park Village for expanding its arty image, welcoming two new arts venues within as many months. First, after 25 years in the television broadcasting business, USF alumn Marc Grossman has switched from show biz to the art biz, opening the Grossman Gallery on HP's Swann Avenue (look for a grand opening next month). Taking full advantage of his show business background, Grossman theatrically presents an impressive 400-plus pieces of art, including a room dedicated to abstracts (complete with disco ball and flashing lights).
The second art space, something of a coup for the village, is the Bay area's first museum devoted entirely to photography: the Tampa Gallery of Photographic Arts.
As the name suggests, TGPA, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to photography in Tampa. The group's mission: to mount exhibitions that present the photographer's vision as vital and central to life and culture. In addition to highlighting photographers of regional, national and international repute, TGPA promotes community educational programs, like a recent slide show and walkabout, both hosted by Florida photographer Clyde Butcher. Butcher is also one of several artists featured in TGPA's inaugural show, Masters of Black & White.
Open to the public on Friday, May 4, Masters of Black & White showcases roughly 45 images by some of the most prolific shutterbugs in the business. Photo lovers find Butcher's beautifully textured snaps of Florida's more pristine wetlands and preserves, alongside stirring and serene images by Sierra Club favorite Ansel Adams. The unpretentious, feel-good photos of Willy Ronis mix and mingle with the works of Berenice Abbott, renowned for her documentary photographs of American life and society (the one-time apprentice to Man Ray also captured many celebrated literary and artistic figures of her day, including Edward Hopper, James Joyce, Jean Cocteau and Buddy Gilmore). Andreas Feininger, Julius Shulman and other artists are highlighted as well.
Vital and central to life and culture? We couldn't say. But TGPA's debut show sure is purdy to look at.