For ten years, the City of Tampa's Public Art Program commissioned an artist to photograph a perspective of the City of Tampa with an emphasis on what it means to be in Tampa at this particular time in history. The result of this juried process has produced a public collection and archive that is representative of the life and times in Tampa by regional, national and international photographers.The Photographer Laureate program was modeled after the Farm Security Administration's Photographic Program of the 1930's and 40's; and the National Endowment for the Art's Photography Surveys of the 1970's, '80's and '90's; and with the awareness of the regionally well-known Burgert Brother's photography collections.
Photo Laureates and their portfolios:
Marion Belanger - "For many years I have been interested in the concepts of persistence and change, and in the way that boundaries demarcate difference, particularly in regards to the land. I have primarily photographed in places where wildness gave way to the built, and this is what I had intended to seek out in Tampa. However, after walking the streets of downtown I was impressed by the number of empty buildings, especially in contrast to the significant amount of new construction occurring in the city. Similar to many other cities, downtown Tampa had been forsaken to chain stores, strip malls, and suburban developments. Now the city is experiencing resurgence in downtown real estate, and it is the transformation of the old, and the building of the new, that is the focus of my project." www.marionbelanger.com
Jeremy Chandler - "I make portraits because it is an intimate mode of representation that allows me to speak to a broader notion of place. The portraits are informed by the environmental context my subjects inhabit. For the Photo Laureate project, I began photographing the people I encountered during my everyday travels near my home. However, I discovered many other communities and places I viewed as unique subsets of the broader culture. I photographed golfers, net fisherman, wrestlers, derby girls, pirates, and a myriad of others who represent a wide range of particular interests, ages and socioeconomic backgrounds. As this work quite literally belongs to the people of the city, my goal was to create a tender and enchanting series of images that future generations will view as an uncommon glimpse of the past." - Jeremy Chandler www.jeremychandler.net
Suzanne Camp Crosby - Suzanne Camp Crosby feels that she sees things a little differently than the average person. She has developed a "visual signature" to her image making after having created and exhibited her images over the past three decades in Tampa. As the 2004 Photographer Laureate, she concentrated on capturing the unique characteristics and architectural elements of the City of Tampa. She approached the project in a way that she uses in her curriculum when teaching her photography students: the challenge and the objective. The city was shot in a way that one will recognize the images, but will also be amazed by them. She shows a piece of Tampa that indicates that she is very much in tune with the area. Crosby shot Tampa Bay the way she sees it, but used her "visual signature" to document it in a fresh way.
M.K. Foltz was selected in early 2013 as Tampa's Photographer Laureate X. For her project, she will produce site-specific large-scale images for the Tampa Convention Center accompanied by a limited edition portfolio of prints. Foltz is on the faculty at the Ringling College of Art & Design and was previously a professor at Drexel University's College of Design where she developed the photography curriculum. She attended Carnegie-Mellon University, The School of Visual Arts at Penn State University and earned an M.F.A. at The Rhode Island School of Design, where her mentors included Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, Frederick Sommer, Lisette Model, Gary Winogrand and Lee Friedlander. MK has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant for her alternative camera series. She has received four Fulbright Senior Specialist Grants to lecture and consult at institutions of higher learning and photo museums in Hungary, the Czech Republic, Lithuania and Turkey. More recently, MK was invited by the East-West Buddhist Institute in partnership with Kyungbuk National University in Daegu, South Korea to lecture on Contemporary Photographic Issues. MK's documentary essay, Tube City was short-listed for an International Street Photography Award at the London Festival of Photography in 2012, and exhibited during the London Olympics. MK photographs are represented in the permanent collections of the Tampa Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, the High Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Portland Museum of Art Maine, the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, etc. She has participated in numerous national and international exhibitions. www.mkfoltz.com
Karen Glaser -This portfolio was created for The Big Picture Project during my tenure as the City of Tampa Florida's 8th Photographer Laureate. This progressive city project was modeled after those such as the Farm Security Administration photo program of the 1930's and 40's and Tampa's own historic Burgert Brothers archive. These men left an extraordinary visual link to Tampa's past with photographs dating from the late 1800s to the early 1960s. www.karenglaserphotography.com
Steven S. Gregory -Steven S. Gregory's latest Photographic work came to fruition with the joining of two entities...inspiration and technology. Inspiration from the early western muralist Albert Bierstadt, who not only documented the landscapes in front of him, but by using what he called "the power of combination", created scenes of majesty and splendor that represented our country. www.stevensgregory.com
Rebecca Sexton Larson - "I built my first pinhole camera more than fifteen years ago out of necessity. It was built at a time when I could not afford a high-end professional camera, the type needed to produce large format negatives. With no traditional lens or viewfinder, the pinhole camera appears to record the world serendipitously. There is a fundamental beauty to pinhole images, characterized by its surreal quality, vignette appearance, long exposures and greater depth-of-field that traditional cameras cannot provide. Throughout the years, I have continued to build pinhole cameras out of detergent boxes, books, and even the rooms of my house. www.sextonlarson.com
Barbara Jo Revelle - Barbara Jo Revelle uses the verite or "street-shooting" style of photography, which captures people in groups in a "decisive moment." She spent hundreds of hours in crowded places where the public gathers to be part of a community or to have fun. In addition to producing 72 images, Revelle compiled a video collage juxtaposing approximately 450 of the still images taken in Tampa in 2009 and asked the deceptively simple question: "How is it going with you these days?" Regarding the responses she received from this question, Revelle states, "I was very often astonished by the mix of street-savvy, earnestness, unconventional wisdom, crack-pot ideas and wonderful stories."www.barbarajorevelle.com
Beth Reynolds - "Everyone's Tampa is different. What is presented is the Tampa I saw. It is not all of Tampa; it would be impossible to photograph the entire city. Tampa is a living, breathing entity that is constantly changing. It would take years to create a photographic record of Tampa, and still it would remain incomplete." -- Beth Reynolds
Ric Savid -"My project for Volume IX of The Big Picture project was to produce black and white images depicting the diversity of Tampa?s inhabitants. The goal: bring future generations face to face with strangers who once lived and worked in their city. I had eight months to produce 50 portraits. At first, I panicked and failed miserably. I shot anybody who would say, 'Yes' and the first dozen rolls of film went directly to the garbage. So I regrouped. Portraits are about relationships, the chemistry between people - and about luck. I contacted people I knew, who in turn knew people in Tampa - an Italian woman who now had a little girl, a contractor who knew a yoga instructor who in turn led me to a musician. There were nurses, boxers, and a writer who knew everyone from the ex-Mayor to a former famous rock star living in Tampa. I kept shooting in the intuitive way I have always worked and the diversity of the subjects seemed to work itself out naturally. I have tried to shoot from the heart. If I have been successful, future viewers should see a part of themselves in these images."