Tampa Bay Born Murals is a brand new video series from I Love the Burg and That’s So Tampa that is made possible by Neptune Flood Insurance CEO Trevor Burgess and his husband, Gary Hess, in partnership with Metro Inclusive Health. Just as the diverse palette of murals throughout the Bay highlight the colorful personality and history of the area, this series aims to shine a light on the artists who bring those works to life.
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In this storytelling video series, Tampa Bay Born Murals will feature the personal stories behind local artists, many of whom are persons of color, LGBTQ+ and/or women who are breaking through in a historically non-inclusive industry. Art is expression, and in it comes an opportunity to promote social justice, equity, and opportunity for all.
While arts and culture is a booming industry, it comes with a severe lack of representation by the cultures that inspire it. According to a study by Williams College in 2019, 85.4% of collections in major US museums are by white artists, and 87.4% are by men. Asian artists total 9%, Hispanic/Latinx 2.8%, and Black/African American artists account for only 1.2% of featured works.
This series will showcase the diverse array of emerging artists here in the Sunshine City and provide background information not only on the stunning pieces these artists have completed, but also the creator’s journey into the visual arts. These murals tell our community’s story, providing historical context to past events, and often serving as a call to action, as seen when more than a dozen Tampa Bay artists came together in 2020 to create the Black Lives Matter street mural outside the Dr. Carter G Woodson African American Museum.
St. Petersburg is recognized as an open-air art gallery on view to the public 24/7. We take in this tapestry daily, passing countless pieces whether on our commute to work, or out for a bike ride down the Pinellas Trail. But what do we know about how they arrived there, and more importantly, what do we know about the talented artists behind them?
Tampa Bay Born Murals is a storyteller series that will deepen the appreciation for the mammoth and marvelous works where we live, while also celebrating the creative artists who make our city so colorful.
Nneka Jones is a an activist artist working in the Tampa Bay region. They are renowned for their embroidery work, and paintings, and have earned national acclaim for their work. Recently, Jones completed a mural with Bianca Burrows in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg as part of the SHINE Mural Festival.
Jabari Reed-Diop, aka iBOMS, paints a new narrative in St. Pete
His work features themes of self-love, destructions and discovery. The vibrant, alluring, and meticulously detailed works draw in myriad observers. While the works themselves are meant to be appreciated and interpreted by all, the artist himself hopes to give his community a lens into the experience of an African American male here in the Sunshine City.
Stay tuned for more Tampa Bay Born Murals series updates!