The Florida Museum of Photographic Art is a well-respected photography museum located on Ashley Drive here in Tampa, Florida. Their mission statement states that they are a museum “dedicated to exhibiting important photographic art as central to contemporary life and culture. FMoPA collects, preserves, and exhibits historic and contemporary works by nationally and internationally known photographic artists. FMoPA also enriches the community by operating outreach programs to educate children and adults”. The museum was opened in 2001 by Cynthia Flowers, Charles J. Levin, and Vincent Sorrentino as the Tampa Gallery of Photographic Arts. They then secured their location in Hyde Park Village, and their first exhibition “Masters of Black and White” was debuted. In the summer of 2006 the museum was renamed the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts and was relocated to downtown Tampa. The museum then moved to its current location in the Waterfront Arts District in Rivergate Plaza’s Cube, a space that has been recognized as one of the most impressive interior spaces on the wets coast of Florida. Surrounded by windows, the cube is a unique place to enjoy unmatched photography. The museum is currently headed by Dr. Zora Carrier and her small staff of well educated professionals and volunteers.
FMoPA has regularly changing exhibitions so you can always expect something new from them throughout the year. They have an incredible permanent collection as well as outside exhibitions that they host. Their exhibitions regularly include photographers from around the world and by emerging photographic artists as well. The annual “Member’s Show” allows budding photographers to display and sell their work in the museum. Additionally, portfolio reviews from professionals for the emerging photographers helps get their name out and ensure their success.
The museum hosts weekly classes that are run and taught by professional photographers from around the world and locally from around the Tampa Bay area. They include but are not limited to: Photography 101, Photoshop for Beginners, and Introduction to Smartphone Photography. The museum is also host to a number of events, such as, speakers, Fourth Friday events, and member’s shows. Recently, FMoPA has been given the opportunity to host a speakers series funded by the Florida Humanities Council. Speeches range from abstract art, to WWII.
Becoming a member of the museum is a great way to get involved in the Tampa Bay art scene, as members are privy to lowered pricing on classes, get firsthand information about events, and are able to place their work into shows and benefit sales that the museum hosts, which allows upcoming photographers to socialize with other artists around the area and network and come into different ways to market yourself and sell your works. The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (lovingly referred to as FMoPA) is a gem of Tampa Bay that’s mission shines through everything they do.