The Green Book of Tampa Bay Art Exhibit will run through Sept. 11 at Studio@620. Pictured here is a work of art by Frederick Rootman Woods entitled ‘Babies Having Babies.’
BY J.S. COOPER, contributor
ST. PETERSBURG – The Green Book of Tampa Bay (GBTB) is currently showcasing Black artists throughout Tampa Bay at The Studio@620 through Sept. 11. Founders Hillary Van Dyke and Joshua Bean hosted an artist panel last Saturday, complete with musical performances
GBTB is a Black-owned business directory that serves Pinellas and Hillsborough County, helping those concerned with inequity in their community intentionally spend their dollars. Along with promoting Black-owned businesses, the guide promotes Black artists and historical and cultural sites.
“I’m excited about the exhibit in general,” shared co-founder Van Dyke. “Josh and I are huge art lovers. I’ve been trying to bring this exhibit to fruition for some time, but COVID presented barriers to doing that.”
The exhibit features artwork from artists including Ashley Rivers, Myiah Pink, Shawn Rainey/ Fabstraq, Elaine Chambliss Dogan, Ebony Adside, Lauren Gay, Denzel Johnson-Green, Roosevelt Skinner / Earth Arts by Roose, Frederick Rootman Woods, and others.
GBTB founders wanted to organize the show to highlight their love for Black artists and their amazing work, but that they also hope to generate some income and exposure for the artists.
“We know many Black creatives are struggling in this economy, especially during this pandemic. They are out here trying to eat and survive too. Our attempt to build Equity in our community, we feel it is important to encourage others to put their green into Black creatives as well,” said Bean.
Ashley Rivers is an artist, craftswoman, and curator primarily focused on creating unique works of art through inspiration from the earth, nature, her identity, and the body. With a background in ceramics and sculpture, her work focuses on finding beauty and acceptance within imperfections and experimenting and connecting her work to the natural world. You can check out her art pieces at the art exhibit or online at www.thenatureoffire.com.
“I’m really honored to be a part of this show! There are so many incredible Black artists within our community, and a lot of them go unnoticed. The Green Book of Tampa Bay collaborating with Studio@620 to put on this show really gives the artists a chance to voice themselves and to show their work to a crowd that may not have been introduced to it otherwise,” said Rivers.
Myiah Pink is a painter who brings creative visions to life through different forms of art. She describes her artwork as “eye-opening, freeing, and etheric.” Soul Lessons is a collection of work featured in the exhibit. The message being conveyed through these pieces is the journey of finding inner freedom and breaking free from the shackles of what society has painted us to be. Pink takes you through a journey of awakening through meditation. She can be reached through her website at myiahpink.com.
Elaine Chambliss Dogan is a painter who creates mainly large-scale paintings created in Oil. Her goal is to promote inspiring messages of hope to those encouraged by the transformational power of Art by creating Cultural Art using figures.
“It is an honor to be a part of Green Book of Tampa Bay Group Art Exhibit promoting Black Artists. I was shocked to see my message “Come Unity” front and center of Studio@620. It is my hope that we are encouraged to build one another up and use our diversity for strength,” said Dogan.
Dogan’s work can be found on display in local exhibits in St. Petersburg and purchased on oh her website at echamblissartist.com.
“I’m very grateful for Bob (Devin Jones, 620’s artistic director) and Studio @620 for taking a chance and allowing us to show this work. For some of the artists, this is their first exhibit, and that’s what GBTB is about,” said Van Dyke. She added that, along with providing the directory, “we also love when we can take opportunities to boost businesses and creators as well.”
The Studio@620 is located at 620 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg. For more information, visit thestudioat620.org.