‘Verde: Poetics of Shade’ brings five Black women artists to Tampa Museum through July 24

The Tampa Museum of Art and the Tampa Chapter of The Links, Inc. partnered to bring ‘Verde: Poetics of Shade,’ featuring five Black women artists living or working in the Tampa Bay area. The exhibit runs through July 24. The work above is entitled ‘Access Denied’ by Nneka Jones

BY J.A. JONES, Staff Writer

TAMPA — In a unique partnership, the Tampa Museum of Art joined with the Tampa Chapter of The Links, Inc. to present the exhibition “Verde: Poetics of Shade,” featuring five Black women artists living or working in the Tampa Bay area.

The show, which opened in February, runs through July 24 – so with less than two weeks left, you’ll want to make plans to fit this stunning and evocative exhibit into your schedule with haste.

Featuring artists Shannon Elyse, Kendra Frorup, Nneka Jones, Jodi Minnis, and Princess Smith, the “Verde” exhibit was conceived to explore the power and creativity of feminine energy while considering various shades of green and how they inspired different perceptions and ideas.

Jodi Minnis’ ‘It’s Not Mine to Hold, Version 2’

“The ‘Verde’ exhibit began as the arts committee chair and co-chair of our chapter reached out to the Tampa Museum of Art in order to curate, celebrate and showcase women of color in a gallery exhibition. The arts expansion effort began three years ago and had many iterations, twists, and turns before becoming the current exhibit,” shared Casey Curry, Tampa Links’ Arts Committee Chair.

Curry added that the local exhibit fulfills a national organization program collaborating with artistic partners throughout the country to promote community arts exposure and experiences.

While green is the color weaving the exhibit together — along with the emotional, political, and social impressions and expressions its various shades may stimulate — the entire show combines every imaginable color “under the rainbow” along with multiple mediums, subjects, and styles.

Shannon Elyse Curry’s ‘Self Portrait 10’

The artists explore a wide range of topics and forms of expression — from family herstory, childhood, self-love, and empowerment to her-storically racist imagery, mysterious sculptural constructs, and abstract design.

California-born artist Shannon Elyse Curry lives in South Tampa; she earned a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art and Art History as an honors scholar at Spelman College in Atlanta, studying under Dr. Fahamu Pecou. Her evocative paintings offer expressions of feminine energy combined with mysterious and surreal imagery.

Bahamian-born Kendra Frorup received a bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of Tampa and an MFA from Syracuse University. Her elegant, elusive sculptural creations stimulate wonder, while a large-scale piece made of china plates evokes the artist’s contemplation of her culture and homeland.

Nneka Jones was born in Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago. A multidisciplinary artist whose work considers social, racial, and environmental injustice, her subject matter also contemplates how our world does or does not protect women and girls. Holding a BFA in Art from the University of Tampa, Jones’ mixed-media work “Destroy the Myth” has also been added to the Tampa Museum’s permanent collection.

Born in Nassau, The Bahamas, Jodi Minnis is a multidisciplinary artist investigating the intersection of gender, race, and culture. Her installation-work offers a fascinating display of vintage mammy statues – reflecting her observation of racist representations held around Bahamian and global Black women. Minnis holds an associate degree in Fine Arts from the College of The Bahamas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tampa.

Los Angeles-born artist Princess Smith earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Tampa and an MFA from the University of South Florida. Her works offer portraitures that feel deliciously powerful and feminine as she explores culture, identity, and self-love.

The exhibit includes a description of the thematic shades of green the curators and artists responded to, including

  • Chartreuse – inspiring ideas of provocation, politics, social justice, excitement
  • Sage – inspiring themes of wisdom, self-awareness, healing, protection, and native cultures
  • Olive – exploring peace, promise, fertility, prosperity, immortality, and success
  • Moss – offering thoughts of serenity, quiet, shade, and whimsy

An exhibit that leaves you feeling uplifted and in awe of this new wave of Black women artists, “Verde: Poetics of Shaderuns through July 24, so make your way there with a quickness.

Tampa Museum of Art is located at 120 W. Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa. For more information, call (813) 274-8130, or visit TampaMuseum.org.

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