Late Saturday afternoon Amber and I took off to Tampa for the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (GFoA). On the way we met up with our friend Jessica who came with us (we took her car, less gas on our part, thanks Jessica!). The festival was in downtown Tampa, among the busy streets and tall buildings. We had never ventured this far into the city since we had been here so it was sort of a double treat. It took us awhile to get there, but after a couple of wrong turns we made it with about an hour and a half to explore the roughly four blocks of booths. The show included all kinds of art, but my interest has always been in photography. There were five photographers whose work caused me to stand and stare (and wish and dream and reach for my credit card…just kidding, I wish!). So if I were the judge my awards would have been as follows:
#1 – Lisa Kristine
I have never in my life seen photos were so crisp and clean and the colors so bright! Her work combined rich ethnic scenes with either dynamic color, landscape, or both. Her photograph Dunes, Morocco (they did not actually have titles) displays her ability to combine photojournalism, landscape, and art all into one piece. My personal favorite of her’s was Kumbh Mela, India.
I have given Chris the nickname Master of Mist. His work is so mysterious and beautiful! My favorite photograph of the entire show was Dense Fog, a b&w photograph (I believe all of his work was b&w) where a faint etching of the top of the Golden Gate bridge can barely be seen through the fog. The man is a master of b&w and I am a fan for life! He was also quite the comedian when we me him. Hopefully one day I can start a collection of his work.
Powers set the bar high as he was the first booth we came to when we entered the festival. He had a gorgeous portfolio of both b&w and color photographs from all over the world, particularly Europe. I enjoyed the bicycle photographs and the color photo of the door (which I cannot find on the website to give a specific title). However, it was the b&w photograph of the Austrian village that I found on the side of Daniel’s booth that captured me. The village was set on a slope above a body of water with jagged snow spotted mountains in the back ground. I find in interesting because of its seeming contrast with similar Greek and Italiam villages, which are stacked on a slope in the Mediterranean Sea. Whereas those photographs give you a sense of warm, exotic romanticism, the Austrian village seems cold, austere, and yet beautiful.
#4 David Rowell
David is local artist from St. Petersburg. He had a lot of photographs of blurred beach photos which I loved! I believe his philosophy was that photography is not meant to record an event but a feeling and his work reflected such beliefs.
#5 Brian Call
Brian is a Florida photographer with an exceptional ability at panoramics. His photograph The Wave is a perfect example of landscape photography; combining atmosphere, water, and land in captivating fashion. One of the best panoramic photographers out there.
We left the festival and headed over to Ybor for the evening. For those who have never been, it is a very New Orleans type section of Tampa; complete with bars, restaurants, Starbucks, tatoo shops, and street cars. What makes Ybor special though is the overabundance of cigar bars. For those who don’t know, Tampa is the cigar producing capital of the U.S. We enjoyed hanging out, but then Jessica was threatening to throw up so we decided to call it a night!