Hoffman Porges: Ybor City Art Gallery Reopens

The iconic Hoffman Porges Gallery on 7th Avenue in Ybor City reopened in September.

With the original owner of the 20-year-old gallery deciding to close it about two years ago, Tampa residents Dave and Jill Scott saw something in the 6,000-square-foot space at 1907 E. 7th Ave. in the Historic Ybor District. They purchased the gallery this past summer. The Scotts celebrated the Hoffman Porges grand reopening show on September 9th and 10th, highlighting women in art throughout history -- “Virgins, Vixens and Vamps.”

“I wanted to reopen the gallery primarily because it had such a great reputation in Tampa,” says Jill Scott. “I'm no stranger to the business -- this is my third gallery -- so I decided this gallery had to be opened. My husband and I love art and we love Ybor.”

Featuring two floors of exhibition space including steel cable railing catwalks and an extensive in-house museum quality framing facility, the gallery displays original works from Florida artists such as Samantha Churchill, Scott Spillman, Rick Reeves, Marc De Waele and Jason Shiver.

“I want everyone to be able to walk into my gallery and take something home that they love. Art doesn't have to be expensive,” says Scott. “My goal here is: If you want to walk in and buy an original piece of art, great, I have that. But if you happen to fall in love with a piece of art that isn't $5,000, I have that too. Everyone deserves to have beautiful things surrounding them.”

Focusing on revitalizing Ybor City and giving back to the community, the Scotts decided to opt out of charging the typical 50 percent selling fee gallery-owners normally charge to display art, charging artists a marginal fee while donating a significant portion of the proceeds from the gallery's current show to Tampa Crossroads, a nonprofit organization focusing on providing education and rehab services to those wanting to adopt a healthier lifestyle, both mentally and physically.

“We've have been doing a lot of work and research on trying to restore the whole feeling that Ybor has and should have as the Historic District of Tampa,” says Scott. “We really believe in Ybor and there's no reason it shouldn't have an art gallery.”

Writer: Alexis Quinn Chamberlain
Source: Jill Scott, Hoffman Porges Gallery
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