FMoPA moves to Kress Building, joins Ybor City's thriving arts scene

The arts revitalization in Ybor City continues.

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) is the latest addition to Ybor’s thriving arts community. On Thursday, September 14th, FMoPA officially opens its new museum space on the first floor of the historic Ybor Kress Building on the 1600 block of East Seventh Avenue.

With the move from downtown Tampa, FMoPA joins a bustling arts hub at the Kress, which is home to galleries, a black box theater, a micro-cinema, a ballet company and artists’ working spaces.

“We’re really excited to be part of this rising arts tide,” says FMoPA Executive Curator Robin O’Dell.

O’Dell co-leads the museum with Executive Consultant Wendy Leigh.

Wasting no time, FMoPA opens the first exhibitions in its new home on September 14th. On display in the museum's main gallery, “Icons of Black & White” features more than 60 photographs from artists like Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Charles “Teeny” Harris, Lewis Hine, Philippe Halsman, Edward Weston and more. The exhibit includes photographs from FMoPA’s permanent collection, contributions from the Robert and Chitranee Drapkin Collection and the Trenam Law Collection and an anonymous loan.

“It’s 60 vintage photographs from some of the most famous photographers you can name,” O’Dell says.

The exhibit is also a nod to FMoPA’s own history. When the museum opened in 2001, the first exhibition, “Masters of Black & White,” featured 50 iconic black and white images borrowed from private collections. “Masters of Black & White II” followed in 2008. 

In the community gallery space at the new location, “Prodigy: Storytelling Through Photography” will feature photographs from children and teens who participated in FMoPA’s annual summer outreach and education programs. The programs are done in partnership with the nonprofit University Area Community Development Corporation and focus on at-risk youth ages 5 to 18.  

Looking ahead, O’Dell says FMoPA will hold an opening reception for "Icons of Black & White" on September 28th. In upcoming months, the community gallery space will host an exhibition of photographs by community members who took photography classes through a partnership with the Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation Department, the FMoPA members show and an exhibit by Angelika Kollin, the Riverview-based photographer who recently won the FMoPA’s 12th annual International Photography Competition. The main gallery will have an exhibition featuring the works of renowned conservation photographer Carlton Ward Jr.

For more information, go to FMoPA.
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.