HCC launching public art festival "Now on View" in Ybor this summer

Hillsborough Community College Art Galleries will debut a new public art festival in Ybor City in summer 2024.

“Now on View” is an ephemeral art festival focused on the rapid development and transformation of the Tampa area in recent years and the significant change coming in the future from projects like Gas Worx redevelopment and the Tampa Riverwalk.

“In talking about these changes and growth, Ybor City seemed like a particularly exciting place to have that conversation because it’s a nexus where past, present and future are dynamically colliding at once in this wonderful and exciting way,” says HCC Gallery Director Amanda Poss. “It’s a place that has a rich history that is so foundational to Tampa as a whole. And because of the preservation of the historic district there’s still so much evidence of that you can walk around and see. It’s like a living history now. But there is also a dynamic present. There’s something popping up everywhere all the time and there are also established venues that have been here for years. And then things are also growing, developing and changing really fast here. And all of this is happening simultaneously.” 

The one-day festival, tenatively penciled in for Saturday, June 1, will feature the work of eight Tampa Bay region artists at three venues that have been a big part of Ybor’s ongoing arts revival- HCC’s Ybor campus, Hotel Haya and the historic Ybor Kress Building. Poss says the idea is for festival-goers to be able to move easily between locations, checking out Ybor along the way. 

For “Now on View,” the HCC Art Galleries are defining art installations in a broad sense. Poss says they want proposals in not just the visual arts but dance, theater, music and the literary arts. 

“This is supposed to be fun,” says HCC Galleries Education Coordinator James Cartwright, who thought up the festival with Poss and Collections Manager Cort Hartle. “We want that to be a highlight of the experience. We want to get away from anything that is too academic. This is meant to be really accessible. We want whole families to come out and experience this and have a good time viewing art.”

The festival continues the expansion of HCC’s Grounds4Art public art program in Ybor. Grounds4Art initially launched in 2018 at Dale Mabry campus to celebrate the college’s 50th anniversary, expand HCC’s art programs beyond the gallery walls and provide more opportunities for local artists. The program is well-established at the Dale Mabry campus and adding more installations and events in Ybor.

The eight artists selected for “Now on View” will each receive a $1,000 stipend to design temporary art installations involving Hillsborough County, with a particular focus on Tampa and Ybor City. The Arts Council of Hillsborough County is funding the stipends. A virtual information session for prospective applicants is scheduled for Friday, January 12. The application deadline is February 9. 

For more information and to apply, go to Now on View.
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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.