Photo by New Light Studios. An unveiling ceremony was held on May 8 at Wimauma Elementary School to show off the artwork created by students in the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory. “Self Portraits and Expressive Butterflies” was installed on a fence outside of the school, and unveiled as friends of Winthrop Arts, including local dignitaries, were in attendance.

The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory is an outreach program that provides free art classes to underserved children living in the Wimauma area. The program is modeled after the successful Art Factory, Winthrop Arts’ education center located in Riverview.

Since it was launched in February 2018, the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory has grown. In addition to continuing the original partnership with Hispanic Services Council, Winthrop Arts now partners with Wimauma Elementary School in Wimauma.

What is unique about the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory is that the art instruction comes to where the children are and not the other way around. This allows children who have no way to get to an art center to be able to be creative and have fun making art.

On May 8, a public art piece created by the students in the Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory and lead instructor, Bryant Martinez created, was unveiled at Wimauma Elementary School in Wimauma. The theme of the piece is “Self Portraits and Expressive Butterflies.” The students worked since February on the project which was installed on a fence outside of the school.

Martinez said, “We worked collaboratively together to create individual pieces that came together to create a large communal piece of artwork. Art like this inspires common unity.” Martinez added, “It is a great opportunity for me to come to Wimauma and create art with the students.”

The unveiling was well attended with members of the Winthrop Arts Board of Visionaries in attendance as well as representatives from Florida State House of Representatives, the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and the Hillsborough County Superintendent’s Office. Specifically, those in attendance included Cassidy Whitaker on behalf of Representative Adam Hattersley (District 59), Jeffrey Hawes on behalf of Representative Mike Beltran (District 57), Megan Nixon on behalf of County Commissioner Stacy White (District 4) and Mary Beth Brooks on behalf of Superintendent, Jeff Eakins’ office.

Wimauma Elementary School Principal Ismael Lebron-Bravo said, “I love this partnership. We need to find opportunities for our students to be creative outside of the classroom.”

The Winthrop Arts Mobile Art Factory is supported by grants and donations from the community. This session was funded in part by a Community Arts Impact Grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. For information on Winthrop Arts, visit www.winthroparts.org.