The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) in downtown Tampa is looking to the Brandon community for entries for its Chef’s Special exhibition. Photographers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to submit portraits of the men and women behind the Brandon and Tampa Bay areas’ most loved eating and drinking establishments.

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMoPA) in downtown Tampa is looking to the Brandon community for entries for its Chef’s Special exhibition. Photographers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to submit portraits of the men and women behind the Brandon and Tampa Bay areas’ most loved eating and drinking establishments.

By hosting this one-of-a-kind community collaboration, FMoPA is expressing support for local restaurants, bars and coffee shops that have suffered as a result of COVID-19.

“With this exhibition, we want to celebrate two kinds of institutions, the restaurants and the arts, that have been crucial in getting us through the pandemic mentally and emotionally,” said the museum’s executive director, Dr. Zora Carrier. “Closed for indoor dining, our restaurants, cafes and breweries have been suffering greatly while doing so much for our everyday happiness. All those takeout meals and coffees to-go brightened our days during the pandemic, lifted our spirits and offered glimpses of ‘normality’ amidst the chaos. Art institutions have immense power in bringing communities together around important issues. Chef’s Special is our way of saying thank you to the people behind our favorite establishments who have kept us sane.”

The Chef’s Special will be on display in March 2021. A self-guided window tour will accompany the exhibition. FMoPA will produce a map of participating establishments where the portraits will be shown in the windows or outside dining areas.

“Any style is accepted as long as the photograph features the chef or owner,” Carrier said. “It could be a traditional portrait, a creative conceptual allegory or everything in between, as long as the subject is visible and recognizable. We accept both printed and digital entries. I hope that people will learn more about FMoPA and what we offer. Despite our very prominent location in downtown Tampa, the museum remains somewhat of a hidden gem. FMoPA brings you the art of today, rooted in the issues that we face as a society. With this exhibition, I would like to reiterate our mission of serving the community. We have classes, workshops and a community gallery where we exhibit works of local photographers of all ages and skill levels.”

If you are a photographer, you are invited to take a photo of your favorite chef, barista, brewmaster or a restaurant/cafe owner and submit it to exhibitions@fmopa.org. Any style is accepted. If you do not personally know a chef or restaurant owner, please contact FMoPA to be matched.

If you are a restaurant owner and would like to have yourself (or your staff members) featured in the exhibition, please contact FMoPA and it will match you with a professional photographer.
There is no participation fee.

For submission guidelines, visit www.fmopa.org. Deadline for all submissions is Sunday, February 21. FMoPA is located at 400 N. Ashley Dr. Cube 200 in Tampa.