Beth Reynolds has a long history in the Tampa Bay Area and is known as a photographer with supreme talent.  I initially met her through the Morean Art Center where she worked managing the gallery shop in the late 1990s.  Over the years, she has evolved into the Director of Photography for the center, which is currently celebrating its 100th year.  It is a perfect fit for her since she describes a lifelong passion for photography.

“I found the camera to be a tour guide through life when I very shy. Most of my life I have worked as a documentary photographer – I have balanced a career as a photojournalist for newspapers and working for arts organizations trying to raise the exposure of photography as an art form.”  So, when I learned that she was coordinating a photography project called One Day Tampa Bay, I had to find out more.

Submission for One Day Tampa Bay project by Rachel Jolley

“One Day Tampa Bay is a special community photography project that brought together 54 photographers for 24 hours – hobby and professional with all kinds of cameras,” Reynolds explains.  “The project was started by Jamie Jackson, a talented photographer from Tampa who loves to be out in the world finding moments. He first ran the project at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts for 2 years. It was shelved and Jamie came to me with the idea of resuscitating it which I loved.”

The premise of the event was to take pictures throughout a 24 hour period of any event or place within the Hillsborough or Pinellas County.  Participants were to observe what they felt most represented the Tampa Bay area.   Photographs were to have minimal to no alterations (cropping an image for better effect, for example, was okay, but superimposition of images was not).  These were to be the raw images that were produced during that day.  It was a way “stop time and show everyone your world.”

The project worked well within the mission statement of the Morean, which, she adds, “is all about community. How could I resist?”

Submission for One Day Tampa Bay by Katherine Edenhofer.

Since the project had not been done for a few years, Reynolds hoped for 50 participants.  They ended up with 54, and “people got up and stayed up for all hours of that day to get photographs.”  Each person was allowed to submit 8 photographs each for the project, totaling nearly 400 images from around the Bay.

“We wanted to give  people several opportunities to have their work selected – so we arranged for an exhibition with our curator Amanda Cooper – she did a blind selection of 50 images – looking for excellent photography that stood on its own,” she said.  The show, also called One Day Tampa Bay, is currently on display along with the Merry + Bright Holiday show at the Morean.  Together, they will be on display until Dec. 30.

In addition, Beth and Jamie selected 100 images to go into a book that will be for sale starting in December. Also titled “One Day Tampa Bay,” the book can be purchased at the Second Saturday Artwalk in December, or online through BLURB.

The final part of the project was working with the Et Cultura* committee to be part of their 3-day event. We have three photographers showing their pieces at Green Bench Brewing this Sunday.”

Next up is planning One Day Tampa Bay for 2018: “Our goal is hopefully finding exhibition space other locations to highlight other venues. The plan will be to have it on the third Saturday of September each year.”

For more information on this project, contact Beth Reynolds at beth.reynolds@moreanartscenter.org 

*Et Cultura is happening THIS WEEKEND, Nov. 17 – 20!

Brandy Stark is faculty at St. Petersburg College.  She utilizes wrapped wire for her “Metal Myths” series, established in 1995, and is an award-winning photographer.  A lifelong lover of world mythology, her works often manifest as ancient characters, legends, and deities.  As one who has lived in the Tampa Bay area since 1980, she has witnessed the transformation of the artist communities in the area.  One of her lifelong goals is to support the art community by bringing the public and the artists together in dialogue.