Some of the most influential artists in Florida are the collective artists “Highwaymen,” painter Alfred “Freddie” Hair, actress Angela Basset, and musician Eric Darius.
The landscape of Florida is home to some influential African American artists. Florida is known for its breathtaking beaches, amusement parks, and perfect summer climate. Florida’s history begins with Native American settlements, followed by Spanish exploration and colonization in the 16th century. It was a battleground between European powers before becoming a U.S. territory in 1821. Florida’s growth accelerated with the arrival of railroads, tourism, and the Space Age. It became the 27th state in 1845.
Tampa, Florida, has a rich history that dates back to the Native American tribes who inhabited the region for thousands of years. In the 1880s, the arrival of the railroad and cigar industry transformed Tampa into a thriving city. It became a vital port during the Spanish-American War and the structure of the Panama Canal. Tampa’s growth continued through the 20th century, witnessing economic and cultural developments, hosting the 1959 first Gasparilla Pirate Festival, and later becoming a central hub for business, tourism, and cultural diversity.
“Untold Architectural Black History of Tampa, Florida”
“Untold Architectural Black History of Tampa, Florida” by Ronald Lee Harden is a book where the author shares his experiences as an architectural project manager and the buildings he helped create in Tampa. The book includes pictures of projects like the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, high schools, and apartments. Ronald’s work contributed to Tampa’s growth, benefiting the African-American community by creating opportunities for better lives. This book is about the community of Tampa on the Untold Architectural history.
Some of the Most Influential African American Artists Based in Florida
Augusta Savage, known initially as Augusta Christine Fells, was an American sculptor and educator. She faced racism but fought to create opportunities for African American women in art. Starting in her early years, Augusta sculpted figures from the red-clay soil of Florida. Thriving artistically in West Palm Beach, she received support and recognition. She aimed to earn a living in Jacksonville by making commissioned busts of affluent African Americans in the city.
Christopher Butler, born in Kingston, Jamaica, demonstrated a profound passion for drawing from a young age. While excelling in arts at Calabar High School, he pursued his artistic dreams by studying at Central Technical Fine Arts Institute and George Brown College of Graphic Arts and Design in Toronto, Canada. After migrating to South Florida in 1992, he began a successful freelance artist and interior designer career. Butler’s work spans residential and public murals, realistic portraits, figurative and contemporary pieces, and abstract paintings. He is also skilled in event planning and culinary arts, driven by his lifelong passion for drawing and painting.
Morel Doucet is a talented Haitian artist from Miami, Florida. He studied Ceramics and Creative Writing at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). Morel received prestigious awards and scholarships for his artwork. He has showcased his work in various places, including the U.S. and abroad. As a museum art educator, Morel aims to engage young audiences in immersive learning experiences that spark curiosity and critical thinking. He believes collaborative and explorative learning can help students better understand the world. His art has been featured in well-known publications, showcasing his creativity and passion for art and education.
Kandy G Lopez
Kandy G Lopez, originally from New Jersey and now in Florida, is an Afro-Caribbean visual artist passionate about representing marginalized people. She earned degrees in Painting and Marketing/Management. Lopez’s art is a way to connect with her culture and learn more about her people. She teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and values the dialogue between her artwork and the audience. Lopez finds it essential to learn from her materials to create meaningful art. Her goal is to be challenged and moved when expressing the stories of those who inspire her.