Pursuing the opportunity to showcase their work, students in Wendy Babcox’s advanced photography class decided to find an alternative space to exhibit their class’s work.
“It’s the whole concept of displaying art in a non-traditional space,” said the USF photography student Jon Cancelino. “It’s a growing trend for artists.”
“We all put the effort into finding a space,” said Sunni Barbera, also a USF photography student.
Madstone Theater in Old Hyde Park was more than happy to oblige.
“We had the space that could be used really well with art shows,” said Margaret Murray, general manager and director of marketing and publicity at Madstone Tampa.
Intermission … an exhibition of new photography opened at Madstone on Friday. The reception for the show is tonight from 7:30 to 10.
According to their mission statement, Madstone Theaters LLC takes a community-oriented approach for its theaters. Murray said the theater works with community members to become an outlet for the arts.
She said they hope to “fill that niche in the community.”
“(Madstone) is one of (the) few spaces open to the idea of an art show,” Barbera said. “(And) it’s in Hyde Park, so there’s already a built in-audience.”
Cancelino said that since Madstone shows films that are more artistic than commercial, the theater lends itself well to art exhibitions.
“Madstone already shows independent films that are more about aesthetics as opposed to sex and (violence),” Cancelino said.
When deliberating about what venues to display their works, the students had to deal with variables of showing work in an alternative space.
“We had to tackle the problem of having a smaller place with more exposure, as opposed to a larger place with less exposure,” said Bethany Souza, a photography student. Souza added that the setting provided a different audience as opposed to a traditional art venue.
“You get people who wouldn’t necessarily go to a museum or gallery,” Souza said.
Intermission is Madstone’s second art exhibition since opening in November. Murray said since the first show opened several people have inquired about using the space for other artistic endeavors.
“We get people coming in on a regular basis asking if they can do something,” Murray said.
Murray said the theater is booked until August with a variety of shows and programs, and is open to alternative ideas, such as DJs, spoken word and lectures.
“We are really able to make it comfortable for different groups to come together,” Murray said.
As for the quality of the works on display, Murray said visitors venture to parts of the theater they normally wouldn’t, and have had plenty of questions about the artists in the show.
“People absolutely love it,” she said. “(Visitors) are amazed that it’s a student exhibition.”