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The USF Institute for Research in Art (IRA) is the umbrella organization for the Contemporary Art Museum, Graphicstudio, Public Art program, and Art in Health. Part of the University of South Florida College of The Arts, the IRA is dedicated to an international artists’ residency program that brings to the University and Tampa Bay community today’s most accomplished and influential artists working in the international art arena. Exhibitions, collection development, publication of limited edition graphics and sculpture multiples, commissioned public art works, interdisciplinary arts research, lectures, symposia, workshops and special events are designed to foster awareness about the role of contemporary artists in shaping our culture and society. Participating artists represent the full and diverse spectrum of contemporary art practice including, but not limited to, painting, sculpture, photography, electronic media, and performance.

Stories FROM THE Institute BLOGS

CAM Club Workshop
CAM Club Workshop: Guest Post By Jasmin Noble

Recently the Contemporary Art Museum Club held its first major professional workshop. Part of CAM Club’s mission is to provide students with the skills needed for successful museum event planning, facilitation and promotion. From opening events to artist talks, CAM Club wants students to be prepared for major museum duties and have skills applicable to a range of fields.
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Danay Suárez
I Will Be Me: A Community Residency with Danay Suárez

Danay Suárez is a singer known for her versatility. She moves effortlessly between genres, from rap and hip-hop to reggae, jazz, r&b, and soul, yet she has spent years refining and perfecting her distinctive sound. Born in Havana in 1985, her first full length album, Polvo de la Humedad was released in 2011. Her second album, Palabras Manuales, had already been recorded in Cuba when she was offered a contract with Universal in the United States.
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The Story of You: Guest Post by Jasmin Noble

Friday, March 30th was an exciting night for the USF College of The Arts. The Contemporary Art Museum had its opening reception for their MFA show: Buried Alone. Annually, CAM features USF’s graduating MFA candidates in an exciting showcase. The graduates’ work is vibrant and novel, making it one of CAM’s most anticipated exhibitions. Alongside the MFA showcase, Art Walk and ArtHouse were in full swing.
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Walking with Style: CAM Club’s Salsa Social, Guest Post by Jasmin Noble

A diverse crowd came out to participate in CAM Club’s first major event: the Salsa Social. The social was designed to introduce USF students and the community to the history and techniques of salsa dancing. Deputy Director and Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Art, Noel Smith, gave a brief introduction and shared a video showing the dynamic and multi-layered history of salsa. Salsa emerged as more than just a dance, but as a way of self-expression and socialization.
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As part of The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum’s ongoing efforts to find new methods for sharing resources and creative capital with the community, USFCAM’s RE-FRAME is an initiative providing artists with used but still fully functional fine art frames. USFCAM sponsored students from Howard W. Blake High School by building an art display wall, created using recycled construction materials and up-cycled fine art frames, for students to present their artworks at the 2018 Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.
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Consciousness of Classes: A Story About Ybor City, Cuba and Cigars

Cuba played an important role in the development of 19th century Tampa and the 1880s dramatically altered Tampa’s future. In 1886, Spanish born Vicente Martínez Ybor chose Tampa as the site of a cigar-manufacturing center in what is now a section of Tampa called Ybor City. Thousands of Cuban and Spanish immigrants followed to produce hand-rolled cigars and a passionate Latin culture was born.
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Architecture of Power: A Story About Cuban Marble

Cuban marble has a rich and eclectic heritage that mirrors the country’s social and political past. Cities such as Havana were built following the 1573 Ordinance of Spanish King Philip II that required a Spanish style cathedral, administrative buildings, and a governor’s palace to line the central plaza. The Cuban builders and craftsman infused the classical Spanish architecture with regional designs and used local marble from the renowned quarries formed by Cuba’s unique geological structure.
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The Life of the Performer Behind the Scenes: Guest Post by Natalie Bohin

Hernan Bas, an artist from Miami that currently resides in Detroit, describes his work and interest in male adolescence as descended from his own journey in discovering his sexuality: “The whole idea of fag limbo to me begins with a character or an identity that doesn’t quite fit the clichés that one would expect for a young homosexual character. I wasn’t necessarily the young, flamboyant gay—I didn’t fit that cliché, but I didn’t fit the male, straight-boy cliché either”
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A Monumental Young Elvis Made Digital: Guest Post by Jeanie Ambrosio

For the David Claerbout exhibition at USF’s Contemporary Art Museum, the exhibition designer in conjunction with the artist’s studio has formed the space to incorporate four video installations by the artist. Three of these installations produce a large-scale immersive experience for the viewer, while the work displayed at the smallest scale, Radio Piece (Hong Kong) (2015), exists at the size of a standard flat screen to accommodate the intimate experience it produces.
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Cotton Comes to Harlem
Cotton Comes to Harlem

On June 22, 2017, USFCAM presented a free film screening of Cotton Comes to Harlem as part of its programming for Black Pulp! Noel Smith, USFCAM’s Curator of Latin American and Caribbean Art, provided a biographical sketch of Chester Himes, the author of the book on which the film was based, and Cheryl Rodriguez, Director of the USF Institute on Black Life, introduced and contextualized the film.
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Angel Acosta
Cuban Art Impressions: Guest Post by Eric Ondina

I am not a naturally talented artist. My talent was inherited from a privileged upbringing which granted me the time to selfishly pursue egotistic fancies such as the visual arts. Yet I am not a thief. I am the progeny of a society preoccupied by the fulfilment of middle class comfort, and permeated by a culture synonymous with cynicism, sensual excess, rootless cosmopolitism, and materialistic obsession. My culture is a dark one, which as an artist I strive to illuminate.
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Emory Douglas - The Black Panther Party Newspaper
Prints Providing a Catalyst for Change:
A Guest Post by Erin Hughes, MA Candidate

On June 2nd, two new exhibitions opened at USF’s Contemporary Art Museum, bringing with them a full schedule of events throughout their stay in Tampa. Black Pulp! and Woke! bring with them endless opportunities to engage with and discuss the current status of race relations in our nation. Black Pulp! contains over one hundred years of African-American representation in print works, while Woke! contains works by William Villalongo and Mark Thomas Gibson, the curators of Black Pulp!. Between the two galleries, all who enter are sure to be engaged by the striking works from over a century of print.
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Felandus Thames - I'm Neutral
To Be Faceless: Caricature & Racial Identity:
A Guest Post by Tyra Mishell

Whenever I see black face or any racist caricature of black people, I am reminded of how the world has perceived and continues to perceive black people. It does not shock me as much now as when I was small and was first made aware of my blackness as spectacle. Upon looking, I am usually greeted with the same feeling of grossness and humiliation as I would if someone were to catch me in the most unflattering position. However, when I went to see the Black Pulp! exhibition and came across Felandus Thames’ I'm Neutral, I felt the warmth that one experiences when they look upon the beautiful thing.
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Inside Art
InsideART: USFCAM’s Art and Social Studies Curriculum

As part of its mission, the USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) has developed an innovative web-based visual literacy program that integrates social studies and contemporary art in an examination and discussion of critical societal issues.
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Madeline Arrendale - Intern Perspective
Madeline Arrendale’s Graphicstudio Internship

My experience at Graphicstudio was amazing. Everyone welcomed me with open arms and I learned something new every day. Not only did I have the opportunity to meet a few artists and learn under professional printers, but I was given the liberty to work on a personal project of my own.
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Sandra Cinto
Sandra Cinto at Graphicstudio

While in New York City for the 2013 IFPDA Print Fair, Margaret Miller encountered the work of Sandra Cinto at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. Piece of Silence included cellos and violins painted white and intricately decorated with black ink line drawings, mounted to the gallery walls that had been covered with music staves. Struck with the delicate beauty of the sculptures, drawings and paintings, Margaret invited Cinto to Graphicstudio to make prints.
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Robert Mapplethorpe, Tampa Orchid, 1986. photogravure/screenprint; 21-1/2 x 35-1/4 inches; Edition 60
Robert Mapplethorpe at Graphicstudio

Robert Mapplethorpe is the subject of much renewed interest as the J. Paul Getty Museum and LACMA present complementary exhibitions which form Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium. This retrospective in two parts coincides with the release of HBO Pictures documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures.
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College of The Arts

The College of The Arts is the creative center of the University of South Florida’s Tampa campus. Dedicated to preparing students for careers in architecture, community design, art, art history, music, theatre, and dance, the College provides students with a hands-on learning environment where real-world exhibition, performance, and practice opportunities abound. Situated in a culturally rich metropolitan area, students and faculty participate in Arts research through interdisciplinary work, global explorations, and local community engagement in Tampa Bay.

University of South Florida

The University of South Florida, established in 1956 and located in Tampa, is a high-impact, global research university dedicated to student success. The USF System includes three, separately accredited institutions: USF; USF St. Petersburg; and USF Sarasota-Manatee. Serving more than 49,000 students, the USF System has an annual budget of $1.6 billion and an annual economic impact of $4.4 billion. USF is ranked in the Top 30 nationally for research expenditures among public universities, according to the National Science Foundation. In 2016, the Florida Legislature designated USF as “Emerging Preeminent,” placing USF in an elite category among the state’s 12 public universities. USF is a member of the American Athletic Conference.


Donate now to support CAM exhibitions and related educational programs!

Donate now to support Graphicstudio residencies with world-class artists to create limited editions of prints and sculptures!

Donate now to support socially-engaged art projects and community partnerships!


Upcoming Events

January 24
Art Thursday: Bosco Sodi, Muro


News + Press

December 3 - News Release
USFCAM Presents the Work of Four International Artists Who Strive to Make the Invisible Visible!

November 30 - Press: ARTNews
Helen Frankenthaler Foundation Launches Two Art Education Initiatives
By Shirley Nwangwa

August 30 - News Release
USF Contemporary Art Museum Welcomes Christian Viveros-Fauné as Curator-at-Large

August 29 - Press: Tampa Bay Times
Two art exhibits tackle social issues: #MeToo and Palestine
By Maggie Duffy, Times Staff Writer

August 23 - News Release
New Public Art Installation at USF St. Petersburg Inspires Vision for the Future

August 21 - Press: Tampa Bay Times
USF’s Breaking Barriers program engages veterans in art and photography
By Times Staff

August 21 - Press: The Oracle
New CAM exhibition explores Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the eyes of the artist
By Jessenia Rivera, Staff Writer


Director's Circle

Join the Director's Circle to promote creative experimentation, enjoy exhibitions that push boundaries and provoke dialogue, build the cultural vitality of Tampa, and meet world-class artists and art professionals.


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Art In Health
In partnership with USF Health, USFCAM's Art In Health program explores intersections between the arts and healthcare.

This innovative web-based visual literacy program integrates secondary school social studies and science with contemporary art in an examination and discussion of critical societal issues.

Interested in an internship at CAM or Graphicstudio? Find out how to apply and what deadlines you need to know.

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Public Art


Graphicstudio Hours:
Monday–Friday 10am–5pm

Monday–Friday 10am–5pm
Thurs. 10am–8pm
Sat. 1–4pm
CAM is closed Sundays, all University and State of Florida holidays, and between exhibitions.

Groups and organizations interested in tours of the exhibition should contact CAM to schedule at least two weeks in advance at (813) 974-4133.

The University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities. There are disabled parking spaces outsde of the museum, an accessible entrance, good lighting and accessible restrooms.

The museum follows the USF guidelines regarding service animals.

USFCAM faculty and staff are pleased to work with organizations that provide cultural opportunities for disabled clients to tour the Museum. Please call (813) 974-4133 two weeks in advance to request specific tour information. For more accessibility information please call (813) 974-4133.

Copyright + Reproduction

The electronic images available on this site are subject to copyright and may be covered by other restrictions as well. The images are made available to the general public for the sole purpose of representing the USF Contemporary Art Museum’s programs and collection. Copying or redistribution of the images in any manner without the express written permission of the University of South Florida Institute for Research in Art is strictly prohibited.


(813) 974-4133
24-hour Info Line - (813) 974-2849

(813) 974-3503

Public Art
(813) 974-2203

Art in Health
(813) 974-4199