Image Brewery 1997

After titanic anatomy lost it’s space on Cass Street in downtown Tampa, there were a bunch of young artists who were basically left without a home to show their work. There was Silver Meteor in Ybor and Gallery 145 in St Pete, but that was it for exhibition spaces interested in the up and coming Tampa Bay art scene.

Joe Griffith started Experimental Skeleton on 7th Ave in Ybor City and that inspired us to continue collaborating and developing projects together. Still, that wasn’t enough. We needed at least one more place to exhibit work and I knew exactly where it should be… Valrico.

Flammable Art

It was July 1997. I cleaned out my studio and sent an invite to as many artists as I knew, hoping to have enough interest to host a small exhibition. Since the space was only 25′ x 25′ I wasn’t sure how many works I could hold, so I thought that a show of works on paper might be a good idea. I planned a barbecue for the artists, so the first show became “Flammable Art“.

There were 27 talented artists exhibiting drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, photos and writings in the brightly colored Image Brewery space in rural Valrico. It was a fine representation of Tampa’s amazing art scene and the first of many exhibitions.

Merican – Jon Karl Holm

October 1997 – Jon Karl Holm was the first artist to show his work in the space after the group show.

 Merican – An interactive installation of three dimensional objects that can be handled or rearranged to your liking and even used to express your own artistic ideas.

There were antique exercise bicycles that you could ride, wooden boxes with unusual objects within that provided amusement to those who were brave enough to pick them up and shake them around.

Tampa Museum of Art Director Emily Cass arrived at the opening to see what was going on so deep in the Valley. She was most impressed with the hotdogs and the record player, and the thriving art scene that made the night so cool.

Lost Weekend

November 1997- Another group show that featured 45 artists. This time there were two other galleries involved in another great showcase of artistry. The exhibition was a three night event that bridged the art communities of the Tampa / St. Pete area. The artists exhibited their work in all three galleries.

Friday night the Lost Weekend was kicked off at Gallery at 145 in St. Pete. Saturday, the crowd moved to the Image Brewery in Valrico, and on Sunday, the exciting weekend was celebrated at the Silver Meteor Gallery in Ybor City.


January 1998 – TRIGONOMETRY – a study from three angles

A print portfolio between 15 Artists. 3 pieces each. 3″ x 3″. It was a beautiful and intimate installation.

The Mandragora Project

February 1998 – The Mandragora Project – A Project designed by Joe Griffith of the Experimental Skeleton.

The MANDRAGORA Project has been a continuing practice for the last five years. It is an investigation into the myths and scientific history of the narcotic mandrake root. It is also a further exploration into how meaning is projected onto objects and the collapse of possibilities. The root, which resembles a little human figure, is multiplied and dispersed to remote places: fields, woods, back lots, and roadsides where they may be stumbled upon. The multiples are, however, designed to disappear.


March 1998 – GUM BUM – A night of performances by St Rucci and the Zipperman

Gum Bum - St Rucci and the Zipperman

by Head Crushing Machine

Electric City

June 1998 – Electric City – Photographic work by Ski

Knife Thru Heart

January 1999 – Knife Thru Heart – An exhibition of 13 works by Giancarlo Rendina. For the first time in Image Brewery history, it was a sold out show!

Avant Hop

Avant Hop – 1999 – Another group show that spanned Tampa Bay.

Kathie Olivas and Angela Dickerson organized the event that was allegedly at Hyde Park Fine Arts, Gallery on Florida, New Heights, Image Brewery, Sulphur Springs Theatre in the same weekend.

May 2001 – A.A. Rucci “BARRIERS

After more than a year, Image Brewery is finally exhibiting once again, celebrating its reopening with an installation of AA Rucci’s sculptural artifacts, illustrative text, reconstructive drawings and color photos documenting the recent excavation of a concrete road barrier in Tampa.

An added delight was an evening of performance with live music from local heroes Monkey Fist Hypocrisy (MFH) who later became Telephone Booth – Valrico’s first Electro Wave Recording artists. Special guest performance by Finn Bolam, as Monkey Finn Hypocracy.

This was the last official exhibition held at Valrico’s Image Brewery. From that point on it returned to an artist studio for Bob Dorsey, the unofficial Mayor of Valrico.