Friday, March 17th, The Scarfone/Hartfold Gallery of the University of
Tampa opened its Annual Juried Student Art Exhibition. This exhibition
featured student works selected through open call submissions. The
submissions ranged from mixed media paintings, installations and three
dimensional artworks. About forty different artworks were displayed.
year, the exhibition was judged by Julie Heffernan, Professor of Art at
Montclair State University in New Jersey. Honorable mention awards were
given, and awards in the categories of Best 3-Dimensional Work, Best
Portraiture, Best Installation, Best 2-Dimensional Work, etc. Bahamian
Jodi Minnis, won best 2-dimensional work for her video,
the summer of 2016, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Bahamas
published a travel advisory for Bahamian students and tourists visiting
certain parts of the United States of America due to tension sparked by
police brutality against black people. The advisory was not well
received by the US. Ironically, the US Embassy in The Bahamas and cruise
lines publish many travel advisories for their citizens and patrons in
reference to the increasing number of crime in New Providence, The
Bahamas over the past five (5) years.
was created to exist in the middle of those advisories: a caution of
being black in America and a caution of the increasing crime back home.
Standing amongst African Americans, a Bahamian would not be recognizable
at first glance. The distinction lies in our behaviour and
accent/dialect. However, the same distinction that isolates us from
other nationalities in the US would not be the saving grace in The
asks, “Considering the blatant xenophobia arising in parts of the
United States, would my behaviour and accent/dialect be a saving grace?
This work was created to navigate these things and serve as a release of
concerns as a black Bahamian studying in the United States.”
Minnis is a junior at the University of Tampa pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Arts.
CLICK HERE to watch Minnis’ award-winning video.