Community center expansion to feature artistic photographs of gymnasts, dancers who use the space

The city of Tampa is expanding the New Tampa community center. When it first opened, it featured more than 12,000 square feet of gymnastic space including a tumbling strip, a balance beam and other equipment.

The city commissioned photographer Matt May to create images for the expansion that would reflect the atmosphere of the venue.

"For this project, we photographed girls that were taking part in the city of Tampa gym and dance program," related May, "We made photographic prints using ceramic ink on quarter-inch glass."

The still photos are fired and tempered into the glass that makes up the exterior walls of the structure.

City Councilman Luis Viera addressed the project this way, "It's very important for places to be beautified... for places to have the right kind of narrative." 

The center is focused on getting kids involved in healthy activities to promote their growth and well-being.

Viera added, "This is art that corresponds one hundred and ten percent with that idea of having active healthy kids."

"We've worked on this project for about a year," shared May as he oversaw the installation of the glass panes. "I'm very excited for people to see it."

It's a constant reminder of the purpose of the recreation center's goal as well as an inspiration to the next group of gymnasts that walk through the doors.

"They get to experience it every day," May stated matter-of-factly.

The expansion portion is not accessible while the new glass is installed, but the rest of the facility is open including the gymnastic workout space. 

Learn more about the expansion here.