Top Tampa Bay art gallery relocates to Wynwood
Article by Ricardo Mor
Mindy Solomon, a gallerist from St. Petersburg, says she’s spontaneous. That may be an understatement: She moved her gallery, which was named one of the top 100 galleries in North America by Modern Painters magazine, from St. Petersburg to Miami’s Wynwood Art District less than 4 months after making the decision.
Mindy Solomon Gallery opened in St. Petersburg in the fall of 2009. Solomon had been an art teacher for 20 years as well as an art collector. She said she opened the gallery for a simple reason: to bring the art that she loved to the region.
“The type of work I was interested in was not being represented in the Tampa Bay area.”
The gallery primarily showcased emerging and mid-career artists from around the United States and elsewhere, something that no other galleries in the area were doing. She describes the art scene in St. Petersburg as grassroots, driven mostly by local artists. To showcase works by international artists was a bold move.
“She was really a pioneer” in Tampa Bay, said Katherine Pill, a curator at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.
Solomon’s gallery was well-received; shops and restaurants began popping up near her store (she was the first retail location in the street) and the community began to promote the idea of an arts district.
She also attracted many serious art collectors, some of whom have spent in the six figures on art from her gallery. But she felt that she had “reached her professional ceiling in St. Petersburg” and began to consider a move to grow her gallery.