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Still in Motion Home  //  Leslie Elsasser - Introduction  //  Selina Roman - Mind Currents  //  Christian Cortes

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Selina Román, Drew Park, 2021

Selina Román, Drew Park, 2021

Selina Roman - Looking Beyond the Obvious

Everyday, we occupy a number of spaces and places—our homes, workplaces, stores, restaurants, parks and doctors’ offices to name a few. We take so many of them for granted. But what happens when we stop and look a little closer? Upon closer inspection, perhaps it’s the way afternoon light creates dancing shadows on the wall or the colors in an alley become more saturated. How can a place to which we are so accustomed feel new and different?

In my own work, I have been traversing the streets of Tampa after dark searching for purple streetlights. I discovered a handful of them in Seminole Heights in late 2020. Not long after, lights all over Tampa were turning shades of purple and blue. A manufacturing defect causes bulbs to emit the violet light. This in turn transforms the surroundings into surreal, otherworldly landscapes. I have found so much joy in how these lights create such interesting experiences, that it has become a full-blown photography project.

That element of searching and surprise influenced this edition of Breaking Barriers: Still Life, Memory and Place and Moments in Motion. In this year’s sessions, I wanted students to delve into these concepts that are cornerstones of photography and video. Since the advent of the medium, photographers have contemplated notions of time and memory, as well as the still life. Creating their own still lifes, taking pictures at night and looking at their own lives for inspiration, students created beautiful and poignant images and videos. As in last year’s iteration of Breaking Barriers, I wanted students to get the most out of the myriad features on the camera phone. These powerful cameras and their small size allow for interesting angles and effects that larger cameras do not possess. On the other hand, these cameras have significant limitations; however, it’s in those limitations that forced students to be more inventive.

Again, I am so proud of the work that the students created. They attacked each assignment with curiosity and enthusiasm. I enjoyed being surprised each week by their insightful creations.

Artist and Breaking Barriers Instructor



For more information:
Email Leslie Elsasser at

Breaking Barriers is a project by USFCAM in collaboration with the USF School of Art and Art History, with Support from the USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant Program of the Arts Council of Hillsborough County, Love IV Lawrence 2020 Waves of Change Grant, and additional support from the ACE Arts for Community Engagement Fund and the Florida Department of State.