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May 14-18, 2024
USF Contemporary Art Museum

Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10am-5pm; Thursday 10am-8pm; Saturday 1-4pm; Free admission. For more info call 813-974-4133 or email 

PORTRAIT Reception + Artists Panel - Friday, May 17, 7-9pm - USF Contemporary Art Museum

The USF Contemporary Art Museum is pleased to present the exhibition Breaking Barriers: PORTRAIT as part of its arts programming for military veterans. Breaking Barriers: PORTRAIT brings together the art of twenty-two U.S. veterans and their family members. The exhibition includes a selection of sixty-six photographs from two intensive artist-led photography workshops. These workshops, titled The Formation of a Smile: Breaking Down the Portrait and An Indulgence in Portraiture, employed cell phone cameras, empowering the artists to discreetly explore and expand the boundaries of portraiture. Participants ventured beyond conventional candid and selfie imagery, striving for diverse technical and conceptual approaches to capture more than just a person’s likeness or a surrogate representation. PORTRAIT offers glimpses into intimate worlds, invoking both bitter and sweet humor while evoking generations of memories. Through a diverse range of human stories, this collection of artworks broadens the parameters of the portraiture genre and contributes to our understanding of the human experience. 

The artists featured in the exhibition include Crimi Arrieta, Manfedo Bobadilla, Pat Colbert, Agustin Collazo Jr., Gail Cross, Amanda Dodd, Dr. Charley Ferrer, Evan Fountain, Janine Hargrett, Derek Hopkins, Valerie Larson, Kevin Lipton, Mikko Maki, Dolores Matteo, Alicia Morales, Karidad Ramis-Hartman, Chris Smith, Kimberlee Nicole Smith, Roger St. Julian, Monika Sutton, RaeAnne Swanson, and Viana L.M. Tavares-Fischer. We extend our deep gratitude to all the veterans and family members who were courageous and persistent enough to engage in the workshops and create their own photographic images. Their artwork serves as a visual platform, transforming the perception of the "silent veteran" into that of a storyteller and witness, amplifying the veteran voice within the larger community.

For more information on the Breaking Barriers program email Leslie Elsasser at



Catalogue sample spread

A 58pp catalogue documenting PORTRAIT is available as a free PDF (5MB) or as a print on demand publication for purchase on for $20 plus tax and shipping.





Leslie Elsasser - Introduction
Christian Cortes

Crimi Arrieta - Relative of US Army Veteran
Patricia Colbert - US Army
Gail Cross - US Air Force
Dr. Charlie Ferrer - US Army
Janine Hargrett - US Army
Valerie Larson - US Air Force
Kevin Lipton - US Army
Dolores Matteo - US Army
Karidad Ramis-Hartman - US Army
Roger St. Julian - US Army
Monika Sutton - Spouse of US Army Veteran
Viana L.M. Tavares-Fischer - US Army

Manfredo Bobadilla - US Army
Agustin Collazo Jr. - US Marine Corps / US Navy
Amanda Dodd - US Army
Evan Fountain - US Air Force
Derek Hopkins - US Air Force
Mikko Maki - US Marine Corps
Alicia Morales - US Army
Chris Smith - Spouse of US Army Veteran
Kimberlee Nicole Smith - US Army
RaeAnne Swanson - US Air Force



Breaking Barriers is a program by USF Contemporary Art Museum in collaboration with the USF School of Art & Art History, is supported by the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital, USF Office of Veterans Success, Community Arts Impact Grant of the Hillsborough Arts Council, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, Love IV Lawrence, USFCAM ACE (Art for Community Engagement) Fund Patrons, and the Florida Department of State, Florida Arts & Culture.