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Explore the Many Shades of Meaning, and Color at Nuance Galleries

By David Boegaard

Tampa has no shortage of interesting things to do, but one that doesn't receive the attention it deserves is their collection of fine art galleries. Galleries signify that an area has people of culture and varied interests. It should come as no surprise, then, that Tampa has a number of excellent galleries. One of Tampa's premier gallery groups is Nuance Galleries, specializing in modern and contemporary figurative art. With carefully curated artist lists and surprising juxtapositions, Nuance has served as one of Tampa's art centers.

Nuance opened its doors more than 30 years ago, in 1981. From the beginning, they focused on creating a compelling portfolio of art for customers, as well as a strong and stable market for artists. "I have to like the art that is being presented to me," says Nuance Owner, Rob Rowen. By selecting only extraordinary artists, and creating specializations in certain genres, Nuance has become one of the best recognized galleries in the area.

Dos saltos de agua, Eddy Ochoa Guzman

One of the primary focuses of Nuance is their Cuban art collection. This collection began some years ago. A Florida man, Clyde Hensley, had helped Mel Fisher discover the sunken ship Atocha, lost since the 17th century. With the fortune he received from the treasure, Hensley began a large collection of Cuban art, including more than 400 paintings and prints.

For years, these pieces were shown in exhibitions traveling throughout the US. "When I got to visit the collection I found a diverse group of works some political and many depicting life and the beauty of Cuba," says Rowen. More than that, Rowan has developed a love of the unique approach of many of Nuance's Cuban artists, as well as the good fortune to be one of the only galleries showing many of these artists.. "I have grown to appreciate the incredible talents of the artists of Cuba which have not been shown before in the US," says Rowan. They even have Cuban artists come to visit.

Solo me queda la luz, Eddy Ochoa Guzman

Other than art itself, Nuance also has a bustling business doing framing for their own artists and for other works. The framing work has been going on since Nuance's founding, allowing the gallery to reduce costs while ensuring the quality of its presentations. "So few of the frame shops knew about archival framing and we felt we owed it to our customers to have it done right," notes Rowan.

What began as an in-house framing shop gradually transformed into a separate business. Today, Nuance does the farming for a wide variety of customers, from private individuals to local businesses. "One part that has been special for me is our working with sports teams like the Tampa Bay Rays and the Tampa Bay Lightning," says Rowan. "Framing sports jerseys and memorabilia is something we take great pride in doing and doing right."

Nuance has been showing fine work for many years now. With distinctive artists, anyone seeking a unique and striking figurative work would be well served by a trip to Nuance. The Cuban artists alone are remarkable, but the rest are just as good. And with a variety of events, including a large concert, Nuance is often a place to go to experience Tampa to its fullest.

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