University of South Florida


Group cuts the groundbreaking ribbon

(L-R) Caryn Nesmith, director of Community Relations, USF St. Petersburg campus; Chris Garvin, dean of the College of The Arts; Stephanie Owens, deputy mayor and chief of policy, city of St. Petersburg; Margaret Miller, director of the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio.

USF offers first look at new creative space with Contemporary Art Museum expansion into St. Petersburg

The University of South Florida is increasing opportunities for students and the general public to engage with the arts. With the build-out of 3,100 square feet of space currently underway, USF’s College of The Arts is expanding its museum into St. Petersburg. The new gallery, named Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum, will be an incubator of new ideas and artistic experimentation with time-based art installations.

Group gathers inside exhibit


“The expansion of the USF Contemporary Art Museum across the bay to St. Petersburg points to a new future for this university with an unparalleled socio-economic impact on the region and state,” said USF College of the Arts Dean Chris Garvin. “Generator will add to the constellation of arts venues across the city with a uniquely progressive vision.”

On Sunday, officials from USF, the City of St. Petersburg and others gathered at the location, an industrial space called The Factory, to celebrate the kickoff of the museum’s new gallery. The move will provide internship and directed study opportunities to all USF students interested in the arts. Artist and curatorial talks will connect students and faculty with time-based installations and programming specific to important environmental, social, as well as political issues and challenges. This extension is another benefit of consolidation, which officially took effect July 1, 2020, when the university began operating under a single accreditation for all campuses.

“Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum will enable us to better connect with the students at USF’s St. Petersburg campus, as well as the St. Petersburg community, in an unconventional arts venue,” said Margaret Miller, director of the USF Contemporary Art Museum and Graphicstudio. “Our curatorial team will present installations by a diverse selection of leading and emerging artists using cutting-edge digital technologies.”

Chris Garvin

USF College of the Arts Dean Chris Garvin

The expansion of the USF Contemporary Art Museum will offer a new dimension to the established cultural community, contributing to the city’s prominence as an arts destination. It will be a dedicated home for digital installations, public programs and special projects that cultivate audience engagement and foster public exchange. Generator is expected to present works by national and international artists, along with local and regional artists. Similar to the USF Contemporary Art Museum on the Tampa campus, Generator will be free and open to the public.

“Our organization believes in this project, and we were proud to be the first to offer a financial contribution to support this work,” said Jason Mathis, CEO, St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership. “The intersection of technology and art in this district with this project is exactly the kind of leading-edge urban development work we hope to support and nurture.”

Generator: USF Contemporary Art Museum is expected to open its doors in the fall of 2022. This project is a partnership between the College of The Arts, the USF St. Petersburg campus, the St. Petersburg Downtown Partnership and the City of St. Petersburg.

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