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institute for research in art

About the USFCAM

Alfredo JaarThe USF Contemporary Art Museum (CAM) opened its current facility in 1989, adjacent to the USF College of The Arts. The museum has presented numerous significant and investigative exhibitions of contemporary art from Florida, the United States and around the world, including Africa, Europe, and Latin America. Changing exhibitions are designed to introduce students, faculty and the community to current cultural trends. Exhibitions to date have included the work of Vito Acconci, Atelier van Lieshout (AVL ), Frances Barth, Bili Bidjocka, Jim Campbell, James Casebere, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Emily Cheng, Keith Edmier, Zhang Hongtu, Alfredo Jaar, Los Carpinteros, Allan McCollum, Lucy Orta, Pepón Osorio, James Rosenquist, and Ed Ruscha among numerous others. 

USFCAM maintains the university’s art collection, comprised of more than 5,000 art works. There are exceptional holdings in graphics and sculpture multiples by internationally acclaimed artists, such as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist, who have worked at USF’s Graphicstudio. Contemporary photography and African art are also important areas of the collection.

The USF Institute for Research in Art is recognized by the State of Florida as a major cultural institution and receives funding through the Florida Department of State, the Florida Arts Council and the Division of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Council of Hillsborough County and the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners, as well as numerous private foundations on a project basis. The Contemporary Art Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Our Mission

The primary mission of the USF Contemporary Art Museum is to bring to the University and the Tampa Bay community vital, investigative and scholarly contemporary exhibitions, while simultaneously contributing to the dialogue within the international arts community by organizing exhibitions, producing relevant catalogues, scheduling critically significant traveling exhibitions and by underwriting experimental projects of artists emerging on the national and the international fronts.

Jim Isermann installed for UltraloungeParallel to this purpose is an ongoing commitment to provide the educational underpinnings necessary for the assimilation of issues at the core of contemporary art for an audience that includes community and corporate members, students, faculty, staff, administrators, scholars, critics, historians and artists.

The Museum's educational philosophy, consistent with the approach to exhibitions, is to contribute to the ongoing research of leading artists, critics, and historians by organizing symposia, conferences and lectures to discuss and analyze current issues in art and society. The museum is a laboratory for scholars, museum professionals, students, interns and artists. The USF Contemporary Art Museum collects and maintains a collection of contemporary art and makes it available as a visual library for students, and as an enrichment to a broad and varied constituency through loans and direct access. Museum Memberships, both Private and Corporate help subsidize the museum's operating and exhibition costs.

Images at left: Top - Alfredo Jaar
Bottom - Jim Isermann installed for Ultralounge