HCC says farewell to Professor Suzanne Crosby


Elisa Santana

Crosby speaks with visitors at the gallery recepetion. Her current exhibit is "Assembly Required".

Elisa Santana, Staff Writer

  Suzanne Camp Crosby, a fulllltime professor and program manager of the art and dance department at HCC, prepares to retire in April after 35 years of teaching. Crosby studied art at the University of Florida for her undergraduate degree and completed her graduate degree at the University of South Florida.

  She originally earned her undergraduate degree in painting and her graduate degree in photography.

  Her type of photography is called directional photography, in which she takes items and stages them in any way that attempts to convey a message or show Tampa through different perspectives. Crosby says her love for art came in the eighth grade because she had a good art teacher that inspired her to get into teaching art.

  Crosby’s most recent exhibit, Assembly Required, was on display at the Ybor School of Visual and Performing Arts gallery from Jan. 12 to Feb. 12.

  In 2004, she became the photo laureate for Tampa and had her work featured in The Big Picture program, a venue that gives local artists a chance to showcase their work.

  During the time she was the photo laureate for Tampa, she started her Kid City piece in which she shows Kid City on Bayshore and uses different items like a little boy mannequin with his dog and a small dollhouse bedroom set.

  Her work is described as “dramatic rather than subtle” because she’ll use items like actual people posed in different ways, large cutouts of people she made herself, small toys that her three sons had when they were children, and other items like these to make a scene that is either funny or showcases Tampa.

  Aside from her art work, Crosby was a part-time teacher for the HCC Ybor campus for 18 years before she was hired fulltime in 1994. She continued to teach at HCC for the next 20 years.

  She has made a big impact on her students and faculty; they even joke with her, saying that she should come back to teach any time she wants. There were a number of current and former students in attendance for her reception.

  Crosby has won many awards for her art and has been featured nationally and internationally in museums and art shows. Her work has been featured in the Visual and Performing Arts building on the Ybor campus and in Gallery 221 on the Dale Mabry Campus.

  As for retirement plans, she said, “I’ll be doing art. I will always do art, retiring is just going to give me more time to do my art.”

  At her latest exhibit, there was a guest book that people could write in and give their opinions on the art and on the artist. The pages were filled with notes from her former students wrote that she has changed their lives, improved their skills and inspired them.