Vivia Barron is a mother, an immigrant, an advocate, and a painter. Raised in Jamaica, Barron immigrated to Florida in and now lives and works in St. Petersburg, FL.
Growing up in Jamaica, Vivia was always creative more than academic. Her initial creative outlet was food–she was a personal chef who was known for her extravagant, artistic plating. As a chef, she opened two restaurants. While she remains passionate about food, the birth of her daughter caused her to reconsider what she was doing. Vivia found herself drawn to antique photographs that showcased Black and brown people enjoying life. She was fascinated by these everyday stories that were often overshadowed by the more traumatic, brutal representations of Black life in the 19th and 20th centuries. She now has a huge personal collection of these items (both digital and physical).
The images created by Kara Walker with cut paper were an early inspiration. She found herself looking at the photographs in the collection and the stories they were telling and thinking about how she could tell a deeper, bigger story about the joy and beauty of Black life. She wanted to bring these images to the public and to return us to the spaces and stories from which we are so often erased. She began with her beach series, returning Black and brown families to the Florida seaside.
Her work has been in multiple sole and group exhibitions. Her work is part of private and corporate collections throughout the US including the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, Tampa.