My name is Vivia Barron,
The face behind the faceless portraits in a dream-like acrylic world, I’m an artist painting the Black experience from my studio in the cultural mecca of South St. Petersburg. A native Jamaican, I know the power of representation in art and life. My work approaches this both lovingly and with acknowledgment of past pain.
In my work, the people are happy.
My collection of painted shoreline portraits -The Beach Series- are inspired from Old Florida.
However, old Florida is largely white-washed in art, and it doesn't have to be.
My beach collection rewrites early advertising of the 1950s and displays Black families enjoying
Florida’s Gulf; a redo of what was marketed in vintage ads at the time. The Beach Series
debuted most recently this year in Gulfport’s Brenda McMahon Gallery.
My newest muses are Black surfers. I recently stumbled upon a photo essay revealing the world
of these Black athletes hitting the waves, carrying their oversized surfboards and just existing in
a salt-soaked world from California to Zimbabwe.
I had to paint them into my newest collection, The Surfer Series.
Every coastline has it’s faded memories, and my artwork swells with nostalgia and a
rudimentary painting style that focuses on the setting and emotion in lieu of hyperrealism. Each
thickly colored brush stroke pays homage to the postcards and discarded photographs I draw
my inspiration from.
Before I lived in St. Petersburg, I studied art at the International Academy of The Arts in Florida
and went on to cook with color at my Caribbean fusion former restaurant, Vivia’s Kitchen in
Before all, I’m a mother, an artist and a Black woman painting people like me from the past and
Most often, I can be found at my studio in South St. Petersburg -working with acrylic on canvas.