Apr 15, 2023 - Business

Get to know Tampa Bay visual artist and muralist iBOMS

Photo: courtesy of Jabari Reed-Diop

Jabari Reed-Diop aka "iBOMS" is a visual artist and muralist from St. Petersburg.

At just 23 years old, Reed-Diop's work has been recognized by several news outlets and a lot of it is showcased at D-Gallerie near St. Anthony's Hospital.

The latest: Reed-Diop was recently the only Black artist in the 2023 cohort to win a professional arts grant from Creative Pinellas. The non-profit agency awards $5,000 to 10 excelling artists from Pinellas County every year. He plans to use the money to create a solo exhibition called "Ghetto Gods."

What they're saying: "(The exhibition) would detail what the African diaspora would look like if we had an understanding of different deities," said Reed-Diop.

Of note: We spoke with him about his work and what he aspires to do. The interview has been edited for clarity.

What local artists do you admire?

  • Derek Donnelly who goes by "Saint Paint" and my cousin, DeVante Miller, who taught me how to draw.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

  • I listen to different kinds of music like Phil Collins or Imagine Dragons, and I like to go to the beach or to Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.

How does living in Tampa Bay impact your work?

  • Recently I've learned more about the history of the indigenous tribes in the area, which has helped me truly understand what it means to be a native of the area and why it is important for me to protect it.

What is one of your dream projects?

  • I'd like to install a sculpture park in Childs Park, which is the neighborhood I grew up in. The sculptures would be based on characters that I've created in my artwork.

Go deeper: iBOMS' artwork.

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