TAMPA, Fla. — "Tyler the Curator" is beautifying Tampa Bay businesses, one piece of innovative artwork at a time.
By day, Tyler Sirota is a supervising engineer at the Epicurean Hotel in South Tampa.
"But I've been told I have a designer's eye," he said with a smile.
That's an understatement and then some.
Sirota's passion, and maybe even his future, is as a roving art director and curator, pairing up such phenomenal local talents as Rojo the Artist, Noland Anderson, BlaqLab and Carrie Jadus with businesses that crave art, including the Epicurean, Roosters barbershop, Flocale food hall, and more.
"It's a win-win for everybody," he said. "Artists help businesses by posting their work, and businesses help artists by showcasing their craft."
The art is more than decorative; it's also for sale. Sirota has helped sell almost 100 pieces in a short amount of time.
He's always on the lookout for more talent, and more places to display them.
"He's done a great job of aligning with what our pillars are: food, art, wine and culture," said Epicurean GM Shawn Routten.
Tyler the Curator's origin story is a happy accident born during the pandemic. After meeting several artists at a local charity event, Sirota, who's always been an art fan, was asked for ideas on how to bring new energy to the Epicurean.
"I took the initiative to curate a local art show [at the hotel]," he said.
The community responded in a big way. Then, when the hotel found itself without enough art in the lobby, the lounge and the restaurant, Sirota was eventually tasked with curating a collection.
Eventually, through friends, artists and word-of-mouth about his curating talents, he branched out, now helping some 50 local painters, sculptors and multimedia artists display their work in various businesses all over town.
Sirota gets a commission from sales, but his side hustle is more about passion than profits.
"Oh, there's nothing like the feeling of calling an artist and telling them one of their pieces has sold," he said.
For more on Tyler the Curator, click here.