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University of Tampa art professor creates bamboo sculptures in Tampa front yard

Posted at 12:47 PM, Sep 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-17 15:41:54-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Bamboo is not just for pandas anymore. There is a University of Tampa Art Professor who is using it to make his own outdoor art exhibit right here in Tampa.

“I think bamboo has a versatility that you can’t find with other material,” said Alex Nixon.

For the past eight months Nixon has been sculpting bamboo art in his friend’s SoHo front yard on the corner of Albany and Bristol.

“I seem to be at the vanguard of something I haven’t seen anyone do before and I know that I didn’t learn it from anyone else. I’ve sort of been learning it from the bamboo itself,” said Nixon.

At the center of the outdoor gallery is a Centaur that will eventually be 20 feet high.

“Why not make a sculpture of something I’ve never seen before, bring something to life that’s still in the imagination, still in mythology,” said Nixon.

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A few feet away a dragonfly sways in the breeze. The best part for Nixon is that all of these materials are natural, which also poses quite the challenge when it comes to wind, rain, heat and splinters.

“Even if I wear gloves I end up cutting myself up somehow,” said Nixon.

He said he finds most of his bamboo at neighbors' homes and just drags it back on his bicycle.

“I go three blocks that way, I knock on the door, I say, ‘hi can I get some bamboo, let me see what you got,’” said Nixon.

He is currently working on a new creation that caters to our modern times, specifically in Tampa.

“Which is going to be a woman on a scooter on her smart phone as she is sort of dancing on her scooter as she zooms by,” said Nixon.

Nixon has invited some of his art students over to learn the craft hands on. The yard is even becoming quite the tourist attraction, as people drive by, stop, get pictures and sometimes chat with the artists.