NewsPinellas County


Vintage Florida postcards inspire St. Pete artist to paint her own heritage

Posted at 10:31 AM, Apr 23, 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Pete Beach has been the backdrop for countless postcards throughout history.

One St. Pete artist is trying to recapture those picture-perfect moments through her own paintings.

Inside her South St. Pete home studio, artist Vivia Barron has complied hundreds of Florida-based postcards dating back more than a half-century.

“Which are very colorful and bright and beautiful, and just everything about it is just so happy and exuberant,” said Barron.

As she studied more and more cards, the Jamaican-born artist noticed there was something definitely missing.

“Wait a minute, I’m not represented in any of these,” said Barron.

So Barron took it upon herself to do a reboot of this popular art genre and updated it with the times.


“I’m taking the love of the color, the beauty of Florida and all this fun that everybody was having at the time but doing it in my way,” said Barron.

Barron’s paintings have gained the attention of the local art community, and starting in May they will be on display at the Brenda McMahon Gallery in Gulfport.

It marks the first time her work will be shown in a Florida gallery.

“I call it representation Black folk art. I’m not a trained artist; I’m self-taught, and I have something to say, and I’m saying it through my art,” said Barron.

She hopes people of all races feel passionate enough to hang one of her paintings in their own homes.

“I’m bursting with curiosity to see how people in St. Petersburg and Gulfport and in Florida, in general, respond to what I do,” said Barron.