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Acclaimed artist Ya La’Ford to create new Apex sculpture in Tampa

rendering of a wreath like sculpture on the grounds of a college campus
Rendering of "The Apex" by Ya'Laford via HCC

Local artist Ya La’ford’s prolific output continues. The acclaimed artist’s intricate designs can be seen on gallery walls, business exteriors, and chic automobiles across the country. La’Ford has a major commission forthcoming with the Museum of History on the St. Pete Pier, and she wrapped up a summer residency at Ogden Contemporary Arts. Her next installation is set to be a transfixing sculpture titled “The Apex” at Hillsborough Community College. La’Ford was selected by the Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Foundation to create a sculpture on the grounds of the new District building at the Hillsborough Community College (HCC) Dale Mabry Campus.

La’ford has a long-time collaboration with HCC. Her exhibit “Distance” debuted in Gallery 221@HCC’s Dale Mabry Campus in 2021. She painted the entire gallery black as a metaphor for the “darkness that descended on 2020.”


“I am very excited about the addition of Ya’s sculpture to the new District Administration Building. Her inspiring piece will elevate the physical beauty of the grounds while celebrating the aspirational work being done every day by our students, faculty, and staff,” said HCC President Dr. Ken Atwater.

From Ya La’Ford’s 2021 Exhibition “Distance” | Photo via HCC [FB]

Ya La’Ford turns HCC into a sprawling art gallery

Gallery 221@HCC Director, Amanda Poss, feels Ya La’ford’s iconic geometric pattern embedded with themes of transformation and transcendence resonates powerfully with the growth and changes occurring at HCC and the region. “Her work reminds us that despite the uncertainty of our rapidly evolving world, there is also so much beauty to be discovered in the complexity of our shared human experiences,” says Poss.

Adding, “I am delighted that this commission of a new sculpture allows us to further share her work with audiences in Tampa. I look forward to the stimulating conversations this artwork will surely bring among our students, faculty, and staff for years to come.”


As a first-generation American who moves between her Jamaican heritage and vulnerable communities to find a universal language, much of La’ford’s community engagement is often centered around youth programming, and she believes everyone should have access to quality education.

“I am honored that my artwork was chosen to begin HCC’s public art collection. Through art, education, and connection with community, we inspire the next generation to become lifelong learners, which benefits our society as a whole,” says La’ford. “It is a privilege for my wife Rebecca and I to underwrite – via the HCC Foundation – a commission by artist Ya La’ford to create a public sculpture. Her work and philosophy align with HCC’s mission “to transform lives” for all,” says Paul Nagy, Vice President for Strategic Planning and Analysis at HCC.

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