Caribbean Quarter. Roots. Rhythm. Culture.

Caribbean Quarter. Roots. Rhythm. Culture.

Known as Tampa’s Latin Quarter for over a century, Ybor City offers an exotic blend of aromas, flavors, sights and sounds.  From the scent of roasting Cuban coffee early in the morning to the rhythms of Latin music late into the night, Ybor is a feast for the senses. 

Maria Ortiz-Haynes brought Ybor city vibes to the city across the bridge, St. Petersburg, FL. During her opening reception at The Gilbert Chapel, she created a vibrant atmosphere where Latin culture was celebrated in fullest. Maria is originally from Paterson, New Jersey and is a proud resident of Tampa’s Ybor City. She is a self-taught mosaic artist. Her work is flavored by her family’s roots from Havana to Key West to Ybor City.

When we were working on setting up the show, “Caribbean Quarter. Roots, Rhythm, Culture.” our goal was to introduce the key aspects of Latin culture: music, dancing, food, religion and spirituality as well as the love for coffee and cigars. We created an atmosphere where the visitors can emerge into something different.

Here is what people were saying:

One of the most vibrant, fun and diverse events in Tampa Bay. Where people were enjoying great art and felt welcomed.

Maria’s art brings child-like joy. It looks simple and complex at the same time.

By using simple tools and old traditional techniques, Maria managed to elevate mosaics to a whole new level.

Maria’s work blends her Hispanic and African-American background. She invites you into her mosaic scenes to examine more closely what makes up the bigger picture – to explore all the hand-cut pieces that make the whole.


  • Venue: The Gilbert Chapel Gallery
  • Orginizer: Bella Unica Art Gallery and Events
  • Photographer: Medina Karagic