Michael Murphy was born and raised in Tampa and graduated from Plant High School. His passion for the arts started at only 14 when both his brother and cousin were getting their BFA in photography at USF. Michael would skip school to hang out in the Art Department with them.
“There was a lot going on in the Art Department in the early ‘70’s. They had just launched Graphic Studio, famous artists were coming through. It was exciting.” Michael found himself spending much of his time there.
It is ironic how errors of judgement, even as children (skipping school, etc.) could lead us toward our life’s passion and lifelong career goals.
As a freshman at Plant High School, Michael took a part-time job at a gallery in South Tampa after school. When the framer quit, he was offered the job where he taught himself what he needed to know and began framing.
“At 24, I was working for a gallery whose owner was going out of town for several months and had a job for a doctor’s office in Bradenton. I needed the money and asked if I could do the job in her place. She said yes.” Michael found a place to work on the project where he could use their materials and pay them; however, the owner would not let him work inside, so he set up an area in the parking lot and went to work. “That was my first solo commercial framing job. Completely stressful, but in the end, I got through it and everyone was happy with the final product.”
From there, Michael realized he was good enough to go on his own. “I rented a friend’s garage on Davis Islands and started my framing business.” Word spread quickly and his framing business started to blossom.
Today Michael Murphy Gallery is an iconic fixture in South Tampa. We have been on MacDill Avenue for almost 33 years. After almost 50 years in the art industry, Michael Murphy Gallery has mastered framing and art unbelievably well, resulting in absolutely beautiful, customized masterpieces that last lifetimes.