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I am one of those convinced that Jacksonville is moving more toward a arts rich city. Last week we went to two more show openings, making four in eight days and there were a number of others we didn’t make. I know that in many cities this pace would be considered absolutely glacial, but it’s new for this city.

Thursday we went to the opening of a new show called Face Forward. This show will go out to the Haskell Gallery at the airport, but they decided to do a week at CoRK so that more people could see it.

The premise for this show was similar to the “Imagination 2” that was at MOCA several years ago. Where artists were given 6″x6″ blocks for that show, these artists were given 2’x2′ blocks and asked to represent themselves. Thirty artists were invited and the work was really great with some new, innovative concepts tried.

Dave Engdahl, leader of the Northeast Florida Sculptors (although he will deny it) tried an innovative technique using a CNC router and a 3D scan of his head to create a layered representation of himself.


Many did more conventional portraits like Tony Wood. Tony captured his sentiment very well – ” No matter the process, the portrait will still be somewhat autobiographical, because I am painting myself at a specific point in time, with all the baggage and external stimulus affecting me in that moment.”


Hiromi Moneyhun states that “The artist is the conduit between the hidden world that lies below the surface, behind the curtain, beneath the mask.” I think his piece conveys a pretty complex internal processing.


I really love this one by Jim Benedict. Maybe it’s the wood, but it also shows how little precise reference is needed to capture a person.


Doug Eng, whose photography show was another one we saw last month, shifted to a 3D world view of himself. Like Dave, this was new territory for Doug and I liked the result.


If you miss the show at CoRK, be sure to catch it at the airport.

The next day was the opening reception for Artists with a BUZZ. I have been intimately involved with this project over the last two years. It started with a simple support request from Mike White, CEO and President of Client Focused Media, owner of BUZZ Magazine. Mike had the idea of recycling 100 old newspaper distribution boxes, covering them with art and have them used as distribution boxes for BUZZ, bringing art to the public.

While Mike had the concept, he needed access to the artist community and someone to manage the project. The Art Center decided to take it on and I acted as project manager. In the end, we coordinated fifty artists to decorate 70 boxes. Each box was also linked to a charity that would share in proceeds of a sponsored sale of a box. It was also planned that an art auction would be held at the 2014 JaxtoberFest where art donated by the fifty BUZZ box artists would be sold.

It turned out that while a lot of people saw the work, JaxtoberFest was not the best venue for an art auction. Since then I have been looking for an alternative place to display the art that was donated and with The At Center’s move to a new gallery at the Jacksonville Landing, we all agreed to do the show here.

The opening reception was very well attended and the guests really enjoyed the whole concept of the project – private enterprise brining art to the public.

The boxes look great compared to the more typical plastic ones.

Box in the Wild 001

The show was also interesting since you can clearly see that some of the artists translated their typical work straight to the boxes, while others had quite different styles beteen the boxes and their framed art.


My two pieces, A Question of Balance II and Kalisi’s Dream, were both in the show (on the pedestals).


It’s nice to see Jacksonville moving in the right direction.

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