Friday, June 29, 2007

The Most Important Of All?

Because it just seems a little, er, excessive to post two entries on my blog in one day, I’ve decided to post a link to this Newsweek article by Peter Plagens, which poses the question (with a multiple choice anwer): Which Is the Most Influential Work of Art Of the Last 100 Years?

Here’s the link:


Monday, June 25, 2007

Road Trip

Baltimore is cool. It has history. Real history. It goes back hundreds of years. Has great universities. Has world class hospitals. And it's convenient. And it's not nearly as hot there with four seasons! Affordable too. Compared to New York and such that is. The architecture there is wonderful. Old and new. The harbor is great. Actually the inner harbor shares the some of the architecture of the Jacksonville landing. People are everywhere. Federal Hill is great. I have family that lived there decades ago. Their old brownstone is now worth over a million I'm sure. Really, Baltimore is a cool town. And it's smack dab in the middle of the northeast. You're a stones throw from DC, Philly, New York, and Richmond. If art is your thing that's a good place to be.

And then we meandered down to Lynchburg, Virginia. A small little town. 65 thousand souls. It has a couple of universities. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University is huge there. And everyone
loves and misses him dearly, liberal and conservative. Seems he did a lot for Lynchburg.
The only thing I could compare it to is how Tallahassee would react if Bobby Bowden died. It would be a sad day in our states capital. Anyways. I really thought Lyhcnburg was going to
be lame but it snuck up and bit me. It's affordable and historic. They've done a great job restoring their downtown. It's thriving. Loft apartments and little cool restaurants. We ate Indian for lunch. A really great children's museum called the Amazing Square. Also, I saw
a really great artists coop building across the street. Ten stories tall with contemporary art galleries and 25 artist's studios. Also housing an art store. Really, really cool. Right on the water. And there are hills, and it's really just a great little town. Liberals are thriving there. It's a miracle.

And then we stopped through Asheville. I want you to know I've heard chatter about Asheville
for close to ten years now and have never had the chance to visit. I expected a lot out of Asheville after all of this talk, and it delivered. It's just an amazing little town sitting right at
the foot of the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. You can see wonderful scenes with billowing
mountains right from downtown. Breath taking really. Not to sound giddy. But it's really
awe inspiring for someone like me who's from Jacksonville to see mountains. And the architecture is great downtown. The very contemporary right next to the very old. People walking around all over downtown. All over. Musicians playing on corners. Jazz, blue grass, folk. Right there. Like waiting for a subway in Times Square. All free. All culture. We ate at a vegetarian restaurant that had an entire menu of wonder. Everything could be ordered vegan also if so wished. They even brewed 6 organic beers.

I mean if Jacksonville had a place like this it would be a landmark. And in Asheville it's just another restaurant. The parking was affordable and easy to get to also. To sum it up I was so impressed with Asheville that it took me a day or two for it to register. They even have a really cool arts district in a warehouse area down by the river. The only thing negative about Asheville I might have to say would be that it's too cool. One could easily feel uncool. I did feel a bit old.
But it really is made up of all types. Sort of like Atlanta, San Fran, or New York. A microcosm of culture at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains.

And then we had a little visit in Greeneville, South Carolina which was an absolute surprise. I had no idea that Greeneville was as frickin cool as it is. I mean for Pete's sake they have a waterfall creek running smack dab through downtown. Kids and such playing all over swimming and screwing around. The river park goes for like half a mile! Along the stream are several band shells shaded by trees. The downtown is really developed. I mean many many blocks. Enough developed blocks that we were tired as hell after walking for three hours. There's a trolley car that goes all the way down Main street. There's even an arts district right on the river where several artists have rented studio spaces. I mean it's developed. Big money. Great restaurants. Great hotels. Very historic. Historic markers all over with associated statues. And while looking at the real estate for the city I found houses for 150K. New construction. Really amazing to find deals like that in a city with that much culture.

And if that wasn't cool enough after messing around in Greeneville for a few hours we drove only about a half hour or so and we were up in the Blue Ridge Mountains to watch the sunset. I want you to know those mountains are amazing. They aren't as impressive as the Rocky Mountains, but they are gorgeous in their own right. Not a bad batch of mountains to have in your backyard. The mountain biking there must be out of this world.

So anyways. That's it. A little road trip. Several cities with bustling downtowns. What are they doing that Jacksonville isn't? How long will it take before we can catch up? Are we playing catch up? If so, why? Hope you all get to get out of Jax for a bit when you have a chance. Check out the other cities. Get an idea of what works there, and bring that idea back here and implement it. Our Southern neighbors are doing it. Let's use them as examples of how it can be done here.


Summer Cinema at MOCA

How does everyone feel about our summer film series? We have it on Wednesdays because of our Target Free Wednesday Night and partly because of ArtWalk. The Museum is already open late so it is a good fit. Also, movie goers can come early and see the gallery space for free courtesy of Target. Is 7:00pm a good start time? Has the movie selection been interesting? Is there something that you would rather see? How can we sell out EVERY week? Do you like the new Q&A on the second Wednesday? If so, what else would you like to see that night? Does anyone have a lead on a dynamite special guest? We are still working on our last Q&A for the summer. The movie is An Inconvenient Truth.

And now for my shameless plug. This week is Iron Giant. As David Edelstein put this week on Sunday Morning, it is "a sci-fi movie, set in the fifties, about a kid who befriends a colossal robot from space that the government wants to destroy. In its sense of wonder, "The Iron Giant" is worthy of comparison with Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T. Spielberg influenced (writer/director Brad) Bird in all the right ways, like the way characters seize the foreground: Even in 2-D, they pop out." The Iron Giant is based upon the 1968 story, Iron Man, by the British poet laureate Ted Hughes. Bird's newest movie, Ratatouille opens this weekend so come out to MOCA Jacksonville this Wednesday for MOCA in the Middle and get your magic started. And if a movie isn't your thing, don't miss tonight's musical guests… The Bath Party. Grab a drink and enjoy the great music in the Atrium. Or better yet, come for early for happy hour. Listen to the great music. Have some drinks. Get dinner at Café Nola AND then take in the movie… a perfect evening to give you a break to your busy work week.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Last week's launch of MOCA in the Middle was a great success. I hope everyone had a great time. I would love to hear your thoughts on the night. The movie was wonderfully made. And having Damian Lahey in the house made the evening.

Summer Cinema continues with Tsotsi. It is a story about the leader of an unruly, callous gang that resides in the segregated slums of Johannesburg, South Africa. With reckless abandonment the gang members harass, steal, and kill. One day, just for mere pleasure, Tsotsi decides to kill a woman and steal her car. It’s not long before he realizes that the woman had a child who is still in the back seat. Tsotsi reveals that she just may have a moral sense after all as she inexplicably decides not to abandon the baby, but rather to keep it. Indeed, this is an unfamiliar challenge. Tsotsi has never truly had another person to care for, let alone a small child.

This film won the Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year as well as a slew of festival awards. Check out the official site for more info.

Saturday, June 16, 2007



Opaq gallery we will close Nestor Gil's
interactive installation "footprint" with a special
screening of Cody Hughes short video works at 9 pm.
THEY ARE NOT TO BE MISSED. We invite you to come by
and celebrate Nestor's lifetime of commitment to
Jacksonville's art community.

OPAQ Gallery is located at 333 E. Bay St.
(above TSI) and our hours are
from 8-11pm (w/free entry before 9.)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hey MOCA I have a Question for You

I was wondering if anyone from MOCA would like to comment or share more info on the newly appointed director, Deborah C. Broder. I have already read flog, in what I am assuming is a press release, BUT does anyone have any info on Deborah as a person? Who is she? Is she from outside of Jacksonville or inside the community? What does this mean for MOCA? Plans?

Thanks in advance.

MOCA in the Middle: Cocaine Angel with Q&A

Wednesday night, MOCA Jacksonville launches MOCA in the Middle. We are trying something new. Imagine that! Here's the scoop. Everyone could probably use a break in the middle of the week so we have decided to host a little happy hour. And to make the happy hour a little happier, we have Shawn Lightfoot on Guitar in the Atrium from 5 – 7 pm. and free makeovers in our lobby courtesy of Daniel James Salon for those of you having a tough week. And to top it all off we are launching Wednesday Night Dinner at Café Nola.

But the biggest news comes from our Summer Film Series. Through the end of the summer we are planning a little something extra on second Wednesday for our film series. We have Q&As with special guests.

In June, Cocaine Angel captures a grinding and tragic week (day?) in the life of a weary young drug addict who is clinging to the remnants of his once hopeful existence amidst the stink, the sweat, and unforgiving heat of Jacksonville, Florida. This film sold out at the film festival last year… twice. And we will have writer/producer/star Damian Lahey in the Museum for a Q&A after the film.

The film starts at 7:00pm. So come early and have dinner or drinks or BOTH before the film.

Mildred Interview

Check out this brilliant interview with Mildred on Our Art Site:

It's like Andy Warhol does Street art meets Beavis and Butthead.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Felix Gonzalez Torres

I just found an interview online that I am really excited about. It is a reading by these two poets of an interview from 1993 between the artists Tim Rollins and Felix Gonzalez Torres. Its such a personal, raw interview. So many things are said that hit home for me. I could listen to it a thousand times and not get bored. It comes in two parts here:

Here are some images of Felix's work.

UPDATE: FGT is representing the USA at the Venice Biennale.
He died in 1996

Concepting Anyone?

Lately I've been thinking more and more about using the space of the Artwalk as an art project. Would any of you be interested in collaborating on a concept for a piece that takes the entire Artwalk space or a block of it, and turns it into an art piece? Maybe it's performance, installation, or something site specific?

If we really wanted to make drastic change here in Jax I feel we should try and use what space we already have and what audience we already have to try and define contemporary art to the masses who have no appreciation for it. It'd be great if we could all pool our resources and minds and come up with something that folks would never forget.

Anyone game? I'm down with meeting Friday at the Riverside Starbucks. Maybe we could start on a concept at this meeting?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

At Opaq Wednesday Night

Where does destruction end and creation begin?
Who's watching you?
Who's watching them?
These are a few of the questions raised by
Nestor Gil's interactive installation entitled
"footprint," opening at OPAQ Gallery on Wed.
June 6th (artwalk) from 5-10pm. The exhibition
reopens on Sat. June
9th from 8-11pm, and will close on Sat.
June 16th with a screening
of Cody Hughes' short video works.

OPAQ Gallery is located at 333 E. Bay St.
(above TSI) and is free to
the public on artwalk, and before 9 pm on Saturdays.

Note: Image not related to current show.
Its from a previous Nestor Gil installation
at Kent Campus Gallery. Documented image by
Catina Jane Gray.

The Devil's Backbone

Wednesday night, MOCA Jacksonville continues its Summer Film Series with Guillermo del Toro's gripping film.

The story takes place in 1939, at the end of the civil war in Spain. A ten-year-old boy (Fernando Tielve) is left by his tutor in an orphanage in the middle of nowhere. He is shy and has problems making friends. The orphanage is run by a curt but considerate headmistress and a kindly professor who are both sympathetic to the doomed Republican cause. Despite their concern for him, and his gradual triumph over the usual schoolhouse bully, the boy never feels completely comfortable in his new environment and soon discovers that there is a dark presence in the house.

In this tale of love and betrayal, Del Toro masterfully communicates the horrors of war as it effects people, especially children.

The film starts at 7:00pm. So start ArtWalk early and then drop by the Museum for happy hour before the film.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Any of you interested in meeting?

Maybe in person? Since we can do so. Since we
all live in Duval county? Put a face with a name?

Maybe set up a monthly meeting? Or at least have one?
Could be a good idea. Could be a bad idea.

What's good about this blog is that we all live relatively
close to each other. I think we should take advantage of it.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Art Agenda

I came across Art Agenda last year and subscribed to their email newsletter. It's free and it is another great way to stay current with what's happening across the globe in contemporary art. Every few days or so (it varies) you get an exhibition announcement with who-what-when-where, a picture of the art, and a brief yet insightful paragraph or two about the artist. There's no critique or opinions, which is nice, it's only an announcement of a recent opening.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Pretty Darn Swell Group Show

Art Competitions

I've been told by a dealer from Texas and by more than one gallery that my resume should have awarded art competitions on it. So let's see, we have to show a growing exhibition list, reviews and publications, the right grants and fellowships, membership in professional societies, who's collected you, and now art comps. Sheesh!

I see here young man, that you've showed all over the country and have a well-developed series of art. But you didn't enter, and win, the Western Virginia art competition to paint the indigenous Singing Fica Bush. Hmm, too bad.

Not that I think the art competitions are of ultimate importance. I do give them a little bit of effort. So I was wondering if any of you have come across quality competitions. Most of the ones I find take a whole bunch of time to find out they're a scam.

I'll start. Here are some sources I wanted to share.
ArtDeadline It's a great list of grants, residencies, art comps, etc.

And some competitions that look good.
Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition
Art Kudos International Juried Competition