Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Art Walk Block

If you are in the neighborhood for Art Walk tomorrow I recommend walking around the Hayden Burns Library Block. The entire block. There might be something different for you to see. Actually I know there will be something different for you to see. So keep your eyes open.

The Revolution has begun. Well maybe not a revolution but definitely some evolution.

The Evolution has begun. And it will not be televised.

See you at Art Walk :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Digital Media Group

Folks this is going to happen at least on a very small level. It's not going to be a digital media lab at the moment but a digital media collaborative art piece.

Next step is to get the email address of all who are interested so we can start communicating about the next steps. So if you are interested please shoot your email to jaxcaleague@gmail.com and we'll get the ball rolling.

Look forward to working with all of you.


Friday, July 27, 2007

Call to Artists

Seriously if you are interested in showing soon put your info in the comments field with a link to your web site or shoot .jpegs of your work to jaxcaleague@gmail.com.

There is a Contemporary Arts Center materializing with the future space being a very large building. Lots of space. Several shows need to be filled pronto, so if you have work for us to look at please post it or send it.

Thanks All...

By Jim Draper

I think someone got their feelings hurt....
Seems he thinks that none of our work is intellectual? How bout that?
Makes me wonder how intellectual palm tree paintings are? Makes me wonder how seeing the same subject matter for the last few decades pushes the envelope in any nature and helps educate others about contemporary art.

Sure you can make a good living, but are you doing anything to open minds in a city that needs a reality check? Last time I checked it was 2007. And Jim we do look at contemporary art books. We have lived in New York, LA, and San Fran. And there aren't any palm tree paintings showing there anymore? You might want to go check it out.

Check out Jim Draper's post in response to this post:
that he put on www.CreateJacksonville.com.

Interesting approach. What do you mean by contemporary art? I think that maybe it is time to read a book or two or a few magazines if you want to be involved in the larger art world. Remember, nobody really gives a shit about Local Jacksonville Art. Without an intellectual component you would be laughed out of Atlanta, LA, Chicago, Miami or anywhere. Why not focus on bringing in some people and ideas that are not bound tightly by your on sphincter. "Contemporary" as it refers to art is temporal, not limitedto subject matter and style. "Funky-dunky-pseudo-hipster-derivative"is a style (apparently a movement).Without someone who matters, on a national or international level, looking at what you do, you becomejust a few more pieces of flotsam andjetsam in the backwaters of theinternational art scene. Just be aware that posting sentences like"The landscapes, palm trees, and fishpaintings have had their day in the sun." doesn't really do your cause any good.jim draper 07.27.07 - 9:23 am #

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Two Shows: one near, the other far

Che, by Arturo Cuenca Sigaretta, 87-88

When I was a wee lil monkey, my pal Grover taught me the the dif between "near" and "far". Well, thank goodness cuz now I am a master at "near and far" and can easily goto places that are either near or far with the greatest of ease. Thanks, Grover!

Assuming you also have achieved such mastery, I am recommending two art shows, one near, and one (sort of) far.

First, the far one:

Cuba Avant-Garde: Contemporary Cuban Art from the Farber Collection at the Harn Museum in Gainesville- well worth the trip! A rich variety of work including paintings, photography, conceptual sculpture, drawing, folk artsy stuff. Many works subtly critique the regime in Cuba. Apparently, depending on certain times, most were allowed to make all but the most blatant critiques. One of the artists in this show spent time in prison for defecating on a state newspaper in a gallery! If I had ever done that, I would plead insanity- " I thought I was a caged lil birdy, your honor! I swear!" That woulda worked I am sure. The show closes Sept 9th. UF even published a nice book for the show.

And the near one:

" I Love Her, She Loves Me", Matt Allison at Opaq Gallery
I am VERY excited about this one. Matt has been super secretive about what it is gonna be but I have gotten some hints. Here's what the press release sez:
 Matt's work is a provocative blend of media, ranging
from the humble and discarded material of life, a grape-fruit peel,
a scrap of animal fur, a shredded snakeskin, to the glorified
and venerated symbols of Catholic iconography, religious
paraphernalia, and mythology. Matt's work explores our relics
and remains, the ways in which we see our past, and
they way we look to our future.

Art Walk, August 1, 2007, 5:00- 10:00 P.M.
Artist Reception, August 11, 2007, 8:00- 11:00 P.M
Closing Reception, August 18, 2007, 8:00-11:00 P.M.

Uh oh, Matt is gonna explore our "remains"?
I am too young to die, Matt!

So, go practice your near and far skills and go see these shows!
Maybe we can discuss after.

Jax Media Collab

I am interested in starting a multimedia lab for artists and others who are interested in creating their own short films or digital projects in a collaborative setting. I'm interested in seeing how many artists and others out there with traditional fine art backgrounds would be interested in learning web design, 3-d modeling and motion graphics software in order to enhance their own artistic practices.

Schools are too expensive for most, or me, to afford. They are inconvenient and the rate of learning is at a snails pace. The concept for the media lab would have folks from all types of backgrounds assemble at their leisure to engage with a group of like minded knowledge hungry individuals who are interested in learning new technology and seeing their vision come to life.

In the future there might have to be a small monthly fee for it to work. What's the most a month that you would pay for something like this to come to life? Ideally their would be workstations with all needed software for students to use at their leisure and possibly discounts on buying workstations for home use with all needed software.

Of course this is just a brain fart, but if there was something like this here in Jacksonville I myself would be on it like white on rice. It would grow the knowledge base of traditional artists in Jax and allow cross pollination between artists from other fields. There's no telling what type of artwork would come out of it in the process.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zune + Arts + Microsoft = Strange Brew?

Art is communication; advertising is communication. Rarely do the two exist within the same space without infringing upon each other. Usually one takes center stage ahead of the other, and both will lose a little because of it. There are exceptions to every rule though, and that's where Microsoft's Zune Arts campaign comes in. Basically, the agency, 72andSunny, hands the artists/companies a simple brief: do something about music with the theme of sharing. The results are some awesome videos that are more artistic short film than commercial.

For those of us that work in the commercial world with our talents, I think we can learn something from this campaign. It shows that when an artist is let free something really great can come of it. In Jax, it would be nice to see some local companies embrace this and sponsor campaigns like this as well. It serves the dual purpose of bringing awareness to the local artists here, but also awareness for the company and their product. If Microsoft, quite possibly the antithesis of good design/art, can do it with something like the Zune, then I'm convinced the product or company doesn't matter, it could be anything or anyone.

Check it out...would love to hear what you think.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Photograph by Brent Valeski
location...somewhere in Georgia

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Lets make this happen!

I've felt for many years now that what was holding back the Jacksonville visual arts growth and progress was that the universities here did not offer an MFA program. If JU or UNF had an MFA program there would be a tremendous boost in the visual arts. I grew up in Dallas, Texas where a wealthy family loved sculpture and funded the MFA program at SMU. Each year, the hand full of graduating MFA students would be featured in the newspaper with bios and samples of their work. These people seemed like superstars to the public. There was such an excitement generated by this program and their works. There was so much public sculpture around Dallas, on the streets, in the malls ...it seemed that every available space yielded something wonderful and creative. So, can we do something about this? I've spoken to JU admin/staff and they say that funding is needed. What if we created awareness, wrote letters, got endorsement by the museum curators and others?... then approached the Davis family and anyone else to raise funds... Anyone interested in helping me take this on?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Peek -a - boo. I see you.

If you are a contemporary artist who has work that you think is kick ass please shoot me an email so I can get a growing list of artists who are interested in showing for future shows that will be coming up. Spaces are appearing now.

There is an obvious movement toward viewers wanting to see contemporary works here.

The landscapes, palm trees, and fish paintings have had their day in the sun.

It's now time for something new. A city is defined by it's art. Art defines culture. If Jacksonville wants be seen as a truly up and coming progressive city of culture that is worth investing in then it needs to invest in itself before another creative generation leaves for truly creative cities such as Atlanta. Times a ticking.

Enough hiding. Come out, come out, wherever you are....

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I just got back from New York and it's looking run down. I think it’s taken this long for the accumulative affects of 9/11 to show. The roads are in ill repair and the subways are looking rather sad. Aside from that, I am impressed with the Met. Particularly the Egyptian/Greco-Roman exhibition. The Met really knows how to show iniquities. I had seen many of the same statues at the crowded British museum in 2005 and I’ve got to say the Met made it all look better and grander. The Richard Serra sculpture at MoMA was amazing. It was like walking through metal canyons. At times I felt uncomfortable and unsafe next to the heavy, teetering slats of steel and felt emotionally altered in each twist and turn. My favorite was the life-size (about 40’ high), metal, sculptured trees in Madison Square Park by artist Roxy Paine. You know the old saying, “only God can make a tree”… well not anymore. My buddy Bruce was snapping away with his camera so I got lazy about taking my own. I will get some pics from him soon. I’ll end this post with my opinion and I hope not to offend…I left NYC with the feeling that the museums there are working hard to rehash and reconfigure the glorious art of it’s past, but they do very little for what’s happening now. I believe the "art center" has moved to more fertile ground…perhaps London, Tokyo, Miami and maybe West Coast. But it’s not in NYC anymore. Upon returning, I felt extremely optimistic about living and working here in Florida.
Where did Mactruque go? Has anyone heard from him lately. I'm interested because a few years ago the media was covering him like he was the only artist in town and lately I haven't heard a peep from him.

Also, I've been wondering why folks like him haven't participated in the whole blogosphere phenomenon. Seems the web has sort of united other Jacksonville emerging artists.

I wonder why local well known artists haven't participated?

Akeelah and the Bee at MOCA

MOCA in the Middle continues this Wednesday. Our film this week is Akeelah and the Bee. It is a great movie to bring the whole family to. If you missed it in the theater, don't miss your chance to see it now.

Roger Ebert's review on the film says it all. "In our winning-obsessed culture, it is inspiring to see a young woman like Akeelah Anderson instinctively understand, with empathy and generosity, that doing the right thing involves more than winning. That's what makes the film particularly valuable for young audiences. I don't care if they leave the theater wanting to spell better, but if they have learned from Akeelah, they will want to live better."

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Having Trouble Selling Out? (Part Deux)

I've been meaning to share this with everybody for a while. File under: art as commodity (seems apt, given the abundance of art commodities that have graced Jacksonville's artblogs as of late...

Introducing Slopart.com, a Maine-based fine art catalog/retailer modeled after big-box stores but featuring a nationwide selection of fresh contemporary artworks.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's hard to miss the tongue-in-cheekiness of the site, (the sweet printed catalogs evoke Target or Kohl's Sunday circulars only feature works of cutting-edge contemporary art) but it raises a lot of issues worth thinking about, especially as we navigate the treacherous straights of being contemporary artists in a culture dominated by consumerism.

Started by a fellow University of Northern Iowa (my alma mater) alum Brian Reeves (MFA from the University of Wisconsin Madison), Slop Art has been around for at least 10 years, touring the country putting on exhibition installations that mimic the feel of a retail chain stores, with conspicuous Wal-Mart-esque yellow price tags accompanying each piece, and friendly Slop Art 'employees' helping gallery-going 'consumers' make their art buying decisions. These guys even run a Slop Art TV ad (and include their printed circular in local newpapers) in each community they visit. The big question is, would anyone down here recognize the satire in this?

Check it out and see one artist's (albeit cheeky) attempt at creating a pseudo-serious contemporary art retailer.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

I just joined JaxCAL and wanted to share my latest painting entitled "Texas Border Rest-stop" 48" x 36" acrylic on canvas. If anyone remembers the Pedestrian Gallery near Five Points... it's been resurrected in a new location. Steve Williams' new space/gallery across from Bistro AIX is a perfect place for Juried and curated exhibitions. I am so excited at the prospect of having juried exhibitions because it gives exposure to new artists and artists whose work is considered too progressive or non-marketable. More info coming soon!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sculpture Park Anyone

My friend Natalie Schoof just got back from Seattle and was inspired by this new sculpture park. Check it out Jax. Look what could be possible on the St. Johns River if we had the funding and the follow through.
For more info:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fried Eggs are Flying at MOCA

Tomorrow night is MOCA in the Middle and we have a great film and special guest for our film series. When Fried Eggs Fly gets its big screen Jacksonville premiere Wednesday night. This is a funny, inspiring, upbeat film highlighting the impact of arts in education. This is a full-length feature documentary of a NYC public school’s arts project created by music teacher Bruce Mack. Using his skills as a teacher, he took on a challenge that few others could: he made a commitment to get 162 eight-year-olds to compose, perform and record original music with their parents. And he did it. Throughout the process, Mack fights the same battle everyday that teachers fight everywhere – boredom, apathy, and lack of confidence while teaching the most elusive of skills – self-discipline and self-esteem.

Bruce Mack will be here for a Q&A after the film and returns on Friday for an encore performance and Q&A at 1pm.

Wednesday night's film starts at 7:00pm. So come early and have dinner or drinks or BOTH before the film.

Interesting Read

I found this on the Salon.com website...it's an interesting summation of a new book, "The Trap," that looks at the disparity between "our" generation and previous ones, especially those of the 60s and 70s.



Saturday, July 7, 2007

Social Dress New Orleans – 730 Days After

For Immediate Release

Social Dress New Orleans – 730 Days After
Public Art Installation by Takashi Horisaki
Unveiling at Socrates Sculpture Park, NYC
Free and open to the public
3201 Vernon Blvd (at Broadway) in Long Island City, Queens

Opening Reception: 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Sunday, July 29, 2007
Exhibition Dates: July 29 - October 28th, 2007

Displayed on the East River overlooking the New York skyline, Social Dress New Orleans – 730 Days After is a ghostly full-scale latex replica of a demolished Lower Ninth Ward shotgun-style home.

Sculptor and performance artist Takashi Horisaki (b. 1974, Japan) is pleased to announce the unveiling of a public art installation at Socrates Sculpture Park. The culmination of a three-month effort at 1941 Caffin Avenue, in the still-devastated Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood, Social Dress New Orleans – 730 Days After opens Sunday July 29th in Long Island City, Queens. It will remain on view through October 28.

Beautifully juxtaposing the bustling New York skyline with physical remnants of destruction in New Orleans, Horisaki has envisioned a way to make this tragedy tangible to those far removed from the disaster. It is the artist’s hope that his project will inspire further support for Louisiana’s recovery efforts.

Tuesday, July 10th, marks the completion of Horisaki’s mold casting and peeling process in New Orleans. He applied layers of latex mixed with paint to create a textured 3-D print of a house that will be demolished within weeks by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Later this month, the thin but strong rubber skin will be transported and stretched over a full-scale frame that mimics the original structure. Horisaki has worked with great urgency to complete the project. Racing to complete the mold casting, he has mobilized a community of active Louisiana artists, friends and volunteers. Since the project’s inception this spring, the struggle for the artwork’s creation has been documented on the artist’s blog (http://socialdress-neworleans

In March Horisaki was granted permission by former residents to use the property, and soon afterward he learned of the Army Corps’ plan to level the house. Because 1941 Caffin was in danger of collapse and situated in an area of the Lower Ninth Ward heavily damaged by the storm, it was scheduled for demolition. Not sure how to legally complete his project in time, Horisaki met lawyer Bruce G. Whittaker, who read about the art project in the New Orleans’ Times Picayune. Whittaker volunteered to negotiate with the city so that the house could stand while Horisaki finished the latex mold.

Exposing some of the social, political and environmental systems at work within this fragile landscape, Horisaki’s project explores contemporary terrain shared by Gordon Matta-Clark, Christo, Maya Lin, and Robert Smithson. Social Dress New Orleans – 730 Days After monumentalizes the tragedies endured by past and present Louisiana residents. “A former professor told me how difficult it is for him to make his own artwork still, and so I wondered if I– a neutral observer, not exactly an outsider, but with some distance and perspective on the situation –could express their feelings through my sculpture,” says Horisaki. The artist spent his first three years in America living in New Orleans, eventually earning a BFA from Loyola University.

Driven by the desire to preserve coastal wetlands in the Gulf area, Horisaki explains, “Every day working at the house I can see so many lizards, bugs and creatures that I have never seen in other places. There is a variety of life that is unique to this place. It is rather beautiful, but it will disappear if the wetlands erode.”

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

DC Stimulates Artist Communities

The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC) is a private, nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. We engage artists and arts organizations in community development and neighborhood revitalization efforts to stimulate economic growth, expand the city's cultural horizons, and improve quality of life in the nation's capital.

CuDC’s artist housing program seeks to counteract the fact that many artists are often priced out of the city, resulting in a loss of valuable creative capital to the District. Providing affordable spaces for artists to live, work and create is crucial to retain the creative and cultural capital that enables our city to thrive. Helping artists continue to live and work in the metro area preserves valuable access to the arts for area residents and encourages economic development and community revitalization.

Their latest project is the Douglas Street Project. The CuDC has partnered with Manna, Inc., to develop approximately 40 affordable work/live housing units for artists and their families at 2414 Douglas Street, NE, in the Woodridge area of Washington, DC. The intent of this project is to create work/live artist housing — units designed primarily as functional studio space with basic living space as an ancillary use. The renovation of an existing warehouse plus new construction will provide units ranging from approximately 700 to 1,050 sq. ft., in addition to 1,390 sq. ft. of flexible space for communal arts activities. To maximize artist eligibility, units will be available at two price points suitable for a range of low- and moderate-income households as defined by DC’s Department of Housing and Community Development. CuDC and Manna anticipate that units for low-income households will be priced starting in the mid-$100Ks. Units for moderate-income households will be priced starting in the mid-$200Ks.

Monday, July 2, 2007

If you got the Munny Hunny. We got your disease.

In the jungle.
Welcome to the jungle.
Watch it bring you to your shun n,n,n,n,,n,n,,n,n,n,,n,n,,n knees, knees.
I wanna watch you bleed.
Here's Urban Jackonville's post on the show with more info. Here. If the show is as hot as the flyer this will not only be a great art show but a kick ass design show.

Maybe this would be a good place for us all to meet up and discuss future projects?