Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Inaugural Exhibition

"Pedestrian Projects Inc. is delighted to present its inaugural exhibition, "Portent, I Said Portent". The show features artists Byron King, James Greene, Brittni Wood, Mark Creegan, and Kurt Polkey, and will include painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, and photography.

Portent I Said Portent

The title of the exhibit suggests a positive sign of things to come for the visual arts in Jacksonville. The unique work on display foreshadows a new, contemporary direction for the local cultural scene, indicating we are on the cusp of something exciting and progressive."

The artists extend the metaphor further by creating work that stands as a reaction to and against the ominous "portents" we read everyday in the news. All of the artists are young, many with young families, and their work conceptually and materially reflects their ever-present anxiety about the future.

7pm Thursday, August 30th SEGD Private Designer Reception
7pm Friday, August 31st Opening Reception

1535 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32207. Click for Map.

Silverstein: Retrospective

A retrospective of Brad Silverstein's work opens Thursday night at JU. I met him briefly and was extremely shocked to hear that such a young talented artist has passed away. I was really hoping to work with him on some projects locally. Really sad news. Life is truly too short. My condolences go out to his family.

Here's a link to his web site:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

2007 Hipster Olympics

"Hobos are the new Unicorns" true!

A protocol must be followed

Juried Art Exhibition protocol

It’s very important that in conducting a juried art competition that a strict protocol is adhered to. With “FLOOD”, Beaver Contemporary Art Center’s first Juried Exhibition, a protocol has been defined and set. This is done to assure that the competition is fair and unbiased. Here are the steps of protocol we are taking for “FLOOD”:

  • An out-of-town juror has been selected to jury the exhibition. This insures that the juror is unfamiliar with the artist’s of this region.
  • The artists in the Beaver committee have agreed not to enter the competition.
  • Names will be omitted from all entries. Each entry will be given a number and transferred to one or more master disks for the juror. This way the artist’s names will not appear on the disks or disk covers. The juror will only receive the numbered digital images with the matching (numbered) sheet that indicates title, medium and size.
  • There will be no communication with the juror regarding the entries. If the juror were to jury the exhibition in person, our group (if present) would be trained on being silent during the selection process. No verbal or visual signals will be allowed during the selection process. We will do everything in our power to insure that the juror’s selections will be his own.
  • All entries that are submitted within the given timeframe and meet with the requirements on the prospectus are submitted to the juror.
  • It has not been determined whether or not the juror will come to Jacksonville to judge the prize winner. If he does, a same strict protocol used in the juryng process will be enforced. If the juror cannot come to Jacksonville to judge the prize winner, he will make his selection from the digital images.

    Please feel free to comment on this set of protocols. We are very interested on how they may be improved upon.
    Thank you,
    Sharla T. Valeski
    Beaver Contemporary Art Center

From Jacksonville's greatest (relatively) unknown (relatively) playwright

I forewarn you that I was invited to add to this blog, so if you don't like my writing, don't blame me.

I was invited to write here after I sent a cynical-bordering-on-cancerous E-mail to's blogmaster bemoaning the fact that, even though I do not create tangibly "physical" art, I think of myself as just as financially- and PR-deprived as any other artist in Jacksonville.

I have been, in various capacities, a local movie critic and playwright for the past 20 years. My movie reviews, at least, found a home -- at Jacksonville Beach's twice-weekly newspaper, The Beaches Leader, for whom I've critiqued for the past ten years. (Upfront disclosure: My wife is the newspaper's editor.)

By contrast, my long-awaited semi-fame for playwriting did not begin until the summer of 2005. At that time, I happened to watch a DVD of the venerably bad sci-fi cult film Plan 9 from Outer Space. When I found myself shouting corny responses to the TV screen as if I was at a Rocky Horror screening, I figured I'd better make something out of it. So I found a copy of the movie's script on-line, printed it out, and went to town satirizing it.

I hated to keep to myself something into which I'd poured so much effort, so I sent my "revised" version -- titled "Plan Nine from Outer Space: The Rip-Off" -- to every theater in town. The Jacksonville-theater circuit will tell you they are starved for low-budget, high-quality entertainment that they can produce without legal hassles. Don't you believe it. The only theater in town that showed any interest was Boomtown, run by the locally infamous Stephen Dare, who basically handed the theater over to me so that I could write, direct, and co-star in my first-ever stage venture. It was a moderate hit, and I and anyone in the cast could tell you how much fun we had.

Stephen called on me a year later to help resuscitate his Thursday-night program "Pulp Fiction Theatre," an excellent concept that was then being run into the ground by its wet-behind-the-ears cast. Stephen and I assembled a new cast from Plan Nine players and some other actors Stephen had worked with. Again, we had a blast. I wrote, co-acted, and co-directed three one-act playlets every Thursday night from January through April of this year. I quit only because I had a day job that didn't bode well for my Thursday-night late-night venture.

Boomtown has now moved to Hendricks Avenue and is in the process of trying to get its theater venue to co-exist with its newly-formed bistro. If the merger works, I will have a new play to launch at Boomtown in October. Stephen asked for an old-style-radio play, so I've written The Fairly Big Broadcast of 1937, a take-off on Orson Welles' famed War of the Worlds broadcast of Halloween 1938.

Why do I mention all of this? Because despite the fact that I am at least a semi-known quantity in Jacksonville theatre now, I can't get backing to save my life. My "advertising" consists of any free notice I can get in local entertainment publications (Folio Weekly, etc.) and any leaflets I make up and distribute and/or post around town.

I will never understand why it has to be like this. I do not beg well, which is why I don't try to obtain local grants or financed ads that they wouldn't let me have anyway. I used to review local theater for Folio, so I know how in-bred the local theater process is anyway. (You'll notice that Folio doesn't even do theater reviews anymore.)

I hope someone out there will notice this and take note of my admitted horn-blowing. I have tons of material that I wrote for "Pulp Fiction Theater" and never got a chance to even try out. I am more than willing to write new stuff, given the right incentive. Or would local theatre rather spend hundreds for the rights to "brand name" writers such as Neil Simon, or spend nothing for the rights to decades-old public-domain stuff that nobody wants to see anyway?

(While I'm at it, how is it that certain business won't even let me post leaflets for my Boomtown plays because I charge admission, while local theaters that also charge admission are allowed to post lavish posters that cost more than I have for even a single play's production budget??)

There, I've gotten all of that off my chest. If you want to check out my past and present work, here are some URLs of my stuff:

If you want to tell me what a blowhard I am, E-mail me at:

Thanks for letting me sound off!

Looking for art events in Jacksonville…Need a place to advertise your exhibition...

The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and nGen Works have created ExperienceJax, an online community calendar that encourages anyone to add art, cultural, or entertainment events in Jacksonville.

Visit today and add your next event.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I Hear Many Voices--Revised

Art Community stakeholders

Jacksonville’s art community is buzzing. Because of many conversations lately, I am trying to define the term “art community” by categorizing its stakeholders. Who is included in the art community? What is the motivation of each member of the community? Who are the consumers of the art?

Who are the stakeholders in our art community? Please consider producers and consumers. Individuals may often represent multiple viewpoints. Think of a person you would consider to be a member of the art community--is that person represented in the list below? Who is missing?

After school programs

Art commissions


Art professionals

Art sales

Art teachers

Business owners

Community educators



College instructors

College students

Cultural Organizations






Downtown development

Event patrons

Gallery (commercial)

Galleries (display)


K-12 students



Members of Cultural Organizations


Parks and recreation



Program participants

Public Art Programs

Social service agencies







Below you will find a list of various categories. Each is composed of multiple stakeholders or consumers. For example, Art Production assumes an artist’s primary motivation/mission is to produce or create. Supplies are also involved in art production by providing those products or services required to materialize a work of art. Once the work is produced, it is displayed or purchased (or stored). An entire web of relationships, stimulated by the production of art, begins to intertwine stakeholders. Each category is motivated by unique needs and will require separate objectives. A stakeholder may have multiple motivations--this list attempts to focus on primary purpose.

Where are you on this list? Let me know your thoughts.

a. artists and ART PRODUCTION

· Display (galleries, museums, business environment)

o Consultants

· Sales (commercial galleries, corporate, collectors)

o Agents/Dealer

· Suppliers (material vendors, equipment, fabrication, installation)

· Art Professionals (specialists to assist with all aspects of production, display, sales, etc.)

· Support Personnel (marketing, non-art jobs)

B. access and Appreciation (enable access to art)

· Cultural Organizations

· Public Art and programming

· Libraries

· Parks and Recreation Programs

· Volunteers

· Critics/Writers

· Media

b. History

· Stewards (museums, archives, conservation, preservation)

· Research

· Writers

c. Education (Formal, informal, higher education, community, after school, professional development)

· Learners (early childhood, K-12, higher education, artists, adult (non-artist), seniors)

· Teachers (classroom, higher education, instructors, mentors)

· Institutions (Early Learning, DCPS, UNF, FCCJ, JU, Edward Waters, Art Institutes)

d. Human Services (Hospitals, at-risk children, crime prevention)

· Art Therapy

· Partnerships

· Social Services

e. Funding

· Public (city, state, federal)

· Private (members, event-based fundraising)

· Donors (grants, solicited)

· Corporations (sponsorship, partnership)

· Foundations

f. Tourism and Development

· Visitors

· Recruitment/Retention

· Economic Impact

· Downtown Development

Friday, August 24, 2007

John Cage and the masses

Here is a great video-John Cage on an old game show- the game was canceled for his performance. I love his improvising with the radios.

And while we are on the subject of mixing popular and avant garde music:

The Beaver Contemporary Art Center is accepting entries for their juried exhibition "Flood".The event, being held at Pedestrian Projects Gallery in Jacksonville, is open to all of Florida and Georgia residents.Installation, Video, 2D and 3D media accepted. The juror for this event is Jim Frazer. We will be accepting JPEG images on CD's.Accepted work may be either mailed or hand delivered. The schedule is as follows:September 17, 2007 - POSTMARK OF ENTRIESOctober 5, 2007 - JURORS NOTIFICATIONOctober 26, 2007 - WORK DUE TO GALLERYNovember 2, 2007 - OPENING RECEPTIONNovember 29, 2007 - EXHIBIT CLOSESNovember 29, 2007 - PACKING / SHIPPING

To download prospectus/call for entries form go to
For further information or questions regarding this event call or email us at 904 859-8281

another roadside bombing.

come see portraits of PVT #000000 and all of our fallen Trophy Soldiers at the very first opening at Pedestrian Projects.

Portent, I said Portent!
7pm Friday, August 31st Opening Reception
Location:1535 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32207.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

City Support for Nonprofits in Jeopardy


I hope everyone is aware of the finance committee debates about Public Service Grant funding for nonprofits in Jacksonville. As a newbie to city government myself, I am still learning about the effect of Governor Christ's property tax cuts on local budgets and city services. Here is a super quick synopsis.

In July, the Florida Legislature passed a bill that will require cities throughout Florida to rollback city budgets to the 2006-7 fiscal year amount. Added to the COJ's existing deficit, this legislation will create a $65 million shortfall in Jacksonville's city budget. The Mayor proposed a budget that would cut department budgets by 10% while adding fees for trash, storm runoff, etc. Visit to see the Mayor's entire presentation. Currently, City Council is "ripping to shreds" the Mayor's proposed budget. A final budget must be past by October 1, 2007.

The finance committee meeting to discuss Public Service Grants will be held Thursday, August 23 from 9-12pm at City Hall. Over $11 million in PSG funds are in jeopardy of being lost to offset the deficit. Visit
for more information about what Jacksonville will lose as a result of Christ's property tax legislation.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Poor Art House

and JaxCore... A car ran into the building that housed both of these places late last night. Apparently the man who hit the building was shooting at his wiife, who was in another car at the time that he slammed into the building. JaxCore's ceiling has collapsed and I am not sure the extent of the damage to Art House. Mia was/is having an art opening on August 31st...this sure is going to put a damper on things.

Here is the link for more info:

Monday, August 20, 2007

There are going to be times when we can't wait for somebody. Now, you're either on the bus or off the bus. If you're on the bus, and you get left behind, then you'll find it again. If you're off the bus in the first place—then it won't make a damn.


Saturday, August 18, 2007


Anyone here remember the ART CAR event back in the late 90's that happened here?
Would be fun to have that happen again................
anyway here is a link to houston's art car event page
they have a full time staff and it runs all year long.
Very big thing for houston i would imagine
there are not many city's that embrace it.
maybe one or two other cities that do it...................

Friday, August 17, 2007

Call for Entries: Regional Juried Art Exhibition

The Beaver Contemporary Art Center is accepting entries for their juried exhibition "Flood".
The event, being held at Pedestrian Projects Gallery in Jacksonville, is open to all of Florida and Georgia residents. Installation, Video, 2D and 3D media accepted. The juror for this event is Jim Frazer. We will be accepting JPEG images on CD's. Accepted work may be either mailed or hand delivered.

The schedule is as follows:

September 17, 2007 - POSTMARK OF ENTRIES
October 26, 2007 - WORK DUE TO GALLERY
November 2, 2007 - OPENING RECEPTION
November 29, 2007 - EXHIBIT CLOSES
November 29, 2007 - PACKING / SHIPPING

For further information or questions regarding this event call or email us at 904 859-8281

Download prospectus/call for entries form at

YEOW Come quick!

Howdy Partners! Mosey on over ta The White Paper Blog an take a gander at sumpthin' I posted up there on the post thing. Ponder it a bit an leave yer 2 cents, or a nickel, whatever. Thank ya kindly!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Skyway

was a blast tonight.

Went to the Cummer last night for the free night. Took my family. Loved looking at the Norman Rockwell there. It's my favorite in the Cummer. Watched a PBS documentary about Norman Rockwell a few months ago. I appreciate him a lot more now. Interesting how he would keep using the same models and you can actually see some of them age decades from painting to painting. My little girl loved the children's museum there. A little girl pushed her on her ass. I was pissed. Her parents didn't apologize. Went to MOCA Jax tonight for the free night also. Parked at the Skyway's Jefferson Station and took the train for the first time ever to Hemming Plaza station. 35 cents for a ride. It's a lot of fun. Like an amusement park ride almost. At least for me. For my little girl too.

MOCA Jax had the same work I've seen up already. I wondered what the concept of the bone of a horses leg on red velvet on an assemblage piece was. I tried to explain that sometimes artists are doing shout outs to other artists in art history and using that to tell inside jokes about each other to the art world to an eleven year old we are babysitting. I wondered why? I realized I'm becoming more of a fan of the Mexican muralist in my old age. Blatant symbolism is comforting. I love Rober Longo. Can't imagine printing lithographs that large. I read how he shot tennis balls at his subjects. Interesting how many types of black you can use in a piece to create tones. I checked out the the U.F. MFA exhibit. Wasn't to happy with it the first time I saw it. It's interesting how work can grow on you. I looked at the artist who does the assemblages for some time. They are new. Very different. Very zeitgeist.

My little girl ran all over the children's museum there also like a wild banshy. Then we took the Skyway back to our car and drove back to my home in Riverside. Anyways. I wanted to share with you all two FREE art filled evenings I had with my little family in Jacksonville. It was a lot of fun. It was scenic. Jacksonville is beautiful. I really mean it. I really can see what we have here and appreciate it. And see how in twenty years this will be an amazing city. I really hope sooner. I really want to help speed the maturation of the art scene here along so I can enjoy it in my thirties and not my fifties. But sometimes, like today when the sun was setting, and it's just perfect, you got to think to yourself who cares? It's beautiful here. I'm healthy. And..... everyting go-in bee ahite.


Though I don't think this is necessarily the forum for political discussions, a friend sent this to me and I thought people should see it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What do we need?

Is this enough? A blogger site to post things. I love it so far. Don't get me wrong. I posted last week about having the ability to do just about anything you all wanted as far as the web goes. I mentioned a chat room. There were no responses but I thought I'd put it out there again and ask if you all had any input on types of functionality to add to JaxCAL as I am seriously considering moving it over to my hosting provider and adding additional functionality.

I want to keep what we have here going and I'm going to import all of the content over if I do it. A page for gallery listings, a chat room, a photo gallery where users can openly submit images to show? Anything you think JaxCAL needs we can do with the Open Source tools that are available to us. I have a bucket load of tools I can use for free. I'd thought I'd ask again. Your input is definitely desired. Check out sites, like, and to see how sites like ours can grow and grow. It's you guys who can make it happen. Afterall this is a community project. Really anything you can think of we can do.



Worth Checking Out

The photographs of Jennifer Morgan (she's a Jax. native):

Monday, August 13, 2007

Art is Rocket Science

I think anyways. Especially at the level of writing that Madeleine Peck writes about it in here sort of newish local Art Blog, Art Isn't Rocket Science. Please go check it out when you get a chance. She really does have an obvious knowledge of art history and a broad understanding of contemporary art. No shit. Really wish she would contribute here more often. Please keep it up Madeleine. Really.

What people want... Do we care? Are we here to appease the public? kowtow to a socialites tastes for impressionistic throughbacks, a country kitchen rednecks lust for thomas kincaide or a ponte vedrans taste in 80's pastel vomit abstraction? We have been educated in art history and most of us have traveled far and wide and devoured every issue of AiA, ArtNews and American Painting. I say, WE are HERE to tell them what they want. We need to stand up for our knowledge and announce boldly the existence of art that is valid to these times and have context and meaning. I'm glad I got that out. I'm very tired now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Back to School for JaxCAL

After reading Byron’s lament, his call to action in regards to helping the general public see contemporary art as a public good vital to civilization, and to also clarify why so many artists only create work that is sure to sell (be it seascapes or cute fuzzy monsters with antlers), I think it is time for us all to attend a special topics seminar. You won’t be graded, and it might be worth more that grad credit to you if you take the idea and run with it.

So enter the JaxCAL reading room and join me for a real discussion on what I believe is a fundamental issue- the image of the artist’s role in society.

Our reading selection today is by Dr. Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty and Vice-President for Academic Affairs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from her 2003 book of essays entitled “Surpassing the Spectacle: Global Transformations and the Changing Politics of Art”

The Artist as a Public Intellectual

“Of the multiple images that exist for artists in U.S. society, most continue to be fraught with complexity and contradiction. There is, for example, the romantic image of the artist on the fringe- wild, mad, alone, ahead of his or her time, misunderstood, somewhat like the prophet raging in the desert. There is the artist as bohemian, socially irresponsible, less than adult, immersed in the pleasure principle, at times able to create something truly extraordinary and at other times able to fool the public with work that passes for art but is really fraudulent—“putting one over on its audience”—or so esoteric that only a handful of people “get it” or want to “get it.” There are images of artists working out of their intuitive selves, in tune with the universe, envisioning the future. And there are also images of artists as shrewd businesspeople able to out-psyche the difficult, sophisticated and fickle art market, make a fortune, and live like celebrities. At the same time there are images of artists whose work never sells in their lifetimes, who die unacknowledged, poor, and depressed, only to be discovered later when others can make a profit from their vision and friendship. At times we have been known to revere artists, to think of them as unique or even superior beings who live deeply inside their creative selves, while the rest of us forfeit these more ephemeral aspects of ourselves for jobs that we may find less fulfilling, but that might provide us with more stability and a greater anchor to the reality principle. Art collectors or museum curators pay exorbitant prices for work that has gained market value—a type of recognition that often comes too late for the artist. These purchases often have everything to do with admiration for the work and little to do with attitudes about the artists who made them. We may revere the work, but we may still mistrust artists, imagine them as self-serving and lacking in the practical skills that would enable them to be statesmen or public personalities, capable of running the world. To further complicate these issues, U.S. citizens, still often seeped in a dominant though hidden puritanical tradition, may unconsciously fear the power of graven images and want to inhibit the right of secular individuals to create images that might become icons or focal points of adoration. Perhaps this is why North Americans largely do not condemn the moving images of pornography, degenerateness, violence, voyeurism of various kinds that appear on TV or in film, but become indignant when such images are frozen in time, transformed and manipulated by artists, the presented to a general public as art.

It is this ambivalence, predominant in the culture, that young artists enter into unwittingly. Such confusion causes ontological insecurity—a primal fear and uncertainty about their place in the world, an unstable location from which to meet an unarticulated and often precarious future. At the same time artists have played into these complex ambivalences, defining themselves as a subgroup, outside society, relishing their otherness, while often at the same time longing to be embraced by society, understood and acknowledged.

In our collective Western consciousness, and probably our unconsciousness as well, we do not have images of artists as socially concerned citizens of the world, people who could serve as leaders and help society determine, though insights and wisdom, its desirable political course. We do not typically ask artists what they think about social conditions or politics—the degeneration of our cities, our natural environment, school systems, or young people. We do not ask them to help solve these problems, even though problem solving and communication at the visual and spatial levels are much of what they are trained to do. Artists are also conscious of negotiating audience involvement and response, skills that are not taken into account when most people describe the work of artists.

I have tried for years in my own writing to articulate the vital place of artists in society because I believe in the educational process that produces them, a process that encourages the crossing of all creative and intellectual boundaries and affirms the importance of the work that results from such training. Artists have sensibilities that are distinctive and important to the well-being of society. Were artists taken seriously within U.S. society, were they sought out for their opinions and concerns and recognized as having rare skills, some of which are about how to see the world, they would enter their chosen profession with a much greater sense of confidence and self-esteem. Were society ready to accept them into its fold as fully participating citizens whose function, like that of intellectuals, is to remain on the margins, asking the difficult questions, resisting assimilation and socialization in the traditional ways, refusing to accept the simplistic moral values that reflect the present political climate, there would be a great deal of psychic relief for artists. Perhaps under such conditions artists would be less engaged in a frantic clamor to reach the top of the art world pyramid. Artists might be freer to focus on what they do best—concentrated visual experimentation that, when successful, advances society’s ability to see itself more clearly. “

Discuss amongst yourselves.


OPAQ Gallery is now accepting submissions for it's next
round of group exhibitions. OPAQ focuses on showing
contemporary art, especially new media and conceptual
work. There is still space available for Artwalk in
September. We've had amazing crowds all year;
it's a great way to get some exposure!

Please email images of your paintings, photographs,
installations, drawings, sculptures, videos,
prints, films, or other creations to:

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Creativity and intelligence

This is a long one but ITS SO BRILLIANT its a must see. Very entertaining also.

My favorite part is the fact that we are teaching children to fear mistakes. Making mistakes is the essential ingredient of human creativity.

An evening with the older generation...

The more I deal with the Jacksonville art scene the more I realize how large our issues really are. Here's an example. I was at a family birthday function for my step dad tonight and I was telling a group of older folks, in their seventies about what has been going on in the Jacksonville arts scene lately. About So on and so forth.

One of them asked me if the work we were showing was Cubism? I told them that it was contemporary art and they continued to tell me that that's not a good name and that we needed to come up with a good name for our movement? It went on for several minutes as they all decided that contemporary art wasn't good enough. It was sort of over the top really. They asked if we were showing Modern Art. Abstract Expressionism? You need a name they said over and over. I then told them that it is actually historically called contemporary art all over the world now. That it's actually global and wasn't up to us to rename it. They wouldn't have it. One man asked if there was going to be any Western Art and that he liked cowboys.

They really wanted another name. One lady asked me, "But isn't it all Impressionism really?" I must admit I was a bit perplexed and perturbed at this moment and I suppose it was very evident. They were astonished that I actually cared enough about what I am doing to take offense. I told them that there are many educated and passionate artists here who have dedicated their lives to their artwork. That it's a very serious thing. And that each time you mention you're an artist here in Jacksonville that this sort of silly conversation usually will take place.

Their mouths dropped. They quit laughing. Afterwards they all apologized.

I mean they were all drunk but dang if there isn't a ton of ignorance here in Jax about art. And these are all extremely educated well to do people. It really makes me question can we overcome it? Is it possible? Should we try? I can see why we all get down about it. I know I do. Situations like this make it extremely evident the obstacles we have in front of us. I mean we aren't only dogs to each other as artists here but we have that shit to deal with from the non artists.

Where do we begin? How do we educate the population on exactly what contemporary art is and where it is going? How do we get along with each other in the process? I really think we should be able to talk to non art types about our work. How do we as artists educate others who do not have an art history background or interest in the arts in order for them to take an interest in what's happening?

How do we make what can be conceived as an elitist activity and make them understand that contemporary art and literature is the evolution of our culture as we know it? Should we engage others or silently bow out of such conversations? If we want drastic change here, it will eventually have to happen with them. As one of them reminded me, he is a consumer. That they are consumers and that I have to be able to talk to them about my work? He had a point. Did I do a good job? Not too sure. I do believe I left them with a very clear understanding that there are a number of contemporary artists here and that we aren't some joke or movement. That we won't be taken lightly. I guess if they want to consume that, it's for sale. I hope that was enough.



You're the Man Now, Dog!

Folks you have to read this great entry by our very own James Green. Looks like his blog is alive and well. Really happy to see you writing again James.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Community Development and Visual Art

Incorporating Art in Jacksonville’s Neighborhoods

Slide Presentation, Discussion and Networking with Allison Graff, Art in Public Places Program Manager, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville

Local Community Developers, Artists, and Architects gather to be inspired by visuals of art in public spaces and talk about how to incorporate art in Jacksonville's Neighborhoods.

Monday, September 17th, 2007, 6:45 p.m. – 9 p.m.

9th and Main Restaurant, 1850 N. Main Street, Historic Springfield

No cover. RSVP to 904.353.1300 x11 or

SPONSORED BY: AIA, LISA, and Cultural Council

Art in Public Places--Public Art Workshop

A free workshop describing the public art process will be held at the Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum on September 8 from 1-3pm. The workshop is for artists as well as those interested in learning more about the public art field. The artist Susan Cooper will specifically address the unique concerns of public art.

Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum Braided with PUBLIC Art

A new public artwork entitled LaVilla Braid has been installed at the Ritz Theatre & LaVilla Museum at 829 North Davis Street, as part of Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Program. LaVilla Braid will be dedicated on Saturday, September 8 at 7pm. The Colorado-based artist, Susan Cooper will lead a nighttime tour showcasing the complete installation.

LaVilla Braid is Cooper’s visual interpretation of LaVilla’s history and culture in a multi-media art installation. The work is composed of three separate “braids” named for their locations at the site: the pedestrian braid, the motorist braid, and the community braid. Eight colorful, aluminum, wall-mounted sculptures, are the “pedestrian braids” (pictured). They represent film, music, art, the St. John’s River (from left to right), and will flank the entrance at the northwest corner of the facility.

The motorist braid, a sculpture made from woven, colored LED light tubes, will wrap around the southwest corner of the building (pictured). The community braid, an installation of crisscrossed lights, will be projected onto the top level of the building, displaying a braided pattern of lights viewable from a considerable distance (pictured).

Cooper writes, “My work is strongly site specific ranging from murals to freestanding sculpture.” The artist has installed public works throughout Colorado, including the Regional Transportation District, City and County Building, Denver Public Library, and the Kaiser Permanente Rocky Creek Building in Lafayette, Colorado. Steel, concrete, wood, oil and acrylic paints, ceramics, glass, and light are some of the materials Cooper uses in her work. Regardless of location or materials, Cooper creates work to enhance the community and to, “stimulate the mind, attract the eye, and uplift life in Jacksonville.”

Susan Cooper integrates history and culture in her work. For example, her piece entitled “Recollection” is a 100-foot-long wall sculpture representing the Polish synagogues destroyed during World War II. For LaVilla Braid, Cooper was inspired by MaVynee Betsch, better known as the “Beach Lady,” who worked for over 30 years to preserve American Beach, the community founded by her great-grandfather, A.L. Lewis. Like Betsch’s complex braided hairstyle, Cooper weaves metal, color, and light to reflect the Beach Lady’s intertwining of history, culture, and philosophy.

To learn more about Susan Cooper’s work, visit

Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Program (APPP) uses designated funds from city construction and renovation projects to purchase works of public art to display in the community. The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville administers the APPP on behalf of the City of Jacksonville. For more information, contact Allison Graff at 904.358.3600.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Tragedy of the Commons (Part 1)

"Hey all you paint-by-numbers-Picassos! Why don't you quit your minor-key moaning and disappear altogether? You're blocking my parking spot in front of the gym!"
-Dan MacDonald*

You shouldn't waste any energy getting incensed about it, but Dan MacDonald's snipe at ArtWalk just seems like more evidence that we are either living in a post common-good era, or that Art Walk should move to Friday night. Let's scrap ArtWalk altogether, McDonald says, because it inconveniences me, one man, for 15 minutes, one night a month. Jeez Louise, I say.

Read all about it in today's A.M. Stir (p. E-2) of the Florida Times Union. Quoth MacDonald:

"Art Walk has to go.
OK, maybe that is a little harsh, but it's what I think while driving around downtown for 15 minutes trying to find a parking space at 5 p.m. every first Wednesday of the month.
Art Walk avails artists and musicians a chance to show off their talents and brings people into the downtown core. Nice objective (even if most of the talent is, in my opinion, made up of too many minor-key moaners and paint-by-the-numbers Picassos). However, something needs to be worked out to make the many parking meters that are off-limits from 4 to 6 p.m. available on Art Walk day.
I'm a person who uses downtown nearly every weekday after 5 p.m. to either work out at the gym or socialize with friends. Art Walk and the lack of parking is a pain for us "regulars."

People being drawn into downtown because of art is a GOOD thing, Mac!
In my opinion you're a Mad-Libs-Ernie Pyle.


Interesting read

Keith Mayerson
The Abduction of Ganymede (Rescued from an Eagle’s Nest), 2006
oil on linen
48.5 x 61 inches

The New York Times has an interesting article about an artist-curated show (curated by the above-referenced artist) also touches on the myth of ideology and that of artistic integrity.

There's also a great article on "summer productivity," or the lack thereof.

Free The Beaver

Wednesday, August 8, 2007



some new paintings by
Jim Draper
opens 8/17/07
Stellers Gallery Annex
Neptune Beach

About the Cows.
My entire body of work can be divided into two overlapping yet distinct concepts. One concept, which contains images such as the serialized "Healing Palms" along with some
seldom shown figure work and the birds, I refer to as "Liturgy" because it reflects a spiritual connection to the earth. The other group is called
"Produce," because it is about our physical connection to the planet. These two groups of paintings overlap ; one painting may be considered in a context about either idea.
The cow as an image and as a concept is interesting when looking at the history of the Americas, especially the peninsula that the Spaniards called, "la florida." The conquistadors
left Spain with ship laden with livestock and seeds with which they were familiar in order to provide sustenance in the new world. This practice was redundant because
the land which they were invading was ripe with available protein, it was just unfamiliar to the European pallet. Various calamities led to the escapes of these introduced
specie from settlements until modern times. Remnants abound in the southeast such as feral pigs, wild horses on remote islands along the Atlantic, and the wild "Cracker"
cows of Florida. As the presence of these European immigrants progresses in the Americas, introduced animals and plants merge with natives in order to form a new landscape that seems
to be totally natural. This is very much the same way the invading peoples have claimed this country as their own, putting up fences and arbitrary borders and
waving their arms madly in the air about some "immigration problem." Which brings me to one major point in the body of work I refer to as "Produce" which is that ecosystems can't be viewed in isolation, void of human interaction.
What I do as a painter is to record this varied imagery in order to promote conversation about humans, their need for sustenance, and their place in the environment.

In the paintings I sample all of my heroes, from the clumsy stiffness of the Pre-Raphaelites to the masters of the Renaissance.

While I Was Away

I was wondering if the public art project we met about several months ago came together, and if so, if anyone has pictures.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


"Pedestrian Projects is delighted to present its inaugural exhibition, "Portent, I Said Portent". The show features artists Byron King , James Greene , Brittni Wood , Mark Creegan , and Kurt Polkey, and will include painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, and photography.

The title of the exhibit suggests a positive sign of things to come for the visual arts in Jacksonville. The unique work on display foreshadows a new, contemporary direction for the local cultural scene, indicating we are on the cusp of something exciting and progressive."

The artists extend the metaphor further by creating work that stands as a reaction to and against the ominous "portents" we read everyday in the news. All of the artists are young, many with young families, and their work conceptually and materially reflects their ever-present anxiety about the future.

7pm Thursday, August 30th SEGD Private Designer Reception
7pm Friday, August 31st Opening Reception

1535 San Marco Blvd.



Think Globally, Act Locally: An Inconvenient Truth @ MOCA


The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville continues its film series “MOCA Summer Cinema” with a special presentation of the 2006 Academy Award winner for Documentary Feature An Inconvenient Truth on Wednesday evening, August 8 starting at 7 p.m. Following the presentation, a panel of environmental experts will be available for questions on related local issues for Florida.

A longtime advocate for the environment, former Vice-President Al Gore presents a wide array of facts and information in a thoughtful and compelling way. An Inconvenient Truth offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man's fervent crusade to draw attention to global warming and its dramatic effects on the environment. Interspersed with bracing evidence and future predictions is the story of Gore's personal journey: from an idealistic college student who first saw a massive environmental crisis looming; to a young U.S. senator facing a harrowing family tragedy that altered his perspective; to the man who almost became president but instead returned to the most important cause of his life - convinced that there is still time to make a difference. With wit, smarts and hope, An Inconvenient Truth ultimately brings home Gore's persuasive argument that we can no longer afford to view global warming as a political issue - rather, it is the biggest moral challenge facing our global civilization.

After the film, a panel of four local experts will answer questions relating the broad themes presented in the documentary to local issues of policy, conservation, and sustainability:

Berdell Knowles is director of government relations at JEA, following a 20+ year career with Gainesville Regional Utilities. Mr. Knowles’ responsibilities include monitoring and managing legislative and regulatory developments at the state and federal levels impacting JEA. Knowles is also founding president of the Florida Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, currently serving on its executive committee.

Jennifer McCharen is cofounder of the Jacksonville Carbon Neutral Initiative (JCNI), a local grassroots group working to stimulate public awareness and debate about global climate change. JCNI engages the public through education projects and working with the City of Jacksonville to encourage green initiatives.

Judy Landers is conservation coordinator with JEA, where she delivers programs that give JEA customers the tools and knowledge to help them use energy and water wisely. Ms. Landers has a BS in Environmental Science and Masters in Environmental Policy, and has worked in the government, non-profit and for-profit sectors, specializing in communications to promote behavior change.

Todd L. Sack, M.D., FACP was appointed to the Florida Energy Commission in 2006 and is a two-term member and chairperson of the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board. Additionally Dr. Sack is a member of the Florida Department of Health’s Community Environmental Health Advisory Board and a member of JEA’s Clean Power Advisory Board.

In 2006 An Inconvenient Truth received two Academy Awards, one for Documentary Feature and one for Original Song ("I Need to Wake Up," music and lyrics by Melissa Etheridge). Directed by Davis Guggenheim, USA; 93 minutes, color, in English (rated PG for mild thematic elements).

Admission to MOCA Summer Cinema is $6 for members/students, $8 for non-members. The MOCA Jacksonville box office opens at 6:00 p.m. Film starts promptly at 7:00 p.m. Seating is limited; please arrive early. For more information about the MOCA Summer Cinema, please visit on-line at

MOCA Jacksonville is funded in part by the City of Jacksonville; Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; The Florida Arts Council; National Endowment for the Arts; and through the generous support of our members.

Chat Box

If we remain connected through the web what feature do you think would make it gel more? I was thinking if there was a chat room connected to this or a forum. There seems to be a lot of history over the last twenty years that I'm not aware of. I was thinking a Wiki would be interesting specifically so we could populate it with what has gone on, who we are, and where we are headed.

I have tons of Open Source tools at my finger tips (as do all of you) that are free and easy to install. If I knew what type of tools you all felt would take us to the next level I'll get started on putting it together. Maybe I should host JaxCAL and bring it into a real site versus Blogger?

I really think a chat room that was local and serious about contemporary art could be a very powerful tool. Chat rooms can be so silly but if used correctly who knows what types of collaboration and community building could take place.