Black Faces, Black Bodies, Black Stories - 10 Questions with Visual Artist, Graphic Designer, and Event Stylist Erin Kendrick
Erin Kendrick is a visual artist, graphic designer, and event stylist. Since 2009 Kendrick has operated E. Street Design Co., the company through which she plans, develops, and executes visual and design concepts for private, public, and non-profit events. Kendrick also teaches art appreciation as an adjunct professor at Columbia College - Jacksonville.
A native of Jacksonville, Kendrick received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in studio art from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. After completing her undergraduate degree, Kendrick left the state of Florida and continued her formal education at George State University in Atlanta, GA. There Kendrick received her Master's of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting.
Kendrick creates using vivid colors, often applying layers of ink stains to her pieces before they are complete. Through her work, Kendrick seeks to inspire a dialogue about contemporary spectatorship, perceptions, and the power of language. Kendrick creates pieces that celebrate black womanhood and a lineage of survival. Kendrick draws inspiration from the notion of "oppositional gaze," a term coined in 1992 by feminist, scholar, and social activist bell hooks, who asserts "there is power in looking."
Laura and Matthew Bennett met while enrolled as undergraduates at Pennsylvania State University. Upon graduating college, Laura began her 20 year career in the Navy. Laura and Matthew were stationed in Jacksonville four times during her Naval service. During each tour, Matthew worked in the arts and exhibited his work in galleries throughout Northeast Florida, The Cummer Museum, and Art Walk. In 2009-2010 Matthew partnered with Downtown Vision for Off the Grid, a now defunct program that utilized vacant buildings to provide artists with cost effective gallery and studio space.
The Bennetts moved to Japan in 2010 and returned to Jacksonville for their final Navy tour in 2013. When they returned, they noticed that the arts community had partially shifted their focus away from downtown. The Bennetts had a desire to rekindle past efforts to establish downtown as a central location for the arts community. In October 2016, Matthew partnered with Margie Seaman to establish the inaugural location for Seaman's Building Art Program (BAP). Seaman sees Jacksonville as a potential incubator city for artists. Seaman works to pair artists with owners, landlords, or brokers of vacant buildings that are available for sale or lease through the BAP.
Jim Alabiso is a writer, producer, strategist, speaker, and performer. As a writer, Alabiso self-publishes his work and he makes it available in its entirety for free through his website. He is also a regular contributor to Arbus Magazine, the arts and business magazine of Northeast Florida, and First Coast Magazine.
All the Angels Come, a serial novel, is Alabiso's most recently released body of work. The story is an epic fairytale set in the River City. There are four main characters in the story, William, Jay, Masuyo, and Ricardo, all of whom are homeless. Chapters in the story unfold through the telling of events central to each character. Through his story Alabiso shares his belief that not all heroes wear capes, nor are they all white males with chiseled jawlines and massive bank accounts.
On the second Tuesday of every month the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, along with co-hosting individuals from Jacksonville's creative community, organize Every Single Artist Lounge. This informal meet-up is intended to spark dialog between artists of all disciplines, gallery owners, curators, art educators, and the general public.
Artists Ingrid Mathurin, Toni Smailagic, and Mal Jones co-hosted March's meet up. A fantastic group of creatives joined us at the Cummer Cafe on March 14 from 5:00 PM until 6:30 PM. For those who missed this month's event, please mark your calendar's for April's meet up, which will be held on April 11 from 5:30 PM until 7:30 PM at the Cummer Cafe.
Below are photos taken by Toni Smailagic during Every Single Artist Lounge. All photos can be found on Toni's site. Toni shoots in natural light as a freelance photographer. Please contact Toni if you have any questions about his photographs or services.
Ulysses Owens Jr. was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1982. Owens began playing the drums at the age of 2. During his teenage years Owens attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and it was during this time that he set his focus on becoming a professional jazz musician. Through hard work and dedication to his craft, Owens received a full scholarship to New York's The Julliard School, where he enrolled in the inaugural jazz program.
Owens career in the music industry has been rewarding. He has performed and recorded with musicians such as Kurt Elling and Christian McBride. His involvement with both musicians has earned Owens two Grammy Awards, the first for drumming on Elling's 2009 live album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman, and the second for drumming on McBride's 2011 album The Good Feeling.
Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and Art in Public Places Announces Installation of New Streetscape Public Art in Downtown Jacksonville
Pedestrians in Jacksonville's urban core will notice pieces of public art being installed in various sections of downtown. Throughout the month of March, public artists commissioned through the City of Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Program are implementing Jacksonville Downtown Investment Authority's plan to enliven the retail enhancement area with streetscape art.
Artwork is scheduled to emerge downtown along N. Laura, N. Hogan, W. Adams, W. Forsyth and Water Streets throughout the month of March. These site improvements are being implemented as Phase I of the DIA Urban Arts Project. The Cultural Council and Art in Public Places will host downtown walking tours of Jacksonville's public art during Public Art Week 2017, which is scheduled for April 3-7. The free public tour, which is scheduled for April 4, will commence in front of City Hall at 2:30 pm and culminate with a dedication of the DIA Urban Arts Project at 4:00 pm at the corner of N. Hogan and W. Bay Streets. RSVP for the walking tour by emailing Christie Holechek, the Director of Art in Public Places (firstname.lastname@example.org).
George Cornwell is an artist's artist. He works with technical proficiency as a screenprinter and it's an understatement to say that Cornwell has an eye for details. Cornwell's caliber of work has led to him collaborating with the "who's-who" of Jacksonville creatives, including artists such as Jim Draper, Shaun Thurston, Crystal Floyd, Chip Southworth, Margete Griffin, Overstreet Ducasse, and Roosevelt Watson III, and organizations such as Long Road Projects.
Cornwell entered the world of fine art in 1987 while living in New York City. In his first role as a screenprinter he worked under Jackson Lowell at Chromacomp Inc., located in midtown Manhattan. Chromacomp focused on creating limited edition, highly collectable prints. During his time spent with the company, Cornwell printed the work of art deco pioneer Erté and commercial artist Thomas McKnight, whose work sells for tens-of-thousands of dollars.
During the March Art in Public Places Committee meeting, Christie Holechek, the Director of Art in Public Places, presented on upcoming APP projects. Those projects include the Courthouse, Law and Liberty, Cuba Hunter Park, Winton Drive, Bob Hayes Sports Complex and Legends Community Center, and the Ed Ball Building. The presentation is available below.
The Art in Public Places Committee met on March 8, 2017 at 12:00 PM in the Don Davis Room in City Hall. All Committee meetings are public noticed in advance and the general public is encouraged to attend.
Alisha Ross picked up her first drum in 2003 while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. Ross's interest in drumming and rhythm led to her joining the Berklee West African Drum and Dance Ensemble. Ross then continued to cultivate her passion by traveling to Ghana, West Africa to learn more about the culture that surrounds rhythm. Ross further dedicated herself to her passion by enrolling at Tufts University, where she received her Masters of Arts degree in Ethnomusicology, which is the study of the music of different cultures. Ross performed with the Tufts Kiniwe African Drum and Dance Ensemble while attending classes at the university.
Ross founded Just Add Rhythm in 2012. For the past five years the organization has utilized the power of music and movement to help others discover their inner selves. Just Add Rhythm focuses on three main types of interactive rhythm experiences: team building (companies and organizations), educational (K-12th), and community (specific populations or groups).
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