We'd like to thank everyone who visited the Police and Fire Pension Fund building (1 W Adams St) during February's Art Walk. Exhibiting alongside us was Nickname Zine (Hurley Winkler and Aysha Miskin), Avant (Keith Marks), and visual artists Clay Doran and Marcie Wallace.
The evening was special for many reasons. Perhaps above all, the evening was special because it was Marcie Wallace's first time exhibiting her work. Several months ago Ms. Wallace contacted the Cultural Council looking for information about how to show her work. We scheduled an appointment to meet with Ms. Wallace and asked that she bring in some examples of her art, since she didn't have a website or social media. To our surprise, Ms. Wallace brought with her hundreds of colorful drawings.
We spent several hours talking with Ms. Wallace. She told us that she started drawing six years ago because it made her feel better. When asked if she's ever shown her work in public or sold it before, Ms. Wallace told us that on Tuesdays she staples her art to her jacket and then walks around downtown Jacksonville.
Her story captivated us and we wanted to help Ms. Wallace get her work in front of more people. This led to us having a conversation as a staff about sponsoring first time exhibiting artists at Art Walk. This idea then grew to programming a building and inviting multiple artists and arts groups to exhibit alongside us. Thankfully, Downtown Vision and the Police Fire and Pension Fund were supportive of the idea and helped manifest it into reality.
Throughout the evening Ms. Wallace had a constant stream of patrons at her table. She was also able to connect with fellow Jacksonville artists, including Madeleine Peck Wagner, Chip Southworth, Khalil Osborne, and Jim Draper.
Last year visual artist and musician Clay Doran moved to Los Angeles, California. We were fortunate because he just happened to be visiting Jacksonville during Art Walk. He had works from over the years in storage and brought them out to Art Walk, offering them at what can only be described as a clearance sale. It's quite possible that Cultural Council staff walked away as proud owners of the majority of his work.
Clay's dedication to being a part of Art Walk included showing up even after being rear ended while in pursuit to the building. It was great watching old friends stop by and re-connect with Clay and his work.
Keith Marks from Avant had a table set up with t-shirts and materials that outlined the non-profit organization's missions and upcoming events. Avant has a number of exciting partnerships lined up for 2018, including collaborative programs with Sun-Ray Cinema and the Jacksonville Public Library.
Because February is the month of love and romance, we asked Keith to curate a special Spotify playlist, which he titled The Love of Life. You can click on the link to stream the playlist and hear a wide array of eclectic music.
Keith provided this remark to add additional context to the songs he selected.
"When I think about love, I naturally think about the relationship with my wife. When we think about love in broad terms, we tend to be narrowly focused on romance and the sweetness of love. While that's definitely a side to love worth noting, love, especially over time, becomes more nuanced, with levels of texture. This playlist is an attempt to share the nuances of love - the laughter, the passion, the silliness, the seriousness, and the impermanence of life that makes the sweetness of love precious as our lives move forward day after day.
Similar to Avant's mission, this playlist takes the listener on a musical journey one might not take. I hope that this playlist is entertains and opens us all to new music, priming the pump for being open-minded to other new ideas that cross our path.
Hurley Winkler and Aysha Miskin of Nickname Zine set up a Galentine's Day inspired exhibit, which included a backdrop for group photos and selfies. Nickname had tote bags, stickers, postcards, and Issue #2, which was freshly released in January, available for sale. We LOVE the creativity exhibited by this duo!
We can't thank enough everyone who came out to make the evening a success. We also cannot thank enough our fellow exhibitors, who without them there wouldn't have been an event. An additional thank you to Tim and Troy at the Police and Fire Pension Fund building. The two of them were extremely accommodating and hospitable.
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville serves six primary roles in Northeast Florida.
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