It’s not hard to walk around #DTJax and see beauty. From the historic buildings and eye-catching architecture to the hidden gems like Spliff’s Beer Garden and murals throughout the city, we have a lot of offer. The streets of #DTJax are about to get even more artsy with the help of The City of Jacksonville’s Art in Public Places Program, together with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville and the Downtown Investment Authority.
If you’ve walked around #DTJax lately, you may have seen green decals sprinkled throughout the streets. Come Spring 2017, these spots will be home to brand new art pieces thanks to the Urban Arts Project Phase 1 of the Art in Public Places Program.
The Art in Public Places Program was adopted by City Council in 1997 and thus created the Art in Public Places Trust Fund. This fund is subsidized through an allocated percentage of construction costs for building a public facility thus designating specific funds for capital improvement and even more specifically, for public art. This money then goes toward large-scale community art projects that gets broken down into artist fees and supplies (85%), maintenance (5%) and community outreach programs (10%).
Phase one of the Urban Arts Project, with guidance from the Downtown Investment Authority, focuses on placing street art like bike racks, street furnishings and outdoor sculptures along the streets while also beautifying existing infrastructure like the skyway columns and traffic signal cabinets. After all is said and done, 34 different projects will embellish #DTJax. Six artists from the State of Florida, two of whom are from Jacksonville, will produce original art installations at each location. Meet the six artists:
- Cecilia Lueza, of Miami is a 2-D and 3-D artist who will address nine of the JTA Skyway columns along Hogan Street from Hemming Park Station to Bay Street. Lueza is interested in this project “because it will provide us the opportunity to create a site specific public art that would engage the public while creating welcoming focal points for the area.”
- Andrew Reid, of North Bay Village, Florida is a muralist who will paint eight JTA Skyway columns that run from Bay Street to Central Station. Reid emphasizes that the “collaborative process is important to help inform the final vision for the artwork. By working closely with the people and organizations that are invested in the community, I would come up with an artistic solution that is perfectly and uniquely suited for this project.”
- Michelle Weinberg, of Miami Beach, has a fine art background and works in multiple media. She will design images for vinyl wraps to be placed on seven traffic signal cabinets within the urban core. She says, “my paintings describe architectural spaces as theater. Streetscapes, alleys, plazas, kiosks, storefronts, any instance in which wall meets floor and forms an area for drama to occur – this is where my imagination begins.”
- Lance Vickery, of Jacksonville Beach, is a sculptor who will design and build several sets of sculptural bike racks for Downtown, creating enticing art for passersby as well as convenient racks for cyclists. Lance Vickery says he is “very interested in working with the various stakeholders to make this a significant project for Jacksonville.”
- Jenny Hager, of Jacksonville Beach, is a UNF art professor who will design and create sculptural seating along Hogan Street to both delight pedestrians and offer the respite of seating. Hager states, “the intention behind my work is to create a truly engaging experience for the viewer, one that has resonance and power in the moment. I believe very much in being a part of my local art community and strive to make it a more interesting and cultural place in which to live.”
- Rafael Consuegra, who was born in Cuba and resides in Miami, is selected by the panel to create a large iconic outdoor sculpture to be placed near the corner of Monroe and Laura Streets by Snyder Memorial Church. Consuegra believes that public art “rests not only in creating a unique and fresh work of art that will never go unnoticed, but also a work of art that: is site-specific, has intrinsic value, is considered a landmark, is able to withstand the passage of time, succeeds in expressing a concept and/or emotion and is easy to maintain.”
We are excited to see these stunning new additions to #DTJax art and culture soon! Keep up with the Art in Public Places Program by visting the website or following them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.