“I love this city, and I’m doing what I can to make it a better place.”
-Artist Shaun Thurston
It’s not a far stretch of the imagination to believe art has a positive affect on communities. In a recently released video, local artist Shaun Thurston shares through his own words – and artwork – why public art matters.
“Artwork, I hope, makes people feel inspired,” he says. “It can make them feel loved and appreciated, and that can add to a sense of community.” The video chronicles the spring installation of Thurston‘s mural above Chamblin’s Uptown & Cafe on Laura Street, as part of DVI’s Laura Street Facade Grant Program in conjunction with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville‘s “Art in Public Places” initiative:
According to the American Society of Landscape Architects, public art fosters community appreciation and attachment:
“The Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community initiative surveyed some 43,000 people in 43 cities and found that “social offerings, openness and welcome-ness,” and, importantly, the “aesthetics of a place – its art, parks, and green spaces,” ranked higher than education, safety, and the local economy as a “driver of attachment.” Indeed, the same story may be playing out locally in Philly: a survey of local residents found that viewing public art was the 2nd most popular activity in the city, ranking above hiking and biking.”
With Downtown Jacksonville’s public art boom underway, we’re one step – and a few murals – closer to a more robust city center. For even more progress on North Florida’s largest art gallery, known simply as “Downtown Jacksonville,” check out the Jacksonville.com Yates parking garage photo gallery.