Come September, an eight-foot-tall jellyfish will soon leave its home at the University of North Florida for the urban life of Downtown Jacksonville.
The sculpture, by artist and UNF sculpture professor Jenny Hager, is one of 13 pieces that make up Sculpture Walk Jax. This one-year outdoor sculpture exhibition – and Spark Grant recipient – is set to open in Main Street Park Sept. 12 and run through September 2015.
“I can’t wait to see the sculptures in the park and around Downtown,” said Hager, the visionary behind Sculpture Walk Jax. “I think it will bring the space more to life. I’ve been working on this project for over a year, and it will be wonderful to see it become ‘real.'”
Juried by Brooklyn, N.Y., artist Marsha Pels, 10 sculptures will occupy in Main Street Park, and three more will be installed around Downtown, including at the JAX Chamber. There will also be two sculptural benches and a sculptural bike rack at the park.
“Public art has the ability to breathe new life into an underutilized environment,” Hager said. “It creates a sense of place and serves as a visual landmark. The sculptures attract people, and the people make the place more friendly.”
Local, regional and international art will be featured in the exhibition. Listed alphabetically, the following artists’ work will be displayed in Main Street Park:
- Robert Coon (Vero Beach)
- Jenny Hager (Jacksonville)
- Sherry Hill (Jacksonville)
- Hanna Jubran (Grimesville, N.C.)
- Jason Lake (Orlando)
- Aisling Millar (Jacksonville)
- Susanne Roewer (Germany)
- Melissa Russell (Jacksonville)
- Andrew Smith (Oxford, Miss.)
- Durant Thompson (Oxford, Miss.)
- Lance Vickery (Jacksonville)
- Brett Waller (Jacksonville)
- Joni Younkins-Herzog (Sarasota)
The sculptural benches and bike racks were made by the following artists:
- Jenny Hager – sculptural bench (Jacksonville)
- David Main – sculptural bench (Jacksonville)
- Lance Vickery – sculptural bike rack (Jacksonville)
“I modeled this program on Knoxville’s Art in Public Places program,” Hager said. “They have a beautiful park, great restaurants and great market days. It is in an area of their Downtown that was once blighted and is now very energetic and fun to visit. I’m hoping this will be great for Jacksonville’s Spark District, igniting the same kind of energy.”
Sculpture Walk Jax will celebrate its grand opening the entire weekend of Sept. 12, kicking off with a guided tour beginning at 6 p.m. that Friday. The opening coincides with the Connection Festival, which will have live music, yoga sessions, food trucks and art.
“My hope is that Jacksonville will really embrace these sculptures,” Hager said. “I hope people will picnic in the park, do yoga alongside the sculptures or walk their dogs at Main Street Park.”
For more information on Sculpture Walk Jax, visit sculpturewalkjax.com or ‘like’ Sculpture Walk Jax on Facebook. Following the exhibition, the works of art will be available for purchase. The project is sponsored by A & K Machine and Fabrication, Atlantic Powder Coating, Auld and White, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Pedroni Cast Stone and Concrete, and Preston H. Haskell.