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Water Street Garage, Courthouse To Be Allocated Art Funding Tuesday

Lindsey Kilbride


On Monday afternoon downtown, people were walking to and from their cars parked in the Water Street parking garage. The six-level building has bare walls, but that’s expected to change says Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Executive Director Tony Allegretti.

“It will likely be a combination of mural and some 3-D elements,” Allegretti said.


The Jacksonville City Council is expected to allocate more than a million dollars in funding for public art projects at Tuesday’s council meeting.

Once the money is transferred, the Cultural Council will have a total of eight art projects in the works.

Artists submitted designs for theWater Street Garage more than a year ago, but city budget cuts put the project on hold. Allegretti said once the money is allocated Tuesday, the three finalists — David Griggs of Denver, Laura Haddad of Seattle and Ray King of Philadelphia — will present their garage designs to the community before an artist is picked.

The Cultural Council receivedpushback from local artists earlier this year for putting a call to artists outside of Jacksonville.

Council is also set to approve $759,000 for an installation on the courthouse lawn, one of the largest public art projects in the city. About 1 percent of every city building built using capital improvement dollars goes to public art.

Allegretti said the Cultural Council has been receivingcommunity input for the future courthouse art design, but still wants to hear more from the public.

“Public art is pervasive,” Allegretti said.” It’s part of the quality of life. It’s not a better aesthetic for your views, it’s also and inspiration. People get uplifted by it.”

The council will also vote on a $19,602 Capital Improvement allocation for an art project at Cuba Hunter Park. Allegretti said that will likely be a sculpture, but like with the courthouse project, the type of art will be decided by an art selection panel. The meeting begins at 5 p.m. at City Hall.

Lindsey Kilbride was WJCT's special projects producer until Aug. 28, 2020. She reported, hosted and produced podcasts like Odd Ball, for which she was honored with a statewide award from the Associated Press, as well as What It's Like. She also produced VOIDCAST, hosted by Void magazine's Matt Shaw, and the ADAPT podcast, hosted by WJCT's Brendan Rivers.