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Local Artist Creates 'Steampunk' Sci-Fi Art In Jacksonville

The latest project of local artist Jim Smith brings to life a genre that combines science fiction and fantasy, with a focus on modern devices that employ steam as a primary power source.It's called Steampunk, and the sci-fi sub-genre has been applied to everything from Star Wars to My Little Pony.  

Jim Smith spoke with Melissa Ross about Steampunk and his contributions to the genre, including a Steampunk themed restaurant featuring his work set to open in Riverside.

“It’s combining the styling and attitude of the Victorian era, where steam was the predominant source of power, and it infuses it with 21st century technology,” said Smith.

He uses gauges, hourglasses, clocks, electrical components and anything that looks like it could generate steam to create his art.

“It would be a picture of Abraham Lincoln, which I’ve seen, with a jet pack on his back,” Smith said, as an example of Steampunk.

Smith said he basically fell into the genre based on his previous work.

“I have always been an assemblage artist, and by making certain things it kind of fell that way and at one point someone said ‘you’re making Steampunk,’ and I was like ‘what was that?’” he said.

Saturday night, Smith displays his work at a reception for Goozlepipe & Guttyworks, a new Riverside restaurant with a Steampunk theme that is still under development.

The event, “A Night of 1000 Boxes,” will include performance art, catering by Celeb’s Corner Kitchen, and music, including a performance by local singer-songwriter Stacey Bennett.

Examples of Smith’s Steampunk artwork is also on display on the third-floor of Jacksonville’s Main Library through Saturday.

You can see more of Jim Smith’s work online at

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax and Cole Gordon @Cagordon33Cole.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.
WJCT News Intern Cole Gordon is a communications major at the University of North Florida.