First Coast Connect: Former Cummer Museum Director Launches New Space For Art, Activism

Aug 22, 2017

Yellow House on King Street will soon be home to art and activism.

Former Cummer Museum Director Hope McMath says she wants to serve as a catalyst for personal and collective growth by displaying thought-provoking exhibitions and promoting community dialogue.

Yellow House, at 577 King St. next to the CoRK Arts District, will host events centering on topics including racial and gender equity, human rights and environmental sustainability, she said.

Appearing Tuesday on “First Coast Connect,” McMath said she is not necessarily looking for art that has a political message but is mainly beautiful to see or hear.

“There can be messages delivered that have the complexity of both fear and joy,” she said. “I’m going to do an exhibition this summer around the theme of play and how as adults and children we don’t play enough to really spark our imaginations. Does that have a message behind it? Of course it does. Is it political in nature? No. It’s something that’s highly personal, and people will find their own story within it.”        

McMath said Yellow House is named after the house her grandfather owned in Toledo, Ohio, which he painted yellow. It was through her grandfather and uncle she became politically conscious, she said.

McMath stepped down as director of the Cummer Museum last year, saying at the time, “I’m probably most proud of the work that we’ve done where art and issues of social importance came together.”

A grand opening celebration for Yellow House is set for Thursday, Aug. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Correction: Original post mislabeled photo of Hope McMath's grandfather's yellow house as the new Yellow House in Jacksonville. The photo has been replaced. 

Kevin Meerschaert can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @KMeerschaertJax.