SLIDESHOW: Public Art In Downtown Jacksonville

Aug 5, 2013

“Corrugating River” and “Girl With Origami” are the latest of many additions of art in public places.  

The Cultural Council is dedicating the murals on the six-story Yates Parking Garage on August 7 on the on the corner of Adams and Newnan at 6:00 pm.

The dedication will feature music by Alex Hayward & Friends an hour before this month’s Art Walk kicks off in downtown Jacksonville.  

What started as a few vendors on Laura Street, Art Walk has expanded to over a dozen blocks showcasing artists, performers, food vendors and more.

Art Walk is celebrating ten years in November.  In that decade, motivated by both Art Walk and other initiatives, public art has spread across Downtown.

The store front of Chamblin's Uptown bookstore features a mural by Jacksonville native and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts alum Shaun Thurston.

Out front of Chamblin’s Uptown is also a piano bearing the logos of companies that many wouldn’t usually associate with the arts.

"There used to be a few in front of the library I think and outside MOCA," said one employee. "Ours is the only one left."

The streets of downtown tell a similar story— not every art installment remains, but over the years each wave has left a visible impression on the community.

One Spark left its mark through a series Beyond the Façade which beautified the boarded up windows of vacant buildings with art installments.

“We are a product of our environment,”  one of the creators Doug Eng explains. “If you walk by a vacant building or a boarded up window every day, you feel as if the life of the city has gone elsewhere. And that feeling is contagious.”

Initiatives like Jax2025 and Downtown Vision are working to transform the urban core into a walkable, vibrant community. 

The new art on the Yates Parking Garage seeks to engage both the community that currently exists and the community envisioned by civic leaders. Corrugating River by Felici Asteinza and Joey Fillastre of Milagros Art Collective is a tribute to the St John’s River and is best seen exiting the Hart Bridge. Sean Mahan’s  “Girl With Origami” is best seen on foot.

Art Walk is featured on the first Wednesday every month, rain or shine.