For Tickets Go To: http://teeoffdowntown.com/
Jacksonville Unity Plaza Inc., is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that will soon offer the Jacksonville community 260-plus days of exciting arts programming every year! Opening in the summer of 2014, this public-private partnership is adjacent to 220 Riverside, a 294-unit upscale apartment community and the cornerstone of Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood redevelopment. When complete, Unity Plaza will effectively deliver downtown Jacksonville’s first and only “central park.”
The plaza – complete with a full-time staff and a dedicated funding source – is designed to be a nucleus that connects Downtown, Springfield, the Northbank, Southbank, San Marco, 5 Points, and Riverside/Avondale. Modeled after Bryant Park in Manhattan and Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, the park includes a 2,000-seat amphitheater, greenspace, an art gallery, event space, and retail and restaurants boasting the finest, indigenous Jacksonville talent. From music and fine art to performance art and events, Unity Plaza will host it all!
For information on this extremely exciting addition to the Jacksonville art scene, please contact Executive Director Jen Jones at 904-206-0902.
What if you could deal with stress as it happens?…not in a few hours, not tomorrow, not this weekend, but immediately.
As part of the Create the Life You Want series, we present two offerings in May:
Saturday, May 4th, 9am-1pm:
Create the Life You Want for Women: Remove Stress, Create Calm is a 1/2-day workshop for women that will teach you simple tools to stay calm and centered no matter what work or personal life issues come your way. This workshop is limited to 10. Click here for details.
Monday, May 6th, 5:30-7:30pm
GREEN GLOBES CERTIFICATION
Green Globes® is just one of many programs that certify a building as “green.” Whether this is the first time you’ve heard of Green Globes, or you’ve just wanted to learn more about this certification program, this introductory course is for you!
Join us on Thursday, May 2nd, 3-5pm, as we begin our Green Building Series: Introduction to Green Globes, Passive House and Living Building Challenge, with part 1, Introduction to Green Globes, a green building system that offers a way to certify the environmental performance and sustainability of your building.
Parts 2 and 3 of the Green Building Series, Introduction to Passive House and Introduction to Living Building Challenge, will be held on May 23rd and June 6th, from 3-5pm.
Courtesy of Art Market Monitor
“In New York, GEORGE CONDO took a series of temp jobs, one at a gallery. When Andy Warhol saw a press release he’d written there, he asked that its author come to document the minutiae of life at the Factory. Warhol’s minions soon discovered that Condo was an artist – he touched up a speck on a Diana Ross portrait with a dab of ink – and hired him to help print the “Myths” series… During his eight-month stint, Condo was in Warhol’s presence only once, when he carried the proofs for the artist’s approval. ‘He made some funny comment like, ‘How come I always have to sign them?’
”A few years later, Warhol bought several paintings from one of Condo’s first shows. “I didn’t care if I had critical acceptance,” Condo says. “I was more excited about being accepted by artists.” When Warhol asked mutual friend Keith Haring to introduce them, Condo consented but was inexplicably petrified that Warhol would recognise him from the Factory. Even after becoming friends, ‘I never told him, I was just so embarrassed.’
Exhibit Opening June 7th
The exhibition opens at UNF with a celebration on June 7. It is the first-ever, permanent selection of art to showcase the contemporary Art History of North Florida from 1950 – present. Thank you to a few of the artists who included their incredible paintings and sculptures, either via donors Stephanie Ibach and Pat Vail or via themselves: Anthony Whiting, James Crichlow, Kim Young, Jeanne Pellegrino, Garry McElwee, Mary W. Atwood, Jim Smith, Donald Henry Dusinberre, Madeleine Peck Wagner, Gordon Meggison, John Votel, Will Dickey, Mary St. Germain, Mark Durham, Thomas Hager, Leigh-ann McDaniel Sullivan, Jensen Hande, Marilyn Antram, Keith Doles, Sharla Valeski, Susanna Richter-Helman, Lyn Asselta, Troy Eittreim, Sydney McKenna, Jay Solomon, Laird, Steve Williams, John Bunker, Christie Holechek, Marsha Hatcher, Annelies Dykgraaf, Diane Farris, Jennifer Mendoza Stanelle, George Cornwell, Lee Harvey, Beth Haizlip, Dee Roberts, Carole Merhtens, Louise Freshman Brown, Debbie Pounders, S usanna Schuenke, Megan Cosby, Patrick Gabriel, Toni Charneco, Charlie Brown, Memphis Wood, Dave Porter, Kathleen Wobie, Jerry Uelsmann, Jonathan Lux, Enzo Torcoletti, Renee Faure, Susan Dauphinee, Mindy Hawkins, Nofa Dixon, Tom Farrell and others.
Since 2008, Jen Jones has worked with unbridled enthusiasm to curate a unique and permanent art display for the University of North Florida’s Thomas G. Carpenter Library. Guided by Jen’s singular sense of purpose, the collection featuring local and regional artists was made possible through the generosity of artists and art collectors. I am proud to announce that this five-year labor of love is now complete and boasts the work of over 100 noted North Florida artists and, as a collection, is valued at over $375,000. We at UNF extend our most sincere gratitude to Jen for her vision and dedication in curating this giving project and seeing it through until the very last piece was installed this week. The resulting collection establishes a unique link between the University and the Jacksonville community and creates a lasting awareness for our students of the art history of North Florida.
University of North Florida
Slow Food Sundays In this colorful and inspiring documentary by Dr. Nadia Ramoutar and her students of the Art Institute of Jacksonville, they look at people who are championing to change the way we eat and the way we get food. This takes place in North Florida and the group we focus on is Slow Food First Coast. Get in the mood for good food and be sure to get tickets for the Contemporary Classic: Artisan Edition. Screenings will happen at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. with Q&A session after each.
Nadia Ramoutar is a diverse artist who created an eclectic career in Television and Film for the past 20 years. She has directed, written and produced a large number of projects all aimed at providing meaningful and entertaining messages. She has a Ph. d in communications from the University of Florida and has taught college students for the past 15 years in communications, writing, filmmaking and media studies. In 2012, she mentored and taught an Art Institute of Jacksonville college student who won a student Academy Award in documentary. Her goal is to use her teaching and work to “give a voice to the voiceless.”
Ramoutar is an avid writer and researcher who has worked in narrative fiction and documentary film as well as television. She began her career as a journalist and worked in Radio news as an anchor and news director so investigative reporting is part of her approach still. Very much a social activist she has done campaigns and films on issues of social importance like domestic and sexual assault, obesity and veteran rights. Nadia was born in Dublin, Ireland to an Irish mother and Indian Father so storytelling from a multi-cultural perspective is very much part of her heritage and life’s work. She enjoys operating her own Production Company, Nadia Ramoutar Productions and collaborating with other people and telling stories from a new perspective using her original voice. ”I am so grateful to work in this field with so many amazing people. It’s truly a blessing to do this for a living and make a difference in the world at the same time.”
Through your exploration of literature, poetry, performing and the visual arts, which element led you to the other? Or have they always coexisted with one another?
I suppose that it’s hard to disentangle the various forces that you list or, like the chicken and the egg, to determine which came first. I’ve always been a big reader, and yet the visual arts interested me greatly from a young age. I actually have an undergraduate degree in art history from the University of Kansas; it was only later—after years of living in New York, Europe and Japan—that I returned to graduate school in order to pursue an interdisciplinary MA and Ph.D. in the Modern Studies program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Where do you look for most of your inspiration? Is there a period in your life that you tend to look back on or are you always looking for new references?
Any inspiration that I gain comes from multiple sources that again reflect my interdisciplinary interests and background. So, certainly my various readings, the materials that I teach in the classroom at UNF (a lot of modern and contemporary poetry), art that I see during my travels, as well as a site-specific awareness of the landscape in which I might be working, all of these elements combine to create ideas and inspirations.
I see that you have a special interest in avant-garde art, how do you relay that message in your own work?
My interest in the avant-garde, an area of study that I teach at UNF, is based upon a desire to imagine new and unexpected ways of making art, placing art and thinking about art.
Your installations have a subtle yet bold presence. How do you decide on the placement of your words?
The placement of words for my various installations is determined greatly by whatever site that I am working within. At UNF, especially for the five “writing on water / writing on air” installations that I began in 2007, the university library (with its great stairway overlooking the pond) determined how the language was to be placed and seen; in my recent installation in Paris, at the Galerie Colbert, it also had to do with the site-specific dimensions of the project—the many interior windows that make up that powerful and historic space.
What is the significance of your poetry mixed with nature? What is the ultimate message you are trying to send the viewer?
I’m interested in integrating my poetry into and upon a particular setting or landscape. However, my work is, by design, nearly always short-term and ephemeral, making a mark upon the landscape that eventually fades away, leaving no trace of itself but the memories of the event. A message, if there is one, certainly involves these memoried traces, an awareness of time and place, and an embrace of the ephemeral.
Your sculpture fro UNF’s Art in the Library is different than your typical installations. Can you tell me a little about your intuitive and design process? How this one is similar and how is it different?
Yes, the recently installed piece at UNF, “Suspended Sentence,” is very different from my other installation work precisely because of its relative permanence as compared to my short-term installations on water and windows. This is a piece that will be attached to the library wall for many years to come, offering a more enduring presence than I am accustomed to engage.
As it was designed for the UNF library, commissioned by Dean Shirley Hallblade, I very much wanted to use books as a key part of the project, especially at this historical moment when libraries and books are in such a tenuous and transitional stage. The 103 books of this installation each had a two inch holes drilled into their centers; they were then laced onto a ten foot galvanized steel pipe which was then attached to the library’s brick wall; finally, all of the books were painted with eight coats of thick and luminous shellac. Like a long-forgotten mosquito trapped in ancient amber, the many books of my piece are now sealed together, suspended in time indefinitely from off of the brick wall.
I do see the trend of using literature among natural surroundings and the theme of bold subtlety in its placement and design. Are these key elements for you?
I like your formulation of “bold subtlety” and it describes something of what I seek—a simplicity of form that nonetheless resonates to a larger scale of awareness. The “writing on water” installations at UNF are an example—the pieces, as poems, are composed of only a few words, and yet each letter is anywhere from 8-10 feet in size. As such, there’s no mistaking, or even missing, their presence floating out on the water.
How would you say your creating these installations has reached the students on campus, in particular your students and those in other programs?
Much of my installation work involves really a kind of guerilla activity in which traditional spaces of exhibition are bypassed and, instead, my pieces are found in unexpected and surprising locations. Students are then confronted, or even obliged, to see the work (whether they like it or not) as they, for instance, climb the library stairs and look out its windows. I’m an English and not an art professor, and so I feel less beholden to or confined by more conventional exhibition expectations.
How do you strive to teach your students the art of literature and the possibilities beyond just being a great writer? Do you incorporate much of your experience in the arts as a teaching tool in the classroom?
I do occasionally bring up my own installation activity in the classroom, but only as a means to illustrate an issue or idea being dealt with by the material at hand. However, for all of my UNF installations, many students over the years have helped with the projects, often in very important ways—out in the kayak, scaling tall ladders and taping large letters onto windows… Any learning involved (and I believe that there is a lot) is, therefore, quite experiential and involves an awareness of language as material and the often long processes involved in my installations.
This ongoing project is a pretty big deal for the history of UNF’s campus, and especially the library; what kind of influence would you like your sculpture to have on the Jen Jones project?
Working with Jen Jones on the recent library installation was great, and she and her team were vital in getting the installation up on the wall. Once completed, the piece weighed over 300 pounds and it was no easy endeavor to attach it onto the library’s brick wall. Having never done anything quite like it, I couldn’t have completed the installation without Jen and her team of professionals; it was a pleasure to work with them all. I hope that I’ll have a chance to work with them again in the near future on another project.