Ok, so here’s the 411 on the brand spanking new JAX ART HUNTS:
In the beginning, there was this guy named Patrick Skoff, an artist living & working in Chicago. He decided to take a leap of faith and do something that most people would think is crazy: he started leaving his paintings in random locations around town. Not in galleries like you may think, but in places like bus stops, playgrounds, sidewalks, and so on.
The response was amazing and he even started selling enough of his work so that he could quit his day job and pursue his art full time. Eventually, Patrick Skoff turned this art drop off experiment into a full blown ART HUNT. He would scope out a location, leave a painting, post messages via Facebook & Twitter and move on to the next possible drop off point. As Patrick left his paintings around the city, he got some amazing and insightful reactions. Some revolved around the quality of his work, while others revolved around how appreciative the lucky party was to have art become so accessible to them. For various reasons, many people find themselves very intimidated by art and it’s not because they don’t enjoy it or want to support it, but instead it’s generally an insecurity that they don’t know enough about art or can’t afford it. As a result many have a tendency not to pursue their interest in it. In Caroll Michels’ book, How to Survive & Prosper as an Artist, she touches on this very subject in greater detail, but whatever an individual’s reason is, Patrick wanted to show your average person that art was not a scary thing and at the same time sharing his vision for making art accessible to EVERYONE.
I’ve been showing my work in Jacksonville for over 15 years in various galleries, venues, and events. I have witnessed the art scene grow by leaps and bounds, but at the same time I see just how many people are not being reached. It wasn’t till I worked on a major public art project, that I saw first hand the impact that art could have on the masses instead of the few. Since then, I have been racking my brain for a way to get this message out in an innovative way and start a revolution in the local art scene. As I searched, I got wind of some local artists doing some amazing collaborative works like Imagination Squared, Art In Strange Places, & Riverside Art Market Gallery. The best part was that these projects were not your typical art shows, they were really geared around involving and reaching as many people as possible and in addition, showing the world the amazing value that art has in a community. I stumbled across Patrick’s story on Blick Art Materials’ Facebook page because they had recently sponsored Patrick and his ART HUNTS by donating some much needed materials.
After hearing about the ART HUNT, I realized the power and reach a project like that could have on a city like Jacksonville. I contacted Patrick Skoff for some ideas and info, then I contacted Dolf James with Art in Strange Places and in less than a week, our first official JAX ART HUNT had been scheduled.
The art is being donated by local talent, the first hunt will be Saturday, Feb. 5th, 2011, the art will strategically be placed around town, then clues will be uploaded via Facebook and Twitter. Art will be found in one of two ways: either by someone who happens to be in the right place at the right time and stumbles into it or by someone actively following the clues. The work is free to anyone who finds it first, the only thing we ask is that you contact us and let us know the work was found, hopefully take a pic of yourself with the work so we can post it on our website. This is better than finding a brand new TV on the side of the road, because unlike a TV that depreciates in value, art is invaluable, it’s an investment, it feeds the soul, sparks your imagination, and it’s candy for your eyes. This is the beginning of something great and I’m looking forward to the positive impact this will have on our city and beyond 🙂
A special thank you to Patrick Skoff for sharing his work with the masses and being an inspiration for this local project, be sure to support him and spread the word.