Update: FREE Local Art for the Holidays?! Dingo Calendars and More :)

Free Art?…

That’s right, as I continue my public art/social awareness project that I like to call, OPERATION: Bring Art to the People, more people than ever are being connected to the power of art through random FREE art drops in our fabulous city and beyond. Sometimes the free art is big, sometimes it’s small, regardless of the size, it’s an original, one of a kind random act of kindness used to spread the word of how important it is to keep the arts alive in our city. My inspiration for this project came from Chicago artist, Patrick Skoff and his art scavenger hunts and now thanks to him and many other artists around the globe, the Free Art movement has become a worldwide phenomenon known as Free Art Friday, with a local chapter right her in sunny Jacksonville, FL: FAFjax. So, if you are looking for Free Art this holiday season, there is a very good chance you will find some at a random location near you πŸ™‚

*If you would like to help fund OPERATION: Bring Art to the People, today is your lucky day. With your donation, not only will you be part of this fantastic movement, but you will also be helping to fuel the Free Art machine that helps spread the message that: Art is For Everyone!Β  πŸ™‚

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Don’t Feel Like Hunting Down Free Art in the Streets?…

No worries, you also have the option to buy art directly from me. I have an online Etsy Store that showcases some of my latest works, along with my 2013 Dingo Loves Jax Calendars & 2013 YCL Art Childhood Series Calendars, I have a Fine Art America Store where you can buy high quality low cost prints of many of my original works or you can also plan toΒ  visit to my studio during Art Walk or make an appointment to personally look around at all the goodies I have avaialble for your shopping pleasure. Don’t forget, if you want to have something especially created for you or for that somebody special just in time for the holidays, feel free to contact me asap to discuss the details and pricing.

Click the images below to purchase:

2013 Dingo Loves JAX Calendar available on my online Etsy Store

2013 YCL Art Childhood Series Calendar available on my online Etsy Store

Doggie Love Art available on my online Etsy Store (Pictured: Labrador Love)

One of a kind hand painted holiday ornaments will be available for sale during December’s First Wednesday Art Walk at my studio. Be sure to stop by to pickup yours πŸ™‚

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Check it out! The Dingo Graces Folio Weekly’s Charity Ornament Auction!

Check out Folio Weekly’s Charity Ornament Auction. 10 local artists were selected to create an ornament that highlights Jacksonville and all proceeds go to the artist’s charity of choice, I selected Teen Challenge. Click the pic for details on the auction, and to find out more about Teen Challenge, and to get the story behind this ornament. Happy bidding and don’t forget that the auction ends on 11/26/2012 πŸ™‚

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Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…
As always, thank you to everyone, especially to those who have helped to keep our local artists in Jacksonville by collecting our art, supporting our events, and spreading the word. Our roots are growing deeper and deeper and soon our local scene will be in full bloom with the help of all of you and our hard working artists.

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Free Art?!

That’s right, all the art you see here has been randomly dropped throughout Jacksonville and beyond, as west as Salt Lake City, UT and as north as Chattanooga, TN, in an effort to continue OPERATION: Bring Art to the People, a public art project designed to help connect random people to the power of art. As I get opportunities to travel, I will continue to set free more of my art into the open wild, until then, I will continue to do Art Drops through out Jacksonville, FL πŸ™‚

This is Why #iLoveJAX

Our skyline…

I hear so many complaints about Jacksonville, and while I can be the first to admit that it definitely has it’s issues such as: not enough public art, not enough separation between church and state, and crazy random weather that ranges anywhere between monsoon season that causes excessive flooding to seasons of drought that cause way too many wild fires, but our issues don’t make us any different than any other city in the nation. Every city has it’s ups and downs, but like anything in life, we need to be able to look at the big picture, the silver lining,Β  and embrace all that makes our city fabulous while we continue to work on the little annoying nuisances & wrinkles that still need to be addressed and ironed out.

All that being said, I would like to direct you to a few of my favorite things in Jacksonville. Some will be expected, some will be surprises while some, you will feel are coming out of left field. Either way, enjoy!

1. It’s just plain pretty here!

View of Jax from the ATT Building

From our beaches, to our sky, to our river, to the swamps, to our urban core, the bridges, the architecture, the landscape…Jacksonville is pretty and unlike other large cities it’s way cleaner too! Now, that does not excuse anyone who finds it acceptable to litter or pollute any area of our city, this goes for large businesses dumping toxic chemicals into our river to the home owner dumping trash into the sewer. Don’t be a litter bug people! That way we can keep our city lookin’ pretty πŸ™‚

2. Sports!!!

The day I finally met the infamous Jaxson de Ville πŸ™‚

What?! Did an artist just endorse sports? The answer is: Yup and I’ll do it again if you ask. This includes the Jags, the Sharks, the Giants, the Suns, and rumor has it we even have a professional lacrosse team which I think is awesome, I haven’t had a chance to see them in action, but hope to one day soon. I’m bummed that we lost our professional soccer & hockey teams not too long ago, but here’s to believing that we’ll get them back. I will admit, I’m not much for college sports, but I’m still happy that our city hosts the FL/GA games & the Gator Bowl. Regardless of whether your heart lies with the arts or sports, I think it’s important to support both. Playing sports teaches you how to be a member of a team and work together while being active and getting healthy, while being involved in the arts challenges your mind and feeds your soul, all which are very important to having a well rounded life. As you can tell by a lot of my art work, I enjoyed being active and having fun. I could never claim to be athletic by any means, but active yes.

3. The Food!

A meat pie & salad from Bakery Moderne in Riverside…so yummy πŸ™‚

Yup, there’s is more than just fast food and Applebees in these here parts! (<- Pretend I just said that in my best southern accent.) There are so many awesome locally owned restaurants, bakeries, coffeehouses, candy stores, etc ready and available to satisfy even the most distinguished palate. Here is a list of some of my faves w/ links to their websites in no particular order:

*Disclaimer: I’m sure there are many names I have left off here, so please forgive me. I will add on new names as I remember or as I get the opportunity to try new places.

4. The Festivals & Events!

4th of July Fireworks over downtown.

We have so many outdoor festivals and events and a ton of them are FREE! It’s true and too many people don’t know about this which is sad. Here are a few of my faves that are free:

And here are a couple more that have admission prices:

5. Nature is Everywhere!

Oranges are everywhere…

It’s true. Besides the fire ants & mosquitoes, I’d say we have some of the best nature this side of the Mississippi. We have the beach, the river, various swamps and bayous. On any given day you can find manatees or dolphins in the St. Johns and/or in the Atlantic; cranes, egrets, & Canadian geese(?!) hanging out in retention ponds year round, and let’s not forget the gators and bears that occasionally show up in our backyards, that always make for an exciting encounter. And then there are the trees! Among the magnolia, cypress, and palm trees, you’ll also find majestic oaks, gorgeous weeping willows and blooming crape myrtles and, of course, there are also the fruit trees: orange, lemon, grapefruit, plum, papaya, etc., etc., etc.Β  Even through all the urban sprawl and tacky subdivisions, we still have a good amount of nature, some that is still in it’s original condition and some that has adapted to the changes in the landscape done by developers while others are man made. Of course, most of us would prefer to see the City of Jacksonville build up instead of out so as to stop the destruction of our natural wetlands & other resource and hopefully learn & grow from our past mistakes and continue to develop a better, cleaner, healthier Jacksonville.

Here are some great links to help you enjoy nature at it’s finest:

6. Almost Last But Certainly Not Least: THE JAX ART SCENE!!!

The Reddi Arts Mural located at 1037 Hendricks Ave.

Which includes but is not limited to: visual art, music, poetry, theater, etc. I don’t even know where to start on this one! First, let me say, as a local artist myself, I have seen the Jax art scene grow by leaps and bounds. It still has a long way to go to reach it’s full potential which includes finding ways to fund artists directly for the work they do, increasing art education in schools, having the city invest more into our public art programs, finding ways of extending our reach beyond those already connected to the art scene and reaching the “outsiders” who have no idea what kind of power and presence the arts has in everyday life, and getting more and better media coverage of artistic and cultural events. There are several artists andΒ  artistic/cultural organizations that are doing great things in our community, constantly pushing boundaries, always creating, and continuously engaging our community for the sake of art. Here are some of my favorites and let me just say, it would be impossible to list everyone, but if you get connected with even just one of these artists/organizations/magazines, you will open up the enormous world that is our local art scene, so start connecting and spreading the word!

In no particular order, I present to you:

*I’ll be here all day if I keep listing people and groups, so if I left your name off the list, please forgive me, but feel free to leave your info in the comments for people to find you πŸ™‚

7. Special Art Stuff That I’ve Been Doing

  • OPERATION: Bring Art to the People: a public art project revolving around the idea of leaving random art in random locations for random people to find in an effort to connect new people to the thriving Jacksonville Art Scene
Art Drop done at a JTA bus stop near a vacant auto dealership in the Southside.
  • The Dingo Loves JAX Series: And because I love Jacksonville and because I love my dog, I have started making art glorifying both πŸ™‚

“The Dingo Visits Friendship Fountain” 8″x8″ mixed media on canvas

“The Dare Devil Dingo Crosses the Dames Point” 8″x8″ mixed media on canvas

“The Dingo Visits NAS JAX” 8″x8″ mixed media on canvas

8. And Finally: MISCELLANEOUS

Here are a few more random links toΒ  some of my favorite places to help keep you busy while exploring J’ville:

I hope you have enjoyed this compilation of some of my most favorite things to do and see in Jax and hopefully I have helped introduce you to some new and interesting things to love about this great city. There are so many more new things on the horizon and if I had the time (and if I was getting paid), I would certainly go into much greater detail than what I already have on this post. Your job now, is take all this new information, share it with your friends, family, and anyone else who will listen and learn to love and embrace this city so many of us call home πŸ™‚

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-YCL

Are You Ready for Some Kickball?!

Are You Ready For Some Kickball?! 22″x28″ acrylic on canvas

It was roughly 1982, and I was attending Phoebe Hearst Elementary School in Metairie, LA. Our P.E. uniforms were all green, with our school logo in yellow, not the most fashionable attire, but I don’t think school uniforms ever really are.

So with my favorite pair of green tennis shoes , my sweatband in place & my jock socks pulled up all the way, I was ready for some kickball action. I was the tallest & lankiest kid in my class and I was never really good at any sports, but one sport I was pretty good at was kickball.

There were several perks about this particular sport that seemed to work in my favor such as but not limited to:

  1. The ball was big & red, which definitely was a bonus for my poor vision.
  2. Unlike other sports, it was customary for the person serving the ball to ask you “How do you want it?” My response was always the same: “Slow and Bouncy!”
  3. The 2 previous perks allowed me enough time to brace myself, prepare my ridiculously long leg to swing, and with the bounce element factored in, I was also able to time my large foot exactly where it needed to be: right under the ball as it was coming down from a bounce.

With all the above in place, I swung with all my might, sending the giant red ball farther than most anyone in my age group, but never far enough for a home run. Though I had pretty decent kicking skills, my awkward stature made me a super slow runner. Either way, at the very least, I was able to impress the masses with my kicking ability, even if it only was just for a moment πŸ™‚

Would you like to own your very own piece of fine art that celebrates the innocence & joy of childhood? Check out my For Sale page for available works.