Art is Leaking Out of the Galleries and Into the Streets of Your City, Are You Ready?

Artists often find themselves in a predicament: too much creative energy and very little resources to express it. Sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s space or time limitations, while other times it’s simply lack of support from the community. I’m happy to say that the tides are turning in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, funding is still an issue which directly affects the amount of time we have to work on projects (no funding = day jobs for artists, funding = being paid for what we do best, making art) , BUT we are constantly and tirelessly finding ways to make things happen regardless of the obstacles and NOW we are getting much support & buzz from our community which is definitely a step in the right direction. 🙂

Many of us have been on a mission to educate the masses of the importance of having a strong artistic & cultural presence in our city. Often times, the arts are seen as disposable when in fact they are the very building blocks of a strong community. The arts generate revenue for our city and increase the quality of life for everyone.

Many artists are constantly trying to figure out how to define art and how to explain to the general public what art is and why it should be funded. Some say it’s just pretty pictures or decoration, while others say it’s expression of emotion or a way to document the world around you, but as simply put by my friend, Howard Lawson II, a Motion Graphics Designer, “Art is a form of communication.” It was so simple but so to the point. Artists are communicators. We use our craft to communicate feelings, moments, beliefs, thoughts, visions, histories, everything really. In doing this, we change the very nature of the environments we live and work in by bringing enlightenment, inspiration, education, discovery, and life to our community.

While most are accustomed to art being confined to galleries and museums, there is a new revolution going on that is bringing more and more art to the streets so that even more of the masses can become directly engaged and exposed to the power of art. Dolf James , the creator of Art in Strange Places, has been on a mission to do just that. Through hard work, blood, sweat and tears, and the help of several local artists eager to move our city into a new era, Dolf has accomplished so much by leaps and bounds in this very area. His most recent adventure has been the creation of Pop Up Galleries (PUGs). The general idea is to have these random, out of the ordinary, outdoor galleries placed randomly through out our city, in locations you would not necessarily expect to find fine art. These PUGs are making their grand debut on Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011, at Main St Park during Downtown ARTwalk. Pictured below is my contribution to the PUGs, it’s a door size panel that I like to call “A Snoopy Fishing Pole, a Chicken Leg, & Lake Pontchartrain.” It’s a reflection on the time we spent fishing and crabbing on Lake Pontchartrain. Some other artists who have contributed work to the PUGs include but are not limited to: Pablo Rivera, Sharla Valeski, Doug Eng, Jim Draper, & Jim Smith. AND if that weren’t enough, one of my local favorites, experimental filmmaker, David Montgomery will be sharing one of his animation reels with us as well.

This is going to be an awesome, groundbreaking ARTwalk. With your support and the support of the city & our community, they just continue getting better and better. Don’t miss out 😉

“A Snoopy Fishing Pole, A Chicken Leg, & Lake Pontchartrain” 30″ x 70″ acrylic on wood door.

Another August ARTwalk Bonus…

In addition to the painting above, I also have a brand spanking new painting that will be on display at my studio located at TAC II Studios 229 N. Hogan right above Hemming Plaza Jewelers. I will be in my studio from 7pm-9pm, and prior to that, I will be be at Main St. Park behind the Main Library checking out the PUGs. I will also have additional work on display at TAC Gallery located at 31 W. Adams St. So, I hope to see you all out and about and helping to support the local art scene.

“Are You Ready For Some Kickball?!” 22″x24″ acrylic on canvas

And finally, thank you to everyone for supporting our local art scene, whether it’s by purchasing art, going to art events, bringing new people to art events, or just by simply forwarding this email to someone who might find it interesting. Jacksonville’s art and culture scene is thriving but it has a long way to go. With the help of our local artists and with our awesome community we can raise it to the next level of AMAZING 🙂

With Much Love & Thanks!

Yvonne C. Lozano

JAZZ FEST Random Art Drop on the Skyway :-)

As I got ready to go to JAZZ FEST on Saturday, I knew part of my time would be spent in TAC II Studios helping to keep the place open for visitors, getting some much needed time in the studio, and then off to listen to some awesome music with friends. While coordinating my plans, I decided to make the Skyway my main mode of transportation into downtown, and not only would I not have to fight to find parking or get stuck in traffic, but I would get to enjoy a nice peaceful & beautiful ride over the St. Johns River into our Urban Core. Then, I also had an epiphany: the Skyway would be a perfect setting for a  Random Art Drop in an effort to continue OPERATION: BRING ART TO THE PEOPLE and also a good way to encourage people to take the Skyway. I did a total of 5 drops this weekend and unlike the JAX ART HUNTS which are more specific on clues with the when and the where, the Random Art Drops are meant to be just that: random, but also spontaneous and unplanned. Both projects, along with many other local & national projects, work together for the same greater cause: to help share the power of art with the people 🙂

View of our fine city from the SKYWAY as I start my JAZZ FEST adventure 🙂

OPERATION: Bring Art To the People…

…(AKA: JAX ART HUNTS) was a HUGE Success 🙂

A work by local artist, Tony Rodrigues, strategically hidden near River City Brewing Co.

So, our first official JAX ART HUNT was last Saturday, Feb. 5th, 2011 and it was AWESOME! In less that a 2 week period the schematics & blue prints were developed, a web page went up, and at least a dozen artists were eager to participate and turned in work for this monumental event.

Some may ask, “Why is the JAX ART HUNT a monumental event?” The answer is this: instead of waiting for the people to come to the art, we are bringing the art to the people. As we all know, art is a powerful tool in any community. but it’s only powerful if it’s valued and appreciated by the people. Having a strong art community helps generate extra revenue into a city by increasing tourism, creating jobs, and elevating property values. Exposing people to art also stimulates creative & intellectual thinking which directly & favorably impacts test scores in every age group from elementary to higher education. But, those are just the minor effects that art has on a community when the real benefit is how it feeds the soul, inspires the heart, challenges the mind, and improves everyone’s quality of life.

The JAX ART HUNTS will encourage people to go out and actively support the arts, explore our amazing community, discover local artists and it will expose random people to the power or art. The artists who are participating and donating their work are directly investing in the future of Jacksonville. This is an amazing public art project that will continue to grow by leaps and bounds and the possibilities are infinite.

To find out how this local project started be sure to read: ART HUNT?! WHAT IS THAT?! & check out Chicago artist: Patrick Skoff.

To participate or donate to the JAX ART HUNTS, be sure to visit: Art in Strange Places for more info.

Be sure to stay in THE KNOW on Facebook at any of the following pages: Art in Strange Places, Arbus, or/and Yvonne C. Lozano

And/or on Twitter: Art in Strange Places,  or/and Yvonne C. Lozano