Great cities are known for their distinctive and unique art, and Jacksonville has an abundance of inspiring, thought-provoking art — much of it living in our urban core. Art is not only relevant in creating a sense of place, but it also contributes to the economic vitality of Downtown. The DIA is committed to supporting and promoting various Downtown art initiatives, some of which are listed below:
The Urban Art Façade and Streetscape Program is an art-based civic engagement initiative to promote community development through urban design and attractive streetscape enhancements with semi-permanent and permanent public art installations. Individual artists or artist teams are encouraged to partner with property owners (public and private) to produce façade enhancements and streetscape designs that engage audiences of all ages at the street level. The Urban Art Façade and Streetscape Program is complementary to clean up and beautification initiatives with each community-based activity further enhancing and shaping the city’s overall design and visual aesthetic while highlighting the individuality and identities of residents, schools, and businesses by neighborhood. Some of the following projects will require joint agreements as they involve multiple administrations, agencies, and authorities.
Phase 1 (Completed): Phase I commenced in January 2016 with a Call to Artists requesting that individual artists or artist teams submit images and qualifications to create a total of 34 projects to engage audiences of all ages at the street level. The goal was to further enhance and shape the city’s overall design, functionality, and visual aesthetic. A nine-member Arts Selection Panel, as stipulated by the APP Ordinance, selected six artists from a pool of applicants. All artists participated in public meetings and researched the area prior to submitting their final designs. The six public artists fabricated and installed the streetscape works during the spring of 2017.
- Skyway columns from the Hemming Park station to the Central station
- Traffic signal cabinets located on Pearl Street, Hogan Street, and Laura Street
- Bike racks located on Hogan Street, Laura Street, Adams Street, and Forsyth Street
- Street furnishings located on Hogan Street near Monroe Street
- Outdoor sculpture located on Laura Street near Monroe Street
Art in Public Places: In 1997, the City of Jacksonville increased its investment in the arts by allotting a percent-for-art in eligible city construction projects in an effort to add to the City’s public art collection. The ordinance designated an Art in Public Places Program (APP), which would be administered on behalf of the City by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Together with the APP Committee and support from the Mayor, City Council and City Departments, Art in Public Places have acquired over 115 public artworks and memorials throughout Duval County. APP, through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, oversees the selection, installation, maintenance, and conservation of the artworks.
ArtRepublic: ArtRepublic is known for infusing the city with bold outdoor murals that define an area’s character. Exhibitions, which are curated by industry experts, showcase the top artists in their field of expertise to create a sense of place, spark global conversations, and inspire community engagement. Downtown Jacksonville was selected for ArtRepublic’s Community Cultural Development program because it is ripe for growth and change. AR Founder, Jessica Santiago, believed that art could create a tipping point for the city to reach its full potential. ArtRepublic partnered with the local private sector to create massive transformation to Jacksonville’s art and culture through the production of high-quality public art, events and exhibitions. Together, AR and philanthropists have acted as the connector between people who believe in the power of art and the most dynamic artists of contemporary culture, making it possible to bring sophistication and global recognition to the city.
Vystar Garage Murals: Vystar Credit Union recently collaborated with ArtRepublic as well as six talented artists to turn their typical bland and gray parking garage into various colorful, inspiring works of art. All six artists contributed to this collective artwork, called Transcending Color. Painting began June 6th, 2019, and while many of the murals are complete, the overall project is currently ongoing as more are being added.