Art & Culture Features

 St. Photios Greek Orthodox  National Shrine 

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 St. Photios Greek Orthodox  National Shrine 

How the Shrine Envelops You St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in St. Augustine makes harmony of oppositions. It breaks open the box, as one of architect Ted Pappas’s sayings has it, then makes of it a frame for interior arches.  That box is the reconstructed Avero House, where Greeks first worshipped here, one of a handful of St. Augustine houses true to their original form that predate 1821, when Florida became a territory of the United States. The National Register of Historic Places dates the house to 1749. The shrine uses...

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The Art of Noticing and Talking 

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The Art of Noticing and Talking 

Language and Literacy are Everywhere. By Kim Kuta Dring, Director of Learning and Engagement at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Who doesn’t love a great story, especially those with interesting scenes that span time frames and cultures to bring far-off places and modern-day perspectives to life? Stories surround us everywhere, and we can experience them not just through the written word, but through the places we go and the things we notice and talk about. The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens is one such place with a myriad of...

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Filling the Calendar with The Arts

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Filling the Calendar with The Arts

Post-pandemic, arts in education goes full steam ahead. For anyone who has ever uttered, “There’s nothing to do tonight,” that person is not looking hard enough. Jacksonville is fortunate to have strong fine arts offerings and even more fortunate because it begins in the schools and is supported by the Jacksonville Public Library, patrons of the arts, and the Jaxsons who mark their calendars and make the effort to come out and enjoy the many plays, concerts, performances, art exhibits, and more.     We appreciate the arts...

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FIFTYYears of Artists, Education, and Impact 

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FIFTYYears of Artists, Education, and Impact 

As the University of North Florida (UNF) celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville, “FIFTY: An Alumni Exhibition,” showcases the work of 50 practicing professional artists who graduated from UNF’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design. The exhibition is the first of its kind, highlighting UNF alumni in a comprehensive way and showcasing the strength of the university’s programs. The artists chosen for this exhibition work across a breadth of media—from...

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Jeff Whipple: Life in Art

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Jeff Whipple: Life in Art

By Madeleine Peck Wagner  Watching Jeff Whipple draw is like observing an origami crane unfold across a page: sure and inevitable, each form seems to follow the previous. It is watching the subtlest of magic.  While reading Drawn into Something, the first of three planned memoirs, his lifelong dedication to this specific thaumaturgy is palpable.  A visit to MetaCusp studios—the warehouse space he shares with artist Liz Gibson—underscores this life spent in art. A life dedicated to peering metaphorically around and under, to...

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The Power of Stories

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The Power of Stories

Weaving Tales to Show the Truth By Laura Bennett In 2010 Basma and her family were forced to flee their home in Iraq as the American occupation wound down. Her husband Ali’s life had been threatened for providing assistance to the United States following the invasion of Iraq. The goal of his work: to limit the overwhelming collateral damage to innocent civilians as a result of our poor understanding of Iraqi culture and Iraqi families. When they learned of their associates being killed, Ali and Basma knew they had to leave. They needed to...

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Five Years of Hope

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Five Years of Hope

By Laura Riggs When Hope McMath founded the Yellow House in 2017, it was with the intention to create a space for artists to connect with the community, where empathy is inspired and civic engagement is sparked. Five years later, that mission remains very much the same, but how it has manifested has been full of surprises. Although connecting wellness and the arts has been a part of Hope’s lifelong practice, this was not necessarily at the center of Yellow House’s mission. Yet, community care is very much an integral part of Yellow House’s...

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She Dared to Dream

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She Dared to Dream

Crumbling scrapbook pages yield historical insights. By Kate A. Hallock Jacksonville Historical Society During the first semester of the 1963-64 school year Jean Pope (also known as Mrs. Edgar Pope), first grade teacher at Central Riverside Elementary School, approached fellow members of the Garden Club of Jacksonville with a challenge. Would the club take on the project of designing a garden specifically as a learning tool for the blind and visually impaired students at the school? Chairman of the Garden Club’s HANDS Beautification Committee...

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Beloved Beaches Fine Arts Series Turns 50

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Beloved Beaches Fine Arts Series Turns 50

Jim Johnson moved to the Jacksonville beaches from Chicago in 1967 to take the post of choirmaster and organist at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church (SPBTS). Finding a dearth of classical music in the beaches area, Johnson sought to change that. He founded the Beaches Fine Arts Series (BFAS) in 1972, offering free concerts in the church’s acoustically renowned sanctuary and built on his “belief in the power of great music to positively affect all people.”  Fifty years later, BFAS continues to offer North Florida the chance to enjoy free performance seasons featuring world-class music and dance concerts, along with visual art by regional artists. Programming includes an eclectic mix of styles from classical to contemporary, jazz to world music, and traditional to avant-garde. BFAS’s mission is to be inclusive, diverse, and artist driven. 

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Past, Present and Future: Rivers, Threads, Pockets and Bubbles 

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Past, Present and Future: Rivers, Threads, Pockets and Bubbles 

“Past, Present and Future: Rivers, Threads, Pockets and Bubbles” is a concept store opening at The Corner Gallery in celebration of Jacksonville’s bicentennial. This is the latest Moving the Margins: Artist-in-Residence project, and the store will feature photography, graphic design, drawings, and paintings by artists Dustin Harewood, Malcolm Jackson, Toni Smailagic, and Jordan Walter. While three of the four artists were born and raised in different communities of Jacksonville, each is seeking to sell their unique perspective on what the city was, is, and can be. The overall concept highlights Jacksonville as a collection of communities, cultures, places, and spaces. Contemporary creations, from remixes of historic Jacksonville photography to streetwear apparel, pay homage to local businesses and institutions, while contemporary portraits of figures from different eras feed directly into the exhibition name,”Past, Present and Future.”

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