For ten years the art of healing has been on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville (MOCA). Each year young patients at area hospitals have seen their artwork on museum walls, thanks to the partnership between MOCA and the extraordinary nonprofit Art With a Heart in Healthcare (AWAHIH).
Local artist, gallery owner, and arts advocate Shawana Brooks, who is behind the 6 Ft. Away Gallery and the Color Jax Blue mural project, joined Art+Action and recruited local artists to create artwork for billboards that would help disseminate information on and incite inspiration for filling out the 2020 census. For Come To Your Census, Jacksonville, painter Marsha Hatcher and photographer Toni Smailagic were chosen to create pieces that are now on billboards, visible from Interstate 295.
In 1999, Jacksonville resident Yvonne Charvot Barnett approached the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens with a simple question, “Would the Museum be interested in exhibiting the work of her father, the French artist Eugène-Louis Charvot?”
“Charvot? Who is Charvot?”
This quiet beginning resulted in a 20-year project at the Cummer Museum to research, reevaluate, and resurrect the work of Eugène-Louis Charvot (1847-1924), a distinguished painter and printmaker.
Marguerite Castaing was born on September 28, 1900, in Pau, a small town at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains in southwestern France. She was the youngest daughter of Joseph Castaing and Rose Picamilh. Joseph, a well-known painter and pastelist of his time, had a long career of teaching and painting commissions for churches and chateaus—often using his wife and children as models for paintings. Two of the Castaing children would follow in Joseph’s painterly footsteps: his son René-Marie and daughter Marguerite.
Personifying RBG as the Statue of Liberty, which depicts Libertas, the Roman goddess of liberty, made perfect sense to me as a way of honoring the essential values of integrity and liberty for all that Ruth Bader Ginsburg embodied and fought for.
In March, 2020, the world changed. Here in the United States, along with elsewhere across the globe, the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses, schools, and even natural spaces like beaches and parks. With the exception of healthcare and other essential workers, most of us hunkered down and lived our lives moving very little and in small orbits. But, traumatic events were still unfolding as spring turned to summer, and new tragedies of racial injustice took place that sparked a surge in protests for equity. Within this swirl of inaction meeting action, artists everywhere were commenting on the times just as they have historically done.