Marcus Kenney streams his vision through mixed-media with Shed My SkinThe singular artwork of Marcus Kenney is as mercurial and ever-changing as the media he employs. Equally adept at disciplines including collage, sculpture, painting, photography, and installation, Kenney’s work is at once personal and transparent, inviting the audience to navigate his imagery of animals, family, and political musings. Colorful and modified taxidermied wildlife, agitprop collages, and enigmatic black and white photos are all fair game to be hot-wired in Kenney’s creative universe.
Liz Rodda explores belief, fate, and the unknown with Clockwise
In the past decade, Liz Rodda has been creating a body of work that is seemingly guided by a compass magnetized with forces of self-inquiry, notions of providence versus powerlessness, and anchored with a healthy measure of skepticism for the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Yet Rodda is hardly a humorless pessimist but more akin to a savvy pragmatist gifted with the natural, open-ended approach of a truly multimedia-based artist. Through video, sculpture and two-dimensional works, Rodda scrutinizes, celebrates, and even satirizes the shared human experience of the inevitable, forging her ideas out of uniquely signature materials. Are we masters of our own destinies, even favored by fortune, or merely another innocuous article pulled along with the rest of the rising and falling waves of an impartial Universe? Are we participants and even co-creators of our lives; or simply observers deluded by belief? In her upcoming show Clockwise, Rodda uses the motif of the circle to investigate and question “the intersection between what we believe and what we know as well as the degree to which thought can direct the outcome of experience.”
space: eight gallery prepares for the visual onslaught of Art Dorks RiseNortheast Florida art lovers, brace thineselves! The 30 person-strong group known as the Art Dorks are invading St. Augustine’s space: eight gallery with their upcoming show, Art Dorks Rise.
The line-up for this exhibit of original work is an impressive regime of visual artists that includes Aeron Alfrey, Dan Barry, John Casey, David Chung, Brendan Danielsson, Justin DeGarmo, Mark Elliott, Jad Fair, Joseph Daniel Fiedler, Charles Glaubitz, Robert Hardgrave, Gregory Hergert, Gregory Jacobsen, Jonnie Jacquet, Colin Johnson, Jason Limon, Jon MacNair, Dan May, Christian Rex van Minnen, Chris Mostyn, Heiko Müller, Jason Murphy, Katie Ridley Murphy, Kristian Olson, Matthew Pasquarello, Anthony Pontius, Meagan Ridley, Kim Scott, Scot Sothern and Scott D. Wilson.
Individually and collectively, the Art Dorks work in a variety of media ranging from illustration and painting to photography and mixed-media. Some are highly trained with extensive academic backgrounds; others are purely self-taught. And their work is just as diverse, with imagery and concepts that exist on the outer terrain of contemporary art. Bizarre, humorous, poignant, brilliant and even baffling, the Art Dorks strength lies not only in the numbers of their ranks but also in their respective array of vision and approach to present-day art. A link featuring bios and images of their work can also be found here.
The Estlunds’ “Out of Nowhere” is an invitation to embrace the unknown
While CoRK Arts District is best known as being the home base to sixty artist studios, the complex has also introduced an engaging Artist-in-Residency program. In February of this year, New York-based multimedia artist Rachel Rossin was the flagship visiting artist-resident at CoRK. Rossin’s spiritually-inspired piece “Holy See,” was an installation that combined 2,500 hollow eggs and curtains of holographic light into a fully immersive experience. The following month, Brooklyn, NY-based artist Casey James was invited to stay and work at CoRK; the North Gallery was then home to his multimedia show, “Nawth Ta South.”
“The reason for the Artist-in-Residency program was to bring in new and different perspectives from other artists and art communities around the country,” explains sculptor and CoRK main man Dolf James. The CoRK AIR program offers a modest stipend for travel and materials, a private studio for the visiting artists, and then culminates with an exhibit of their work in one of CoRK’s available galleries. “We wanted to see what they were doing, thinking and experiencing, and for them to do the same with us. Building these relationships extends the reach of our community and helps keep a fresh flow of ideas moving.” James is quick to cite Aaron Levi Garvey as the chief curator of CoRK’s AIR program. “There is absolutely no question this program would not be happening if it were not for Aaron.” James explains that Garvey is essentially the one that attracts, communicates with, plans, promotes and ultimately takes care of all the details for the resident-artist coming to CoRK. “The idea behind having the artists come to Jacksonville is to give them a studio/exhibition experience out of their usual experience,” says Garvey.
The subconscious and grotesque stick together in the art of Russell Maycumber
Since the early nineties, Russell Maycumber has been documenting his life, travels and interior reality onto three inch, yellow squares. Introduced by the 3M Company in 1980, the Post-it Note is a small square of paper with an adhesive backing – initially introduced as an office-friendly product that could be used to jot down reminders, appointments and upcoming tasks, and then applied to any available flat surface. Yet Maycumber uses these ubiquitous pieces of sticky stationary to create images that explore memoir, humor and the phantasmagoric, creating them systematically, if not compulsively; a kind of hypergraphia barely contained in magic marker and yellow paper. The 44-year-old Maycumber admits to owning “volumes” filled with these images that date back to the early nineties. But rather than having them tucked away on some shelf in his house, the St. Augustine-based artist creates massive installations and sculptures that can contain hundreds upon hundreds of these carefully arranged Post-it Note drawings. Viewed in mass, the small squares can have an overwhelming effect: these images of chimerical creatures, people captured in mundane activities, classic automobiles, flying skulls, sexuality and playful demons seem to exist in a weird realm that splits the difference between the subliminal and the obvious. Some images feature cryptic text, while others offer little help in deciphering the odd, miniature graphic. Maycumber’s work seems to find company in the fever dream-styled imagery of artists like Francisco Goya, Edward Gorey, Max Ernst (especially the surrealist’s pioneering, 1934 collage work “Une Semaine de Bonté ,” translated as “A Week of Kindness”) or even underground comic raunch lord S. Clay Wilson. Yet Maycumber’s concepts and delivery are wholly his own, blasting these images at the viewer in the form of a mob of hundreds of pieces of visual shrapnel, aimed for the bull’s-eye of the viewer’s retina and mind.
Jacksonville University now offers MFA in Visual Arts program
Northeast Florida’s current spate of artistic activity is surely due in no small part to the art and design programs offered at local colleges and universities. The Art Institute, Flagler College, Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida all offer programs geared towards students seeking an education and guidance in creative careers in a variety of disciplines and media. These same schools certainly benefit by featuring faculty members and instructors that are as serious about their respective artistic disciplines as they are in sharing their experience and wisdom with their students.
Jacksonville University (JU) is now stepping up their game with the implementation of a Masters of Fine Arts in Visual Arts degree, the first of its kind ever offered by a local college. Continue reading
Donny Miller creates provocative text-fueled imagery for the 21st century
Donny Miller has a message for you. In fact, for the past two decades the L.A.-based artist has been creating thought-provoking images that combine clip art, self-branding and even pictures of the cosmos with messages that run the gamut from sardonic observations, to social commentary and even encouraging affirmations. In one Miller piece, a still life image of wine, cheese and fruit acknowledges, The hardest thing to do in art is something original. In another, a man and woman reveling in a cloud of confetti and party balloons are sprawled into over-sized champagne glasses, crowned with the header, Enjoy ignorance. A dark-haired woman adjusts her hair, seemingly deep in thought: I’m making new memories because I don’t like the old ones. Continue reading
Three artists champion the power of expression with Hero or Non-Hero?
Hardship, grief and loss are universal experiences; inevitable moments of being that can be as heartbreaking and painful as they are life-altering and even transformative. Yet like their positive counterparts, such as joy, love and success, these times of change can redefine us and even make us stronger. Perhaps the people we consider heroic are in a sense those who can accept these unavoidable highs and lows of life with equanimity, practicing an almost uncanny acceptance of both the shadows and light that color our existence. These same heroes become an example to others and their epitaphs are ultimately inscribed on the lives that they touch.
Holy Lotus Breakdown
In 1986, I was a confused 14 year old boy, fucked up like a soup sandwich. Two events merged into one in my then trembling field of being. Through a mediocre Jim Morrison biography I had discovered the Beat Consciousness – Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, etc… They were part and parcel of my simultaneous awakening and corruption. They in turn introduced me to Buddhism (and the romanticizing of drugs). I spent many teen nights trying to decipher the Tibetan Book of the Dead (the only book I ever stole – catch that Karmic irony!) and the Diamond Sutra with burning pot smoke curling up into my eye. The Beats took Buddha off of the takeout menu and centered him into my psyche. Kerouac made Christ sound like the original beat, assuring me that “Walking on water wasn’t built in a day.” Buddha spoke of suffering, but as a young teen I simply took this as this: “all life is shit.” Fair enough. At one point I even had the grandiose plan of one day going to the Naropa School in Boulder, CO., to study at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, whatever the hell that was. I went as far as to order the Course Catalog, excitedly showing my Dad as he nodded and tried to look interested as the UK Wildcats played on the TV.
A Hateful Child on a Night Watch Spree
(This is an edited memoir excerpt that I had originally posted as a note some time ago on FB and had also been previously posted on a website devoted to spirituality and recovery. I wrote this four and half years ago in an attempt to summon my precise mindset during my 14th and 15th years, after being diagnosed with having Bipolar Disorder. At that time in my life, I was prone to these nightly walks that were as senseless as they were somehow mandatory. Looking back, I think I was simply in a manic state and maybe that constant motion helped me keep one step ahead of the pain I could never seem to elude. If the writing or sentiment seems like that of an adolescent, then I have succeeded, for that is the very voice I was trying to both resurrect and reconcile in this piece.)