Jville Painting Legend Shaun Thurston at One Spark 2015

April 10, 2015 0 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Readers of MetroJacksonville over the years have followed the extraordinary career of Shaun Thurston, local urban artist, as he has embarked on a series of giant placemaking murals all over the city. Check out his contribution to OneSpark 2015

from #IgniteMedia News Bureau

If you attended the TedxJacksonville talk last October, you may recognize the white crystal display surrounding the doors of MOCA during the One Spark festival.

Jacksonville artist Shaun Thurston is adding his creative talents to One Spark for the third year in a row.

Although he is not entered as a creator, his past Tedx stage display is exhibited at MOCA and Thurston is making festival appearances. The TedX program is designed to help communities create local conversations to complete their mission of “ideas worth spreading.”

His creator submission last year was Project Atrium, where he painted his crystal forms on the atrium in MOCA. Thurston’s many murals can be seen around town in locations including Blind Rabbit and Chamblin’s Uptown.

Children and families who want to personally experience crystal drawing can stop by MOCA to participate in a Thurston-inspired project from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday.

This Graffiti Gem Painting workshop will be led by a professional educator and is part of the Art Fusion series being held daily, with varying themes, during the week of One Spark.

But why are crystals such an important focus of Thurston’s work?

“I realized this passion of mine made the perfect analogy for One Spark and Jacksonville,” said Thurston. “All the incredible effort that goes into creating an event like One Spark is similar to the way crystals form, it takes a lot of time, just the right pressure and perfect conditions.”

Thurston’s first One Spark project in 2013, 20 Murals in a Year won third place in the art category. In 2014, Thurston entered again as an art creator with an exhibition for the Project Atrium series at MOCA Jacksonville. His Project Atrium placed third in art category votes and received the $10,000 juried award in art. Thurston donated half of his 2014 winnings to MOCA.

Thurston is currently working on a project at CoRK Arts District, it is an installation involving crystals painted on a large wrapping canvas.

In addition to crystals, Thurston said is simply enthralled with minerals of all kinds. He remembers walking local railroad tracks as a child and collecting any sparkly rocks.

“I have loved crystals ever since I was a child and would gather pockets full of rocks and bring them home,” Thurston explained. “I have always been inspired by their intrinsic beauty.”

When Denise Reagan, director of communications at MOCA Jacksonville, was planning the schedule for One Spark 2015, she thought Thurston’s past Tedx project would be a perfect fit.

“Shaun’s all-white crystal display connected perfectly with our current ‘White’ exhibit,” explained Reagan.