Author Topic: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?  (Read 7886 times)

Metro Jacksonville

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Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« on: December 13, 2012, 08:53:03 AM »
Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?



Produced by Downtown Vision, Inc. (DVI), First Wednesday Art Walk is a free, self-guided tour that combines astounding visual and live art, engaging events and more in the core of Downtown Jacksonville.  Held each month from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Art Walk spans a 15-block radius within the Downtown core. With 30 to 40 galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, bars and businesses participating each month and dozens of artists in the open-air Hemming Plaza, Art Walk has become an event that savors and supports Jacksonville's deep pool of creative talent.


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http://www.metrojacksonville.com/article/2012-dec-is-it-time-for-an-art-walk-makeover

TPC

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 11:10:22 AM »
After the Old Library closed it's doors for Art Walk it's been on a downhill. I would even say after they stopped having shows in the basement is when it started waning.

I would like to see more ART, and less crafts which seem to take up most of Hemming. Also, a lot of the places that do show art it looks as if it's an after thought. Not a lot of places put effort into highlighting artists and their work. There are a few group shows here and there that are pretty good but they've been fewer and far between the last couple of years.

BridgeTroll

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 12:32:43 PM »
I agree about the old library... especially the basement scene... 8)
In a boat at sea one of the men began to bore a hole in the bottom of the boat. On being remonstrating with, he answered, "I am only boring under my own seat." "Yes," said his companions, "but when the sea rushes in we shall all be drowned with you."

Mathew1056

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2012, 01:06:18 PM »
The old library did seem to be Art Walks heyday. I wonder how involved the artist are in event planning or if DVI has full control of event parameters. I would love to see some out of the box thinking. I feel as if I go more now to support Jacksonville than to have a trues experience downtown. I think people are looking for reasons to make a trip downtown. I could imagine a watered down version of artwalk every fri or sat with a larger event every quarter. I would also be nice to see the Skyway intergrated into the event somehow, i.e. installation pieces or a second craft hub. Food trucks on Hemming would be nice, too. I needs something new.

tufsu1

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 01:47:45 PM »
I think that Hemming Plaza has been more alive since the Old Library closed its doors....and to me, that's a good thing

thelakelander

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2012, 02:37:26 PM »
Has the development of CoRK hurt Art Walk?  It seems like a lot of people who wanted to be downtown or who were a part of the Off The Grid thing have ended up over there.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Mathew1056

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 03:31:13 PM »
Matthew, DVI has full control of events planning as far as any 'planning' has actually happened.  There really isnt any artist participation in it, but Ive always found with that body that they tend to act more territorial than they can actually back up.  There is nothing that prevents you and a group of artists from getting together and doing an additional layer of events  or plans on top of what DVI is doing.  Partner with a couple of venues, and get something additional going.

You might get some pushback from DVI, the way one of our board members did before he joined MetroJacksonville.  He was doing some form of mixed media performance art on the public streets of downtown and one of the DVI people came over to bully him into not doing 'approved' activities.

The threat of the police being called stopped him, but even if the police had been called, its doubtful that anything would have happened to him, after all its a free country even if we tend to lose sight of that occasionally.

I do sometimes worry that organizations, like DVI, are building frameworks for citizens to fill but natives just don't have the desire to participate. They can only bitch about how bad it sucks here. I would like to see a little bit more spontaneous grass-roots events. I think Jacksonvillians have it in them if they quit playing into this self-fulfilling narrative that this is a place has nothing to offer. It's untrue.

I do know of the incident you speak of with one of your current board members. It involves gold paint, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 03:33:27 PM by Mathew1056 »

thelakelander

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 03:38:15 PM »
^From my view, grass-roots events are alive and well in Jacksonville.  They just tend to happen organically in areas that aren't as restricted with public agency's hands in the cookie jar.  Unfortunately, downtown isn't one of those locations.  Cities grow organically.  One of the best things we can do is figure out how to make downtown a more accepting location for market-rate organic growth.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

fieldafm

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2012, 03:47:10 PM »
Quote
^From my view, grass-roots events are alive and well in Jacksonville.  They just tend to happen organically in areas that aren't as restricted with public agency's hands in the cookie jar.  Unfortunately, downtown isn't one of those locations.

I stand behind this statement with absolute certainty.  The City makes it financially difficult and completely burdensome to do things downtown with all of the permitting, insurance and police/fire/paramedic requirements involved.  Even seeking to use public space to do something as simple as organizing a kickball game becomes an exercise in futility. 

Here's a more recent example:  COJ put on a Holiday event at Hemming last Friday.  They required vendors (as in a guy selling something as simple as Christmas ornaments) to carry $1mm in insurance with the City being named as loss payee.  Even if you didn't have that, and wanted to purchase a special one day policy (insurance companies do offer this arrangement for special events) the premium would cost you about $300.  Why a simple hold harmelss agreement isn't all that's needed for people to participate in a public park like Hemming is beyond me.   

thelakelander

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2012, 03:54:53 PM »
$300? You'd have to sell a ton of Christmas ornaments to break even.  Very few people are getting rich going to random special events selling things like home made goods, hot dogs and Christmas ornaments.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

kreger

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 04:24:46 PM »
ArtWalk should be expanded to include a farmers market and occur every Friday or Saturday night. Special events and themes can be added as needed, but having a consistent event could bring new life to downtown on a regular basis. It would be nice if Alvin and the DIA could get behind something like this and figure out a way to take care of insurance and some of the financing. I'd like to see as many food trucks, vendors, street performers etc participating as possible and let the free market decide who belongs at this kind of event. If nothing else it would set the stage for a night out on the town.

peestandingup

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 06:22:55 PM »
$300? You'd have to sell a ton of Christmas ornaments to break even.  Very few people are getting rich going to random special events selling things like home made goods, hot dogs and Christmas ornaments.

Hence why numerous venders at things like Art Walk are trying to sell a lot of things at highly inflated prices. Patrons don't buy it, vendors don't make a sale, everyone loses.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 06:24:44 PM by peestandingup »

tufsu1

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 06:42:18 PM »
Are some of you suggesting that vendors should be able to set up for free?  If so, should vendors who get tent space provided by DVI have to pay? 

Mathew1056

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 06:51:50 PM »

Then lets take some initiative, form a citizens panel to find out the reasons why, then suggest legislation to change this ridiculous situation!

I agree whole heartedly with you. Art Walk is one of the only events downtown that I even attend. Every time I go I think to myself that this is how a city should feel. It is not up to DVI to dictate something so vital to the welfare of downtown. I don't want to downplay DVI's roll in the redevelopment process, but in a way they are the creators of their own problem. A downtown improvement district in itself implies that it is not up to par, which it is not, but maybe our approach should be different. This is one of those self-fulfilling prophecies I was speaking of earlier. I feel like healthy urban districts have art collectives, merchant collectives, historical societies, higher education facilities, etc. A network of special interest that weave the tapestry of an improved urban zone. An organization dedicated to TOD in the downtown area should primarily focus on facilitating activity by third party groups, not try and force them into one self hosted event.

Basically, Sign me up. I could talk all day about this crap.

thelakelander

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Re: Is it time for an Art Walk makeover?
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 06:52:24 PM »
Tufsu1, Maybe you pay for a tent if you want one. I'll admit I don't have all the answers. I just know a typical vendor at something like this will struggle to break even if charged a couple of hundred to participate. How was it before DVI took over?
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali