The below is an open letter sent to the Cultural Council of Jacksonville regarding Art in public places with reference to the new Duval County Courthouse Art planning:
I wasn’t able to figure out the #thing so I am sending this through email. First of all I would like to applaud all those stepping up to help with this awesome project. I attended a meeting yesterday on this and found it very informative.
However, not only as a local artist interested in submitting work but also as a not very connected community member, I was surprised and a little discouraged to see the trend leaning toward one sculpture type exterior design. With absolutely little to no local artwork on the inside of the building.
E Pluribus Unum From Many One
I think that the Courthouse artwork should be a unique body of work by many local artists reflecting the diversity of culture and talent living here in Jacksonville. I think we should keep it local. I also feel that our courthouse is a beacon of hope for all those victimized in society. A hope that they may find justice out of their tragedies. After all a large number of visitors to the courthouse are family and friends of murder victims and other victims of crime. Whatever artwork is chosen should be both inside and outside. It is after all about the People. The Community. Of the People By the People For the People.
Any art selected should be there not solely to attract people to come see it but to have them leave moved and inspired by what they will feel when they view it. It needs to hold the hearts and souls of this community and the tragedies endured here in a visionary way with respect for all.
I think a creative team should be put together by the committee to help any artists no matter what level of experience they have in a project like this so that all will be equally enabled to submit their work on a level playing field. it shouldn’t feel like going up against Northrupp Grumman for a government defense contract.
So as all go forward with the hard work ahead let’s not forget that all of the community spirit needs to be reflected in the final results and many diverse artists of Jacksonville should be given opportunity here. I look forward to the progression of this project.