BEST OF JAX 2014: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

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BEST ART EXHIBIT OF 2014/ BEST LOCAL ARTIST

Shaun Thurston at MOCAJax, Shaun Thurston

In the past year, the inventive work of painter/muralist Shaun Thurston earned a greater audience, and rightfully so. Known for his imaginative use of flora and fauna on both studio pieces and large-scale mural work, Thurston has the skills of an astute technician and the visionary savvy of a kind of neo-surrealist. The culmination of a series of “anonymous” paintings featuring crystal-like shapes that peppered the city, Thurston’s Project Atrium piece was a zenith stroke of the artist’s talents, the tasteful curatorial choices by MOCA, and an influx of money from One Spark’s crowdfunding concept.

BEST ART EXHIBIT FINALISTS: The New York Times Magazine Photographs
at MOCA, GAAM

BEST LOCAL ARTIST FINALISTS:
Jim Draper, Chip Southworth

 

BEST ART WALK

Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk

Let’s face it: Downtown Jacksonville doesn’t always facilitate a happening nightlife. But events like the Jacksonville Downtown Art Walk, which takes place every first Wednesday each month, have become a big draw. See the artists and craftspeople showing off their wares in Hemming Park, visit MOCA (which usually has an event going on that night), and gallery-hop and eat your way through the streets from 5 to 9 p.m. Afterward, stick around for music and drinking in various venues capitalizing on the crowd. Just don’t blame us for your Thursday morning hangover.

FINALISTS: Jax Beach Art Walk, First Friday St. Augustine

 

BEST MOVIE THEATER

Cinemark Tinseltown

When it comes to digging the latest offerings on the big screen, Folio Weekly readers like their movie experiences presented in a big way. Located on Jacksonville’s Southside, Cinemark Tinseltown offers film fans 20 screening areas with comfortable stadium-style seating so your view is never obstructed by someone’s questionable hairstyle decision. State-of-the-art sound and IMAX 3D technology ensure you experience the newest Hollywood blockbusters in all their glitzy glory, and of course the snack bars offer the necessary wide selection of sweet and savory snacks.

FINALISTS: Sun-Ray Cinema, San Marco Theatre

 

BEST GENTLEMEN’S CLUB

The Gold Club

While it surely sets feminism back a hundred years, the strip, uh, gentlemen’s club is still a certain destination for folks looking for a night of adults-only entertainment. Open seven days a week, this nightspot is ideal for your next bachelor/bachelorette, graduation, work promotion or divorce party. Three stages feature a bevy of beauties, and full bars pour all of your favorite libations. What’s more, the Gold Club has a full kitchen and steakhouse-style fare, and every Sunday night is a football-themed party devoted to the Jags. Not that you’re going to watch the game.

FINALISTS: Wacko’s, Silver Fox

 

BEST OUTDOOR FESTIVAL

The Jacksonville Jazz Festival

This annual favorite takes top honors with readers who dig their music while enjoying a sunny (or rainy) day outside. The second-largest jazz festival in the United States, this decades-old event draws thousands of fans to our area for a four-day celebration of a variety of local, up-and-coming and legendary jazz performers. This year’s fest included performances by Al Jarreau, Boney James, Average White Band, and area favorites Linda Cole & The Joshua Bowlus Quartet and Tropic of Cancer. Late-night music lovers had a chance to hear even more sounds with the well-received Jazz After Dark, which featured an array of different performers at various clubs Downtown.

FINALISTS: One Spark, Welcome to Rockville

 

BEST CONCERT OF 2014

Florida Country Superfest

Here at the border of Florida and Georgia, country is king, and the best get-together for Folio Weekly readers this year was the Florida Country Superfest at EverBank Field, held in mid-June. Our readers and country music fans from all over Northeast Florida and South Georgia crammed onto the field and into the stands throughout the two-day event, which featured performances by Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Eric Church and many others.

FINALISTS: Dave Matthews Band, Carrie Underwood

[NEXT PAGE: WHO IS THE BEST NEW LOCAL BAND?]

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