The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens
829 Riverside Avenue (356-6857)
2011 marked the Cummer’s 50th anniversary. Hope McMath, Cummer Museum Director tells EU, “As 2011 winds down, the staff and trustees of the Cummer find ourselves very thankful for the community’s engagement in our 50th Anniversary Year. After a successful Golden Anniversary Ball and a Community Celebration on our actual anniversary that welcomed 1,900 people, it has been an important milestone for the Museum and the larger community as we have celebrated the legacy of our founding family and set down a vision for the future.”
EU asked Holly Keris, Museum Curator, what lies ahead for the Cummer’s next 50 years? “As a result of the Cummer’s 50th Anniversary and strong support from our community, the Museum is thrilled to welcome a number of new acquisitions into our permanent collection. On January 30, we will unveil these gifts, purchases, and bequests, which shape the future of the museum’s next 50 years. Among the highlights 20th century paintings and works on paper that push the permanent collection farther ahead in time, and paintings by three of this country’s top African American artists.” 
Later in 2012, the Cummer is planning to start the restoration of the historic Olmsted Garden, located on museum property just to the north of the Italian Garden. Started by Cummer family matriarch Ada in the late 1890s, the property later was inherited by her son, Waldo, and his wife, Clara. They hired the noted Olmsted Bros. firm to incorporate Ada’s garden into the rest of their property. The Museum has been working with Belgian landscape architect, Francois Goffinet, to restore this garden to its former glory, using the original plans from the Olmsted Bros. firm and historic photos from the Museum’s archives. The Cummer will also be starting improvements to the landscape along Riverside Avenue.

50 Forward: New Additions to the Permanent Collection
(January 31 – August 15) The Cummer unveils new acquisitions made through gifts and purchases in honor of the Museum’s 50th Anniversary.

Impressionism and Post Impressionism from the High Museum of Art (February 16 – May 6) This exhibit showcases almost 50 paintings, drawings, and prints by such renowned artists as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro,  Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Mary Cassatt and John Singer Sargent. The works in this exhibition illustrate the emergence of Impressionism in 1870s France, its evolution to Post-Impressionism, and its later influence on American artists.  

Miradas: Ancient Roots in Modern Mexican Art (June 5 – September 16) This unique survey of more than 100 works takes a close look at paintings, prints and photographs created over the past eighty years by artists on both sides of the border- American and Mexican-American- to reveal a variety of cultural aspects as they emerged in the years after the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920) to the present day. The works included are by some of the best-known Mexican artists- Diego Rivera, Rufino Tamayo, Gabriel Orozco, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Gunther Gerzso- as well as Mexican-American artists such as Judithe Hernandez, Roberto Juarez and Robert Graham.

333 North Laura Street (366-6911)
Museum Of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, has adorned Downtown’s Hemming Plaza since 2003. Marcelle Polednik, Director of MOCA looks toward the horizon, “…get ready to ring in 2012- a year of discovery devoted to the early decades of the contemporary era. Beginning in January, each segment of MOCA’s three-part exhibition season will examine a pivotal decade in the evolution of contemporary art- the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s- exploring its key artists, concepts and works of art that defined these seminal epochs in the history of art and MOCA’s collection. If you think you’ve seen MOCA before, give us another look.”

ReFocus: Art of the 1960s (January 28 – April 8) This exhibition delves into one of the seminal and radical periods of contemporary art. The arts- literature, art, dance, and theater- went through a fascinating period of growth and change during the 1960s. New, experimental art forms like pop art and happenings drew new public attention to artistic expression. Trends in the arts reflected both the turbulent social and political trends of the time and the influence of artists and writers of an earlier generation. Join MOCA as it explores major movements of the decade: Pop Art, Op art, performance art, minimalism, color field painting, hard-edge and Post-painterly abstraction. Experience master works by artists that defined a generation: Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.

Joe Forkan’s The Lebowski Cycle (February 3 – April 1) Presented as part of the Barbara Ritzman Devereux Artist Workshop, Joe Forkan’s The Lebowski Cycle is the result of a longstanding interest in narrative painting, particularly paintings from the Baroque and Neoclassical eras; complex figurative works that depict grand story arcs, compressing a multitude of thoughts, ideas and emotions into a singular image. Forkan explored these ideas through one of his personal favorite films, The Big Lebowski, trying to imagine how the characters, humor and preposterous story arc of the film might be enlisted to explore multiple points of view, moods and intentions if combined with themes and titles from well-known works of European art. The result are 14 dynamic images inspired by masterpieces of Western European art that have been taking the country by storm.

Project Atrium: Mark Licari (March 24 – July 8) Los Angeles-based artist Mark Licari technically inhabits the same world as the rest of us, but when contemplating one of his watercolors, large-scale drawings, or mural installations it can be hard to tell. His landscapes and interiors are populated by a litany of animal and botanical denizens forming an eccentric variation on the familiar natural world. His extemporaneous and playful nature is particularly evident when it comes to Licari’s site-specific wall drawings, such as the one he will create at MOCA.

Ritz Theatre & Museum
829 North Davis Street (632-5555)
The Ritz Theatre & Museum houses a permanent collection of artifacts, objects, photographs, documents and assorted ephemera that assist in the interpretation and understanding of local history and puts into perspective the role of African Americans in the development of the region and nation.
In addition to the permanent collection’s “Lifting Every Voice in LaVilla,” the museum is currently exhibiting “More Than a Game: African American Sports in Jacksonville, 1900-1975.” This exhibit examines a chapter of recent history that still resonates in the hearts and memories of three generations of this community’s African Americans and highlights the profound impact of the coach/student athlete relationship during segregation. From hundreds of donated photographs, documents and personal memorabilia, the exhibit takes a look back at the legendary coaches, outstanding players and great events, like the incomparable East-West Classic football game on Thanksgiving Day.