by JOANELLE MULRAIN
CoRK Arts District: A Sampling of Artists
Tucked away by the train tracks in Riverside, at the corner of Roselle and King Streets (therefore the name: CoRK) stands a collection of once abandoned warehouses that today are the beacon of Jacksonville’s thriving arts community. In a brief time period CoRK has grown from one building to three and is now home to over 50 artists and related businesses. Cork Arts District is over 80,000 square feet of warehouse space centered around artist studios and galleries. As development continues, tentative plans include more artist studios and galleries, a live music venue, and space dedicated towards performance art. Here’s a look at a variety of creators at CoRK who are striving to establish Jacksonville as a thriving art mecca.
1. Mathematician Stephanie Sundberg continues to work and expand on three projects started earlier in the year: The Hypercube Series (a blend of math meets art), The Number Hunter (a web-based, educational TV show), and www.statisticshowto.com (expanding into YouTube videos on how to do statistics). Also, she’s working on several books, including a cookbook called, “The Reactive Hypoglycemia Boot Camp,” and two statistics-related how-to books.
2. Glass artist Helen Cowart has submitted her Ophelia Series to Bullseye Glass’ “Emerge 2014, the 8th Biennial Kiln-Glass Exhibition for Emerging Artists”. The nationally known jurors are Kathleen Moles, Emily Nachison and James Yood. Finalists’ artwork will be installed at the Bullseye Gallery from April 8-June 28, 2014; selected award winners will be included in a national touring exhibition – stay tuned. Also, she continues to create work that merges figure and glass using techniques learned from continuing education classes at Bullseye Glass Santa Fe Resource Center with Ted Sawyer, director of Research and Education. In March, she will attend the nine-day “Shifting Perspectives Symposium” at Northlands Creative Glass in Lybster, Scotland, to enhance and further develop her creative process and knowledge of the different techniques to create art with glass. www.elemental.name www.corkartdistrict.tumblr.com/helencowart
3. Artist/Designer Larry Wilson, ASID, completed his “Tribe Series” sculptures that were shown at OneSpark last year. His follow-up “Warrior Series” body of work deals with the many different warriors that are in each of us and the internal/external “battles” we fight in our everyday lives. The next series is entitled “Words of Men”, and it deals with communication, hearing and listening. This series will feature full-height mixed media pieces. Simultaneously, he has been working on a few “mystical” figures composed of fantasies in his life. He and his wife, Laurie Hitzig, will present a show together at MOCA-Jacksonville in the Fall of 2014, where he will present a new series of full-sized figures. www.designmindllc.com. Laurie is working on three different bodies of work. The first is works on paper that deal with the concept of shape-shifting and the transformation that happens when dealing with the different aspects within. The second series is dress-forms used to represent woman’s inner struggle, strength and search for understanding. These sculptures are hand-knitted with wire and incorporated with bones, wood and collected objects that help define this search. The third is an exploration of the figure as she sees it through the use of botanical forms. These mixed media studies are done on paper with charcoal, pastel and acrylic.
4. Episcopal High School teacher Mark Zimmerman is located in the CoRK Labs. His “collective” is The Temporary Solution, or TTS. He’s working with Downtown Vision, Inc. to bring more interactive and participatory art to Art Walk each month. For instance, during the November Art Walk’s 10-year anniversary celebration, his company took over the lower area of Hemming Plaza. He collaborated with Mikey Kettinger and Episcopal students to create multiple pieces, including teaching over 500 people to make a perfect glass of lemonade, while Mikey’s Imaginary Friends performed and developed great installations and photo-based works. TTS is preparing multiple experiences for upcoming Art Walks, such as a participatory wedding chapel in February. In March, they are helping to plan for and participate in performance art. He creates much of the work for this platform of business and is very excited about creating for an audience that exists beyond gallery walls. www.markzimmerman.com
5. Playwright, musician and performer Jennifer Chase unveils her aJENNda Productions’ “unCoRKed” series with a collaborative show of monologues and music performed by actor Eva Matthews with paintings by artist Tony Wood. Her show, “Eva-Chase-Wood…Obey the Paintings”, opens at CoRK North (603 King Street) and runs Thursday, February 13, to Saturday, February 15. Tickets and more info will be released in January. This is the first time Wood has collaborated as a painter with a performing artist. He’s excited about including himself and his art into the action and to have Jen work within the constraints of a painting that will be hanging on the wall. Chase continues to develop her newest play, “Renunciant,” focused on six refugee stories, which will premiere in early 2015. Chase and her production company continue to produce events related to her rock opera, “La Caroline”, with music by John E. Citrone, all focused on the 2014 450th commemoration of Fort Caroline celebration. A MOSH rooftop fundraiser will be held in early May with exciting cast performances, food, wine and more. The rock opera returns to Jacksonville’s sister city, Nantes, France, (summer 2014) and will debut its first full-length premiere at MOSH in the fall. For more info, go to www.lacaroline.org.
6. Artist, graphic designer and teacher Linda Hawkins continues to teach mixed media technique classes starting in mid-January. Of note, one of her encaustic pieces was juried into the International Encaustic Association Show (Santa Fe); hers was one of 61 accepted out of 555. www.lindafhawkins.com
7. George Cromwell continues to print professional serigraphs and other fine art screen printing for multiple artists, including Dolf James, Sharla Valeski, Morrison Pierce and Hiromi Moneyhun. His detailed work is meticulous and first class. www.georgecornwellserigraphs.blogspot.com
8. Virginia Cantore has returned from the mountains and Art Basel with renewed energy. She’s back in her CoRK studio developing work on the bath she left behind, but with absorbed vibes from nature and being around good art.
9. Karen Kurycki offers a collection of home goods for purchase – from bedding to clocks, shower curtains to wall art, etc. – on www.denydesigns.com/collections/artist/ar-cmykaren. New to CoRK, she joins the artists with her business, www.cmykaren.com. She recently completed a project with a supermarket chain based in Norway, as her watercolor illustrations will appear as large-format graphics throughout the stores, as well as in marketing and advertising for the chain, Coop Mega. She is the designer and illustrator for Jacksonville-based OneSpark winner “Rethreaded,” a local nonprofit that employs women coming out of the sex trade in Jacksonville. She had her first solo art show at Hawthorn Salon this summer, which featured 60+ paintings based on the theme of hair, entitled, “Teased.”
10. Lynette Matyi has been completing commissions, one of which is for San Juan de la Cruz Catholic Mission in Branford, FL, where it will join two other altar paintings. This historic Mission was begun in 1609 by Spanish Franciscan missionaries. Also, Matyi is preparing two more religious paintings for a private collector.
11. Liz Gibson and Jeff Whipple create and present their artwork at MetaCusp Studios on Rosselle Street across from the CoRK buildings with the same parking lot as Bold City Brewery. Gibson is working on videos, paintings and installations that accompany her “Deformance Art” performances. Whipple is making video, paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture on his series called “Marching Orders.” There will be exhibitions of their artwork in their studio gallery throughout 2014. Gibson and Whipple were among eight recipients of the Florida Individual Artist Fellowship for 2014. The fellowships are the most prestigious regional award for Florida artists and no other artist couple has ever won the awards at the same time. Liz Gibson was also awarded a grant from the Community Foundation of Northeast Florida for 2013-14. Liz Gibson: www.deformanceart.com Jeff Whipple: www.jeffwhipple.com MetaCusp Studios: metacusp.com
12. Crystal Floyd was awarded the Community Foundation Grant for 2013 for the Individual Artist Award. She is participating in the “Our Shared Past” show at The Cummer and planning a solo show at Bold Bean Coffee (April/May), then another one with artist Eric Gillyard in Fall 2014. She offers terrarium classes all year. www.crystalfloyd.com
Pop A CoRK
by JOANELLE MULRAIN