MOCA Jacksonville leaders meet with Clay Yarborough

Jacksonville, Florida (Dec. 5, 2014) — At 3:15 p.m. Dec. 5, MOCA Jacksonville Board Chair Margaret Gellatly and Director and Chief Curator Marcelle Polednik met with City Council President Clay Yarborough, accompanied by his assistant, BeLinda Peeples. The conversation was amicable, and the dialogue was open and forthright. The MOCA representatives reiterated information regarding the standards to which all Museum exhibitions are always held. MOCA representatives also explained why any compromise related to the current “Project Atrium: Angela Strassheim” exhibition was not possible, as any such measures would, effectively, censor the exhibition.

As such, the issue impacts not just MOCA, but the established rights of all artists, all cultural institutions, and the public—not just in Jacksonville, but the world over. A compromise such as removing, screening, or otherwise marking the image as anything other than an appropriate expression of artistic merit, would, as MOCA representatives explained, cripple the potential of all artists and the cultural institutions of our city, which would in turn cripple the potential of our city as a whole. MOCA Jacksonville takes seriously its responsibility to uphold community and professional museum standards, and both inform the Museum’s decision-making process as it pertains to exhibitions and all educational endeavors.

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Rather than discuss a compromise of a matter already definitively settled by Mayor Alvin Brown’s office and his counsel, MOCA representatives suggested that the focus should be on continued dialogue and the City Council president getting to know the cultural organizations of Jacksonville, their inimitable professional standards, and the work they do to benefit the community.

MOCA representatives and Yarborough agreed to continue the conversations about how the vitality of the arts helps shape the vitality of Jacksonville. MOCA representatives concluded the meeting with the understanding that the matter is closed for further discussion.


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“Project Atrium: Angela Strassheim” on display through March 1, 2015

The photographer illustrates transitional points in our lives—particularly the precious, fleeting nature of childhood and reflections on motherhood. Many photographs feature her nieces and nephews at several phases of their lives, and half have never been exhibited before. The large-format prints, some as big as 75 inches wide, can be viewed from all three floors of the monumental Haskell Atrium Gallery where they are hung salon-style.

The presenting sponsor of “Project Atrium” is Regions. Major support is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Supporting sponsors are Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne; The Boeing Company; and Brooke and Hap Stein. Contributing sponsors are Agility Press; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, Florida Council on Arts and Culture; and WJCT Public Broadcasting.


MOCA Jacksonville by Fran Ruchalski


Founded in 1924 as the Jacksonville Fine Arts Society, the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville is a private nonprofit visual arts educational institution and a cultural resource of the University of North Florida located in the historic Western Union Telegraph building in the heart of downtown. MOCA Jacksonville serves the community and its visitors through its mission to promote the discovery, knowledge, and advancement of the art, artists, and ideas of our time. For more information, including hours of operation, admission prices and upcoming exhibitions and programs, visit or call 904-366-6911.