Importing Artists: Long Road Projects Residency

Gamaliel Rodriguez

When it comes to enriching the arts scene here in Jacksonville, sometimes it’s a little hard to be in the know when it comes to projects outside of the more storied institutions such as MOCA or the Cummer. One such series of projects that should be on your radar is Long Road Projects. Simply, it’s “an artist residency, exhibition, and edition program dedicated to providing a platform for contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds, for mounting exhibitions and engaging with a community outside of their own.”

aaron-levi-and-stevie-covart-garvey_image-courtesy-of-long-road-projects
Aaron Levi and Stevie Covart Garvey, Image courtesy of Long Road Projects

Co-Founders Aaron Levi Garvey and Stevie Covart Garvey founded LRP in 2015. Like many in our community, they recognize that Jacksonville can be a closed estuary of artistic talent. It’s a fine place to grow and become, but many (though not all) of our artists, upon reaching maturity, swim away for deeper waters. Long Road Projects answers the export trend. “What we are doing is importing artists so that they can experience Jacksonville and see what we have to offer, and the artists here will make connections with artists who are working other places in the world. It’s the exchange of ideas and work,” says Stevie Garvey.

“It brings artists outside of their studios, their comfort zones to create work in a new environment. But it also brings outside entities to a community that otherwise gets bogged down by their place of comfort.”

LRP benefits the arts here locally, as much as it benefits the individual artists from outside the community who have won the residency. They host an artist, give them a place to stay, and the means to produce an object (they’ll provide the raw materials). In exchange, they ask that the artist engage with the community, through talks, shows, and an edition. “It brings artists outside of their studios, their comfort zones to create work in a new environment. But it also brings outside entities to a community that otherwise gets bogged down by their place of comfort,” says Aaron Garvey.

lala-abaddon-lrp-head-shot_image-courtesy-of-the-artist-and-long-road-projects
Lala Abaddon, Image courtesy of Long Road Projects

The interchange of ideas connects Jacksonville artists to outside sources and information. Lala Abaddon, LRP’s artist in residence from July 18-August 18, has connected with artists in the area and given them information about residencies across the country, while the artists here have supplied her with connections in Florida.

LRP is also an edition publisher. That means that they underwrite a body of work and sell it to the public. “We try and make it approachable, because there’s already a stigma that contemporary art is completely unattainable and unapproachable. The only time anyone discusses contemporary art is when they see the auction results that are 100 million dollars or 200 million dollars,” says Aaron. Of the cost of their editions, Stevie says, “We keep things very affordable. It’s really a way to help you start an art collection.” These objects are created by hand or fabricated by the artist themselves—they aren’t a poster print or some giclee, but limited, reproducible art objects. You can spend only a fraction of the money on an artist whose work costs thousands, but is offered at only a few hundred through LRP’s editions.

Gamaliel Rodriguez, image courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami, Long Road Projects, Aaron Levi Garvey
Gamaliel Rodriguez, image courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami

The next artist will be Gamaliel Rodríguez, and he will be be in residence October 15-27. He’ll be doing research on a shipwreck of the El Faro, which came out of Jacksonville’s port in 2015 but never made it to Puerto Rico. As part of the residency, Rodríguez will be giving an artist talk on October 19, from 6-8pm at the auditorium of FSCJ’s Kent Campus.

To learn more about Long Road Projects, visit their website at longroadprojects.com or stay connected with them on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

ARTIST TALK WITH GAMALIEL RODRIGUEZ

OCTOBER 19, 2016
Doors open at 5:30pm and the talk begins at 6:00pm.
Florida State College of Jacksonville – Kent Campus Theater
3939 Roosevelt Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32205

Long Road Projects and Florida State College At Jacksonville are proud to present an intimate artist talk with Puerto Rico based artist Gamaliel Rodriguez moderated by artist and professor Dustin Harewood. The talk will highlight Rodriguez’s studio practice and discuss his residency with Long Road Projects in Jacksonville, Florida while he conducts research on the El Faro shipwreck tragedy.

There is no ticket required to attend and it is FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

About Erin Thursby

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