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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Article Published in the Daily Record ; Art Center Cooperative Grows with Community

03/17/2008What started in 2005 with a half-dozen visually-creative people and an idea has grown into a group of 30 artists with an art gallery and studio spaces on West Adams Street.
The Art Center Cooperative, Inc. held its first annual “Art Awareness Luncheon” Friday in the studio space on the second floor of The Carling. The space for the ground-floor gallery and the studio work area on the second floor is donated to the group by The Vestcor Companies, which owns The Carling.

“It’s a great thing that Vestcor does for us and it makes the space more exciting because it’s occupied,”commented artist Caterina Lionti, who came to Jacksonville from Italy in 1993. “The local art community has really changed,” she added. “The Art Center is an avant garde group. I like the cultural and artistic diversity.”
The gallery and studio space where paintings and photographs are also displayed has become a popular stop on the First Wednesday Art Walk.

“We counted 1,240 visitors for Art Walk this month and we have had as many as 2,000 visitors come through here in an evening,” said Art Center President Lora Davis-Herringsen.
The artists are currently working on a large project that will debut at the April 2 Art Walk. It’s a mosaic comprised of 16 two-foot by three-foot panels, each painted by a different artist that when assembled will depict the Downtown skyline.
“With so many artists and each one painting in his or her own style, it might be great, it might not, but it will be art,” said Elaine Bedell, one of the contributing artists. Caterina Lionti exhibits her work at the Art Center and has a studio space as well.

A Delagation from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville dropped by for lunch: Deputy Director Amy Crane, Education Manager Martha McManus and Community Services Manager Susan Demato.

Two artists from Jacksonville Beach, Ken Scherow
and Pauline Collings, made the trip into town.

The Art Center Cooperative, Inc. 2008-09 officers: Secretary Annelies Dykgraaf, Assistant Treasurer Elaine Bedell, President Lora Davis-Herringsen, Treasurer Patty Magee and Vice President Marsha Hatcher.

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