by Max Marbut
What could be the last warm-weather First Wednesday ArtWalk of 2008 celebrated the “Dog Days of Summer,” especially at the Florida Theatre where canine advocacy groups distributed literature and there was a doggie fashion show. Pet owners were lined up at the bar in the lobby for a cool drink while thirsty pooches found plenty of cool water outside under the marquee.
Artist Joanelle Mulrain opened the doors at her Great Blue Heron Studios on Laura Street a half-block south of Hemming Plaza. She was working on a life-size painting of a Timucuan warrior, “Chief of the Timucuan,” that she only paints during ArtWalks. Each element depicted on the life-size canvas is based on Mulrain’s research into the Indian tribe’s history and lore. When finished, the painting will be displayed at the Main Library.
“I’m doing this project to make people aware of what a wonderful resource we have in the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve,” said Mulrain. “It’s a National Park that’s equal to Yellowstone or any of the others and it’s right in our backyard.”
As is usually the case at ArtWalk, there were things to be seen that haven’t been seen before.
Author R.C. Bubblegum brought his customized and custom-painted Jaguar XJ12 all the way from his home in Holland. He said he had the car shipped here because we have such a great port and Jacksonville is the beginning of the Dutchman’s cross-country adventure. Bubblegum has published “Rocket 69,” a book for children, and said in three weeks, he will begin a road trip to California where he will “look for a movie deal.”
“I’m not going to be in any hurry to get to Hollywood. You have such a beautiful country and it will be a great adventure,” added Bubblegum.
The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra also made its ArtWalk debut Wednesday. Members of the Symphony Association were set up outside at the Main Library with 2008-09 season brochures and subscription applications while inside, several of the orchestra’s string players performed as did spoken-word artist Al Letson.
The next First Wednesday ArtWalk will be held Oct. 1.