Like June in the 1956 Broadway musical “Carousel,” public art will be “bustin’ out all over” Downtown in the next few months.
Thirty-four projects, including outdoor sculptures and original art on Skyway track pylons and sidewalk traffic signal boxes, comprise the Urban Art Projects of the Urban Art Façade and Streetscape Program.
It’s funded with $180,000 from the Downtown Investment Authority, $70,000 in Spark grants from the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, $40,000 from Florida Blue and private donations.
“This is exactly what we want to see Downtown,” said Tony Allegretti, executive director of the Cultural Council.
• Art on Skyway columns along Hogan Street from the Hemming Park station to Central station
• Traffic signal cabinets on Hogan, Laura and Pearl streets
• Bicycle racks on Adams, Forsyth, Hogan and Laura streets
• Street furnishings along Hogan Street
• Outdoor sculpture on Laura Street at Snyder Memorial near Hemming Park
Allegretti said most of the art is scheduled to be installed by this summer.
In conjunction with the streetscape program, Haskell Co. founder and noted art benefactor and collector Preston Haskell is sponsoring a Downtown sculpture initiative.
He’s already donated and installed “Opposing Forces,” a steel sculpture in Hemming Park, and has plans to bring more sculpture to the urban core in partnership with Downtown business owners, who would share the cost of the art.
“It’s a good deal to enhance their property with 3D art,” said Haskell.
Possible sites include at the JAX Chamber, at Hogan and Water streets and at the northeast corner of Adams and Main streets.
“By the end of May or the first of June, there will be enough in place for people to know something is going on,” Haskell said.
Another project in the works is a collection of murals to be painted on the Water Street parking garage.
“When you come in through Brooklyn, that garage is the first thing you see when you get into Downtown,” said Allegretti.
After this phase of the project is complete, Allegretti said the next area of focus for streetscape art will be The Elbow entertainment district along East Bay Street.
For more information about public art Downtown and throughout Jacksonville, visit culturalcouncil.org.