Adrian Pickett Jr. wants to share his talent.
The artist who has developed a following for his large, realistic charcoal drawings is presenting a workshop at 10 a.m. Saturday at his gallery inside the Jacksonville Landing.
Pickett started offering the workshops the first Saturday of each month last fall. The artistic education events became popular enough that he offered three workshops in April, with eight-10 participants at each.
“I’m more like a coach, but they get to learn my style,” he said.
Pickett is a self-taught artist who opened his gallery four years ago. It was one of the original “Off the Grid” galleries, part of the program that placed artists in empty Downtown storefronts.
He also is inviting school groups to the gallery for field trips. He demonstrates how to draw a cartoon character.
“It’s a demonstration of how a drawing comes to life,” he said.
Pickett talks to the students about art and about some local history that was destroyed during “River City Renaissance,” the urban renewal program that began in 1993 and led to the demolition of virtually all of LaVilla, the African-American neighborhood on the west edge of Downtown.
The last remaining architecture of LaVilla comprises Brewster Hospital, Jacksonville’s first health care facility for African-Americans; Genovar’s Hall, a former nightclub where Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Billie Holliday performed; and three historic “shotgun” houses.
“LaVilla was Harlem of the South,” Pickett said. “It is history you can’t see any more because it has been torn down.”
The two-hour workshops are open to potential artists of all ages, said Elonya Davis, gallery curator.
“We have had participants as young as seven years old,” she said.
Pickett doesn’t decide what the topic of each workshop will be until Friday evening, and sometimes, he waits until he meets the students when they arrive at the gallery.
“We might draw a bird or explore ways to draw different types of hair and fur or we might draw a portrait,” said Pickett. “I’ll have some ideas and then I’ll find out what’s on the students’ minds. Part of the fun is not knowing where you’ll end up when you start out. We’ll figure it out and do it. That’s art.”
For more information about the drawing workshops, call (904) 300-5744 or visit adrianpickett.com.