Jacksonville University art professor Jim Benedict is getting buzz about his efforts to bring more public art to the city.
Benedict was featured in a prominent piece recently in The Florida Times-Union about the benefits — and challenges — of bringing public art to a community. The article also featured a captivating video piece about his efforts (see below).
Here’s just a taste (in italics) from the article written by reporter Khristopher Brooks, the entirety of which can be read at http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2012-07-06/story/ju-professor-pushes-more-public-art-jacksonville:
Jim Benedict sees Jacksonville, not as a large city, but as a collection of neighborhoods that lack identity.
But that can be fixed, he said. All we have to do is install more public art.
“The Riverwalk area has a lot of great public art, but I think that can be spread throughout Jacksonville,” Benedict said. “I live in Murray Hill and in Riverside and all those places, there’s not a lot of art.”
Christina Foard, who runs the Arts in Medicine program at Shands Jacksonville, said her organization had a great experience working with Benedict and making the Tree of Life (public art piece0. She said the hospital would be excited to do another piece with Benedict and other businesses should seek him out.
“We wanted something profound and professional and original, something that came with a little more heart,” she said. “And we got incredible value for our dollar. People are drawn to a shimmery tree and then when they walk up to it, there’s a deep inhale.”