Tag Archives: Florida Mining

Friday Finds: Galleries to Love

7 Sep

This whole economic mess has contributed to the loss of countless galleries around the US.  I know first hand what it is like to put blood, sweat and tears into one.  OK, maybe not blood, but plenty of sweat and tears, I assure you! 😉  I’ve heard some folks say that the old gallery model is a thing of the past, gasping for air, dead in the water.  But I believe in galleries!  And today, I’m featuring some brick & mortar galleries that are out there, doing it right.  These folks are hustling, marketing, selling and making magic happen for their artists and communities.  Put ’em on your list to check out, whether you can do so in person or online!

Diehl Gallery, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Florida Mining Gallery, Jacksonville, Florida

Foster/White Gallery, Seattle, WA

Gallery Orange, New Orleans, Louisiana

Taylor de Cordoba, Culver City, California

**I’m so excited to finally get a chance to visit Taylor de Cordoba and all the other LA area galleries when Mr. Forager & I hit SoCal in October!  Can’t wait to drag him all over Los Angeles.

Diehl Gallery | Florida Mining | Foster/White | Gallery Orange | Taylor de Cordoba

I hope you’ll check out these galleries when you’re in their respective cities– well worth the trip!  You can see more of my favorite artsy spots on my Pinterest board, Artsy’s Guide to Galleries.  Do you have a favorite gallery?  Let me know in the comments below!

Action Figuration: Betsy Cain

5 Sep

When I took figure drawing in college, I recall my professor telling us that once we mastered drawing the figure realistically, that’s when the real fun begins.  For once you understand the hollows and bumps of the human figure, you can then abstract your representation to your heart’s content.  Savannah artist Betsy Cain’s work energetically fuses the figure with the abstract in gorgeous layers of color.

Red Yellow Love Melt, oil on canvas, 60×80

Like the work of other abstract expressionists, Cain’s work appears to be purely non-representational, but often you can detect a figure coming through the energetic fever of the canvas.

Neural Nude, oil on canvas, 54×72

Nature of Not Knowing, oil on canvas, 60×60

Each work consists of layer upon layer of colorful, expressive strokes which may end in a purely abstract composition yet each gives us a glimpse into the artist’s connection between her mind, the paint and the canvas.

Nerve Flower, oil on canvas, 60×60

To see more of Betsy Cain’s work, please visit her website.  If you happen to be reading from North Florida, you can check out Betsy Cain’s solo exhibition, Selections at Florida Mining in Jacksonville, opening this Friday, September 7th!

April Facebook Featured Artist: Steve Williams

16 Apr

When I launched the Artsy Forager Facebook Featured Artist program this month, I was thrilled when Steve Williams agreed to be my inaugural artist. Like me, Steve is a native of our hometown, Jacksonville, Florida and has long been a fixture on the art scene there.  Steve, along with his then gallery partner, Jim Draper, encouraged a young Artsy Forager  to continue painting just out of college.  Even though I allowed myself to get sidetracked, I never forgot their kindness.

Marco Polo, mixed media

As he splits his time between being president of his family’s successful sign business, Harbinger Sign, the gallery he has created at the business’s headquarters, Florida Mining, his own work as an artist AND being a devoted father of three, Steve is a busy soul.  Which makes it all the more amazing to see the quality of thoughtful work he creates.

Jackson, mixed media

His experience in the sign business is evident in the strong graphic quality and balance evident in his compositions.  His most recent Money series ( images above ) explores currency as symbolic of all that we strive for as a society yet ensnares and imprisons us.

Into the Goodly Land, mixed media on panel, 60x72

While I love this current direction, my personal favorite works of Steve’s are those that incorporate layers of texture and color in which graphic signs and images are enshrouded.  These works, as well as the Money series, invite us in, asking us to look more closely at not only the world around us, but the motives and desires within us.

TV Exploration of Mars II, mixed media, 12x12

Revolutionary Exploration: Shallow Discovery, mixed media, 11x19

I hope you’ll check out more of Steve Williams‘ work on his website.  And do yourself a favor– don’t miss his blog, Making Cheddar, or his Twitter feed.    He’s as hilarious as he is insightful.

Featured image is Grant, mixed media, 60×36.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Curious Amalgamations of the Unrelated: Geoff Mitchell

5 Dec

It seems to be human nature to look for meaning in everything.  We agonize over the meaning of baby names before choosing monikers for our offspring, we overanalyze  other people’s words to find out what they really meant, we take silly quizzes that tell us what our favorite color says about who we are.  And of course, we look for meaning and subtext in artwork.  Guilty, as charged, officer.  What is the artist trying to say?  What message is being conveyed?  In the case of Geoff Mitchell, it is a case of what the artist is striving not to communicate.

Mayonnaise, mixed media on panel, 20×20

The artist, whose show, Entries of a Diary Thief, opens at Florida Mining in Jacksonville, FL next Friday, creates work driven by the sense of “pareidolia, a psychological misperception involving a vague or obscure stimulus being perceived as something distinct and significant”. ( quote via Florida Mining )

Trinket, mixed media on panel, 24×36

In other words, our tendency to create meaning where there is none.  The artist describes his use of representational imagery as being done  “in a free associative and purely intuitive manner. I mix and layer images together in a way that is reminiscent of an abstract painter layering color.” ( via Florida Mining ) So any “meaning” inferred by the viewer is not intended by the artist himself, but instead by the viewers personal association with the imagery therein.

Zipper, mixed media on panel, 20×20

Derby, mixed media on panel, 12.5×18

So, with that being said, I leave you to draw your own conclusions about Mitchell’s work.  His sense of color, composition and design are undeniable, which is what makes the unrelated imagery so compelling and visually arresting.

Drop, mixed media on panel, 20×20

Please visit Geoff Mitchell’s website to see more of his work online.  If you’re in North Florida, don’t miss his show opening December 9, 2011 at Florida Mining.

Featured image is Topaz, mixed media on panel, 60×20.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Laird

22 Nov

Check out my Escape Into Life post today featuring Laird, a Northeast Florida photographer whose work can be seen at Florida Mining.  You may remember his work from my Gallery Spotlight post featuring FM.  This new work is stunning!

Laird on Escape Into Life

Artsy Spot: Florida Mining

7 Nov

Ninety-nine percent of the time I completely love my life in the Pacific Northwest.  But occasionally, there is that nagging little 1% that longs to be back in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida, just so that I can be in the thick of the exciting artistic resurgence happening there.  Though the arts in Jax were hit hard by the recession, artists and art supporters are determined to make Jacksonville a cultural destination.  Among them, artist Steve Williams is bringing home forward-thinking, atypical art with his new gallery, Florida Mining.

CPHACE by Laird, inaugural exhibition at Florida Mining

Williams is no stranger to playing gallerist.  He’s been at the heart of several successful galleries in Jacksonville over the years.  As an artist, he thrives on being involved with other artists and their creative processes.  And, being the generous soul that he is, wants to help them succeed and in the process, is bringing his unique vision for the arts to his hometown.

Florida Mining

Florida Mining’s mission?  To present emerging to mid career artists who are thought provoking and fresh with a mix of medium and perspective.  And they were off to a slammin’ start with their first show featuring a new series of work by Northeast Florida photographer Laird, a series infared photographs which begin with organic surroundings and are composited and mirrored so that the resulting image becomes almost hauntingly alien, yet familiar.

CPHACE series by Laird

Florida Mining’s sleek, contemporary space, designed by the brilliant team at Designmind, Larry Wilson and Rebecca Davisson ( both artists in their own right ) is the perfect showcase for making avant-garde work accessible to North Florida.

Florida Mining

Up next for Florida Mining is a new show, Tonya Lee: All Smiles, a new series from the Jacksonville-native, current Philadelphian featuring paintings and wallpaper ( yes, you read that right! ), embracing Lee’s fascination with alternative materials.

Tonya Lee: All Smiles

Tonya Lee: All Smiles opens at Florida Mining this coming Friday, 11/11/11.  If you are anywhere nearby, you will not want to miss it!  Big things are in store for this new venture.  Go and experience it for yourself.

If you’re not in Florida, be sure to check out Florida Mining on their website, Facebook and Twitter.  Always interesting and cheeky fun to be had.

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