Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

An Art Walk through Downtown; What You'll See Will Change Each Month

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

An Art Walk through Downtown; What You'll See Will Change Each Month

Article excerpt

Byline: TANYA PEREZ-BRENNAN, The Times-Union

Jean Lijoi didn't know what to do with the lingerie the married man gave her, so she threw it on the floor.

Then, as she looked at it lying there, an idea began to form. It could be of some use after all.

And that's how her series of paintings of headless and armless women's bodies in tight bodices and similar garb came about.

Ronald Reyes is unlike your typical sculptor. He's turned playing with wire into an art form all his own, by twisting and molding it into shapes such as flowers and branches.

Lijoi and Reyes are just two of the artists featured in First Wednesday Art Walk, co-sponsored by the non-profit Downtown Vision Inc. and WJCT. Art will be on display at eight venues in downtown Jacksonville from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, with headquarters at 100 N. Laura St. The Art Walk will continue the first Wednesday of each month through April.

Tony Allegretti, a public art consultant for Downtown Vision Inc., said the idea for the Art Walk had been brewing for a while.

"We try to do active, street-front, enhancing the downtown experience with the art," he said.

The Art Walk will give local artists an outlet for their work, while at the same time provide people with a reason to head downtown, Allegretti said. The venues will change each time, he said, but will be an incentive for people to get out of their cars and walk around.

"The real hope is to educate folks on the after-5 [p.m.] livelihood of downtown. The other purpose is to showcase the deep talent pool of artists," Allegretti said.

The Brooklyn Arts and Design Center is one of the venues putting on a show. "Breathing Towards Affinity: Liquid Works on Glass and Canvas" is curated by Ingar Brunnett. There is no connecting theme to the work in the Art Walk, said Allegretti.

Brunnett, a transplant from San Francisco who has jumped into the local arts scene and is working on building an arts movement in Jacksonville, wanted to curate a show related to summer. Three clusters of artists are represented in this show, including Lijoi, Brian Koss and Lucid Visions Glass Art, made up of Josh Bergesen, Micah Evans and Lance Sanford.

Lijoi, originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., is now based in Ponte Vedra Beach. The work in this show is a joint selection of her women and men's series, exploring themes of identity and questioning cultural attitudes. …

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