Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artists 'Face Forward'; Self-Portraits of 30 from the Region Will Be New Exhibit at Haskell Gallery in the Airport

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Artists 'Face Forward'; Self-Portraits of 30 from the Region Will Be New Exhibit at Haskell Gallery in the Airport

Article excerpt

Byline: Charlie Patton

How do some of Jacksonville's finest artists see themselves?

Thursday the answer will be found hanging on the walls of CoRK, the former warehouse at the corner of Rosselle and King streets that is now home to artist studios.

"Face Forward," an exhibit of self-portraits by 30 local artists, was created to be the next exhibit at the Haskell Gallery at the Jacksonville International Airport, which rotates new exhibits of work by area artists every three months.

But "Face Forward" is such an unusual and fascinating look at Jacksonville arts community that members of the Airport Arts Commission wanted to give Jacksonville residents a chance to see the work; nobody goes to the airport just to look at art.

So "Face Forward" will be on exhibit from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday at CoRK Studio East, 2689 Rosselle St. Then it will be transported to the JIA where it will open the following Thursday, Oct. 1.

The exhibit was the idea of Larry Wilson, an interior designer and artist who is a member of the Airport Arts Commission. Wilson's challenge to the 29 other artists in the show was to create a self-portrait on a 24-inch square.

"I wanted to control the format," he said. "Giving them the 24-square-inch boxes would pull them out of their comfort zones. And the challenge of the self-portrait would make them introspective."

The result is a diverse set of images created by a diverse group of artists, both ethnically and chronologically.

"We wanted a mix of higher-profile and emerging artists," Wilson said.

Thus the show mixes work by long-established artists such as Jim Draper, Enzo Torcoletti and Louise Freshman Brown with work by younger artists like Franklin Ratliff, Sara Pedigo and Adrian Pickett.

Wilson is one of four members of the Airport Arts Commission who has a self-portrait in the show. His "By Myself" is a mixed media on panel that offers a clay depiction of Wilson's head and face, with rusty nails emerging from his skull and a small naked man on his shoulder. Other than to note that the face on his self-portrait looked unnervingly like his father, Wilson said he learned long ago that it's best to leave the interpretation of a work art to the viewer.

"You have to draw your own conclusions," he said.

Other commission members with self-portraits in the exhibit are David Engdahl, John Bunker and Robin Shepherd. …

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