When Ingrid Mathurin was a child she yearned for a sense of stability while living in a household that was often unstable. Mathurin's mother lived with mental illness and her personal strife left a young Mathurin to care and fend for herself. At the age of 10 Mathurin picked up comic books and found her mind preoccupied with the visual art and stories laid out within their pages. It was not long after her introduction to comic books that Mathurin herself began expressing her creative side.
Something very important happened when Mathurin was 14 years old. A women, whom Mathurin credits as a second-mother, entered into her life and encouraged Mathurin's creative habits. With the support and encouragement of this woman, Mathurin continued to create and at 18 years old she met a mentor, under whose guidance she sold her first oil painting.
Some may think that artistic abilities are a result of the connection an individual has with their medium. For a visual artist, perhaps it is assumed that their gift rests in how they manipulate paint, charcoal, graphite, and other materials and coerce them to interact with a surface. When you meet Roosevelt Watson III you realize that this assumption is at least partially incorrect. Yes, it is important for an artist to have an understanding of their materials and how to best utilize them. But true artistry begins with how an individual interacts with the world around them. It starts with perception.
Watson's work is a visual representation of how he perceives present times, past history, and the Spiritual Plane. His work is both celebratory as well as cautionary as he examines humanity's social, cultural, and racial diversity through saturated surreal and abstract imagery. There is something special that can be seen in Watson's eyes as he is either at work or discussing his work. A light beams from inside him and radiates outward to those around him. This light, which should not be under-appreciated in modern times that can sometimes appear dark, is a result of Watson's genuine interest in the subject material that influences his work, as well as inherent passion for the arts as a whole.
Allison Galloway-Gonzalez serves as the Executive Director of Any Given Child Jacksonville (AGC), while simultaneously serving as the Chief Program Officer at Cathedral Arts Project (CAP). When you meet with Galloway-Gonzalez you quickly realize her passion for the arts, arts education, and arts integration. Galloway-Gonzalezadvocates the fact that we now know access to high-quality arts education positively impacts a student's performance, learning potential, and communities' quality of life. It is this belief that fuels Galloway-Gonzalez's efforts as she works with the staff and administration in Duval County Public Schools, local and national arts organizations, and many other sectors in the community to ensure that the arts are not overlooked as a central component of schools' curricula and culture.
Galloway-Gonzalez served as the Director of Education for the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Jacksonville prior to joining AGC and CAP. During her tenure at MOCA, Galloway-Gonzalez contributed to the improvement of educational services offered by the museum to students of all ages and abilities. Galloway-Gonzalez's career also includes a prior position at the Austin Museum of Art, where she worked for The Contemporary Austin's The Art School.
Challenge Your Expectations - 10 Questions with Courtney Lewis, Musical Director of the Jacksonville Symphony
32 year old Courtney Lewis is the Music Director of the Jacksonville Symphony. Lewis, who was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, joined the Jacksonville Symphony in 2014. Prior to joining the Jacksonville Symphony, Lewis served the roles of Assistant Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Associate Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra, Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Music Director of Boston's acclaimed Discovery Ensemble, a group which Lewis co-founded. The Jacksonville Symphony's recruitment of Lewis represents the organization's dedication to bringing world class talent to Jacksonville.
Lewis's major US orchestral debut was with the Saint Louis Symphony in 2008. Since then, Lewis has appeared with ensembles from around the world, including Atlanta Symphony, Washington National Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Houston Symphony, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Milwaukee Symphony, Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Colorado Symphony, and Ulster Orchestra, among others.
Suzanne Pickett is a visual artist. She attended the University of North Florida where she graduated with a Bachelor's of Fine Art Degree in Graphic Design. Pickett's passion for the arts and humanities led her to enter into the non-profit sector, where she worked to develop the Jacksonville Consortium of African American Artists, which is now known as the Jacksonville Cultural Development Corporation (JCDC). Picket and JCDC have served the Jacksonville community for more than 13 years by fostering an environment that is inclusive of all artists, regardless of their race or cultural background.
JCDC builds bridges that connect and empower communities by implementing creative placemaking. For those unfamiliar with the term, creative placemaking is an intentional effort that typically includes a number of small-scale projects. Creative peacemaking efforts develop and strengthen a neighborhood's character and identity. Such projects leverage the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to serve a community's interest while driving a broader agenda for equality, growth, and transformation.
ICON, a solo exhibition featuring the work of Julianne French, is on display at the Florida State College at Jacksonville(FSCJ) Deerwood Center until February 24, 2017. French, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Jacksonville University and a Master of Fine Arts degree from New York Academy of Art, has been an educator in the Nassau County School District since 2006. In 2007 French became a Teacher of the Gifted, teaching arts and humanities to students in grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, and in 2013 she was awarded the Memphis Wood Excellence in Teaching Award.
French's CV lists an impressive number of solo and group exhibitions, including several international exhibits. In 2016 French exhibited internationally in South Korea and the United Kingdom. In the last five years French has exhibited in New York, NY; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Savannah, GA; Washington, DC; Tampa, FL, and Jacksonville. Her work is exhibited in the University Medical Center Hospital (New Orleans, LA), the Siena Art Institute (Siena, Italy), and the Community First Credit Union Headquarters (Jacksonville, FL), just to name a few.
It is not by luck that French has been granted the opportunities that she has. As an artist she exhibits a work ethic that mirrors how Henry Miller approached writing, "Work according to Program and not according to mood." Furthermore, French is diligent about scouring the internet for opportunities appropriate for her artistic discipline and body of work. Her impressive CV is a direct result of her dedication to her process.