Andrew Reid SHEd, a native of New Zealand, migrated to the United States in 1986. Young and full of ambition, SHEd first settled in New York City, specifically in the borough of Manhattan. There he worked as a commercial illustrator. In 1990 SHEd left Manhattan and relocated to Brooklyn. Soon after, SHEd felt as though his heart had left NYC and in 1991 he moved to Miami's South Beach.
Miami's independent art scene blossomed throughout the 1990s. Emerging artists and art dealers capitalized on cheap rent and vacant warehouses. SHEd quickly acclimated himself with Miami's scene and he established a studio at the Miami Arts Center, which he described as an undiscovered affordable little universes.
Black Faces, Black Bodies, Black Stories - 10 Questions with Visual Artist, Graphic Designer, and Event Stylist Erin Kendrick
Erin Kendrick is a visual artist, graphic designer, and event stylist. Since 2009 Kendrick has operated E. Street Design Co., the company through which she plans, develops, and executes visual and design concepts for private, public, and non-profit events. Kendrick also teaches art appreciation as an adjunct professor at Columbia College - Jacksonville.
A native of Jacksonville, Kendrick received her Bachelor's of Fine Arts degree in studio art from Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. After completing her undergraduate degree, Kendrick left the state of Florida and continued her formal education at George State University in Atlanta, GA. There Kendrick received her Master's of Fine Arts degree in drawing and painting.
Kendrick creates using vivid colors, often applying layers of ink stains to her pieces before they are complete. Through her work, Kendrick seeks to inspire a dialogue about contemporary spectatorship, perceptions, and the power of language. Kendrick creates pieces that celebrate black womanhood and a lineage of survival. Kendrick draws inspiration from the notion of "oppositional gaze," a term coined in 1992 by feminist, scholar, and social activist bell hooks, who asserts "there is power in looking."
Laura and Matthew Bennett met while enrolled as undergraduates at Pennsylvania State University. Upon graduating college, Laura began her 20 year career in the Navy. Laura and Matthew were stationed in Jacksonville four times during her Naval service. During each tour, Matthew worked in the arts and exhibited his work in galleries throughout Northeast Florida, The Cummer Museum, and Art Walk. In 2009-2010 Matthew partnered with Downtown Vision for Off the Grid, a now defunct program that utilized vacant buildings to provide artists with cost effective gallery and studio space.
The Bennetts moved to Japan in 2010 and returned to Jacksonville for their final Navy tour in 2013. When they returned, they noticed that the arts community had partially shifted their focus away from downtown. The Bennetts had a desire to rekindle past efforts to establish downtown as a central location for the arts community. In October 2016, Matthew partnered with Margie Seaman to establish the inaugural location for Seaman's Building Art Program (BAP). Seaman sees Jacksonville as a potential incubator city for artists. Seaman works to pair artists with owners, landlords, or brokers of vacant buildings that are available for sale or lease through the BAP.
Jim Alabiso is a writer, producer, strategist, speaker, and performer. As a writer, Alabiso self-publishes his work and he makes it available in its entirety for free through his website. He is also a regular contributor to Arbus Magazine, the arts and business magazine of Northeast Florida, and First Coast Magazine.
All the Angels Come, a serial novel, is Alabiso's most recently released body of work. The story is an epic fairytale set in the River City. There are four main characters in the story, William, Jay, Masuyo, and Ricardo, all of whom are homeless. Chapters in the story unfold through the telling of events central to each character. Through his story Alabiso shares his belief that not all heroes wear capes, nor are they all white males with chiseled jawlines and massive bank accounts.
Ulysses Owens Jr. was born in Jacksonville, Florida in 1982. Owens began playing the drums at the age of 2. During his teenage years Owens attended Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and it was during this time that he set his focus on becoming a professional jazz musician. Through hard work and dedication to his craft, Owens received a full scholarship to New York's The Julliard School, where he enrolled in the inaugural jazz program.
Owens career in the music industry has been rewarding. He has performed and recorded with musicians such as Kurt Elling and Christian McBride. His involvement with both musicians has earned Owens two Grammy Awards, the first for drumming on Elling's 2009 live album Dedicated to You: Kurt Elling Sings the Music of Coltrane and Hartman, and the second for drumming on McBride's 2011 album The Good Feeling.
George Cornwell is an artist's artist. He works with technical proficiency as a screenprinter and it's an understatement to say that Cornwell has an eye for details. Cornwell's caliber of work has led to him collaborating with the "who's-who" of Jacksonville creatives, including artists such as Jim Draper, Shaun Thurston, Crystal Floyd, Chip Southworth, Margete Griffin, Overstreet Ducasse, and Roosevelt Watson III, and organizations such as Long Road Projects.
Cornwell entered the world of fine art in 1987 while living in New York City. In his first role as a screenprinter he worked under Jackson Lowell at Chromacomp Inc., located in midtown Manhattan. Chromacomp focused on creating limited edition, highly collectable prints. During his time spent with the company, Cornwell printed the work of art deco pioneer Erté and commercial artist Thomas McKnight, whose work sells for tens-of-thousands of dollars.
I built a website for Ebony Payne-English, an extremely talented poet and spoken word artist. I was flattered that Ebony turned to me for her website.
I Want to Co-Create Powerful, Entertaining Work- 10 Questions with Director and Choreographer Roxanna Lewis
Originally from Washington, DC, Roxanna Lewis was born into a family of writers, visual artists, and civil rights and political activists. Early exposure to the arts led to Lewis living a fully immersed artistic life. With a high level of enthusiasm and curiosity, Lewis explored many creative endeavors including working as a professional dancer, choreographer, actor, director, producer, and writer.
In 1999, an original production Lewis choreographed titled Dreambody debuted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The production was highly praised and considered groundbreaking as it expanded the boundaries of dancing using dancers both with and without disabilities, triumphing over stereotypes and limitations. Dreambody featured dancer Kitty Lunn, who performed out of her wheelchair for two-thirds of the production and her wheelchair wasn't revealed to the audience until the third section of the piece. Lunn's wheelchair then added a dynamic quality to the performance. At times the wheelchair served as a fourth dancer, while at other times, the wheelchair become a focal point as all the dancers performed on and around it. The original score for Dreambody was composed by Glen Velez, a four time Grammy winner, and the production toured the US and Italy.
10 Questions with Christa "Fatoumata" Sylla, Director and Founder of Nan Nkama Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble
For more than a decade Christa "Fatoumata" Sylla has shared her passion for cultural dance with Jacksonville, Florida. Sylla serves as the Director of Nan Nkama Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble, an organization that she originally founded in 2003 as Culture Moves 101. The troupe made their debut performance at the World of Nations Celebration in 2005, an annual event that is occurring this weekend in Jacksonville (Friday, March 3 through Sunday, March 5).
Sylla has also worked as an instructor and choreographer, collaborating with arts and humanities non-profit organizations, including Jacksonville Centre of the Arts and Cathedral Arts Project. Through her career in the arts, Sylla has studied under and performed with several performance companies, including Lajo Theatre of African and Caribbean Dance and the Nia Dance Ensemble. Sylla has also taught master classes on dance at Lavilla School of the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, and Florida State College of Jacksonville (FSCJ).