Arbus Magazine March/April : Page 30

suburbia…it’s unsustainable. So as we retool things, we need to make what we’ve got better…and being a part of that is exciting to me,” Dunlap states emphatically. (Southlight Gallery, 100 North Laura Street.) 229 Hogan Street is another artists’ co-op space. Less formal than Southlight, eight artists use the space as a work space/show space, and once a month, during ArtWalk, they put on an event. Crystal Floyd, an artist using the space says of it, “It’s cool, we all just kind of come together and see what happens…it forces me to be productive, but in a non-linear kind of way.” The Hogan Street space is another result of DVI’s Off the Grid program; however, unlike other gallery spaces downtown, 229 was always understood, and designed from the start, to be a semi-permanent space. “I don’t see the temporariness of it as a detraction, it just forces us to focus, concentrate, and use it as much as we can until it is gone,” says Floyd. Started by mixed media artist Matthew Abercrombie (who credits Jim Draper with making the DVI introduction), the space began with a three-month lease they’ve since fulfilled, and are now month-to-month. The landlord has been very candid with the artists and said that he envisions a law firm in there one day, but until then the artists are more than happy to use it. Abercrombie says, “I started the space because it was a way to pool resources and stop working at my house (as I know many artists do).” He goes on to say that because the location is basically on the Art Walk map, it seemed natural to host shows. “We’re really community oriented. We really appreciate the fact that we can help our friends out with space…these are people who might not otherwise have access to a gallery or be able afford rent.” Recent shows include a t-shirt show, a custom toy show (Designers in Toyland), and the Femme Fatale Art Show. (229 Hogan Street, above the jewelry store.) If it looks like all the excitement is happening in the urban core, don’t be fooled. In Atlantic Beach a small co-op gallery is quietly making great strides. The Artistree Gallery, located at the corner of Sailfish Drive and Atlantic Boulevard, is both studio and gallery space. Open for about a year, the gallery is located in front, and it’s a pretty typical gallery: artwork thoughtfully displayed, spot lighting, and a neat little office towards the back. But in the back, where it looks like the building ends, is actually where it begins. “We’re like the big secret in Jacksonville,” says one of the artists, Chris Lesley. Lesley, an artist, sculptor, and fabricator talks about the space as he gives a tour. “The space [and co-op] really has nullspace march/april 2010 • www.arbus.com 27

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