Tuesday, October 5, 2010

After Posting "Coffee Break" to my ArtTraffic profile, it has become the most popular piece on Arttraffic.com/uk

for info on my Artraffic profile, please visit the following link-- http://www.arttraffic.co.uk/arts/2026

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Joan Thate's Reflections on The Dream Map Project

Part of the "Across America" Exhibit was a simple 13'x 10' painted outline of the US map filled in with thousands of play money bills. The idea Joey and I had was to then have individuals share their heart's desire in life on a "dream cloud" (paper cut in the form of a comic think cloud) and place on the map thereby covering the play money. As the dream clouds increased, America would be filled with more and more dreams thereby lessening the focus and/or importance of overwhelming money. Funny thing is, I didn't count on how rare it has become for adults to think of such things as what one has as their heart's desire. It seemed to transform into an experiment into working Americans' conscious and even sub-conscious. Joan Thate has been on the frontline this month collecting more than 500 dream clouds from people coming by the studio( in truth I was satelliting the project at my day job Clothing Warehouse as well, though a watered down impact to be sure) and the following is a window into how this request was received by those asked a question that should be inherit to their being through Joan Thate's eyes and heart.....

Americans Dream at the Suite 106 Gallery.

Joan Thate

When the homeless lady was waiting outside the glass doors of the Suite 106 Gallery in the Jacksonville Landing the second day, I’ll have to admit to a touch of both anxiety and irritation.

She had come by the day before and commandeered the one desk in the front exhibit room of the gallery, slowly exploring her wishes and asking over and over if writing one thing or another was acceptable, even after I had assured her each time she asked that the point of the little paper “thought cloud” she was crowding with cramped words was to be a place for her to be honest about her own dreams. She had told me she had no living space of her own, and didn’t even want to admit where she had been staying. Four or five times, she asked for help with spelling. Although she was a bit strange, I could tell she was harmless and probably just lonely.

And here she was again, asking when “I” would be open and if she could write some more dreams. How could I possibly say no? I told her to give me some time to get organized and to come back in a few minutes. And indeed she did come later. And once again she agonized about what and how to write. When she finally finished and asked me to read her work, I realized she had written essentially the same as yesterday’s wishes for a better life, including a Publishers Clearinghouse win, but that the wishes today had slowly evolved into a prayer. And both days her hopeful list ended with a desire to help the homeless.

As she left, she said she was going to get some of the cookies down the mall a bit, cookies so good she knew she was addicted to them. Along with the overwhelming sadness I felt as I watched her walk away, I also experienced not a little shame over my minor impatience and vague distrust .

She was not the first nor was she the last of the gallery’s visitors to touch me emotionally as I have volunteered there on Thursdays and Fridays this month.

Artists Kim Barry and Joey Thate (full disclosure: I am Joey’s mom), whose studio is in the large back room of the Landing suite, planned a front gallery red white and blue /American flag painting/sculpture/pom-pom/star-spangled tennis shoes exhibit appropriate for the month of July 4th to open on the night of Art Walk. But they wanted an interactive component, so on a perhaps 15 by 20 foot wall they painted a huge rough outline of the USA which they filled with thousands of the tiny play money one, five, ten, and twenty bills you can buy at the dollar store, the kind elementary teachers like to use to demonstrate equivalent values.

They wanted visitors to share what it was they most valued. Was it what we often assume is the highest goal in our country—the money? Or something else? Would people be able to imagine beyond the perceived limitations lack of money can impose?

They decided to couch their questions in a slightly oblique way—asking people to share their dreams, their hopes, their desires. Visitors could write their cloud-shaped dreams and tape them floating above the money-encrusted map of the nation. It’s the kind of exercise that can teeter pretty easily on the brink of being hokey. Frankly, hokeyness was what I expected. I was wrong.

My “job” on those volunteer days was to collect these dream clouds.

The map is now completely covered with hundreds and hundreds of clouds, and they have even spilled over onto other walls and the windowed doors of the suite. I’ve collected maybe half of them—and each, because they came from somewhere real inside such a wide variety of people, has changed me a little bit.

There are those who dream of wealth—from “enough” to fabulous riches, but they are the minority, actually.

There are the frivolous and funny dreams—of being the 5th Beetle or building a snowman in Jacksonville, for example.

There are the dreams of budding artists that their music or painting or acting might one day support them so they could do what they loved for a living.

There are the dreams of parents for their children to be healthy and happy and successful and safe.

There are the dreams of what could be done for others—inspiring students to become lifelong learners, or opening a half-way house for aged-out foster children, or teaching kids entrepreneurship and financial wisdom, or loving the unloved, or—helping the homeless.

There are dreams of love—marriage and children or just “a man—preferably wealthy.”

There are dreams of being free of fear and anxiety.

The dreams came from all over the country—Texas and New York and North Carolina and Tennessee.

There are dreams in Russian and Dutch and Spanish.

The dreams are global and specific.

The dreams are for right now and for always.

Older people were less likely to share a dream, as were the time-constrained business men and women who frequent the Landing for lunch. The later are understandable. The former made me sad, because I too am old but not yet ready to give up on dreams—and I don’t look forward to losing hope.

Kids, of course, entered the activity most easily. Each knew exactly what he or she wanted, from Justin Bieber tickets, to training dolphins at SeaWorld, to riding a bike all day, to seeing a shooting star. A group of late teens from a pre-law job corps group visiting from Gainesville wanted jobs with the CIA or FBI or with their local police force.

I’ll never forget the one very solemn little girl, probably five or six, one of a yellow-shirted day camp group, who waggled her finger for me to come closer to hear her say she wanted to help those people who need it most. Her teacher later told me this was an accurate expression of this child’s deepest self.

In that same group was a small boy about the same age whose face and smile bore more than a passing resemblance to the president, even a little with the ears. What was his dream? To be president and superman. I thought to myself, Go for it, buddy. And you really do kind of need to be both to make the president gig work.

There are way too many stories recount them all here.

I found myself constantly moved both to laughter and near tears. I hadn’t expected the fun—or the honesty. And the experience has reawakened for me a sense that we have not, collectively, lost our way as a nation because we are a collection of so many good and hopeful people.

Many visitors thanked me (really Joey and Kim) for allowing them this chance to think anew about what they really want. One lady said, as she left, that she felt this was a spiritual place. I think I understand what she was trying to say: when we reach down for our deepest dreams we are in touch with our spirit selves, with what we really believe. The real spiritual space is within.

Downtown Vision and their Off the Grid galleries deserve praise and gratitude for their work towards renewing the spirit of Jacksonville.

The “Across America” exhibit will continue throughout the month of August 2010 at Suite 106 inside The Landing. Come for Art Walk on Wednesday night when a local group, Pretty to Think So, two talented young musicians at the beginning of their dream career will be performing all evening with special performance by Jessica Pounds. Or stop by Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. all month.

"Across America" Photos by Tiffany Manning

Here is a bit of what went down for the opening. For more pics, click this link.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"Across America" Exhibit July 7- Aug 1 2010

Joey Thate & I, Kim Barry, are pleased to announce July's exhibit, "Across America." Opening July 7, 2010 during Artwalk, the exhibit will be shown through August 1, 2010. As always, visitors during Artwalk only, will add their own voice to this installation by helping to show where our minds are at as Americans. What are we thinking, what are our hopes, what are our dreams, do we even have them anymore? A roadmap of brainwaves will take over the front room gallery. Come participate and be heard. Where are our heads at? And more importantly, where are they going?

Suite 106
at The Landing
an OFF THE GRID Gallery
in fellowship with Downtown Vision
and The Jacksonville Cultural Council

Monday, June 21, 2010

Portrait Series Has Begun-- Updated

"Olivia" 2010

"Mother" 2010

"Coffee Break" 2010

For years now, I have actively avoided painted anything that resembled a reenactment of anything pre-set for me-- a scene, a picture, anything around our current surroundings and limited by our 5 senses. Being raised on the tit of scenic artists and grad student teachers so willing to make you their copiers to get the grade, I was over it. It was too easy to recreate what was in front of me. I am copying yet again. A little technical ability and it soon felt like I was well on my way to become a paint it by numbers mass producing Red Roof Inn hotel artist. What about the emotion underneath all this matter? The soul of it all if you will. I went to a funeral in 2002. I lady I knew to be feisty as hell and tough as nails. When I looked in the coffin , the essence was gone. Even her technically correct features weren't right anymore. She was not there. I began to search for that vibrancy that is life. So, there explains the last 4 years of my journey in and around figurative abstracts. Reality is not in the technical details for me but in the energy and vibrancy that runs through the details. But throughout, I have kept the idea of going back to portraits once I felt I could satisfy both demons. For me, I can only paint those who I have great understanding of and a great emotional investment in. I need to tap into their essence before ever feeling right lifting the brush. It's the only way for me. I have been collecting photos dear to me and preparing to attempt this. Feeling a bit technically amnesia-tic I figure the best person to begin this project with is myself, Here is the start.

Suite 106
at The Landing
an OFF THE GRID Gallery
in fellowship with Downtown Vision
and The Jacksonville Cultural Council

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"The Golden Bough" exhibited May 2010 Suite 106

"The Golden Bough" 2010 Shown at Suite 106 May Exhibit

So I made mistake. I had laid a loose piece of canvas on the floor of my studio and began pouring my secret clear ingredient along with paint until too much had been put on at once and it leaked off the canvas to the floor. Sh#$! Then I thought "leave it" so I did. 3 days later when it cured it came right up. And there we have "Breaking Chance" 2010. The idea that the paint was perceived separate of the canvas was overwhelming and new to me.

"Breaking Chance" 2010

So I went a step , a BIG STEP further and proceeded to pour 6 gallons of the secret stuff directly on the floor and paint in it as though the floor was the canvas. All the while crossing my fingers that this giant blob on the floor would actually pull up eventually. And so it did, not without a minor set back or two. The original top didn't make it. But other than that, success!! With the help of my devastatingly handsome hero, Joey Thate, and friend and artist Megan Cosby, we attached this blob directly to the wall with adhesive and pins as added support. It has since been rolled up like a carpet, laid on the floor like a carpet , etc and is strong as ever. This experiment will continue in the future. A grant would be nice since this is not cheap! Here in the progress. Enjoy...

The blob curing on the studio's floor

another angle--

Detail of Dancers in gray and Passions in red

the final installment 13' x 8'

Once the piece cured, the dancing figures became so much more alive and within this organic womb, so to speak, became their little universe. A heaven to attain to, a hell to get lost in, a birthing womb into this world and the temptations (the red dancers) right along side representing our passions and desires. I found this world created could not have been anything but free of any "box" -- canvas being the traditional captor. The limitless movement of this little universe translates into how we can perceive our own. So, at the opening, I still had no name for this. In talking with friend and fellow exhibitor, Jay Antablian, he spoke of "The Golden Bough" myth written by Sir James Frazer. And it all came together. Here it is...

The Golden Bough attempts to define the shared elements of religious belief. Its thesis is that old religions were fertility cults that revolved around the worship of, and periodic sacrificeof, a sacred king.

This king was the incarnation of a dying and reviving god, a solar deity who underwent a mystic marriage to a goddess of the Earth, who died at the harvest, and was reincarnated in the spring. Frazer claims that this legend is central to almost all of the world's mythologies.

"When I first put pen to paper to write The Golden Bough I had no conception of the magnitude of the voyage on which I was embarking; I thought only to explain a single rule of an ancient Italian priesthood." (Aftermath p vi)The germ for Frazer's thesis was the pre-Roman priest-king at the fane of Nemi, who was murdered ritually by his successor:

The book's title was taken from an incident in the Aeneid, illustrated by the British artist Joseph Mallord William Turner: Aeneas and the Sibylpresent the golden bough to the gatekeeper of Hades in order to gain admission.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Screen shot 2010-06-07 at 15.11.21

American artist, Kim Barry, has been a member of the ArtTraffic community for just over three weeks. With a cumulative total of well over 350 thumbs up in just that short amount of time, we have jumped at the chance to make her our newest featured artist, as testament to her impressive art contemporaryabilities.

Kim Barry graduated from Penn State University in 1998 and has exhibited her art internationally since. Collections of Kim’s work can be found all over America and the rest of the world.

Kim’s partner and fellow artist, Joey Thate, helps Kim to head a Jacksonville movement called “Off The Grid” and both work in collaboration with the Cultural Council in order to revitalize their city through the arts.

Interesting, eh?

Check out Kim’s art contemporary online without going to a gallery. Click onhttp://www.arttraffic.co.uk/arts/1284 in order to see what all the fuss is about.


Blog courtesy of Artttrafic.co/uk . thank you Ciaran and Ross. cheers! Correction-- I do not head the Off The Grid movement. Suite 106 is an Off The Grid Gallery supported by the Cultural Council and Downtown Vision. About 10 galleries within Downtown are working to create a more vibrant city through the arts.

Arttraffic News

Arttraffic is an international online contemporary art gallery run by . I recently joined this force and am grateful to have met some wonderful supporters!

June's Exhibit Opening at Suite 106-- Everybody Eats, Everybody Poops

This month Joey & I racked our brains to come up with some sort of installation concept that would complement Ezra Marcos' photoshoot. The idea was the common thread in all of us and accepting some truths in stereotypes-- good and bad. So, what did we do? We called up our friend & artist, Dolf James, for a lunch meeting. We had some ideas about large restroom symbols-- the ultimate basic symbol for men and women-- and epoxyed food. But we needed his advice on the process since he was an epoxy (and later discovered) restroom symbol drafting master. Well after thinking us a bit stranger for the idea next thing we know he, his wife Anna, Joey and myself spend the rest of the day creating the forms from wood and managing to create a sample epoxy from our leftovers from Cool Moose Cafe.
Next step was to load up and head to Suite 106 and plan a food layout and storyboard. 36 hours, 8 plates of food, 2 gallons of expoxy and 2 markers later, we got this.....

then we created "the bathroom honesty walls in the very front for everyone to write anything. That's when it got interesting.

Inside, Ezra was creating his own thing....

5 models of different ethnicities each did a shoot for charity-- Compassionate Families which raised $600 that night. It was a a wonderful way for young photographers to learn how a real shoot happens. Starting at 5pm, they didn' t wrap until after 9pm. We had a great turnout and thank you to everyone who came out and made the night a bit more special.

Suite 106
at The Landing
an OFF THE GRID Gallery
in fellowship with Downtown Vision
and The Jacksonville Cultural Council

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ezra Marcos at Suite 106 for June's Artwalk!!!

Greetings everyone! Thanks for stopping by to read my blog! This is a really important blog post...so keep reading!

This coming Art Walk I will be doing a LIVE shoot to raise money for Compassionate Families! About 4 or 5 years back, I did quite a bit of collaborative work with Compassionate Families...so I am very familiar with their services...and they were one of the best agencies I had a chance to work with! Compassionate Families is a non-profit agency (but very, very grassroots) that works with families (especially children) that have lost a loved one due to murder. You can read about them here.

This is the deal...you need to come and show support! The live shoot will be based around the theme of diversity...but that's all I'm going to say, b/c I don't want to spoil the surprise! After the shoot is over, I will post process the images right there on the spot...and my goal is to have a large print on display before the end of the night!!! That print will be auctioned off...100% of the proceeds will go to Compassionate Families. Additionally, once I've completed the post processing...around 7pm...I will be doing portraits for a $10 donation...and you'll get your print right then!

Follow me so far? Cool! Another thing...this one is for up&coming photographers...even hobbyists! I'll be offering 4 days of "don't call it a workshop" thingy. The thingies will be broken down into 4 subjects....shooting manual, composition, lighting/lifestyle shoot, and post processing! Each subject will be about 3-4 hours...it's very fast pace...very hands-0n...and I promise you'll have some practical skills at the end of each "session". The cost is minor...and 100% will benefit Compassionate Families. So what's the cost? A $60 donation! If you want to give more, then I won't stop you! (You'll need a DSLR and a Nikon camera...ok...just joking...but a DSLR is necessary!)

The event will take place during the June Art Walk...that's June 2nd. The location will be Suite 106, which is inside of the Jacksonville Landing (it's one of the Off the Grid galleries). Joey Thate and Kim Barry have been super awesome letting me use some of their gallery space...and they will also have some of their work up...I suspect surprises from them too!!! The shoot will start at 5pm...and around 7pm I will start photographing whoever wants photos of themselves!!!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 904-338-3901 or at ezra@ezramarcos.com
And if you want to reserve your spot for the "don't call it a workshop" thingy, you can contact me now...or reserve your spot at the Art Walk!

Hope to see you there...and they do too (Kim & Joey on the scooter)!

Suite 106
at The Landing
an OFF THE GRID Gallery
in fellowship with Downtown Vision
and The Jacksonville Cultural Council

Urban Jacksonville Weekly Interview- May 17

Jacksonville's EU Article-- May 2010

Where There is a Will, There is a Space
a downtown gallery update

from L to R) JD Lambert (323 Modernism), Matthew Bennett (The Arts Center), Joey Thate and Kim Barry (Suite 106), Mary Atwood (The Arts Center), Jefree Shalev (Nullspace) and Adrian Pickett (The Adrian Pickett Gallery ) photo by ezra marcos
You don't have to be keen on anything "art" to know about Art Walk. The fifteen block self-guided tour of Downtown Jacksonville held on the first Wednesday of every month has grown to include much more than a few galleries. In fact, at the end of 2009, there were not a large number of galleries in the Urban Core, but because of the tenacious attitude of Downtown Vision, Inc., there were still over forty venues that participated every month. I'd say this is primarily due to businesses seeing the benefit of displaying local art on the walls, even if it is between racks of dry cleaning and jewelry cases.

Today there are more gallery spaces, due to property owners recognizing that an un-leased retail space gets a lot more attention when hundreds of people file through because someone finally gave them an excuse to. Landlords who've had their space lay vacant for years have little to lose when artists use the space. That's the idea behind Downtown Vision, Inc.'s Off the Grid program.

It's hard for anyone to ignore the role the arts play in urban revitalization. On January 26th, 2010, Mayor Peyton held a meeting with the Northeast Florida Builders Association with the mindset that spaces for artists to work and exhibit downtown equals artists wanting to live near their respective work spaces, which equals more Downtown retail which, to me, seems like a reasonable formula for my Saturday evening bike ride involving more than the sound of crickets.

Just before that, almost in conjunction with Peyton's thought, Downtown Vision, Inc. and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville combined forces to kick start Off the Grid, inspired by local artist, Jim Draper, pairing artists in need of a space with landlords in need of a tenant. On March 18th a launch party was held to point the last piece of the puzzle, the collector, in the right direction. Within one month of opening night, there are already seven studios participating in this Off the Grid partnership.

In addition to the studio spaces that are part of the Off the Grid program, privately funded galleries are popping up in unlikely spaces. Over on Union Street across from Winn-Dixie there is an un-assuming two-story beige brick building that is home to 323 Modernism. The Modern Art Gallery is owned and operated by local artist JD Lambert, who seems to have a knack for finding interesting work whether it is painting, sculpture or furniture. After a tour of the 5,500 sq ft. space equipped with all the amenities including a full-sized air hockey table, I am convinced that where there is a will, there is a space and, whether you are an artist looking for a place to show your work or a collector of local art, I urge you to do a little research of your own about what is brewing with our Downtown art scene. You can find more information at www.downtownjacksonville.org.

off the grid galleries

323 Modernism

323 East Union St.



Hours: By Appointment

Art Center Cooperative

31 W. Adams St. & 111 E. Bay St.



Hours: Tues.- Sat., 11 am- 3 pm

The Adrian Pickett Gallery

2 Independent Dr., Suite 112

The Jacksonville Landing



Hours: Tues.- Thurs., 11 am- 7 pm

Fri. & Sat., 12:30 pm- 8:30 pm

Burro Bags

228 E. Forsyth St.



Hours: By Appointment

The Next Gallery

203 N. Laura St.



Hours: Mon.- Fri., 10 am- 2 pm

Nullspace Gallery

108 E. Adams St.



Hours: By Appointment

Southlight Gallery

100 N. Laura St.



Hours: Tues.- Fri., 10 am- 2 pm, or call or email for appointment

Suite 106 Gallery

2 Independent Dr., Suite 106

The Jacksonville Landing

(386) 451-4704


Hours: Mon.- Fri., 12 pm- 3 pm

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Art in The HAll Auction-- Sat March 20th

OFF THE GRID EVENT-- Downtown Jacksonville

Downtown property owners get creative with vacant space

Abel Harding's picture

A group of downtown property owners have embraced a creative concept to temporarily fill vacant retail space. Off the Grid debuted Thursday night with tours of eight art galleries in the heart of the city.

The program is a partnership between artist, property owners, Downtown Vision, Inc. and the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville in an effort to activate vacant spaces in the urban core with artistic energy.

From the looks of the crowd Thursday night, it's working. Well over 150 people packed a space in the Jacksonville Bank building on Laura Street where the festivities kicked off. The event was hosted by Betsy Lovett, Marty Lanahan, Tri Vu and Jim Draper.

I managed to pop in most of the galleries and was amazed by the depth of talent we have in Jacksonville. At the Suite 106 Gallery in the Jacksonville Landing, I had the chance to pull a piece of canvas off the wall and bring it home. (The pictures on this page are of the painted wall canvas and the piece I brought home. The quality isn't the best...they were taken with my Blackberry camera.)

For more information on the effort, visit Downtown Vision's website. You can also watch the video below of one of the galleries opening.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Haiti Benefit happening next coming Art Walk at Suite 106

Haiti Benefit happening next coming Art Walk with a great line up of bands:

Crash The Satellites
Wild Life Society
After The Bomb Baby
Heavy Flow

Music starts at 6pm

Art filled room of amazing pieces. We are holding a silent auction and the artist being kind as they are donating their amazing works, for the cause.
And ALL money raised will directly help all the unfortunate people in Haiti.

Moon River Pizza will donating a ton of pizza and refreshments will served.

So eat the best pizza in town, listen to the beloved music of Jacksonville and, bid on your favorite artist and 100% will go to the poor folks in Haiti.

Matthew S. Bennett

Kim Barry

Brian Gray

Joey Thate

With your kindness of just five dollars will provide: Housing, Food, and Clothing. So be a part of the world here at home and have fun doing it at Suite106 Gallery in the Jacksonville Landing!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Studio 106 Grand Opening -- January Artwalk

I was honored to be a part of The Grand Opening of Suite 106, Joey Thate's newest project at The Landing in Downtown Jacksonville. Artists include Megan Cosby, Matthew Bennett, Matt Salazar, Richard Jones, and of course, Joey Thate. Musical performances by Rickolous, Stacey Bennett, and Jessica Pounds. It was a night of celebrating a new year that will encourage all of us to keep making a cultural impact on Jacksonville, big or small. There is so much talent in this city!

Stacey Bennett

Rick and Sarah Colado with Jessica Pounds

Taking in Joey Thate's large scale painting style

Joey Thate and Andy Chritton

Scott Bufis and friend
Kim Barry and Joey Thate

Megan Cosby and Matt Bennett

Rickulous (Rick Colado)

Joey Thate and one of his featured pieces

Matt Salazar

two paintings by Joey Thate- " Allotment of A Dragon" on left, "Premonished Number Nine" and center drawing by Matthew Bennett
works by Matt Salazar and Sarah Colado
3 center pieces by Kim Bary-- left to right, "What Happens Above, Happens Below," "Mischief," and "Continual Chase of A Moment" top right piece by Sarah Colado, bottom right "Joy" by Kim Barry

Megan Cosby