I'm a member of a small group of visual artists who have taken up residence downtown in a deserted Gold's Gym. We call ourselves the Southlight Gallery, and we enjoyed a "soft" opening at Jacksonville's Art Walk last night. The space is incredible with 20 ft ceilings and plenty of space (over 4000 sf). The interior needs some TLC as the previous tenant seemed to have gone out of their way to leave a mess, ripping out the doorframes, wrecking the tile floor, and tearing out all the baseboards. We hope to have things ready for a grand opening for the November Art Walk on November 4. With the glut of unused retail space downtown, there is a movement to allow artists to take up temporary residence for the cost of electricity and insurance. This is a real boom to all of us who would love to have prime downtown locations, but until now had no way to afford it. Oh the advantages of the recession!
I'm hoping to use the gallery as a place to install work and to receive comments from the general public. I think we all need that kind of feedback, as it is someone out there in the public that hopefully will end up purchasing art for their office or home. I'm looking forward to working with the other artists on making the gallery a success.
We should be here for a few months (at least) so come by and see us at the next Art Walk on November 4th. We are located at 100 N. Laura St in the Jacksonville Bank building.