Downtown Jacksonville was selected for ArtRepublic’s Community Cultural Development program because it is ripe for growth and change. AR Founder, Jessica Santiago, believed that art could create a tipping point for the city to reach its full potential. The city has roots of being a progressive place that played an impactful role in supporting creatives. That history was 100 years ago although it can be felt in the DNA of the community today even though the political climate and impression at face value would conceal those roots. The area has struggled with blight, homelessness and lack of appropriate public funding for the arts for decades.
ArtRepublic partnered with the local private sector to create massive transformation to Jacksonville’s art and culture through the production of high quality public art, events and exhibitions. Together, AR and philanthropists have acted as the connector between people who believe in the power of art and the most dynamic artists of contemporary culture, making it possible to bring sophistication and global recognition to the city.
The concept of ArtRepublic harnessing the power of public art to transform was inspired by the Florentine Renaissance and the Medici family, the greatest Patrons to the arts the world has ever seen. The Medici’s worked to build a Republic where their people lived in equality and were civilized. They had a vision and mission for the arts. They thought of art as a form of education. They asked the Artists they worked with to illustrate key truths such as the importance of kindness, compassion, promoting wellbeing, serenity and good leadership. The leaders of the Renaissance wanted to make their people wise and to build magnificent cities.
Patrons of the Renaissance realized that we are shaped by the character of our surroundings and when the public realms are beautiful and appealing, the people are happy, and live in harmony with each other. To us, public art is a philosophical mission, not a luxury.
ArtRepublic has forever changed the landscape of Jacksonville and inspired the city to elevate in a multitude of ways. We are proud of all we have been able to accomplish in Jacksonville and are excited to transform cities around the world in the same way. We invite you to join us in these adventures by following our new episodic show launching fall ‘19 where we will tell the stories of our artists, their city’s culture and history and create art around the world.
“I came down to Jacksonville to be a summer sculpture intern at the University of North Florida. It didn't take long before I noticed that the murals and public art was at a higher level than what I expected to find in a relatively small city. I never knew this was a spot. Lots of little cities have a decent mural or two, but not a collection like this one. “
Matt Apol, MFA in Studio Arts at Syracuse University
“It was refreshing seeing mural after mural, exhibition after exhibition popping up, all while making some of the world’s most influential street and digital artists accessible. What other metropolitan city can you go to where someone like Okuda is there, at arm’s reach, open to converse with anyone that stopped by?
What I missed about New York was the motivation that came via osmosis from just being around artists who were leagues ahead of you, and that’s exactly the reminder that came along with Art Republic”
Toni Smailagic, Photographer, Jacksonville, FL
“I saw Jessica’s vision and recognized her drive as something so extraordinary. Her goals are pivotal for the Jacksonville scene. Art Republic has been a game changer for this city and the local art community. I can see signs of major change coming to Jacksonville thanks to Art Republic and for this reason I am so very proud to call Jacksonville my home base.“
Jennifer Lail, Visual Artist, Jacksonville, FL
Guido van Helten
René Romero Schuler
Ricky Lee Gordon
Waone of Interesni Kazki