The Vibrant Arts Scene in Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida, conjures up images of white sand beaches and ocean waves. But besides the beach, Jacksonville has a thriving art scene. From museums to art walks, find out what you can see in Jacksonville.
Art and Gardens
The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens has one of the finest collections of art in the Southeast. The pieces on display span from as early as 2100 B.C. through the 21st century. The interactive educations center, Art Connections, gives visitors a unique understanding of the works in the collection. You can also stroll through 2.5 acres of historic gardens with examples of 20th-century garden design including reflecting pools, fountains, arbors, antique ornaments, and sculptures. At the heart of the gardens is the Cummer Oak Tree with a canopy of more than 150 feet.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, known as MOCA Jacksonville, is downtown. It features modern and contemporary art with an emphasis on works from the 1960s to the present. Although the museum first opened in 1924, many moves and reincarnations ended with the downtown location. A renovation completed in 2003 gave the museum six floors and space for nearly 800 pieces of art.
If you’re hungry after looking at all the art, try the museum restaurant, NOLA. One of the top dining destinations in Jacksonville, NOLA feature fresh-made dishes from seasonal ingredients. The menu highlights include grilled cheese, flatbread, pasta, quiche, soup, and desserts.
Walk the Streets
The first Wednesday of every month turns downtown into the Jacksonville Art Walk, rain or shine. More than 60 venues include galleries, museums, cultural venues, restaurants, and bars. On average, 8,000 people attend the monthly event, admiring and buying unique handmade items from both emerging and established artists. There’s free parking for drivers, or you can take a bus or taxi. You might even try the Skyway, an elevated free pathway through downtown and other parts of the city.
Corner of Rosselle & King
The CoRK Arts District, located at the corner of Rosselle and King streets, offers 80,000 square feet of warehouse space for artist studios and galleries. Although not open to the public on a daily basis, the facility hosts public events throughout the year. The arts center plans to expand by adding a live music venue and a separate space dedicated to the performing arts.
The Art Center, known as TAC, gives the Jacksonville community a wide range of arts opportunities. The Main Gallery opened to the public in 2006 and is a popular stop on the monthly Art Walk. The space promotes local artists with showings and workspace. The Art Center II offers studio space, workshops, and special shows and programs for both children and adults.
Jacksonville offers an excellent bus service for traveling throughout the city. Bikes are another popular modes of transportation, as is the elevated Skyway. After a full day of art browsing, you can retire to your hotel by the beach to relax. Check Hotel Planner for Jacksonville hotels near the beach that offer beautiful views and are near transportation hubs to simplify your travels.
There’s a wealth of arts and culture in Jacksonville. Plan a visit and check out the best this city has to offer.