by Emily Moody
“As an artist, I’m always looking for ways to create opportunities that include other artists or allow for collaborations, and being familiar with the Phoenix Arts District and the work that they are doing, I realized that they had the perfect space for a project like this.” Jason Tetlak, Jacksonville artist, told our team after the 48 Hour Mural Project was complete at the Phoenix-Jacksonville Arts+ Innovation District (PHX-JAX).
For us at Future of Cities and PHX-JAX, we believe in Regenerative Placemaking as the approach to urban development that fosters more equitable, just, sustainable and resilient communities for a future that celebrates and brings opportunities for health, artistic expression, culture, and education for all.
Our local teams engage regularly with Jacksonville community members and artists to transform our ideas and projects into reality for regenerative placemaking: “I was excited that Emily and the folks over at Phoenix saw the value of bringing the arts community together and jumped on board to and did a lot of work to bring this idea to life.”
At the PHX-JAX Arts + Innovation District, the concept came about to partner with the 48 Hour Film Project but make it mural focused, as opposed to film — and use the same framework of an international film project as a model for visual artists.
The idea came to life over the weekend of September 29 to October 1st, with the first ever 48 Hour Mural Project held at PHX-JAX, in a celebration of art, community, and culture.
This one-of-a-kind event showcased the talents of nine artist teams who embarked on a whirlwind journey to produce stunning murals from inception to completion within the timeframe of 48 hours.
At the 48th hour mark, artists place down their paintbrushes.
Each team of artists brought their own unique perspective and style, showcased in the diversity and rich meaning behind their works, as they embraced this challenge with dedication to their craft. The results were a testament to their passion and skill, as they breathed life into the walls along 14th Street between Market and Hubbard Streets in North Springfield.
The amazingly talented artists teams included Grace Bio, Shea Slemmer & Jimmy Butcher, Jacksonville Arts & Music School (JAMS), Toneism, Zulu Painter, Toi Drayton, Barbara Hionides, Heart, Dosar, and RawSol.
Throughout the 48-hour period, the Phoenix Arts & Innovation District buzzed with excitement as locals and visitors witnessed the murals’, and the street’s, transformation.
Regenerative placemaking came to life as we collectively co-created new vibrancy into the neighborhood.
The event served as a catalyst for community engagement, bringing people together to celebrate creativity, culture, and the unique history of Jacksonville.
“It was a joy to see people coming together,” said Emily Moody PHX-JAX Director of Community Engagement:
“The neighborhood residents and community members at large, driving by, getting out of their cars, walking around and engaging with the artists. It is powerful and inspiring to not only witness muralists in action but also share a conversation with them and hear the story behind their work of art.”
“I loved seeing mural artists working side by side. I know from experience that painting in public is often a solitary job, so providing a festival atmosphere for local artists to have a shared experience where they were able to engage with each other while creating was amazing.” Jason added.
“Seeing the different interpretations and approaches was fascinating. I was surprised to see how nine different artists and teams took the same prompts and came up with so many different designs.”
Prompting artists to add in biophilic nature and elements of Jacksonville history is helping foster cultural identity and a sense of belonging from residents of different backgrounds, while also contributing to a safer, more vibrant neighborhood.