Bright Lights: Artists in the City

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Photo by Austin Weaver

Starlight vigorously illuminating the endless sky was softly muted by the light, life, and sound of the city on the evening of Feb. 6. The Wednesday night Art Walk was alive with Jacksonville artists from a wide variety of disciplines including sculpting, painting, juggling, ceramics, and music as they enticed and awed the energetic crowd.

“David [a professional juggler] was really awesome; he was juggling knives, which is something I’ve never seen in my entire life,” said Melissa King, an art walk participant. “I thought that was really, really cool. Next to Burro Bar, there was someone playing electronic music which was neat; we were dancing down there. But this is probably the best thing [David Ferman’s juggling act] that I’ve ever seen at Art Walk.”

Ferman’s act was an interactive show that meshed the arts of comedy and juggling. His performance began with the impressive five-ball juggle and ended with an exhilarating finale of juggling knives while riding a unicycle.

Intertwining dining and laughing, the Art Walk patrons explored the sidewalk vendors and open doors that beckoned them with aesthetics and good vibrations. Vendors such as Pink Flamingo Arts, a unique mobile business that specializes in ceramic creations and encourages interested parties to try their hand at their own, showcased their best and most recent works.

The Carling, an apartment building on West Adams Street, often serves as a place for artists to set up camp with their creations and was one of several downtown buildings that opened their doors to the evening. Downtown restaurants such as the Burro Bar and Pho: A Noodle Bar, a Thai and Vietnamese styled eatery,  were swarming with customers, easily making the first Wednesday of every month one of the busiest days for local businesses.

Lighted trees from spotlights fixed in the concrete below gave the streets a mystical ambiance as the activity began to dwindle down at 9 p.m.

“I thought it was pretty fun,” said Argen Mustafa, a promoter for Lava Nightclub. “This is actually my first time at the art walk and I enjoyed it.”

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