CORK OPEN STUDIOS 2018

Post last updated: July 10th, 2019

I am a fan of touring artist’s studios when they are open to the public. It’s a great chance to see the studio spaces of painters, photographers, print makers, sculptors, and textile artisans as well as purchase their artwork. I learned about the CoRK Open Studios via an email from Yelp three days before the event. The CoRK tours have been going on for years, possibly as early as 2013, but the last open studio tours I knew of were held at private homes in the Riverside area in the late ’90’s.

I was disappointed that their website had none of the history of how the The CoRK Arts District (an acronym for corner of Rosselle and King) came into being. I found some of the history in our local newspaper, The Florida Times-Union.  Mac Easton, a partner in Pine Street/RPS, decided artist studios were the best use for 80,000 square feet of warehouse space. The location was no longer suited to industrial or retail use. He approached the artist, Dolf James, with the hope that Dolf would attract other artists, and Dolf moved his studio to one of the warehouses in April 2011.

On Saturday, November 17, I showed up at The CoRK Arts District along with several hundred others who were interested in seeing inside an artist’s studio that is normally not open to the public. The sheer lack of parking is the probable reason the area is not suited to industrial or retail use and parking that could have been used at other buildings was roped off. I started the self-guided tour near where I parked my car. At the third building, I got my hands on a full-color, 4-page brochure with a map on the front page. Not that it helped. You’ve heard about the dimwit who gets lost in an elevator? Yes, Virginia, I kept getting turned around in the hallways of those warehouses and wished I had brought bread crumbs.

It appeared from the map that CoRK encompassed four warehouses named North, South, East and West plus 3 other buildings. I completely missed the recording studio and I’m not sure I saw everything I was supposed to see at CoRK South.

The following photos are a sampling of the 70 studios that were open on the tour.

 

YELLOW HOUSE

Yellow bungalow with the word ART painted in black and turquoise
Yellow House

 

Prints by Hope McMath, who is well known in the local arts community.
Prints by Hope McMath, who is well known in the local arts community.

 

Artfully rendered school bus in the yard of Yellow House.

On the hood of the bus, above the headlights, was this quote: “Stand for something or you will fall for anything. Today’s mighty oak is yesterday’s nut that held its ground.” – Rosa Parks

 

AROUND CoRK

The next two photos are murals painted on the exterior walls of the various warehouses.

 

 

 

Multi-color diagonal, overhead, string art in one of the warehouse hallways
Multi-color string art in one of the warehouse hallways.

CoRK NORTH

Douglas Eng’s studio fascinated me. He had a lot of beautiful tree photographs and we were allowed to take a postcard of a cypress tree. One of his photos was a section of a huge high rise apartment building in Hong Kong where people live stacked on top of each other because of population density. You can find it and see more of his photos at dougeng.art. I heard him explaining something about a “sandwiching” technique to achieve the long, horizontal tree photo below.

 

long horizontal photo of trees hanging above piles of branches
Douglas Eng — long photo of trees hanging above piles of branches

 

Douglas Eng - Odd-shaped structure of photos of trees. On wheels.
Douglas Eng – Structural photography of trees

 

Zentangle and rubber stamp art.
Zentangle and rubber stamps. This was inside Douglas Eng’s studio but I believe it was a different artist.

 

Tiffany Manning’s art studio stairs. The entire phrase is “Happiness is doing the things you love in the place you love with the people you love.”

 

Huge chalkboard wall in studios of Karen Kurycki, Amy Ploss-Samson and Jen Arevalo

 

Artwork above chalk wall.

 

Artwork on wall to right of chalk wall.

CoRK SOUTH

There were supposedly two artist studios at CoRK South but other than a lot of pottery and this chicken art, it was unclear if there were actual studios to visit. A sign with arrow would have helped.

Cartoonish painting of chicken with "Chicken Got My Mojo" phrase.
This piece of art was in Jeff Whipple’s area.

CoRK WEST

 

The front nameplate of an original Heidelberg printing press in the studio of Crystal Floyd.
The front nameplate of an original Heidelberg printing press in the studio of Crystal Floyd.

 

I believe these exposed wall tiles were also in Crystal Floyd’s studio.

 

I <i>think</i> this was Sharla Valeski's textile art hanging in a public area of the warehouse.
I think this was Sharla Valeski’s textile art hanging in a public area of the warehouse.

 

Exposed wooden wall in Sharla Valeski studio with a segmented wooden 5 hanging on the wall.
Exposed wooden wall in Sharla Valeski studio.

 

Sharla Valeski -- rusty box springs used as a wall to hang framed art.
Sharla Valeski — rusty box springs used as a wall to hang framed art.

 

Canvas attached to front door of Paul Ladnier studio.

CoRK EAST

I greatly admired this piece of art. Periodic Table by Princess Simpson Rashid.
I greatly admired this piece of art. Periodic Table by Princess Simpson Rashid.

 

 

 

15 thoughts on “CORK OPEN STUDIOS 2018”

    1. Nancy — I think I have read about the location of new artists studios over the last 5 years but I thought they were going to be in the Brooklyn area. I’m sad that I’ve missed out on so many years of going to this. It wouldn’t be the same from year to year because artists come and go.

    1. Of course, Kimmie! Chickens rule! I really enjoyed everything I saw. They used to have an entire exterior wall mural on the main building just as you went over the railroad tracks but it was gone.

  1. Hello, Linda!
    Thanks for an interesting virtual excursion. I especially liked Zentangle and rubber stamps and rusty box springs used as a wall; a good idea.
    Did you like the end of Seyit and Sura? It was surprising to me. Happy weekend!

    1. Nadezda — I liked the Zentangle and rubber stamps, too. There’s another whole artistic side of me that doesn’t get explored much in my blog. Yes, I liked the ending of Seyit and Sura. I was very surprised by Petro’s ending but thought he deserved it. I was left wondering about Guzide and Celil’s but this leaves the door open to another whole TV series on them. Guzide was a fabrication by the TV script people, she didn’t really exist in the true story BUT you still get wrapped up in wanting to know what happened after what happened. Several characters did not exist in the true story but were needed to create TV “cliff hangers” to keep you coming back. I understand the book of the true story moved much slower but it would have to be extremely well written to convey all the heartache of so many lives being disrupted by the Russian Revolution. Not to mention the treachery by people you trusted and the people who enjoyed treachery just for the fun of it. Plus, you get a soundtrack with the TV version vs. the book. The music was very dramatic. This period drama beat the socks off of Downton Abbey despite having to read subtitles.

  2. Thanks for visiting Yellow House and sharing some pics of our golden abode. We appreciate you lifting up some of the many artists at CoRK and look forward to you visiting again!

  3. Good job chronicling a great art and culture resource here in Jax. Sorry I missed it. With all that’s going on in that area, including Cork, the Yellow House, space 42, furniture making, Bold City Brewery and Renaissance Jax machine shop and robotics mecca, it is truly a happening place!

    1. I was aware of Bold City Brewery but not any furniture making or the Renaissance Jax machine shop and robotics mecca. Those must be in other buildings I didn’t notice. It might be a happening place but parking is an unhappy issue.

        1. Got the Field of Dreams reference. Unless they plan to do Open Studio tours on a quarterly basis or some other activity that brings in a lot of people, I doubt they’ll do anything about the parking. Enjoyed your review of WordCamp Orlando.

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