Nov 25, 2016
James Crichlow, Photographer
Jacksonville Business Journal
On an otherwise normal travel day last month at Jacksonville International Airport, a select group of local luminaries gathered as the Jacksonville International Airport Arts Commission celebrated its 20th anniversary.
In the midst of what would be described as a typical art gallery setting, was Art Program Director Jennifer Jones Murray who welcomed, charmed and educated attendees on the Haskell Gallery's latest show.
"The JIA Art & Culture program consists of the Sky Gallery, which is dedicated to demonstrating the city’s cultural heritage and opening in 2017, the Jacksonville Aviation Gallery, which will showcase the aviation history of our service region in two phases, from the birth of Aviation to World War II and in its second phase, through World War II to the present day."
Most travelers pass by the gallery with hardly a notice on their way to the Starbucks located two doors down, or on their way to security. But the gallery, named after Preston Haskell, one of the area's most noted art patrons, has hosted some of the area's most noted artists and looks to expand in 2017 with more than 34 artists to be displayed in the combined airport spaces.
Studio 9 Architecture Principal and JIA Arts Commission Board Chair Jason Faulkner was on hand to lay out the past, present and future of the cultural program.
"The JIA Arts Commission is a not-for-profit collaborative endeavor between the JAA and our board of commission-member volunteers. We began our service to the airport with our first season of shows in October 1995 through 1996. During the past 20-plus years, the commission has collaborated with over 500 artists from the seven-county region the airport serves, to provide showcases of their art, which represent the heart and soul of our community."
Faulkner said the program has generated more than $50,000 in art sales as well as exposure to 100 million passengers for local artists.