If you've been seeing things in the city—mysterious and pretty things like Boroque, Rococo, and Neoclassicism—you could be experiencing enlightenment, or you may be seeing the work of the fabulous Outings Project. This endeavor brings classical art to the streets and I just love it! Imagine gazing at a painting and seeing one of it's illustrious characters step out of the frame and into the real world. This, in essence, is what's happening in London, Paris, Madrid and other art-rich cities across the globe. With a little help from museums and the public, these beauties are interacting with our lives in a whole new way.
Here in Jacksonville we're seeing the efforts of our local JaxOutings, courtesy Dolf James, Corey Kolb, and Doug Eng who've been enlarging and pasting the murals downtown. These lifelike cutouts were printed from photos of the The Cummer Museum's permanent collection, and then brushed onto walls with wheat paste. So no worries, no damage came to property, just enhancement. I've encountered several murals in my wanderings, and they've inspired me in different ways each time. Knowing nothing about the project when I first saw the white gowned lady above (William Bougeureau's 'Young Love') I remember saying "Yes! Thank you!" Not sure if this was outloud or in my mind, but the sentiment still stands. The founder of Outings, filmmaker and visual artist Julien de Casabianca, started everything in Europe and is now seeing it spread throughout the United States as well. If you're curious, you can hear him speak at the Cummer Museum this Friday evening, November 20th at 7:PM. If you can't catch this, you can still see some of his work. Photos of his installations are currently on exhibit at the Cummer and will remain through May 1, 2016.
The bricks, the stucco, the trees... The traffic, the chit-chat, and the onlooking oil paintings... It's all very surreal and cool. Faces from the past watching us walk by with lattes and smartphones. What would these characters think if they were real? I'm humbled when I see them in their otherworldly clothes with their otherworldly stares. It's a completely different experience from the museum, and yet it still makes me want to visit them on the gallery walls. I've seen some of these paintings in person and the details are a must see. So I encourage all art lovers to get out! Hunt for these treasures in your own city, visit your local museum, and if you're really inspired—pick up your paste brush and participate!
JaxOutings provides a great list of images and locations throughout Jacksonville here. I'll try to find lists from other cities and add them to this post soon. You can also see more and share your own findings on Twitter and Instagram with hashtags #OutingsProject and #JaxOutings. Happy hunting!