Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville
333 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL, USA
Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville Reviews
Sep 27, 2007
The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, also know as MOCA Jacksonville, is one of the largest contemporary art museums in the entire Southeastern portion of the United States. Knowing this leads me to wonder just how small the other contemporary art museums are because it isn’t all that big as far as museums go. The building is approximately 60,000 square feet and encompasses six stories. The museum also houses a theatre, educational rooms, a coffee shop, upscale Café Nola, a gift shop and 800 pieces of contemporary art.
The building is located in the midst of Jacksonville’s multi-billion dollar downtown facelift and sits across Hemming Plaza and City Hall. It is easily accessible by car (you just have to pay a meter fee) or by the sky rail. A sky rail stop is located directly across from the museum at Hemming Plaza.
When the doors to the museums opened for the first time in 1924, it was known as the Jacksonville Fine Arts Society and was the first institution in Jacksonville dedicated to visual arts. In the 2000’s a decision had to be made upon what classified as contemporary art and modern art. The decision was made that in order to convey a sense of identify the name of the institution would have to be changed, it is then that it was named the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville.
They say that memories are most triggered by senses. If that’s the case, the museum works 3 of the 5 senses – seeing, hearing, and smelling (but not touching!). As soon as I stepped foot in the doors I smelled the most delicious smells coming from the café on the lower level. It smelled divine! But then another sense was triggered- hearing. I began to hear an awful clanking that I attributed to construction work. After strolling around the exhibits I came to the top floor of the museum and saw just what I was hearing. It was a “piece of art” that included sticks hitting one another and disks being drawn up and plopped down by a machine suspended from the ceilings. It was rather bizarre!
The museum had several sculptures by artist Duncan Johnson, a man who uses recycled wood as his medium. I also spotted 7 Picasso sketches and works by Hans Hoffman, Alex Katz, Joan Mitchell, Paul Jenkins, Ed Paschke and numerous other artists.
In the educational area children can spend an enriching afternoon exploring the hands on interactive stations in the ArtExplorium Loft. Here, are there are different centers where the kids can learn hands on about visual art techniques and about some of the pieces in the museum’s permanent collection.
On Wednesday’s after 5 PM the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville is open for free to the public. I visited on a Wednesday night and even though the entry fee was waived, the place was rather dead. It seemed as though there were more security guards there than there were art lovers. If you’re into Contemporary Art ranging from sculptures, prints, sketches, and paintings, then come check this place out!
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