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Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

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It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural resource of the University of North Florida and one of the Southeast's largest contemporary art institutions. Situated on Hemming Plaza since 2003, MOCA is dedicated to presenting innovative exhibitions by the finest international, national and regional artists of our time. This spring and summer, the Museum has refocused its gaze on one the founding decades of contemporary art-the 1980s.

Before his untimely death in 1988 from a drug overdose, artist Jean-Michel Basquiat echoed a sentiment that epitomizes the role of the artist, and in some ways the art scene, of the 1980s: "I wanted to be a star, not a gallery mascot."

This fall, MOCA will conclude its exploration of three seminal decades of contemporary art with ReFocus: Art of the 1980s In this decade driven by conspicuous consumption, the art world participated fully, promoting inflated prices and meteoric, albeit sometimes fleeting, careers. While art became increasingly commodifed and prevalent within broader spheres, popular culture - blockbuster movies, MTV, celebrity gossip - remained more prominent in the public imagination.

ReFocus: Art of the 1980s showcases the art you might have missed while you were, as Madonna sang, busy living in a material world. Many of the major figures of contemporary art came to prominence during this important decade. While observers hailed the movements of the ‘80s as a "return to painting," what matters equally about the art of this era is the artists' conscious and explicit role as celebrities and the manner in which the limelight allowed them to act as interpreters, mediators, and trendsetters of cultural, social and political developments. Like the previous ReFocus projects, this exhibition will explore the major artists and movements of the period, supported by a rich array of public programs, films, reading lists, and educational opportunities that bring this important decade and its incredible art to life.

Arcade and video games became a cultural phenomenon in the 1980s, and our next Project Atrium artist, Ian Bogost, will share his unique interpretation of the medium in November. A leading researcher, critic and game designer, Bogost investigates video games as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on games about social and political issues, including airport security, consumer debt, disaffected workers, the petroleum industry, suburban errands, pandemic flu and tort reform. Created especially for the Haskell Atrium Gallery, his interactive, multi-floor video game will surely transform the space and the viewer experience.

The fall also brings new, exciting exhibitions to the UNF Gallery featuring works by our colleagues from the University's Art & Design department. Rendering Italy: UNF Art & Design Faculty Abroad highlights recent paintings, photographs, collages and installations of eight faculty members inspired by their summer abroad experience in the cradle of the Renaissance. Opening mid-October, the annual faculty exhibition will put on display the artistic achievements of UNF's talented educators and scholars.

As children head back to school, MOCA will also be teeming with inspiring fun and dynamic activities for them and their families to enjoy. The 1980s Grand Opening on Sept. 15. will feature a variety of fun activites throughout the Museum. The same weekend, ArtFusion , the Sunday "drop in" family art activities will also resume its weekly school year schedule.

As the ReFocus series concludes its mission of providing a rich foundation of the artistic accomplishments of contemporary art's founding decades, MOCA Jacksonville will push forward to explore the art, artists, and ideas of our time. Next January, the Museum will present SLOW: Marking Time in Photography and Film. An original and thought-provoking exhibition featuring eight internationally respected artists, SLOW explores the progress of time and duration as interpreted by photography, film and video art. An antidote to our fast-paced world, many of the objects in the exhibition unfold subtly, yet significantly while they are being viewed, enticing visitors to slow down, engage and immerse themselves in their mesmerizing evolutions.

I look forward to seeing you soon and often at the Museum,
Marcelle Polednik, Ph.D.

Mission Statement

The Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a private non-profit visual arts educational institution and cultural resource of the University of North Florida, serves the community and its visitors through exhibitions, collections, educational programs, and publications designed to enhance an understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art with particular emphasis on works created from 1960 to the present.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Tue11:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed11:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr11:00 AM9:00 PM
Fri11:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat11:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM5:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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