Jacksonville, Florida is ready to say goodbye to unsightly storefronts, sending their empty spaces to get style makeovers. Looking Lab's newest project is slated to turn all those ugly abandoned store windows into beautiful art displays.
Students at the University of North Florida debuted their first creation today, a nine-window display, each with its own environments theme. Some feature coral reefs, mountains, forests, and even weird fictional landscapes.
"I love the idea of transforming empty storefronts into lively spaces just to bring better energy and make our culture more vital to Jacksonville," UNF sculpture professor Jenny Hager explained to local news.
The Looking Labs project is currently funded by a spark grant, but all involved are hoping the idea takes off and is able to continue being funded long after the spring. The creators are hoping to receive crowd funding to continue beautifying the corners of the city until there's nothing left but art.
From the Project website;
The Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts experiment fills the void of vacant or under-used retail facades with a series of innovative 'pop-up' art installations featuring regional artists. These empty storefronts become captivating mini-exhibits that help bring dynamic, contemporary art to the walkable urban landscape. Each storefront installation is designed to spur pedestrian traffic and stimulate the vitality of the city block.
In 2013, The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville chose four artists to participate in the launch of The Spark District in downtown Jacksonville through grants for proposed projects. The Looking Lab: Art in Empty Storefronts by Joy Leverette received one of the four 2013-2014 Inaugural Spark Grants.
This partnership between Northeast Florida city and business leaders, regional artists and professional curators increases community engagement while highlighting local creativity. Property owners donate spaces, and in turn, we transform their spaces with lively art that helps attract new tenants and buyers.
Join us as we test our hypothesis to revitalize Downtown Jacksonville, one storefront at a time.
The Looking Lab website