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INTRODUCING JACKSONVILLE TO JACKSONVILLE

HIGHLIGHTING CULTURAL EVENTS • DEVELOPMENT • CREATORS


Music Scene on a Saturday in the Urban Core

All images by Toni Smailagic || www.ToniSmailagic.com / @Cre8Jax @ToniSmailagic

Saturday, May 18th, was heavily influenced by music, split between 4 events I ended up attending.

The first of three pictured throughout this post is “33 Rotations” which was held at Cory Driscoll’s house and included performances and art by 11 different artists in the city. Moving from one space to the next between three intervals of music performances & film (living room, back house designed by Crystal Floyd, and the backyard). An incredibly talented group of attendees, as well as performers were present. My pictures here were mainly based on people experiencing the event, vs the performances.

The second event, “Waves”, was held at Justice Pub downtown and the portion of it I got to attend was L.O.V.E. Culture (DOPE rap group) with Geexella as the DJ. Now THAT group can get the crowd going. I love listening to their recorded work, but they’re definitely one to witness in person.

The third event took place at Shantytown in Springfield, and was celebrating the birthdays of three people everyone in the nightlife and art scene should know; Jihan Grant, DJ Mas Appeal, and DJ Monsta. The vibe was more reggae / afrobeat / and latin infused and was the perfect way to wrap up the night.

Don’t tell me you’re bored while living in the city!

 
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Art Walk - May 2019 - The People

All images by Toni Smailagic || www.ToniSmailagic.com / @Cre8Jax @ToniSmailagic

Art Walk takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, and this May Art Walk has been one of my favorites to date. The sunshine really brought out the best moods in everyone, and that included in how people dressed (my favorite thing to look for :)).

The grand opening of The Living Room - pop-up installation also took place during Art Walk by Stronger Than Stigma (and will be up throughout the month of May) located at 211 N Laura St. and will host a series of events throughout the month that focuses on mental health.

The after party for Art Walk was held at the STRATA clothing warehouse for the More Cowbell album release party - put together by WeRise! Incredible turnout on at all three mentioned!

 
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DuvalFolx Party - Vol 4

All images by Toni Smailagic - IG @Cre8Jax / @ToniSmailagic

DuvalFolx Vol 4 happened on April 20th 2019 at CoRK Arts Distrcit. Brought to you by Geexella - DJ and organizer of the event.

The concept was born out of a need for a dance party that wasn’t restricted to gender norms / sexualities / etc. , but still centered around queer PoC (but still being open to everyone who respects the space). She’s created a Utopia of sorts in the city, and if this third installment is indicative of what’s to come in the future, history is about to be made. Ages ranged from 18 to 40, and came in every way / shape / form, with only one goal - to DANCE.

 
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Duval GEMS presented by We Rise Movement

All images by Toni Smailagic / @ToniSmailagic of @Cre8Jax

4/11/19 - The We Rise Movement presents the first ever showcase of Duval's underground up and coming female artists! Over 20 performers with a wide range of styles including hip hop, R&B, and more will come together on April 11th to celebrate Duval's hidden GEMS!

(first image is of @Indy_Music )

 
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Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk - April 2019 - The People

All images by Toni Smailagic - IG @Cre8Jax / @ToniSmailagic

Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk in springtime never disappoints! The daylight savings time change finally allowed me to bring the camera back out to catch my favorite dressed / most interesting / and happiest of the night.

Special shoutout to MOCA for providing the perfect backdrop for pictures.

 
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ROOTS Weekend in Jacksonville!

All images by Toni Smailagic - IG @Cre8Jax / @ToniSmailagic

ROOTS Weekend: Jacksonville brought together artists and cultural workers, organizers and activists to engage in deep dialogue, make and witness art, and learn from one another. It was condensed version of ROOTS Week, their signature gathering. They brought artists, organizers, and cultural workers together to share ideas and inspiration through performance, visual art, workshops, dialogues, and good conversations.

In addition to the programming, Erin Kendrick’s new exhibit, “Oh, Snap” at Riverside Fine Arts also took place that same weekend, where we relocated to end the first night of the workshops.

ROOTS Weekends deepen our collective understanding of the work of social change by celebrating artists and organizers who are working within communities to develop creative solutions to long-standing issues.

 
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Void 100th Issue Party + 904 Pop-Up

All images by Toni Smailagic - IG @Cre8Jax / @ToniSmailagic

Void Magazine’s 100th Issue Party was held at Surfer the Bar in Jax Beach, and the 904 Pop-Up was held at 8103 Clothing, a mile down from the Jax Beach bars, on Feb 16th, 2019. Both events held an incredible amount of energy, and really brought together a lot of creators from all over the city. Huge shoutout to 97.9 KissFM for keeping the energy flowing at Surfer!

I’m not in Jax Beach for events often, but these two were absolutely worth attending. The next 904 Pop-Up (which is a market for creators), is on March 23 (6-11pm) + 24th (12-5pm) and will have a lot of familiar faces, for those in the art scene in the urban core.

 
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“Burn After Reading”- Closing Reception at Space 42

All images by Toni Smailagic - IG @Cre8Jax / @ToniSmailagic

The closing reception of “Burn After Reading” happened on the night of January 12th at Space 42, a gallery space that’s quickly expanding and gaining the recognition it deserves in Riverside.

Artist, Jason Tetlak, created 3d paintings with encrypted messages that showed themselves once the light switched to red. This is also one of those rare closing receptions that’s more interesting than the opening, as all the pieces that were not sold, were to be burned (hence, Burn After Reading). As the fire emerges in the back of Space 42, the audience members were each given a ticket stub. Before the burning of each painting, a ticket was called and the audience member was welcome to come up and save the painting by spinning a wheel and following the instructions on the wheel (ranging from an open bidding, paying whatever cash is in your pocket, to doing a physical activity). All but two paintings ended up being saved, in an interesting way. A lot of members leaving with a piece of art for free or a fraction of the cost of the actual pieces.

I look forward to seeing what ideas are sparked locally from those that were in attendance. Until then, follow up with Space 42 as they have some incredibly exciting events popping up this year.

(A special birthday celebration happened throughout the night to one of the biggest supporters of our arts community, Heather Moore. Happy Birthday to you <3 )

 
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DuvalFolx Party - Vol 3

All images by Toni Smailagic - IG @Cre8Jax / @ToniSmailagic

DuvalFolx Vol 3 happened on December 15th, 2018 in the back of 1904, downtown Jacksonville. Brought to you by Geexella - DJ and organizer of the event.

The concept was born out of a need for a dance party that wasn’t restricted to gender norms / sexualities / etc. , but still centered around queer PoC (but still being open to everyone who respects the space). She’s created a Utopia of sorts in the city, and if this third installment is indicative of what’s to come in the future, history is about to be made. Ages ranged from 18 to 40, and came in every way / shape / form, with only one goal - to DANCE.

I look forward to continuing documenting the development of this cultural shift.

 
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Color Me Kona 2018

All images by Toni Smailagic / Instagram : @Cre8Jax + @ToniSmailagic .

“Color Me Kona” took place at the Kona Skatepark in Arlington on Saturday, Dec 15th. It’s the second year of an INCREDIBLE fundraiser for the Kid’s Mural Project (ran by Nicole Holderbaum).

Last year’s event was in my top three events of the year, and this one is on that same list for this year. My focus this year was more on streetstyle / people watching, vs. the actual coloring / skating / performances that took place. It’s a visual feast for anyone in my field, and am looking forward to seeing how other’s interpreted the event through their lenses.

 
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Radiance - The R&B Warehouse Party

All images by Toni Smailagić.

Radiance took place on 11/30 at the infamous 600 King St. in Riverside. Hosted by Cleanse Entertainment. With performances by Tenny Rudolph + Bubby the Great + CultureKai + Kodamilo + Nasyae

 
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Art Republic presents “Reometry - Digital Art Exhibition”

Reometry Digital Art Exhibition by REO ( was held at the Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center on Nov 10th, 2018 presented by Art Republic.

The entire venue was turned into an immersive digital art space. Music, drinks and food were flowing all night while the crowd walked through and interacted with the digital art pockets across the room.

Huge thank you to the liquor sponsor : Glenfiddich / and Chef Tom leading the team from Moxie Kitchen + Cocktails on the culinary side. Bravo to the team!

 
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River City Pride 2018

All images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic of @Cre8Jax

*If reposting, please credit @Cre8Jax . For licensing of images, please contact me directly.

River City Pride in Jacksonville this year took place on Saturday, October 6th in Riverside (5 Points). If you attended, there’s absolutely NO way you went home without a higher regard for the communal effort in Jacksonville to make something like this as fun as it was!

 

Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center Opening

On September 12th, 2018, the new Baptist MD Anderson Cancer Center opened it’s doors for it’s first reception - and with Ryan Ali having something to do with it, you know opera singers, ballerinas, jazz musicians, and yoga were just the smallest touches seen throughout the night. This is the first time I’ve seen a medical center that resembled more of an upscale gallery than anything else. There is exquisite art work found across every floor of the building, and most produced by our very own Jacksonville talent. To top it off, the event was of course catered by Moxie - headed by the incomparable Chef Tom Gray.

All images are shot by Toni Smailagic / @ToniSmailagic / @Cre8Jax

Bravo to the team behind the night!

 
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State of the Arts - 2018

The annual State of the Arts held by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville took place on September 13th, 2018 at The Cathedral District in Downtown Jacksonville. Hundreds of thought provoking conversations happened throughout a full day of events, with a multitude of breakout sessions discussing everything from tourism in the city, to gentrification and how public art can be used to engage a community, and not overwrite it.

The keynote speaker this year was Barbara Goldstein. Not just her own art work that engages with a community, but even mentioning examples I have never heard of like the Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh, that only serves food from countries the United States is in conflict with. Where community members can come and sit and talk to local people (ex. from Palestine) and break bread and actually listen to their stories.

This was also Patrick Fisher and Tony Allegretti’s last State of the Arts events, and will surely be missed in the future ones to come.

All images by Toni Smailagic / @ToniSmailagic / @Cre8jax

 
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Niki Dawson Album Release

All images by Toni Smailagic / @ToniSmailagic of @cre8jax

Hosted by Yhang Quintero in Riverside, Niki Dawson's album, Janus Killed Hera, finally came out and we had the absolute pleasure of hearing her perform it live! INCREDIBLY dope voice and stage presence, and just an overall energy when she steps into a room. If you're an r&b / soul fan, I couldn't recommend it enough. As she started her second song, I already pulled out my phone and saved the album.

Not to mention, one of my favorite bands, Stank Sauce, opened up and DJ Mas Appeal was spinning all night throughout the sets. Dos Vatos Tacos was set up and serving tacos all night (the jackfruit with the guava hot sauce was the winner for me). Manifest Distilling and Marlyn & Barrel kept the thirst quenched as well.

Overall - an incredibly dope party that brought some of my favorite Jacksonville creatives together for a night - many who were just now being introduced to Niki Dawson. Bravo! 

To hear the album on Spotify >> link

 
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Duvalfolx - Vol 1  

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All images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic of Cre8Jax

Duvalfolx : First party of it's kind brought to you by Geexella. Directly from the DJ herself :: "I want to have a dance party. NO CHECK IT A REAL DANCE PARTY. I want you to be free. I want you to have fun. I want NO TRANSPHOBIA. NO HOMOPHOBIA. Ask people for pronouns. Don’t bother or TOUCH folx that wanna be left alone. Let’s JUST DANCE!"

I STRONGLY suggest you follow them for volume 2 - because this was like entering into a movie scene. BRAVO! 

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Images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic

The annual 4th of July cookout that takes place at Restaurant Orsay was the perfect Independence Day afternoon preluding to the fireworks show in downtown. Hundreds of people, live music, unlimited food and signature cocktails and beer by Intuition! Good vibes and diverse crowds!

 

Images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic

The 42nd Annual Arts Awards by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville happened on 5/5/18 at the Everbank Field! We saluted artists / patrons / and admirers from the city and really showcased how much value the arts bring to the community. 

Absolutely beautiful event with The Chris Thomas band playing on the inside (for the after party) and Geexella and Willie Evans Jr. DJing on the outside! Light projections, food, dancing, positive energy flowed throughout the night!

 

All images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic / @Cre8Jax

The annual Jacksonville Public Art Week happened on April 1st - 7th!
The Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville brought me along to document as many events as I could and these are the highlights of my favorite images throughout the week!

From walking public art tours throughout downtown, Phoenix Arts District and with Art Republic, to kids/community mural and mosaic projects all across the eastside & northside, Downtown Jacksonville Art Walk and wrapping it up with a celebration in Hemming Park.

We have such a long way to go, but I am incredibly proud of the different people and organizations in the Jacksonville creative / cultural scene are doing to improve and beautify the city!

Always remember "Only the boring get bored"! Get out and get involved!

All images by Toni Smailagic || IG @ToniSmailagic & @Cre8Jax

The Phoenix Rising Festival was a 2 day festival (March 24th & 25th) at the Phoenix Arts District in Springfield! The districts spreads across several warehouses and makes up 100,000sq ft of space! 

On Saturday (24th), the main two attractions were the Bobby K fashion show and a dance party following immediately after! (which - both were full of energy and just a badass impression on the city!). Bobby has a shop in Murray Hill (Bobbyk Boutique) that has the FRESHEST take on a boutique in the city. 

Dozens of muralists (mainly from Northeast Florida) have been working on these INCREDIBLE murals surrounding the warehouses and many of them were there on Sunday (25th) working on the walls! Sunday was a community block party and invited out families and their pets to enjoy watching the process of the artists, while also shopping with local vendors that were set up in the main alley in between the two main warehouses. 

Funds collected are being used to continue developing a community event space, cafe, restaurant, gallery, live/work artist studios, workshops, and classes for all ages in varying art forms. I've posted about it several times over the past 1-2 years, and the amount of progress that has happened so far is REMARKABLE! For more information, the link to Phoenix is in the second paragraph above!

 

All images by Toni Smailagic | IG @ToniSmailagic | IG @Cre8Jax

Art Walk happens in Downtown Jacksonville the first Wednesday of the month. My focus is always on the people - best dressed + most interesting + the happiest

 

All images by Toni Smailagic - Instagram : @ToniSmailagic + @Cre8Jax

"Color Me Kona : The World's Largest Coloring Book Party" took place on Nov 18th, 2017 at Kona Skatepark (the world's oldest operating skatepark) . The event is exactly what it sounds like - a MASSIVE coloring party at Kona Skatepark. The founder of the organization, Nicole Holderbraum, uses this event as a fundraiser to the Jax Kid's Mural Project so that the program can continue to serve Title 1 schools and underprivileged youth in Jacksonville. The admission was "pay what you can" or donating 2 or more children's books, which would be given as gifts to the children who work with the organization.

Of all the events I've been to this year, this is EASILY in the top 3 things to do in Jacksonville. I hope that next year when you see it come up again, that you strongly consider going. It's colorful, energetic, diverse, inclusive, and just an absolute place of happiness. The entire park had a Neverland effect and allowed you to escape reality, even for just a few hours.

For ways to get involved with the organization or to volunteer at future events, please join this Facebook >> page <<

 

All images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic + @Cre8Jax 

Art Republic was back for their second year in Jacksonville and I had a chance to document the two weeks of activities with them! Most people learned about AR over the past year because of the dozen or so murals that came up around the urban core. This year continued, not just with mural installations, but with a techism piece, a fashion show, and a lecture series. 

The most fascinating part was really the interactions between the artists and the residents of Jacksonville. Learning their background stories as artists, as well as how they drew conclusions on what they would leave as a permanent impression on Jacksonville and how much thought went into choosing everything from the colors to the placement. Many of the artists, that had time left over, explored Jacksonville and dove into the history of Northeast Florida vowing to make this an annual trip.

A huge thank you goes to Jessica Santiago and the AR team for making this happen, as well as the artists I personally had a chance to talk to from the techism piece : Krista Kim, Miguel Chevalier, Fabian Forban, and REO, and the fashion show : Alex Vinash (designer) 

* To note - These are not all the images, but a narrowed down version of a few per event. These are also not images not of the murals, which are finishing up now. There will be a separate post with pictures / addresses of those *

Locations pictured in order : 927 Events , 100 N. Laura (9th floor), MOCAHotel Palms , Prime Osborn Convention Center

 

Images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic

I'm just here to remind you that the theory that being in Jacksonville equates to boredom is absolutely false. "Only the boring get bored" 

Just one Saturday night 10/21/17 consisted of :

- Bobby K opened his new boutique in Murray Hill - which is EXQUISITE! The pieces he chose to carry in the store are local or directly from designers in the country. It's literally the store that I've been waiting for to hit Jacksonville. If Urban Outfitters was authentic - THIS would be it.

- Malcolm Jackson + team closed off their show at Space 42, "Candy : Land of Donks" and the turnout was amazing! It's always refreshing seeing mixtures of generations under the same roof with the common denominator being art! If you missed the opening, there were two new donks in the space and the energy and music was ON all night!

- Dustin Harewood + Hiromi Moneyhun 's show was at Bold Bean on Hendricks and seemed to be the meeting place and the start of everyone's night. Dustin + Hiromi are easily one of the favorites in Jacksonville, across the board, and the turnout was proof. 

 

All images by Toni Smailagic

Bellwether's soft opening was nothing short of spectacular! In the gorgeous 100 N Laura building in downtown (which some of you may remember from the Jacksonville Magazine party that was held there last year). From the same group of people that brought us Black Sheep, Orsay, and BLK SHP at Intuition Ale - the consistency in quality was expected, and delivered. The happy hour is bound to be one of the best in downtown, and having an outside patio area, it's a guarantee that you'll be catching us here on the regular this summer.

 

Images taken on Saturday, March 11th, 2017 by Toni Smailagic at the Concours d'Elegance - Amelia Island

 

Images by Toni Smailagic / IG @ToniSmailagic

An amendment to extend Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance to include the lesbian, gay, bi and transgender community passed City Council by a vote of 12 - 6 at its Tuesday night meeting. Mayor Lenny Curry returned the bill without signing it or vetoing it, making it law.