One Spark invites a host of unique people and talent from Duval and the surrounding areas to partake in new ventures and ideas for causes. One bold and sexy idea by Joy Leverette is looking right back at you as you pass by her open-spaced concept in the heart of downtown. Leverette has been searching for a way to get downtown Jax to be more recognized, and little did I know, her project extends well beyond One Spark. I sat down with her and asked some questions about her project in her comfy, temporary and posh home.
The first thing I asked her about is what her motivation was behind living in a storefront window. The Jacksonville native smiled, and described that this has been something she has been thinking about for quite awhile, stating as an artist of many mediums, who has lived in other cities, and being newly married and coming back to Jacksonville, she sees the potential in downtown and would like to have that kind of culture here in her hometown.
Leverette explained it has been a two-year journey with searching and applying for the right grant and finding properties to donate and back storefront space. Leverette found the grant project through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville to build downtown Jax into a more cultural scene, one that can build revenue for the city and attract artists to live downtown, all while hoping to promote affordable living spaces for artists who can live and work downtown. Leverette went on to explain this was already in the works a few years ago, but got postponed. She believes this is a realistic idea for the city of Jacksonville. Leverette explained The Spark Initiative, which is separate from One Spark, is a 365-day project to get downtown Jax to be more inviting for artists, tourists and natives.
I took a look around her art and living space and saw her brilliant works of art. I asked her how she felt about people being able to watch her as she slept. She laughed, and stated she is indifferent about it, but hopes to have other artists and creators staying with her from time-to-time to make it an organic experience for the viewers walking by the window. “There will be tea time, where I invite other creators to talk about their ideas, and we will stream online at folioweekly.com so people can see what is going on at all times,” Leverette stated. While her husband is nervous about her living here, it is her passion to make this happen.
Leverette also discussed having live performances during the month, not simply during the One Spark event. Leverette seemed excited as she talked about One Spark, but also stated she will be continuing to evolve her living space after the event ends, due to the fact that her project will be going through July. Her storefront will end in about a month, but there are other storefronts simultaneously occurring.
Right now, there are three locations, all of which she has coordinated. Everett’s Looking Lab is at 47 W Adams Street at Laura St (Elks Bldg) if you want to take a look for yourself. She may even invite you in, but don’t count on my word for that, it is her home after all. Other locations for the exhibits include City Hall at 117 W Duval St at Hogan St, and behind the Florida Theater at Bay St and Ocean. Everett’s exhibit is called Live/Work and goes from April 2nd-May 8th. “Spaceshifts” at City Hall will be going from March 28th-May 15th. Check it out, and tell us here at Void what you think about this movement for downtown Jax! You can also view Live/Work exhibit by streaming at www.lookinglabjax.com.