In years to come historians will certainly have a lot to say about 2020. A world gripped by an open-ended global pandemic, reckoning with equality and justice, animated by algorithms, divided by political leanings–it’s interesting to wonder what future generations will make of all this.

Artists, though, are already writing the first draft of this history. That’s a view offered by an exciting and undeniably epic group show on exhibit at the unimpeachably excellent contemporary gallery, Florida Mining beginning November 9. Epoch, which features new works by a diverse crew of standout visual artists–most of them local or regional–was curated by Savannah-based sculptor, painter and photographer Marcus Kenney.

 

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“This year will forever be considered as  the time the world shifted. Into what? No one truly knows yet,” says Kenney of the show’s focus. Kenney’s own work has received glowing reviews from virtually every major publication, including Art in America, New American Paintings, ART PAPERS, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Artvoices Magazine, and more. For Epoch, Kenney has organized a multidisciplinary show that represents a substantial entry into the historical record. 

“Art that is created out of the experiences of this time will be a  lasting document of the confounding era we are living through,” he says. “It’s hard to see over the horizon when your feet are on the ground, but artists are good at climbing trees, hills, mountains, flying above— and foreseeing what is coming.

Russ Noto “Untitled (X)”

Emily Earl “Emily and Jules”

Sharon Norwood “Hair Matters Porcelain”

Among the proverbial ascents and high-flying antics, Paintings by Betsy Cain, Jeremiah Jossim, and Jason John; mixed-media pieces by Cedric Smith and Sharon Norwood; film photography by Emily Earl; and more offer a distinctive view of our modern moment. Locals are well-represented as well, with works by Malc Jackson and Dustin Harewood. Among the show’s must-see pieces, Russ Noto’s minimalist “Untitled (X)” and Coulter Fussel’s quilt, “Peacable Kingdom Textiles,” are sure to be standouts. In all, Kenney’s assembed 14 artists to unpack contemporary history on the walls of Florida Mining.

Dustin Harewood “what he’s seen, what he is.”

Malc Jackson “Self-portrait, one eye.”

“The art in this exhibit is an attempt to create a visual representation of how we are collectively feeling about what we are all enduring,” says Kenney. “Our ways of communicating: through our emotions, body language, and engagement with other people, have all drastically altered during this period. We are living in an Epoch.”

Epoch: A collection of multi-disciplinary works curated by Marcus Kenney and featuring recognized artists from across the southeast is on exhibit at Florida Mining Gallery, 5600 Shad Rd, in Jacksonville from Nov 9-Feb 5. A closing gala is scheduled for February 5. The show is open to the public Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm or by appointment.