For our 2018 Arts & Music Issue (on newsstands now) we surveyed some of the most influential artists, musicians, and tastemakers in Northeast Florida, and asked them to tell us whose future output they were most looking forward to. What follows is a shortlist of folks who many feel are poised to make noise in the coming months.
J. Adam McGalliard
Visual artist J. Adam McGalliard’s introduction to the Northeast Florida arts scene—2016’s “Projections” at 5 & Dime—was a splashy way to initiate himself among the region’s burgeoning art community. McGalliard’s colorful and arresting portraiture, expressed in “Projections” raised the artist’s profile, yet he hasn’t rested on his laurels, producing singular works in the subsequent “Personas” and “Relics.” McGalliard will be part of a two-person exhibition in the Spring with fellow artist to watch, Mark Creegan at FSCJ’s Kent Campus.
The multifarious, now Los Angeles-based producer and musician, Countach hails from Jacksonville’s Northside. Part of a new wave of talented bedroom-producers from this region (like Lannds and Yuno) Countach displays his deft ear and inherent skill through a variety of musical styles—from hip-hop to R&B to lo-fi and even pop. He’s produced music for Drake’s October’s Very Own label artist Roy Woods, as well as West Coast up-and-comers like Mozzy and 03 Greedo. With two vastly divergent albums—Coupe EP and Coupe II—and a laundry list of new artists looking for an opportunity to work with Countach’s Internet Money Records, 2019 looks bright for our native son.
Artist and FSCJ professor Mark Creegan’s 20 ft. x 10 ft. “Retro-Sketpive” installation at Makerspace Gallery in 2017 was perhaps the artist’s most ambitious work, yet. Creegan has long been exploring a Dadaist streak, working with found objects in a bright color spectrum and dreaming up distinctive performance art like 2016’s five-hour “CHK and balances” performance at UNF. That varied exploration will continue in the coming months, as Creegan sustains his Facebook-centric series, “artshares” in which the artist presents pieces from his back catalogue as a way of reconsidering his body of work. He’ll also continue writing and performing new songs as he explores the relationship between art and music.
How busy was Erin Kendrick in 2018? At one point she had three openings in a six-week period, including hangings at the Jacksonville International Airport, Cathedral Arts Project, and a highly regarded multidisciplinary installation at Yellow House in Riverside (ongoing until Oct. 11). After receiving a coveted artist grant from The Community Foundation of Northeast Florida in 2017, the visual artist who’s gained notoriety for the depth and advocacy inherent in her work, started 2018 with several of her colorful, representational portraits featured in the Ritz Theater and Museum’s 25th anniversary “Through Our Eyes” exhibition, after which three of Kendrick’s paintings were chosen to be shown in the South African exhibition at the Nelson Mandela Bay Museum. Next up for Kendrick: A joint exhibition with portrait artist Marsha Hatcher at Players-by-the-Sea in collaboration with the community theatre’s upcoming performances of “The Color Purple” and a solo show at Riverside Fine Arts Association in March of 2019.
After performing shows in Los Angeles in 2017, multi-hyphenate Geexella came back to the 904 with their hair on fire. Well known for their skills as a singer and MC, Geexella has expanded their CV to include DJ gigs around town. But it’s the inclusive, all-ages dance night Duval Folx that really has Duval folks talking (and dancing, of course). We are obviously infatuated with Geexella, as the artist’s track “Back 2 Lyfe” made it on our first ever vinyl compilation and they blew the roof off our office during their yet-to-be released Into the Void: Office Music Series performance. Relatedly, we can’t wait for the music they’re working on for a brand new album tentatively scheduled for release in 2019!
The Young Step
Does any local band provide a more pleasurable or fun listening experience than St. Augustine’s The Young Step? In 2017 and 2018, a larger portion of the country became privy to what we already knew, as the quartet toured the infectious tunes from 2016’s El Clàsico, hitting up much of the East Coast, as well as Austin’s SXSW. With more than two dozen songs in various stages of production, the band is making tentative plans for the release of new, self-described “dancy-er” material that steers the band’s distinctive sound into “‘70s and ‘80s pop and rock” territory, listen for The Young Step to make some noise in late 2018.