Established in 1935 in defiance of segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the era, American Beach was the largest and most popular black-only beach community in Northeast Florida. Located on Amelia Island, Black Beach became a safe haven for African Americans in and around Jacksonville. Abraham Lincoln Lewis, the first black millionaire in the state of Florida, purchased and led the development of the famous strip of land.
Beginning Feb. 20, a trio made up of some of Void‘s fave local artists–painter Dustin Harewood, photographer and Void Mag “35 Under 35” nominee Malcolm Jackson, and graphic designer Jordan Walter–will present a fresh look at this important piece of Northeast Florida history via the mixed-media installation “Black Beach: An Exhibition Devoted to and Inspired by Black History in Northeast Florida” at Cathedral Arts Project (CAP)‘s Heather Moore Community Gallery on Laura Street in Jacksonville’s Downtown. The exhibition tells a story that begins with Lewis and ends with the heroic efforts of MaVynee Betsch, Lewis’ granddaughter who spent the majority of her adult life educating the public on the history and environmental importance of American Beach.
A bit about each artist from CAP:
Dustin Harewood was born and raised in New York City in the 1980s. His parents recognized and nurtured his early artistic energy and at the age of 7 he became a junior member of the Brooklyn Museum. His family later moved to Barbados where he attended high school. Harewood earned a Bachelor of Arts from North Carolina Central University and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has worked as a professor of art at Florida State College at Jacksonville since 2004, teaching drawing, design, computer imaging and painting.
Malcolm Jackson is a street photographer from Jacksonville, FL. His love for photography was learned from his uncle who worked as a freelance photographer. After multiple high school track and field injuries sidelined his athletic career, he turned to photography. In 2018 he was recognized by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville as the Visual Artist of the Year and his work has been featured on VSCO and in Street Dreams Magazine. Jackson’s clients have included the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pharrell Williams’ Billionaire Boys Club and Icecream clothing lines, and The Culture Crush.
Jordan Walter is a graphic designer and creative director from Jacksonville, FL. He recently graduated from Florida State College at Jacksonville where he studied under Dustin Harewood and earned a degree in digital media. Walter is deeply rooted in the Jacksonville community and is currently an art educator at Matthew W. Gilbert Middle School.
The opening reception for “Black Beach” will include a brief presentation by the artists, which will begin at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition will run through Wednesday, May 27, 2020. The gallery located at 207 N. Laura Street, Suite 300, is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This show is not to be missed!