“An Island Without a Name” – One Spark Festival, Jacksonville, Florida(click on any photo above or below to enlarge) [ BACKGROUND NOTE: The One Spark Festival kicked off in Jacksonville, Florida on Wednesday. This is an amazing, first annual, 5-day event for creators of art & technology from all over the world who are showcasing their works and projects. With over $1 million in capital investments plus a $250,000 crowd fund, the public votes via smartphone Apps, text messaging, kiosks, and online to determine where the percentages go. They are also allowed to make immediate contributions to individual creators via the smartphone App.]
I live in the coastal community of Northeast Florida.
Very few locals realize that our beautiful coastline is actually a large island that extends from the fishing village of Mayport south to the sleepy beach community of Vilano Beach. Towns and neighborhoods like Mayport, North Beach, Atlantic Beach, Neptune Beach, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra, Palm Valley, South Ponte Vedra and Vilano Beach all share footage on the same island. What is more surprising is that this picturesque, 35-mile-long stretch of land does not have an official name! There are many islands around us – names like Amelia, St. Simons and Jekyl but the largest island among them – which is even larger than the island of Manhattan – has no identity. An island without a name…
Inspired by my friend Kurtis Loftus’ efforts at saving the Mayport ferry and raising awareness of our island without a name, I have assembled a collection of watercolors of our island’s locales.
In addition to all of the available natural resources, cultural events, sports and recreational activities, our special island has some of the last remaining areas of natural Florida landscape. The area is a true gem set apart from the rest of the state. It is my hope that the attention towards of our unnamed island grows and that perhaps one day it will be an official tourist route from Fernandina & Amelia Island south to St. Augustine. Imagine first-time visitors to our area experiencing a drive through beautiful coastal state parks, beach communities and a trip on the Mayport ferry – as opposed to a dull, uninspiring trip down the Interstate 95 corridor. I envision well-designed roadside signs directing visitors along our scenic coastline perhaps with additional informative and directional signs pointing out the environmental, historical, cultural and recreational interests. A memorable experience for our guests indeed.
My watercolors aim to celebrate our island without a name.
– Robert LeedyHere is the fun part: I am soliciting suggestions for names of our island. Whether you are a resident or not, do you have a fitting name? Could it be a geographic source? Fauna or flora? Perhaps a local Native American name? Or that of a European explorer? Does the shape of the island stir up any ideas (I laughed at how similar it is to a golf tee)? What about a historical figure or name? And what about just a plain ol’ pretty name? Something that rolls delightfully off the tongue? Or a tongue-twister to baffle tourists (as Kissimmee might do)? Yesterday, someone even suggested ‘One Spark Island’… I am – by no means – responsible for the final decision on a name. I don’t even have control over whether or not it gets named. But maybe someone – the right person – is listening. Put forth your best ideas; have fun. Leave a suggestion in the comments below.
Our island needs a name.Robert Leedy is a watercolorist in Jacksonville, Florida. He is Creator #441 in One Spark 2013. His project is “An Island Without a Name” in The Southlight Gallery venue at 6 E. bay Street in Downtown jacksonville. Robert shows his work regularly at Southlight and maintains a studio in the Cork Arts District in Riverside. See more of his work at RobertLeedyArt.Com If you are in the Jacksonville area, be sure and visit One Spark and support your favorite Creators. Register through One Spark at https://www.beonespark.com/voters/new
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You’re currently reading ““An Island Without a Name” – One Spark Festival, Jacksonville, Florida,” an entry on Robert Leedy Watercolors
- April 19, 2013 / 9:35 am
- Art, Artists, Guana River, Florida, Leedy Artwork, Painters, Painting, Plein Air Painting, Uncategorized, Watercolor, Watercolour
- An Island Without a Name, Atlantic Beach Florida, Florida, Jacksonville Beach, Jacksonville Florida, Jean Ribault Ferry, Kurtis Loftus, Mayport Ferry, Mayport Florida, Neptune Beach Florida, Northeast Florida, One Spark 2013, One Spark Festival, Palm Valley Florida, Ponte Vedra Beach, Vilano Beach Florida