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Artwork and Exhibits in the Libraries

The Jacksonville Public Library (JPL) is pleased to provide space for exhibits that support its mission to enrich lives, build community, and foster success by bringing people, information, and ideas together. These exhibits may be educational, cultural, civic or artistic in nature.  Please see the Exhibit Policy for information about sharing your work.

Permanent Art Displays by location


Larry Kirkland uses the owl, a traditional symbol of wisdom, to identify the building as a place of information and learning. In ancient Greek mythology, Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, was the daughter of Zeus. She was able to change form, often into an owl. The golden key behind the owl incorporates the Greek letters for A and Z, referencing the beginning and the end, while the key itself unlocks the knowledge inside books.

Larry Kirkland (Washington, DC)
Bronze and painted stainless steel (20' x 9' x 9')

Wisdom 2005

Grand Staircase

Working with local historians and community leaders, Kathryn Freeman used local architecture as the framework for the murals. In response to her invitation, over 1,000 school students wrote the artist regarding their favorite books, characters, and authors which the artist incorporated into the work. The murals include authors with ties to Jacksonville, characters from children's classics historic civic leaders, and favorite local pastimes.

Kathryn Freeman (Chevy Chase, MD)
Acrylic paint on muslin (2 murals, 36' x 18' each)

Post from RICOH THETA. #theta360 - Spherical Image - RICOH THETA


Allegory of a Library

Allegory of a Library
Springfield Composition (2005) 

Explanation of Murals

Photography Collection

The works of ten notable photographers comprise the City of Jacksonville's Art in Public Places Photography Collection. Twenty-nine works are currently displayed in the lower level gallery of the downtown Main Library. The following artists are represented:

  • Linda Broadfoot (Atlantic Beach, FL)
  • Frank Dienst (Titusville, FL)
  • Judy Haberl (Newtonville, MA)
  • Tom Hager (Jacksonville, FL)
  • Theresa Segal (St. Augustine, FL)
  • Jay Shoots (Atlantic Beach, FL)
  • Anna Tomczak (Lake Helen, FL)
  • Jerry Uelsmann (Gainesville, FL)
  • Rick Wagner (Jacksonville Beach, FL)
  • Mark Sain Wilson (Atlantic Beach, FL)


Anna Tomczak, 5 Callas, 14 Poppies

Anna Tomczak, 5 Callas, 14 Poppies

Ribault's Landing

The 31-by-8 foot mural, painted by Jacksonville native son Lee Adams, is on display in the Special Collections Department of the Main Library. 

Augusta Savage Sculpture

The library had the opportunity to have the small-scale, painted terra cotta female bust appraised and authenticated. As a result, the sculpture of unknown title, which is signed by the artist, is confirmed to have been created by Augusta Savage.

Augusta Savage (1892 – 1962), born and raised in Northeast Florida, became a leading sculptor during the Harlem Renaissance, an intellectual blossoming of African-American arts, music and literature from the1920s to the mid-1930s. She is largely known for her sculpture inspired by James Weldon Johnson’s Lift Every Voice and Sing, titled The Harp, commissioned for—and demolished after—the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Unable to cast works in expensive bronze, Savage worked mostly in clay and plaster, which is why so few of her fragile works remain today. She was a brilliant artist, arts educator, and determined activist who battled poverty and prejudice throughout her life. She had a passion for children and influenced many young black artists who became nationally known. Her works can be seen in in the collections of fine art museums and public libraries throughout the United States.

Augusta Savage original sculpture at Jacksonville Public Library

Conference Center

“Imagination Squared! A Creative Response Experiment” is installed in the Conference Center at the Main Library through the generous support of donors John and Julia Taylor, and the Friends of the Jacksonville Public Library. Conceived by local artists, sculptor Dolf James and painter Christina Foard, “Imagination Squared!” was intended as a snapshot of Jacksonville’s imagination, captured on 5-by-5-inch squares. Anyone could decorate a square; contributors ranged from accomplished artists to novices. The squares were painted, decoupaged, sculpted and even colored with crayons. Some were altered with found objects or photography. Each of the 910 squares is its own work of art which comprises the 18.5-by-16-foot exhibit. An electronic kiosk at the base of the exhibit allows visitors to get a closer look at each piece of art.  


Imagination Squared

Imagination Squared


SquirrelyQ is suspended across the glass façade of the building in five vertical columns. The fused glass, or glass that has been fired in a kiln at a range of high temperatures from 1100°F to 1500°F, is brightly colored and interestingly textured. The use of dichroic glass introduces in iridescent surface that creates a luminous effect in natural and artificial light. Additionally, Mapelli was commissioned to create Deepest Secrets, a mosaic of glass tiles, for Baptist Hospital South in Jacksonville, Florida in 2005.

Liz Mapelli (Portland, OR)
Glass (31 panels, 18" x 18" each)


SquirrelyQ (2005)

SquirrelyQ (2005)

"All of the wonderful things that we find in the world of imagination can be found between the pages of a book," Kelli Bickman writes. This whimsical and colorful mural depicts children engaged in reading to illustrate the transformative power of books, the magic of libraries, and the importance of imagination. Bickman is not only a painter, but has published her own book of photographs (What I Thought I Saw) in addition to illustrating and designing book jackets for several notable authors.

Kelli Bickman (Jacksonville, FL)
Acrylic paint on wood panels (16' x 7')


Imagination Tree (2005)

Imagination Tree (2005)

David Olson describes this work as an "abstract gestural starfield with constellations and a copper river undulating through the center." The title of the,Meander, refers to the windings of a river or the act of wandering. Like the title suggests, a library is a place to wander and discover, a place where facts and imagination meet.

David Olson (St. Augustine, FL
Etched copper and aluminum (9' x 12')


Meander (2005)

Meander (2005)

In Circ de Vie, Sarah Crooks Flaire explores the natural world by combining realistic figurative drawings with botanical imagery completing a bountiful circle of life. This monumental puzzle painting incorporates three-dimensional cutouts of the five elements (water, fire, earth, wind, space) and is a visual celebration of the diversity of living things.

Sarah Crooks Flaire (Jacksonville, FL)
Plywood, acrylic, and acrylic paint (12' diameter)


Circ de Vie (Circle of Life) (2006)

Circ de Vie (Circle of Life) (2006)

Allison Watson, a lifelong resident of North Florida, is renowned for large-scale landscape scenes of Florida and the South. Watson paints from her own photographs of local sites as well as remote locations around the world. Haven Creek depicts the woodland areas in Western Duval County.

Allison Watson (Jacksonville, FL)
Acrylic paint on canvas (5' x 3')


Haven Creek (2005)

Haven Creek (2005)

Untitled Quasicrystal Sculpture suggests the structure of a gigantic, 300 pound molecule. In fact, quasicrystal refers to a relatively new branch of crystallography, which is the study of atomic and molecular structure. Tony Robbin explains, "My work uses a new geometry taken from science and mathematics to create structures with new visual properties appearing to change shape as one passes by on foot." Much like a kaleidoscope, as you move closer to or farther away from the work, its configuration seems to magically transform. To date, Untitled Quasicrystal Sculpture is Robbin's only public art on view in the world.

Tony Robbin (New York, NY)
Aluminum and acrylic (8' x 15' x 3')


Untitled Quasicrystal Sculpture (2004)

Untitled Quasicrystal Sculpture (2004)

Joe Segal was confronted with a difficult task--to create a piece that would serve both as an artwork and as identification for the building. He chose to create one vertical sculpture while another horizontal sculpture doubles as a sign for the library and community center. Both illustrate Segal's trademark minimalism and hand-worked surfaces. In this work and others, the artist strips away the surface of the material to reveal what lies beneath, much like the erosive processes in nature. Both pieces intentionally compliment the exterior of the library.

Joe Segal (St. Augustine, FL)
Sculpture: Cast and carved concrete with hand-chiseled marble aggregate (13' x 6' x 4')
Sign: Cast concrete and hand-chiseled marble (3' x 14' x 4')


Revelation (2005)

Revelation (2005)

Jerry Smith

The painting depicts the artist's wife, Sonsheree Giles, and the scene depicts the riverfront park along River Road in San Marco. "I desire a sense of specific time and place," Smith states. "Most often I choose as subject matter those closest to me and the spaces inside and outside my door."

Jerry Smith (Jacksonville, FL)
Acrylic paint on panel (8' x 9')


A Gust of Wind #2 (2003)

A Gust of Wind #2 (2003)

Stepping Stones is a series of trompe l'oeil or "fool the eye" paintings depicting irregular groupings of stones painted directly on the floor tiles. Nofa Dixon is known for painterly surfaces on floor tiles and three dimensional clay forms. The artist also uses two-dimensional formats with "the intent of pushing the clay medium to new levels of form and embellishment."

Nofa Dixon (Jacksonville, FL)
Hand-painted, glazed, porcelain tiles (34 floor tiles, 15" x 15" each)


Stepping Stones (2005)

Stepping Stones (2005)

BJ Katz is a leader in the kiln-fired art glass industry. Inspired by the rich quality of sunlight in Florida, the artist created a work of art based on sunshine. Sun Salutations hangs under the glass ceiling of the library and is illuminated by natural light during the daytime. Light quality, viewer perspective, and light refraction make this piece appear to change; on a sunny day the piece looks different than on a cloudy day.

BJ Katz (Chandler, AZ)
Glass (7' x 4' x 1")


Sun Salutations (2005)

Sun Salutations (2005)

Eight icy blue panels of layered heat-formed acrylic sheets suggest forces in nature such as breaking waves. The artist states, "The interpretations of the viewer complete the work by the act of visual engagement. I welcome all possible interpretations." The artist guides the viewer with the title; the word "aqua" comes from the Latin word for water. Estlund is a 1992 graduate of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville and grew up in Old Arlington.

Phillip Estlund (Lake Worth, FL)
Acrylic and aluminum (5' x 10' x 3')


Aquacycle (2004)

Aquacycle (2004)

Paul Braun explains, "Sculpture is about creating form in which the artist demonstrates control, balance, and mystery." The carved abstract symbols and organic patterns in the black soapstone are inspired by Celtic carvings and ancient stone formations, such as Stonehenge. Soapstone has been used for carvng for thousands of years by artisans throughout the world. Braun intentionally left the stone rough in some places to reveal the natural beauty of the material.

Paul Braun (St. Augustine, FL)
Black soapstone (3 sculptures, 3' x 4' x 1', 5' x 3' x 1', 6' x 2' x 1')


The Gathering (2005)

The Gathering (2005)

These larger-than-life size, three-dimensional sculptures resemble organic objects found in nature. Chapman describes the installation of the piece as a trophy showroom, displaying natural objects rather than animals. Chapman states, "I explore the phenomenon of collecting and how generations use objects to recall memories."

Dana Chapman (Jacksonville, FL)
Clay (20 pieces, minimum size: 9" x 1' x 1', maximum size: 3' x 2' x 1')


The Pathway to Consciousness (2005)

The Pathway to Consciousness (2005)

Artwork and Exhibits at the Main Library

Jacksonville Public Library