Mayor Announces Winner of Public Art Project at Duval County Courthouse

June 01, 2021  
artist rendering of duval county courthouse scupture

In partnership with the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry announced today the winning public art project for the Duval County Courthouse lawn, by unanimous vote and perfect score, is Cliff Garten Studio of Venice, CA. Mr. Garten will construct and reveal his project during our city’s bicentennial year and for the 10th anniversary of the Courthouse building.

This inspiring sculpture entitled ‘These Truths’ will feature two flowing ribbons of stainless steel, emblazoned with the words ‘justice’, ‘equality’, ‘equity’, and ‘freedom’ to frame the entrance to our Courthouse. Those ribbons will also have writings from the foundational texts of our democracy and five local poets and authors engraved on its surface. These words will be illuminated at night, telling our story as a community, and our continued push toward justice and equality.

Mayor Lenny Curry said, “This is iconic and thoughtful piece will be a proud symbol of our community and a monument for four of our nation’s most sacred ideals. I am grateful for the great collaboration from the Cultural Council’s Art in Public Places team, the Art Selection Panel, the Art in Public Places Committee, and members of the community for their contributions in this effort.”

The announcement follows an international search and years of dialogue with community input. After receiving more than 140 submissions, the Art in Public Places Art Selection Panel selected three proposals from some of the most experienced and prominent public artists in the United States.

Winning sculptor and art project director, Cliff Garten, said “I would like to thank the City of Jacksonville, the Art in Public Places team, and my team of Jacksonville poets and writers; Yvette Angelique, Tim Gilmore, Ebony Payne English, Love Reigns, and Sohrab Homi Fracis for the opportunity to create the artwork, These Truths, as the entry to the Duval County Courthouse. The unique collaboration of text and sculpture will create a piece which speaks to Jacksonville’s history in the context of the history of our nation, and the idea of justice, which is central to American Democracy and the Duval County Courts. We hope it represents a model for the way art can create an inclusive and shared space in the City of Jacksonville.”

The artwork is underwritten by the Percent for Art program, which is managed by the Art in Public Places program and facilitated by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Through the addition of this monumental public art installation, the three-acre lawn of the Courthouse will be transformed into an active urban park reflective of the values of our community.

About the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville: Founded in 1973, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is a nonprofit organization responsible for igniting the creative economy of our region by providing three pillars for community success. It manages and facilitates the City of Jacksonville's Cultural Service Grant Program, regranting $2.5 million annually from the City to our community's critically needed arts and culture organizations. It facilitates the City of Jacksonville's Public Art program, known as Art in Public Places, a department project-managing the development and delivery of permanent works of public art throughout Duval County with an average total value of $1.5 million per year. The Cultural Council also supports individual artists by offering career advancement workshops, grant writing courses, and professional networking events, as well as financial opportunities including participation in the Art in Public Places program, access to artist grants, and connection to collectors through pop-up art galleries such as the ARTSee & Shop at The Markets of Town Center. The mission of the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville is to enrich life in Northeast Florida by investing in arts and culture.
About the Art in Public Places Program: In 1996, the City of Jacksonville increased their investment in the arts by allotting a percent-for-art in eligible city construction projects to add to the City’s public art collection. The ordinance designated an Art in Public Places Program (APP), which would be administered on behalf of the City by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. Together with the APP Committee and support from the Mayor, City Council and City Departments, Art in Public Places has delivered/acquired over 136 permanent, public artworks and memorials throughout Duval County. APP, through the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, oversees the selection, installation, maintenance, and conservation of the artworks.
This program was designed to integrate a wide range of art into spaces that are free and accessible to the public. The City ordinance requires that a percentage of the collection be representative of the artists from Northeast Florida. The artworks contribute positively to Duval County’s evolving and vibrant urban landscapes. Through its collection and related programming, APP raises public awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the arts through direct experiences.