Art Republic Pilot Season Dinner November 12

I am proud to play a part in Art Republic, a new in(ter)vention for the arts in Jacksonville. What do I think is different about Art Republic?

Privately funded. There is nothing wrong with public funding for the arts and other valued developments. The problem is waiting for the support to come, fighting for funding against sports billionaires and every other desperately needed civic improvement. Then there are all the strings attached to government funding. Art Republic has major corporate sponsors enabling an exciting, flexible arts event the likes of which Jacksonville has never seen.
A focus on collectors. I am for all kinds of festivals, but as an artist who strives to someday make a living doing what he loves I am especially interested in the attention of serious art buyers and collectors. One goal of Art Republic is to increase Jacksonville's art profile by drawing artists and patrons from all over. There is a lot going on here already and so much potential; let's show that to others!
Unparalleled ambition. The financial backers and the precise focus allow a scale of ambition for this festival unlike any other in this city. At the conclusion of Art Republic massive new murals will liven up downtown Jacksonville, and internationally recognized artists and prominent patrons will have spent significant time enjoying our cultural hospitality. This is just year one, so there are many unknowns. Certainly there is a lot of energy and commitment behind the birth of what hopes to be a major annual arts event.

My contribution will be transforming a portion of the Doro Fixtures warehouse into my studio for Art Republic's Pilot Season Dinner Sponsored by Pilot Corporation of America. The ambiance will be evocative of New York City during the postwar birth of Abstract Expressionism and years following when studios and salons were home to gatherings of collectors and creatives. The Doro Fixtures building is located at 102 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard, Jacksonville. I will be painting and displaying large works such as the one called May 11 to June 3, shown below. I hope you will join me.

May 11 to June 3
69 x 74 inches
(Shown by appointment at Artist's Studio)

About R Middleton Abstract Art

Rob Middleton began a lifelong commitment to abstract expressionist painting while a psychology major at Princeton University. Those were not happy times for him, when depression, interpersonal struggles, and a refusal to accept his own identity put him on the sidelines of life. Appreciating and creating abstract art became meditation and medication for Rob: "Making each piece requires coming to terms with a chaos of my own creation; over time, the repetition of producing only abstract art teaches me to accept my flaws and my place in a larger world that disturbs me greatly. Whereas once I sought answers, abstract art puts me at peace with the lack of definite answers. My quest to understand propelled me into religion, into therapy, and into the study of psychology. But what saved me was art."

Middleton grew up in and resides in Jacksonville, where he works out of a studio next to Hemming Park. He has displayed his art in Jacksonville, Atlanta, Miami, Princeton, NJ, and Hattiesburg, MS. His work has been selected for exhibition in the Jacksonville International Airport in 2017 — look for it! His work hangs in over 50 private collections in the U.S. and Europe, and has recently joined the renowned collection of Preston H. Haskell, III.

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