Visitors During One Spark Ascend the Stairs Next to Project Atrium: Angela Glajcar
Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.

MOCA commissions monumental works by emerging artists

Project Atrium, MOCA Jacksonville’s bold series, features site-specific and site-sensitive installations by emerging and mid-career artists.

The unique placement, dimensions and scale of the Atrium Gallery provide a compelling challenge to the chosen artists—a call to reinvention and active collaboration with the architecture of the Museum on a monumental scale. Artists install their artworks in view of the public, revealing what is usually a behind-the-scenes process to visitors who may watch the entire project unfold over a few weeks.




Anila Quayyum Agha

Pakistani-American artist, Anila Quayyum Agha, holds an M.F.A in Fiber Arts from the University of North Texas. Agha employs meticulous and intricate detail work in her drawings and installations. Ranging from embroidery to bead work to carved screens elaborately lit in space, Agha re-presents traditional forms of Islamic art including calligraphy and geometric pattern. In doing so, Agha incorporates culturally specific designs and motifs to explore global politics, as well as gender roles, and cultural intersections as they relate to home, place, and migration.

Photo by Steve Prachyl
Claire Ashley

Claire Ashley

Often employing bright color as well as elements of Pop art and humor, Scottish-born artist Claire Ashley creates both two-dimensional work as well as sculpture, installation, and performance costume that expand our understanding of what constitutes abstract painting and sculpture. She frequently uses spray paint on insulating plastic and canvas tarpaulin to create the inflatable works. Ashley's amorphous sculptures combine elements of nature and the body, and draw on a variety of art historical, mythological, and literary references ranging from Michelangelo's Creation of Adam to Steven Spielberg's E.T.

Photo by Chester Alamo Costello
Artist Profile Ingrid Calame

Ingrid Calame

Ingrid Calame was born in 1965 in the Bronx, New York. She received her BFA from the State University of New York at Purchase and her MFA in art and film from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Calame's work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland in Ohio, Monterey Museum of Art in California, Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada, and the Kunstverein Hannover in Germany. A mid-career survey on the artist opened at The Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland, in fall 2011.

Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.
Artist Profile Gabriel Dawe

Gabriel Dawe

Originally from Mexico City, Gabriel Dawe creates site-specific installations that explore the connection between fashion and architecture, and how they relate to the human need for shelter in all its shapes and forms. His work is centered in the exploration of textiles, aiming to examine the complicated construction of gender and identity in his native Mexico and attempting to subvert the notions of masculinity and machismo prevalent in the present day. His work has been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. After living in Montreal, Canada, for seven years, he moved to Dallas, Texas, where he obtained his MFA at the University of Texas at Dallas. For the final two years of his degree, he was an artist-in-residence at CentralTrak at UTD. His work has been featured in numerous publications around the world, including Sculpture magazine, the cover of the twelfth edition of Art Fundamentals published by McGraw-Hill, and in author Tristan Manco's book Raw + Material = Art. He is represented by Conduit Gallery in Dallas and by Lot 10 Gallery in Brussels.

Image courtesy of Andrew Weber.
Artist Profile Joelle Dietrick

Joelle Dietrick

Joelle Dietrick's paintings, drawings, and animations explore contemporary nesting instincts and their manipulation by global economic systems. Her recent artworks and research consider housing trends that complicate our relationship to place, particularly the notion of home in the wake of the housing industry collapse. Her work has been shown at Transitio_MX in Mexico City, TINA B Festival in Prague and Venice, Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago, MCA San Diego, Long March Space Beijing, ARC Gallery Chicago, Soho20 New York, and MPG Contemporary Boston. She has attended residencies at the Künstlerhaus Salzburg, Anderson Ranch, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Banff Centre for the Arts, and the School of the Visual Arts and received fellowships from the University of California, Florida State University, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD).

Image courtesy of Holly Clark.
Artist Profile Lauren Fensterstock

Lauren Fensterstock

Interested in natural history and Modern art, Lauren Fensterstock explores the evolving history of our relationship to nature via elaborate, all-black sculptures and installations. Drawing from the natural imagery in decorative arts traditions, specifically the flora and fauna of Victorian gardens, she creates large-scale works of quilled paper and, most recently, resin cast seashells. Such intricate artworks are constructed in the material of ladies' accomplishments, such as quilled paper and shell work, emphasizing the capacity of traditional female crafts to reflect on the complexities of the world beyond the domestic sphere. 

Fensterstock holds a Master of Fine Arts from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design. Her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the country and appears in many collections, including the Portland Museum of Art, the University of Maine Museum of Art, and Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts.

Portrait of the artist. Photo by Greta Rybus.
Artist Profile Juan Fontanive

Juan Fontanive

Brooklyn-based artist, Juan Fontanive incorporates mechanics, kinetics, and film-based materials into his sculptures and installations. His interest in these fields originated from experiences growing up in his home town of Cleveland, Ohio, where he frequently climbed bridges, created mechanical-based drawings, and developed claymations. Influenced also by his studies at the Royal College of Art, London, and experience in the city, Fontanive found inspiration from Victorian clocks and other antiquated technical mechanisms. Many of Fontanive's recent series combine his mechanical-based knowledge and keen eye for design with elements of whimsy, whether it be rows of vibrant color or images of birds in motion. 

Photo courtesy of Juan Fontanive
Artist Profile Angela Glajcar

Angela Glajcar

Born in 1970, in Mainz, Germany, Angela Glajcar now lives and works in Germany. She studied sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Nuremberg from 1991 to 1998. Glajcar has exhibited extensively and been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. In 1998, Glajcar received the Studio Award of the Kunststiftung Erich Hauser to draft paper collages for the steel sculpture Akrobat. In 1999, she was the recipient of the Asterstein scholarship, awarded by the government of Rhineland-Palatinate. At this point, Glajcar experiments with hanging paper works for the first time. In 2004, Glajcar received the Vordemberge-Gildewart-Award for which she produced Contrarius, a black and white site-specific installation at the Museum Wiesbaden. Shortly thereafter, Glajcar created the first Terforation in 2005. Today, the artist continues to push the capabilities of paper and also works with plastics and glass fabric. Her work is in several collections.

Image courtesy of Matthias Baus, Cologne.
Artist Profile Ian Johnston

Ian Johnston

Ian Johnston is an architect turned sculptor based in Nelson, British Columbia. Since the mid-1990s he has been pursuing an interest in ceramic and more recently large-scale installations that often include ceramic. Johnston studied architecture at Algonquin College, Carleton University in Ottawa, and with the University of Toronto at Paris, France. Prior to opening his Nelson studio in 1996, he spent five years working at the Bauhaus Academy in post-Berlin Wall East Germany. At the Bauhaus, together with two architects, he developed and facilitated a series of workshops around themes of urban renewal and public intervention in a tumultuous time of cultural transformation. His recent body of work Refuse Culture: Archaeology of Consumption examines our relationship with the environment in a series of installations using ceramic and mixed media appealing to multiple senses of the viewer.

Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.
Artist Profile Caroline Lathan-Stiefel

Caroline Lathan-Stiefel

In 1989, Caroline Lathan-Stiefel earned a bachelor's degree in visual arts from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and returned to Atlanta where she set up a studio space and worked three part-time jobs. She married a musician and composer, Van Stiefel, and they moved to Princeton, New Jersey, so he could get his PhD. She received an MFA from Portland's Maine College of Art in 2001. She now lives and works in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, where she also teaches art classes twice a week at the school her two children attend. Her work has been exhibited across the country, including at Diana Lowenstein Fine Arts in Miami, Florida; the Contemporary museum in Baltimore, Maryland; Tiger Strikes Asteroid and the Philadelphia Art Alliance in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington; Suyama Space in Seattle, Washington; Galerie Articule in Montreal, Quebec; and the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center and Sandler Hudson Gallery in Atlanta, Georgia.

Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.
Artist Profile Nicola Lopez

Nicola López

American artist Nicola López specializes in printmaking, drawing, and installation. She uses cartography to exaggerate and reconfigure urban landscapes. Her focus on describing “place” comes from an interest in urban planning, architecture, and anthropology, and is fueled by time spent working and traveling in different landscapes.

Portrait of the artist. Photo Credit: Joel Jares.
Artist Profile Ethan Murrow

Ethan Murrow

Ethan Murrow received his bachelor's degree from Carleton College and his MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Recent solo shows of drawings, video, and sculpture include La Galerie Particulière in Paris and Brussels, Slete Gallery in Los Angeles, Winston Wachter Fine Art in New York City and Seattle, and the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences in West Virginia. Murrow was recently commissioned by the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston to build a two-story wall drawing for the Feinberg Art Wall in the museum's lobby. His work is in many public, private, and corporate collections and has been reviewed and published widely around the world. Murrow is a professor at the Museum School at Tufts University in Massachusetts. Murrow is MOCA Jacksonville's 2017 Stein Prize recipient. 

Photo by Stewart Clements Photo.
Artist Profile Shinique Smith

Shinique Smith

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Shinique Smith now lives and works in upstate New York. Her work is inspired by the vast nature of “things” that we consume and discard, which resonate on a personal and social scale. The graffiti of her youth, Japanese calligraphy, and abstraction are influences from which she extracts “the graceful and spiritual qualities in written word and the everyday.” Smith's work has also been widely exhibited at prestigious venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Brooklyn Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans, the New Museum in New York, MoMA PS1 in New York, and the Studio Museum in Harlem, among others. Smith earned her BFA (1992) and MFA (2003) from the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she now serves on the Board of Trustees, and her master's degree in teaching (2000) from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University, both in Massachusetts.

Portrait of the artist. Photo by Eric Wolfe.
Artist Profile Angela Strassheim

Angela Strassheim

Born in 1969, in Bloomfield, Iowa, Strassheim lives in Connecticut and works in New York and Israel. She received a BFA in media arts from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 1995. She attended the Forensic Imaging Bureau in Miami where she received her Forensic & Biomedical Photography Certification in 1997. She earned her MFA in photography at Yale University in 2003. Her work appears in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Monterey Museum of Art in California, and many others. She has exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.

Image courtesy of Andrea Blanch.
Artist Profile Shaun Thurston

Shaun Thurston

Shaun Thurston was born in 1979 in Jacksonville, Florida. After graduating from Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, he attended Florida School of the Arts in Palatka then transferred to the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia with a portfolio scholarship. But he left when a professor told him he didn't need a degree and student loan debt to make a living with his art. He has completed more than fifty commissions since his early twenties, as well as hundreds of personal and public works. His artwork has been included in exhibitions at The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and Art Basel in Miami. His murals appear throughout Jacksonville and Atlanta.

Image courtesy of Thomas Hager.

Hello There

Staff Profile Caitlín Doherty

Caitlín Doherty


Caitlín Doherty has engaged with artists, students, and communities around the world throughout a career that spans Scotland, Ireland, Qatar, and the United States. She joined MOCA Jacksonville as Director in March 2017.

 Prior to taking the helm at MOCA, Doherty served as chief curator and deputy director of curatorial affairs at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University. Broad MSU - housed in the striking, 46,000 square-foot Zaha Hadid-designed building - serves as both a teaching institution and a cultural hub for the East Lansing region. During her tenure at Broad MSU, Doherty provided leadership and artistic vision, defining the interdisciplinary scope and direction of the institution's exhibitions, collections, education, and public programs, and ensuring that they reflected a commitment to artistic experimentation, excellence, and public access. 

 From 2012 to 2015, she served as exhibitions and speaker curator at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, a branch campus of the VCU School of Arts in Richmond, VA. There she organized major exhibitions of international contemporary art and design.

 From 2005 to 2008, Doherty worked as the inaugural director of Lismore Castle Arts, one of Ireland's leading contemporary art galleries. She taught art history, design history, and museum and gallery studies at Ireland's Waterford Institute of Technology from 2008 to 2010 and has regularly guest lectured at other institutions internationally. During her tenure in Ireland, Doherty also directed the interdisciplinary arts and cultural initiative Artswave, a flagship European Union arts and culture project, and acted as visual arts coordinator for Garter Lane Arts Centre.

 Doherty was born on South Uist, a small island in the Outer Hebrides in Northwest Scotland. She holds master's degrees in art history from the University of Edinburgh and in museum and gallery studies from the University of St. Andrews, both in Scotland.