Americans for the Arts ( Ten Reasons to Support the Arts Reason #8: Arts have social impact. University of Pennsylvania researchers have demonstrated that a high concentration of the arts in a city leads to higher civic engagement, more social cohesion, better overall child welfare, and lower poverty rates. A vibrant arts community ensures that young people are not left to be raised solely in a pop culture and tabloid marketplace.

When presenting the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities in July, President Obama remarked: “The arts and humanities aren’t there to be consumed when we have a free moment. We need them like medicine. They help us live.”

Visit Art Presence Art Center during the Jacksonville Celebrates the Arts Festival, Friday-Sunday, August 29-31—and for our Bountiful Harvest member show, opening Friday, August 29 and continuing through Sunday, September 28—with a reception on Friday, September 12 from 5:00-7:00pm!

Our offsite exhibits are changing. At Pioneer Village, Bill Stanton exhibits impasto oil paintings, with an opening reception Wednesday, September 10 from 4:30pm-6:30pm.

“Since moving to Jacksonville I have focused on honing my style. I appreciate Art Presence Art Center for giving me and other local artists an opportunity to display our works in Jacksonville, and for bringing life back to a building in the Courthouse complex.” ~Bill Stanton

At the entrance to the Jacksonville Library, Leona Keene Sewitsky shows her whimiscal sculptures of cast-off objects assembled with wire, screws and paperclay; Salvage Sideshow is on display through September 18. View paintings by Sue Bennett in the Library’s Naversen Room from September 17-December 17.

"Autumn Aspen" by Sue Bennett

“Autumn Aspen” by Sue Bennett

“Art opened up the world for me—I taught classes and organized workshops across the U.S. and Europe for 25 years. I compose my paintings with simplicity of shape and rich color. I paint to express beauty, mood, and “heart” to take the viewer to a refreshing place. I am emotionally caught up while I paint, and like it best when I am surprised by the result.” ~Sue Bennett

“Art Presence has been my passion for over five years. I started with a small group of artists interested in making Jacksonville a go-to place for exhibits, education and art challenges. When I had the opportunity to lease the old County Jail, I put together a five year plan. Now, in the third year of that plan, Jacksonville Rotary has made one of our goals a reality.”

“I am overwhelmed by what Rotary has done for Art Presence. Gary Collins’ planning, organizing and implementing the completion of our beautiful classroom adds a new dimension to our impact on the community.” ~Anne Brooke

We welcome you to use our classroom, suitable for any class, workshop or meeting! For more information and to schedule a date, please contact Anne Brooke at 541-941-7057 or email her via the contact form on our website at

Anticipation is high about our exciting October Dia de los Muertos open show!

Featured image: “Bountiful Harvest” by Anne Brooke