By Angela WilliamsFirst Coast News JAX, FL -

Life, entertainment, and a bit of color. This is part of downtown's changing face, and now local artists have a chance to put a colorful touch on it.Downtown will only be as great as the people in it and if we don’t build this thing here, we are actually hurting the vision of the city,” says Princess Rashid. Princess is one of several local artists working with Downtown Vision to showcase art in vacant buildings. It also gives her paintings a steady home. “Instead of hustling and slinging my work all over the place and having it up for only one night and then having to take it somewhere else the next day, I have a place it can stay a month,” says Rashid.

Downtown businesses also like what they see. Juan Gonzalez owns Hemming Plaza Jewelry. He's renting the empty building next to him so artists can use it as a gallery during the city's next art walk.“It’s helping the artists to expose their work and it’s helping the landlord because he wants to lease it and have people see what a great venue it is,” says Gonzalez. With several residential lofts already underway, the city says they see this new project as another way to promote life downtown as well as the people who help keep it alive. “We’re in Jacksonville and Jacksonville’s our city and that’s where we have to make our name,” says Rashid.

If you would like more information about this growing art scene, contact Downtown Vision at (904)-634-0303. To find out about gallery space through the Artists Cooperative Center, contact Princess Rashid at (904)-745-0956.

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