Leaving a lasting impression

Jim Cox featured as Adele Grage artist for July

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To have one’s artwork on display is a feeling of accomplishment and amazement, and it is something that never gets old for local artist Jim Cox anytime he gets the opportunity to do so.

The Ponte Vedra Beach resident’s most recent showing begins July 9 at the Adele Grage Cultural Center located at 716 Ocean Blvd and Seventh Street in Atlantic Beach and will remain on display throughout the rest of the month.

“My art really falls into more of an impressionism type of art,” Cox said. “It’s not photorealism, but you can look at my art and see what it is.”

His impressionist nature can be discovered by looking and taking the time to study his paintings.

“There are elements in my art that are not really abstract, but based on some of the techniques I use, I can take some chaotic-looking things and turn them into something that gives you the impression or ice or snowflakes.”

The ideas for his paintings usually come from his past experiences or details he notices in everyday life, including an array of seafood themes.

“All the seafood stuff comes because that was my summer job out of high school and in college,” Cox said. “I don’t know what it is about food and still lives, but just something that intrigues me about it.”

Cox grew up in Baltimore and first discovered his talent and love for art when he was in high school.

“I was very fortunate to be involved in a high school with a very serious art program,” Cox said. “My professor ran it like a college studio, which meant we weren’t allowed to paint anything less than 4-feet-by-4-feet. There was nothing on a sketch pad.”

To this day, Cox’s early training is reflective in his work, because almost all the things he paints are a large scale that are made to hang proudly on a wall.

He pursued his passion for art and as a result got accepted into the arts program at Jacksonville University in August 1974.

Although he would love to paint even more than he has, there has been times when he has gotten away from it due to life situations and getting involved with a career in sales.

However, he has rediscovered his creative juices in recent years, and he’s loving every minute of it.

“This is just an incredible outlet for my peace or mind, wellbeing, whatever you want to call it,” Cox said. “It’s been real fun.”

He spent several years in Orlando in the past and took part in some art shows down there and has done about a dozen shows in his lifetime.

Cox is also a regular at North Beaches Art Walk in Neptune Beach, but because it is an outdoor setting, he only takes his prints there to show on site. As a result, he is really looking forward to presenting his original work during the upcoming exhibit.

Interacting with the viewers of his artwork is one of the aspects that he enjoys the most.

“I love to have conversations with people one on one, because most people take a look at a piece of art and say whether they like it or not, but there is normally so much more within it,” Cox said. “When I have the opportunity to point out some of the things in there, hopefully they’ll walk away with a more discerning eye the next time they look at somebody’s art and see beyond the initial impression.”

He will be holding a reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. the opening night and will be there in person to answer any questions.

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