Watercolor artist Teresa Cook to be featured in exhibit

Historian to speak on Key West’s Black history


First Coast Cultural Center and Florida Humanities will partner in an art exhibit and reception with Teresa Cook, a watercolor artist, as part of the Florida Talks program.

In commemoration of Black History Month, the event will be held 7 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, at Pawsitive Healing Mobility Center, 1617 Thacker Ave., Jacksonville. The event is free and open to the public. For more information and to RSVP, go to tinyurl.com/2reh8s6t.

The show theme, “Figuratively Seen,” will feature Cook’s watercolors and a talk by curator and historian Cori Convertito, Ph.D., titled “Shaping an Island: Key West’s Black History.” Convertito will discuss how Black settlers shaped the island of Key West into what it is today, and what that has meant for the state of Florida. Convertito is lead historian at the Florida Keys History Center, and her presentation is made possible through Florida Talks.

The art exhibit will continue Feb. 10-28 at First Coast Cultural Center, 3972 3rd St. South in Jacksonville Beach.

Award-winning abstract architectural watercolor artist Teresa Cook was born and raised in Jacksonville and obtained her Bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. Her watercolor and ink paintings, often mini abstractions, are created on a smooth paper called “YUPO.”

During the past decade, Cook has traveled to different countries, attending the 2019 Urban Sketchers Symposium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and exploring her native city. She finds pleasure in landscapes and buildings that have been created over time. Cook is an art instructor at multiple locations in the Jacksonville area, including First Coast Cultural Center, and her workshops are currently in session.

According to Cook, “Figuratively Seen” displays her unique form of self-expression, capturing the quick lines and loose watercolor style gained through her artistic journey.

“This show is meant to display artistic multi-dimensionality by portraying my style, growth and the path leading to now,” she said. Cook owns Teresa Cook Art, which focuses on her watercolors, fabrics and clothing designs.

Convertito’s presentation at the event on Feb. 3 will explore the contributions of Black Bahamians and Black Cubans to the maritime industries of Key West. The influences of these skilled workers, including sailors, spongers, boat builders, cigar rollers and fishermen, have been marginalized, when their contributions were vital, valuable and integral.

The presentation looks at the diverse industries that the Black population impacted, and how these settlers shaped the island of Key West into what it is today and what that means for the state of Florida.

The Florida Talks program is a partnership between Florida Humanities and First Coast Cultural Center. Funding for this program was provided by Florida Humanities and sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.