JAXSON FIVE is our new article series profiling interesting and important people around the First Coast. Learn who they are and what ties them to the Bold City. Know someone worthy of a Jaxson Five profile? Email our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For over a decade, sisters Holly and Heather Blanton have been active participants in Northeast Florida’s thriving art scene.
Both were born in Jacksonville and lived in the city throughout most of their childhood and adolescence. They both found themselves drawn to the Beaches, with Holly moving just outside city limits to Atlantic Beach and Heather heading to nearby St. Augustine. But of course, Jax is where they both got started.
Holly paints in alternating styles: realism, where she depicts scenes from Jax Beach, and a more abstract and ethereal layering of paint and textures. Her paintings utilize vivid colors to create emotional experiences. She’s been an active artist for the past twelve years.
Heather, a former UNF student, has worked as a painter and photographer since 2004. Her work has been shown in dozens of exhibitions; her latest series, “Sports,” depicts a series of athletic subjects in motion. The art of motion is a familiar theme in both her photography and paintings.
We asked Holly and Heather a few questions to learn a little more about their experiences with the city. See their responses below:
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN JACKSONVILLE?
HOLLY: “Place of birth, 18 years on and off, then Atlantic Beach 12 years”
HEATHER: “Born there, lived there ages 2-16, 19-22, 23-29, and 31-35; now St. Augustine for almost 11 years”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY OF THE CITY?
HOLLY: “The birth of my daughter at St. Luke’s, and the VooDoo Lounge”
HEATHER: “Fishing off the jetties”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE LOCAL HANG-OUT SPOT?
HOLLY: “The ocean and river”
WHAT, IN YOUR WORDS, IS THE BEST THING ABOUT JACKSONVILLE?
HOLLY: “It [has] a great climate, with lots of water, and people are nice. We have fantastic trees and plants.”
HEATHER: “Beaches, the [St. Johns] River, and the Intracoastal”
WHAT ONE THING WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT JAX IF YOU COULD?
HOLLY: “I would like it if the city center was more like Baltimore or Orlando and get it together to have thriving downtown which could rival the Town Center. It’s getting better all of the time.”
HEATHER: “The lack of preservation”