Region 4.1.0 at Santa Fe College

Nitty Jayaswal
Nitin Jayaswal

Can art play an important role in promoting a call to action by educating the public and raising awareness? We believe that Region4: Transformation Through Imagination, an exhibition organized in 2012 by oconnorartLLC and the Superfund Art Project did just that.
The current exhibition, Region4.1.0: Remediation, is a report card on the progress that has been made and the problems that remain to be addressed. We haven’t forgotten what’s at stake and wish to remind the citizens of our community that to get results we have to educate ourselves and take appropriate action to protect our health and safety and to insure the sustainability of our homes, our neighborhoods, and the natural resources that we enjoy.


Region4.1.0 at Santa Fe College
Region4.1.0 at Santa Fe College








After decades of frustration and delay, remediation has finally begun on the Koppers Superfund Site located near the Stephen Foster Neighborhood in Northeast Gainesville, Florida. As of February 2014, there were 1,322 Superfund sites on the EPA National Priorities List. Of those, 375 have so far been cleaned up. No wonder it has taken over three decades to bring environmental justice to the Stephen Foster Neighborhood.

The Blackboard Variations

The Blackboard Variations, an exhibition of paintings by artist John A. O’Connor, on display at the News-Journal Center, Daytona Beach, Florida, June 15-September 2, 2015

Daytona Show- Mozart

The News-Journal Center hosted a summer-long exhibit of paintings by Gainesville artist John A. O’Connor. A University of Florida faculty member for thirty-six years before his retirement in 2005, O’Connor has had thirty-six solo exhibitions of his work, has been included in over 200 group shows and is represented in public and private collections nationally and internationally. The exhibit is sponsored by the Mike Curb College of Music, Entertainment and Art, Daytona State College, and by the Gary R. Libby Charitable Trust.

Since 1985, the Blackboard paintings have been the predominant form of John O’Connor’s art. Working in a style that the artist calls “Conceptual Realism,” O’Connor explores the nature of reality and the “virtual reality” of illusion. Using acrylic paint on Sintra, O’Connor creates blackboard images as a means of conveying information on a variety of subjects from the mundane to the absurd to the transcendent.

The News-Journal Center exhibition was comprised of seventeen paintings that explore music, dance, theatre and film. In contrast to the visual arts, which consist of objects that are intended to endure unchanged through time, the performing arts are transitory, alive in the moment and then gone. Even when recorded, they can be re-experienced only in a different format. O’Connor’s blackboards capture both the permanence of the image and the ephemeral nature of the performance. The title of the exhibition, The Blackboard Variations, is a play of words based on the great composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Goldberg Variations.

In 2005, New York Times art critic William Zimmer wrote of O’Connor’s paintings: “The power of trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) is that it presents its ephemera as lasting for eternity, while blackboards are erased leaving palimpsests. They can hold any kind of content even the absurd kind, as they implicitly state that they are records of the transient nature of thought and ideas.”

“In The Blackboard Variations,” says O’Connor, “I invite the viewer to enter an environment of palimpsests: ghosts of gestures, the residue of images and words linking thoughts and concepts. Like music, theatre, dance and film, these blackboards ask the viewer to question both the concept of time, and the nature of reality itself.”

John O’Connor’s Paintings Featured in Red Dot Art Fair, Miami

Three paintings by Gainesville artist John O’Connor have been selected for inclusion in the Red Dot Art Fair in Miami, Florida. Red Dot is one of the art fairs held in conjunction with Art Basel, an art venue where leading international galleries show work from masters of Modern and contemporary art as well as pieces by newly emerging stars. Paintings, sculptures, drawings, installations, photographs, films, and editioned works of the highest quality are displayed in the main exhibition hall, while ambitious artworks and performances become part of the landscape at nearby beaches, Collins Park and SoundScape Park.

The 2014 Red Dot Art Fair is in its eighth year and includes works by artists from 53 galleries. John’s work is exhibited courtesy of Studio26 Gallery, New York. The show opens at 3011 NE 1st Avenue in Midtown Miami on December 2 and runs through December 7.

The three paintings by O’Connor are all acrylics, 40 in. x 30 in. done between 1989 and 2012.

“Seiji,” acrylic on board, 40” x 30”
The Fountain
“The Fountain,” acrylic on Sintra, 40” x 30”
“Mau,” acrylic on board, 40” x 30”