I'm sure you've seen the Coconut Grove Arts Festival poster this year, it's by artist Jesse “Jackson" Kunerth, from Palm Bay, Florida.
The art is a bit different not like past years and so is the Coconut Grove skyline, I asked him about that.
"My work is very influenced by architecture and particularly skylines," said Jesse. "I want to incorporate the skyline as well as the boats and water that the Grove is known for."
Also a little unique this year is Jesse's work, which is all digital. "I combine my photography and graphic design background to create my pieces. It’s digital but I always strive for them to have respect for traditional techniques. A lot of digital art is flat and I want mine to have lots of layers and textures," he said.
Jesse loves the closeness to the water, which is one of his favorite things about Coconut Grove. "I love the mix of old and new architecture. I did the Coconut Grove Art Festival last year and that was the first time I really became aware of the area," he said.
And that is what prompted me to interview Jesse. He only knows the Grove for what it is today - the large buildings next to the water. I had wondered why he chose to use buildings in his work of Coconut Grove and that explains it.
Jesse does art festivals all around the country including Gasparilla in Tampa, and the Winter Park Art Fest in Orlando. His favorites out of state are Cherry Creek in Denver and Three Rivers Art Fest in Pittsburgh.
He is heavily influenced by music (especially Hip Hop and Indie rock), "My favorite visual artists are Basquiat, Frida Kahlo and David Carson," he said.
Jesse works out of a room in my house but since his art is digital art so he can create it on the go when traveling the country.
"I’ve always drawn and created art since I was little. It’s been a constant evolution.I started out doing pop art posters and photography. Out of college I got a job at an architectural firm in Melbourne, FL. I worked there for 12 years and photographed their projects on top of doing the graphic design work. One day I was like why don’t I combine the two things that I’ve been doing separately - my photography and graphic design to create my own art. It was my ah ha moment and it’s been full speed since then," said Jesse.
Jesse's favorite award was first place for Digital Art at the River Arts Fest in Memphis.
Up next is Gasparilla Art Fest in Tampa and then Spring Fiesta in the Park in Orlando, then he goes on the road to Atlanta, OKC, and Dallas.
The Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen's Art Show are both this weekend - February 15-17.