Photo Exhibit Highlights the Peril and Potential of Our Urban Creeks

Local artist Doug Eng has spent years capturing every aspect of our city through the lens of his camera. His latest entitled “Creeks Rising:  A City Reflected in Hogans and McCoys Creeks,” highlights the peril and potential of our two urban creeks. This work is underwritten by Jack Meeks and JoAnn Tredennick and is on display free to the public on the first floor of MOCA Jacksonville through June 30. Watch for details on future locations coming soon.

Read the Artist’s Statement:

One can live in Jacksonville a lifetime without noticing the two urban tributaries of the St. Johns River traversing the city. These creeks remain free flowing despite historical encumbrances of industry and our attempts to contain, restrict, re-route, and minimize their existence. The story of these creeks follows the growth and decline of downtown Jacksonville and the attitudes and priorities of its leaders. What we see today is the outcome of many decades of public policy, commercial interests, and the resiliency of nature to return to an un-altered state.

Walking the creeks reveals the inherent beauty and dignity of the waterways as natural bodies full of life. The intervention of man-made structures and the decaying remnants of park artifacts stands in sharp contrast to an idea of a stream or creek. How did this come to be, from the “Venetian Waterway” to a polluted runoff canal, from a neighborhood creek where children swam to a Superfund site filled with industrial pollutants?

I saw a small fish swimming in Hogans Creek among the tires, plastic bottles, and Styrofoam containers, giving hope that the creeks are still with us. Concerned citizens are making progress to improve these places and promote the use of public green spaces for the activation of downtown. We have natural waterways that most cities would die for, but we just let them die. They need help to live again. Acknowledge, educate, volunteer, and donate.