Courtesy CoRK
A unique place called CoRK is stirring the creative juices in Northeast Florida. Located at Rosselle and King streets (hence CoRK) in Jacksonville’s artist-friendly Riverside neighborhood, the CoRK Arts District houses the studios of more than 60 artists who work in a variety of media and styles.

The 1920s, history-rich complex is set in three buildings once used to manufacture everything from matchbooks to furniture. Now, the 100,000-square-foot space has been converted into studios and more than 15,000 feet of gallery space where resident artists regularly show their work. CoRK also hosts events — everything from concerts and multimedia happenings to presentations from visiting artists.

The brainchild of developer Mac Easton and artist Dolf James, CoRK opened in April 2011. Since then, this factory-turned-cultural center has galvanized the local art scene. “We knew the arts community here was large and enthusiastic but very spread out, with no real central focal point,” James says. “The CoRK Arts District highlights a huge asset that was not as easily recognized before. It has gone a long way in showing the people of Jacksonville that art is thriving here and that it’s an important part of the cultural fabric.”

While CoRK is open by appointment during the week, weekends usually feature at least one night of funky art and culture that’s open to the public. Travelers can check out the schedule at www.corkartsdistrict.tumblr.com