Written By: Allison Dobosiewicz

The beauty of The University of North Florida comes in many forms: the architecture, the nature preserve, and the power of education being passed down to eager young minds. However, there is another place where learning and mental fulfillment takes place under the sphere of influence of the University of North Florida. One you may not expect… The Museum of Contemporary Art, located in Downtown Jacksonville.

Although the distance may deter some from venturing away from their Nest, the cost of admission for UNF students is free. This in itself makes MOCA a place you must visit. Featured on their website is the subtitle phrase “A Cultural Resource of UNF” and if there is a more apt title, I am at a loss for what it may be. The exclusive UNF gallery at the museum offers a wide selection of cultural offerings targeted to students. Currently, the exhibit that is running is entitled The Lebowski Cycle by Joe Forkan. Mr. Forkan’s art work is described as the:

“…result of a longstanding interest in narrative painting, particularly paintings from the Baroque and Neoclassical eras; complex figurative works that depict grand story arcs, compressing a multitude of thoughts, ideas and emotions into a singular image”

Long story short: This guy made some epic paintings inspired by the film The Big Lebowski. If these cultural paintings of “The Dude” still are not enough to get you to check out the gallery, MOCA is also hosting a viewing of the artists’ muse. You can catch the showing of the movie The Big Lebowski at 9:00 pm on Thursday, March 8th. For the truly dedicated there is a lecture on the “Ideas and Process” of the work The Lebowski Cycle two hours before at 7:00 pm.

But wait, there’s more!

Not only is there currently this awesome exhibit inspired by The Big Lebowski going on (ends April 1st [no joke]), but your Museum of Contemporary Art has even more to offer your thirsty minds. Upcoming exhibitions include Project Atrium, an ongoing series of art that uses the buildings own atrium as the artists canvas. As well as “ReFocus”, a tribute to art of the 70’s and 80’s in two separate exhibitions, one this summer, and one next fall.

In addition to all of these art exhibitions, MOCA offers exciting events. Art Walk is one event you must take in. Every first Wednesday of the month there is an open gathering at MOCA. Not only do you catch all of the beautiful art, but there are also vendors, aspiring artists, live music, and delicious food.

What more do you need to read to be convinced? Being a University of North Florida student gives you the opportunity to check out all of these great events and exhibits at MOCA, absolutely free! Grab your roommate, dodge the geese, and get Downtown to experience UNF’s greatest cultural resource!

If you are looking for more information on the Museum of Contemporary Art, check out their website at

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