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Jacksonville artist to create Wall of Light in Main Street Park

Jacksonville artist Doug Eng wants to thank U.S. troops serving in war zones in a very big way. In announcing his “Message in a Bottle” (MIB) project, Eng is inviting First Coast citizens to write a personal note of five separate words to the troops and place it in a clean, empty water bottle. Approximately 20,000 messages in bottles will be engineered into a lighted, translucent wall sculpture measuring 6 feet high by 200 feet long. The Message in A Bottle: Wall of Light will be installed downtown in Main Street Park in early 2012.

“As citizens, our awareness of the sacrifices being made by service men and women often get forgotten as we tend to our daily routines,” said Eng. “Right now there are more than 200,000 deployed military in active combat, many of whom are from Jacksonville. This project is an expression of gratitude to these heroes and their families.”

The first stage of the project involves community outreach and bottle collection. Community groups, churches, schools, civic associations, friends and families are encouraged to collect bottles with messages. MIB volunteers will arrange for pick-ups. Receptacles for bottle collection are located throughout the city. People are also invited to drop bottles off at Studio 121, headquarters for the project, located at 121 W. Forsyth Street. At the headquarters, a project scale model, the test wall and the bottle processing and assembly areas can be viewed by the public.

“The success of the project depends upon our ability to rally the community to help us collect a large number of bottles with messages by the end of December,” said Eng. “Create your own group. Help us spread the word. Together we will create a beautiful tribute from our entire city, and show the world that Jacksonville is a special place.”

“Message in a Bottle” has engaged numerous community partners including JaxParks, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Advanced Disposal, and Sir Speedy.

A visual summary of every word collected is displayed daily on the MIB website as a means of sharing the collective message with the world.

For more information, visit, or call 904-701-8182.

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