C. Bradley Faughn

By Victoria Register-Freeman
Resident Community News

Historic District resident C.Bradley Faughn knew how to satisfy the Secret Service. As project manager of Washington D.C.’s Kennedy Center renovation, he dealt with the President’s protectors on a regular basis. If the President was to attend an event, there was always a preliminary visit from his bodyguards. Moving a bulldozer after the agents’ initial site surveillance wasn’t acceptable; pulling a curtain that might block a sniper’s line of protective fire wasn’t acceptable either.

Brad_FaughnFaughn’s unique skill set – arts administration and construction management –also helped him change the face of Jacksonville. He was project manager for the construction of the Florida Times Union Performing Arts Center, including the Jacoby Concert Hall, and the renovation of Old St. Andrew’s Church, as well as numerous residential projects. In addition, he donated time to help local non-profits including Gertrude Peele’s Reed Educational Campus and the Veterans’ Farm.

It was while working on a residential project that Faughn met and hired Overstreet Ducasse as a house painter. They worked together on several projects. After Faughn’s death in 2011, Ducasse, a visual artist whose work has been shown all over Northeast Florida, created a wall-sized mosaic collage of Faughn’s face on a drop cloth salvaged from their final project. The collage was featured in an August CoRK show (CoRK is the Riverside Arts District at the corner of Roselle and King Street).

Ducasse, now 37, used his decade’s collection of paint chips to create the collage. When asked how and why he created it, he replied,” I wanted to do something for Brad. He was a true professional. I was his right hand man until he passed away. He taught me things I didn’t know about construction and I’ve been in construction for decades because it has sometimes helped me support my art.

“My father was a Haitian immigrant who supported our family building houses. He had me on site at five years of age and he had me mixing concrete when I was nine. My father never referred to working in construction as manual labor. He called it manly labor.

“Brad was interesting. He was more laid back than any construction professional I had known. He was totally devoted to detail, to doing the good job, but he had a great sense of humor too. We laughed a lot on the Haldemar Terrace project which was completed right before he died.

“Watching him throw his energy into that project after he had received a terminal diagnosis from his doctor was powerful for me. I watched his body go downhill fast, but his spirit stayed strong. Personally, if I had received the news he got, I think I might have maxed out my credit cards and taken a trip, but Brad was determined to finish the Haldemar renovation in time for the annual home tour and he did. It was a little jewel box house and it sold quickly. He got to see that.

“Making a collage was something I had thought about doing since high school. In a school art class, I made a collage of the Virgin Mary from torn bits of magazine pictures. Later on, I started collecting paint chips when I realized they were precut bits of color. In the back of my mind, I think I knew I would use them in a collage one day.

“When I decided to create the collage in Brad’s memory, Stephanie Glen, a fellow artist who is also a mathematician, collaborated with me to create the basic picture grid. When the gluing of the chips began, I spent many all-nighters sleeping on the green CoRK couch. I had to paste and then weight down each of the sections with boards. Another problem was that I had to create the collage while it was lying on the floor of the studio. It was not hung until the show itself.  I wasn’t really sure how it would look when it was hanging.”
When Gillian Ticehurst, Faughn’s wife, invited some friends, and neighbors to see the tribute and to meet the artist, there were tears of delight and comments. Consensus was that Ducasse had captured Faughn’s half smile and his direct gaze. As one person said, “The collage is powerful, so large and so real. It looks like Brad has assumed mythic proportions.” Someone else chimed in, “Well, remember, he was, after all, raised in Metropolis, Illinois, the hometown of Superman.”

That comment seemed to be a fitting goodbye.

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