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January 6, 2009

See top student talent in arts, sciences Sunday at Fla. Museum, Harn Museum

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Learn about new scientific research and view original works of visual and performing art from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 11 at the Celebration of Undergraduate Creativity in the Arts and Sciences, hosted by the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Harn Museum of Art.

In addition to more than 100 science posters, visitors may see 32 works of visual art, two film displays and 10 musical, dance and theatre performances.

“This event gives undergraduates a unique opportunity to communicate the research they’ve completed over the summer in a more interdisciplinary forum than they usually see, in front of staff from prestigious science foundations that sponsor research, the arts community and the general public,” said Randy Duran, a University of Florida chemistry professor and director of the university’s Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Program.

Students from UF and the other colleges and universities will answer questions and explain their research. Both the Florida Museum and the Harn Museum of Art will display scientific posters and visual art pieces, and all performances will take place in the Harn auditorium.

Fine arts students are excited about the opportunity to share their work with a new audience.

“Performing for a different audience brings a new perspective to your work,” said Megan Kendzior, a junior in UF’s School of Theater and Dance. “Different audiences take away different ideas from the same performance and knowing that causes you to reflect on how your work can have new meanings.”

Kendzior will perform a solo dance she choreographed to reflect her Polish heritage and life experiences.

“We’re taught to adapt to new spaces and use the environment we’re given to enhance our work,” she said. “We’re also taught to collaborate with other artists, so I’m excited to learn what other dancers, as well as musicians and fine arts students, are creating.”

The event is a joint effort of UF and partners including Morehouse College, Emory University, Louisiana State University, Lincoln University, Furman University and The University of Puerto Rico. Event sponsors include the National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

The event provides the Gainesville community an opportunity to view top academic and artistic work, and gives students a chance to win prize money for travel costs of attending a meeting, workshop or exhibition anywhere in the world.

Teams of student judges will critique the works on innovation, originality and creativity. Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Undergraduate Creativity Awards of $2,500 and $1,000 for first and second place, respectively, will be awarded to the highest scoring entries. Science students also will compete for several $100 prizes.

“Communicating sophisticated ideas to people from all walks of life is one of the most important things we can teach,” Duran said. “This event and the awards are designed to give young scientists and artists the opportunity to follow their dreams and present their accomplishments at meetings anywhere in the world.”

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information call event coordinator Dylan Walsh, 352-392-9306.


Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
The Harn Museum of Art at SW 34th St. and Hull Rd. is one of the largest university art museums in the country with nearly 7,000 works in its collection focusing on African, Asian, modern and contemporary art and photography. The museum enhances the activities of the University of Florida and serves a culturally diverse audience through educational programming. Admission is free. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Parking is free on weekends. The Camellia Court Café is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The museum and café are open until 9 p.m. Thursdays for Museum Nights during the UF Academic calendar due to the generous support of UF Student Government. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit

Florida Museum of Natural History
The Florida Museum of Natural History is Florida's state natural history museum, dedicated to understanding, preserving and interpreting biological diversity and cultural heritage. It is located near the intersection of Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in the University of Florida Cultural Plaza in Gainesville. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Butterfly Rainforest admission is $9.50 for adults ($8 Fla. residents) and $5 for children ages 3-12. Prices subject to change. For more information, including directions and parking, call 352-846-2000, or visit



Kelly Donovan
Communication Specialist
Florida Museum of Natural History

Media contacts:
Tami Wroath
Director of Marketing and Public Relations
Harn Museum of Art
352.392.9826 x116,

Paul Ramey, APR
Assistant Director, Marketing and Public Relations
Florida Museum of Natural History
(352) 273-2054,

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