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July 21, 2009

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Outdoor sculpture from the Harn Museum of Art finds its place in the sun at the UF Cultural Plaza

GAINESVILLE, Fla. —The Harn Museum is making art even more accessible with the long-term installation of outdoor sculpture.

Making its return today to the outdoor space of the University of Florida Cultural Plaza is Peter Reginato’s “Big Jeep.” The work is now displayed in an area between the Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History. Inspired by “Popeye” cartoons, the sculpture includes abstract elements of Eugene the Jeep, a dog-like character with a bulbous red nose.

“One of the goals in the Harn’s strategic plan is to work with Cultural Plaza partners to make the plaza a destination for the experience and the enjoyment of art, culture and nature,” said Harn Museum of Art Director Rebecca M. Nagy. “Outdoor sculpture is one way that we seek to enrich the visitor experience and heighten people’s enjoyment of the Cultural Plaza.”

“Stacked Chairs” by Celeste Roberge, University of Florida professor of sculpture, is another work which was installed in front of the building in May. Embedding clear, polycarbonate ghost chairs within dry-stacked sandstone, limestone and slate, Roberge and two student assistants spent one week installing the sculpture on-site. For Roberge, the chairs function as stand-ins for human beings. The unique combination of the chairs with rocks speaks to the inextricable and sometimes conflicting relationships between man and nature.

Four bold and bright aluminum sculptures by Palm Beach-native Jane Manus contrast with Roberge’s work. Installed last year, the abstract, geometric sculptures avoid symmetry and predictability, contorting in interesting angles that suggest movement. A monumental red sculpture titled “Homage to Al” is visible from Hull Road. It references Alfred Browning Parker, an alumnus and visiting professor at UF and a family friend of Manus, who grew up in a house designed by Parker.

“Hammering Man at 2,938,405,” a consistent favorite among museum visitors, is also on display. Created by Jonathan Borofsky, the kinetic sculpture represents the common worker and is made of corten steel.

The museum is offering the opportunity for families to learn more about these and other sculptures at Family Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Aug. 15. Museum docents and educators will guide families in and around the museum, and children will create their own sculptures in the classrooms.

Admission is free. For more information call 352-392-9826 or visit

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
The Harn Museum of Art at Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road 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. For more information call 352-392-9826 or UF visit

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

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