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January 14, 2010

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Celebrate creative science and art displays at UF Cultural Plaza Jan. 24

GAINESVILLE, Fla. —Wondering what scientific research today’s undergraduates are pursuing? Want to view the next generation of artistic influence? Learn about the latest in both science and the arts at the Celebration of Undergraduate Creativity in the Arts and Sciences Event from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24. The event takes place at the University of Florida Cultural Plaza.

Undergraduate students from Emory University, Furman University, Louisiana State University, Morehouse College and the University of Florida will participate. The Florida Museum of Natural History and the Harn Museum of Art will feature scientific research posters from disciplines such as chemistry, biology and physics as well as two-dimensional and three-dimensional art. In addition to displaying science posters and art, the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts will host students presenting dance, theatrical and musical performances. Students will be available to discuss their work and answer questions during the event.

Don Edler, a UF senior majoring in sculpture, submitted his work for the event. His oil painting, “Energy” depicts CERN’s particle accelerator.

“It seemed like a really good opportunity that meshed well with my work,” Edler said.

This is the first year the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts is joining the Florida Museum and Harn Museum as a venue for the event. Last year’s showcase featured more than 150 art and science undergraduate projects with nearly 1,200 guests.

More than 125 science entries and 50 art entries have been accepted for this year’s event.

In addition to presenting their work to the UF and Gainesville communities, participants will compete for several Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Undergraduate Creativity Awards. Prizes will be awarded to the most innovative presentations in the arts and the sciences and will fund the travel and attendance of each winner to his or her choice of a meeting, workshop or exhibition anywhere in the world. First place winners in the science and art categories will receive $1,000. Two second place winners in each category will receive $500. Four third place recipients in each category will be awarded $200.

Paul Fonseca, a senior majoring in biotechnology, will be presenting a space biology project focusing on plant genetics. He said that he would attend an out-of-state research conference if he received any awards.

“That would definitely help me to grow as a researcher, and further my work quite a bit,” Fonseca said.

The program is a joint effort of the UF Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science for Life Program, UF-NSF Chemistry Research Experience for Undergraduates, UF College of Fine Arts, Morehouse College, Harn Museum of Art, Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and Florida Museum of Natural History. Sponsors for the event include the National Science Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Jamie Creola at the Florida Museum of Natural History, 352-273-2057.

Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art
Founded in 1990, the Harn Museum of Art is an integral part of the University of Florida. The Harn contributes to an interconnected, international community by integrating the arts and culture into curricula throughout the university’s system of colleges and centers. Its holdings include nearly 7,000 works in five collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and contemporary art. In addition to rotating installations drawn from its permanent collection, the Harn organizes traveling exhibitions, public lectures, panel discussions, academic symposia and educational programs for adults, students and children. In 2011, the Harn will open the 26,000-square-foot David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing, which will feature two levels of galleries, curatorial and conservation space, and a series of outdoor Asian gardens.

The Harn Museum, at Southwest 34th Street and Hull Road in Gainesville, Fla., is part of the University of Florida’s Cultural Plaza, which is also home to the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Admission is free. 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. The museum is open until 9 p.m. the second Thursday of every month for Museum Nights. 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 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. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 – 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

Media contact :
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

Writers: Courtney Dell and Kelly Donovan

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