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UNF Spinnaker

Art pieces, downtown building extend UNF’s horizon

The same question has been rolling around in my head for some time now. One might think its reoccurring nature would drive me mad, but I like to think it keeps me on track.

Which matters more: where I am or where I am going?

Life’s very nature leaves us vulnerable to every breeze and raindrop. Therefore, it seems impossible to make an accurate observation of any earthly item until it has completed its existence.

To find out where you’re going, you first have to know where you are. The best way to see where you are is to critique where you came from.

This is the dilemma I faced whilst standing and reminiscing in the same room previous UNF students had come to for class decades before. There had been an idea thrown around in the past to move part of our university’s campus to downtown Jacksonville. Imagine the transformation that could have taken place.

Perhaps instead of the new Student Union, we would have renovated buildings, near the picturesque

Hemming Plaza downtown, whose walls told stories of our city’s past, while we studied how to better our city’s future.

Alas, I cannot rework past political decisions. Yet I do pridefully commend the relatively recent absorption of the Museum of Contemporary Art by our ever-growing university. A little bit of gas money later, students need to take advantage of their new “cultural resource.” After all, we paid for it, didn’t we?

As MOCA rushes to include the UNF Osprey in their logos, this city’s largest university is finally finding its way on our map of downtown…’bout freakin’ time.

MOCA threw us a “Welcome Home” party Sept. 17, with a faculty art exhibition and an interactive display from the UNF Printmaking Guild. Free prints were custom-made by students and available to all free of charge.

Twenty-five faculty members will have their work displayed until Jan. 3, 2010, accompanying Robert Motherwell’s work, a collection of abstract expressions with encrypted messages and revolutionary ideals.

UNF art and design Professor John Hutcheson learned from and worked with Motherwell before his passing. Hutcheson explained the mystery behind many unique markings themed throughout many of Motherwell’s pieces.

He created his own secret language, in a way, Hutcheson said. The professor went on to say, most artists like the mystery behind their masterpieces, and it’s probable we may never be able to decipher Motherwell’s communications.

Perhaps the ultimate goal of many artists or the greatest compliment is to have their work displayed in a museum. For the next few months, our fellow classmates and professors will have their creations on display in the MOCA for all to absorb.

So, here we are. Not really close to the beach, or downtown, or the river, just conveniently located in the middle of nowhere. Thankfully we’ve expanded our borders to MOCA, broke out of our “1 UNF Drive, Pleasantville.” Maybe we don’t know where we’re going next, but that’s just the beauty of life. We can only go up from here.

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