Big things from the sculpture program

Tiffany Butler

 Adjunct Vickery and student Mary Ratcliff work on a sculpture. Photo by Tiffany Butler
Adjunct Vickery and student Mary Ratcliff work on a sculpture. Photo by Tiffany Butler

From murals to sculptures to bike racks it’s easy to find student art displayed around UNF’s campus. The art department hopes to expand this trend off-campus with the creation of a sculpture park in Jacksonville Beach.

Adjunct professor Lance Vickery. Photo by Tiffany Butler
Adjunct professor Lance Vickery. Photo by Tiffany Butler

Associate Professor of Sculpture Jenny Hager said these displays are part of a project from the President’s office. Delaney’s office partnered with art and design adjunct Lance Vickery and his sculpture students to use their art around campus.

Materials for these projects are supplied by the university.

“If you look up what an industrial bike rack costs versus what a student can build a cool sculptural one for, it’s about the same,” said Hager. “So instead of spending the money on these boring looking bike racks that don’t have personality, the university is spending the same money on having a sculpture student learn something and build something that can be furniture for campus.”

Hager said the project was inspired by cities like Chattanooga and Louisville that are blending art with urban landscapes and downtown environments.

The newest piece of functional student art, located across from Brooks College of Health, is a bench made of iron, kiln dried wood and resin with space in the center for a planter. Hager said the project has been in the works for about a year now.

Bench made of iron, kiln-dried wood and resin. Photo by Tiffany Butler
Bench made of iron, kiln-dried wood and resin. Photo by Tiffany Butler

The artist is “inspired by nature and plants and he always thought that would be part of the design- to incorporate plants into the bench,” said Hager.

Growing the project to an off-campus location is made possible by a donation from the Lazzara family. The donated land is in Jacksonville Beach and is expected to open this summer.

Vickery said the projects are built into the course curriculum.

“It’s really great for the students because it’s very difficult to actually get large-scale commissions out in the real world, so this gets their feet wet with taking on something that’s a bit larger and has timelines and budgets and all the practical aspects of trying to be a working artist,” said Vickery.

The park will feature five large-scale sculptures made by five different students: Gillian Harper, Mary Ratcliff, David Peters, Diana Shepherd and Emily Pinnell.

Sculptures include an osprey, a sea anemone, a coral inspired piece, a fish inspired piece and an abstract piece with two rectangles.

 

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