New sculptures revealed for UNF Jax Beach park

Photo: Alex Osiadacz, FCN.
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Art students at the University of North Florida are working on a new round of artwork that will go-up this summer at the UNF Sculpture Park in Jacksonville Beach.

The creative minds of five UNF students, whose designs were picked for Sculptures by the Sea, is part of a $50,000 donation from the Lazzara Family Foundation and Mountain Star Capital to inspire the next generation of artists. The money for the project was donated last spring. 

Gabriella O’Toole’s design was not originally picked in late 2016. However, after another student’s project fell through, O’Toole was waiting in the wings.

“I’m really excited, it’s been a huge challenge so far,” O’Toole said.

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Now, she is trying to wrap-up her steel masterpiece in the days before the deadline.

“I’ve been working diligently every day on this, I’m still a little behind I have to be done in seven days before graduation, so hopefully I get there,” O’Toole said.

One of her instructors, Lance Vickery says it’s an opportunity many artists only dream of getting.

“This type of large-scale public work is really impressive and really rare. It can help them get into grad school and also prepare them for public art in general,” Vickery said.

As for O’Toole’s design, it weighs about 800 pounds. She explains it still needs a splash of color, but already shows-off her personality.

“It’ll be a huge array of colors actually it’ll be ranging from orange and then have a gladiation down to purple,” O’Toole said.

Vickery added the movement to get more art on display seems to be catching on in communities.

“Now it seems like there’s more interest in these things because they make public spaces more accessible and much more friendly,” Vickery said.

The goal is to have the new sculptures in place by early June.