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More than Meets the Eye

Alamar by Bruce White
Public art makes its way onto UCF campus either by an Art in State Buildings commission or through generous donation – that latter of which is how the Alamar found its home on the grounds outside the Barnes and Nobles bookstore. The contemporary Corten steel sculpture is one of over thirty pieces loaned and eventually gifted to the university by George and Norma Kottemann, a couple who spent their life collecting and supporting the arts. “We have a School of Art and Design that is one of the biggest in the country, so art and design is part of the campus curriculum and culture,” Kevin Haran, director of UCF’s Public Arts Committee says. “I think any major campus has key, landmark sculpture or landmark artworks that enhance the landscape and the community.”
Flame of Hope by Leonardo Nierman
The Flame of Hope, highlighted in front of the main entrance of John C. Hitt Library, is one of UCF’s Public Arts Committees’ top priorities for cleaning and polishing. Maintenance of public art, which can vary from regular upkeep from groundskeepers to extensive cleaning processes that require having the original artist un and re-install a piece, has been a major focus for Kevin Haran since he became director of the committee in the fall of 2013. UCF’s Special Collections and University Archives also have Nierman paintings in their archives.
We See The Same Stars by Malcolm Robertson
We See the Same Stars, is a newer piece of public art on UCF campus that was built into the rotunda of the Classroom Building II and ROTC building in 2013. It serves as a symbol of the university’s appreciation for those who have served in the military. The new public art piece UCF is working on creating for the Downtown campus will follow the We See the Same Stars model of incorporating art into the building design itself.
Sun Target 1 by John Henry
On the grounds between Colbourn Hall and the Education Complex sits the vibrant yellow geometric Sun Target 1. The large-scale aluminum piece created by John Henry changes shape as viewers walk past it and is an exercise in minimalism and abstraction. “John Henry has an international reputation and Sun Target 1 is a fine example of some of the world-class art on campus,” Kevin Haran, director of UCF’s Public Arts Committee.
Eliptic Lens by Ray King
Elliptic Lens was specifically selected to serve as a landmark to the College of Optics and Photonics (CREOL) building because of its use of technology reinforces the discipline taught in the building. The piece, located outside the main entrance, represents a lens by using triangular laminated glass facets that are graduated in size to mimic the swell of the lens shape. Refractive and reflective materials, such as holographic films and dichronic coatings, were used to cover the glass and cause the structure to change color depending on where it is viewed.
Hermes Gate by Dale Enochs
Since 2011, the 26-and-a-half-foot limestone structure that is Hermes Gate has towered over passersby near the Recreation and Wellness Center. The nonrepresentational form also utilizes man-made steel to emphasize the physical and symbolic strength of the piece, which draws from Greek mythology, as Hermes is the messenger of the gods and protector of sports and athletics.
Wind Dancer by Mindy Colton
Wind Dancer, a whimsical, marine grade aluminum sculpture spans its wings outside the Burnett Honors College and is the only statue on campus depicting Pegasus, UCF’s official logo. With the help of Jeff Douglass ’02, UCF acquired the piece created by Mindy Colton ’96MA. In the fall of 2015, a group of engineering students used the Manufacturing Lab at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, which is the same lab Limbitless Solutions uses to create 3-D printed arms for children, to repair the structure after it was vandalized.
Special Collections Room
Special Collections and University Archives, located on the fifth floor of the John C. Hitt Library, uses museum-standard hanging racks, drawer storage, dehumidifiers and other methods to ensure all artwork and artifacts in their possession stay in great condition. “To me three-quarters of the battle with preservation is storage and handling, and we do a very good job of that,” David Benjamin, head of the department says. “We’re very careful with the art. We’ve started a program of doing condition reports for all the pieces. That’s something that museums do.”
The Caribbean West Indies Collection
The Caribbean West Indies Collection makes up a large portion of the Special Collections works, with much of the art coming from Haiti. The collection is made up of maps, newspaper clippings, vinyl records, pottery, paintings and several other items documenting life on many Caribbean islands. Over the next year David Benjamin, head of UCF’s Special Collections and University Archives, will be working with an art history student to curate an exhibit that will highlight Haitian culture with works created by natives – from unknown street artists to renowned creatives such as Edouard Duval Carrié.
University Archives
A portrait of Dr. Trevor Colbourn, who served as UCF President from 1978-1989, hangs with other paintings on a rack in the Special Collections storage room. The image belongs to the University Archives collection, which includes audio and visual materials related to UCF’s history, such as manuscript collections, university publications, records of university offices and organizations, and theses and dissertations (printed). “I think it’s important to expose students to art,” David Benjamin, head of UCF’s Special Collections and University Archives says. “I think it stimulates thinking.”
Recollections of a Cartoonist: The Glenn “Marty” Stein Collection of Cartoon Art, 1955-2013
Recollections of a Cartoonist: The Glenn “Marty” Stein Collection of Cartoon Art, 1955-2013 is currently on display in the Special Collections’ exhibit area located on the fifth floor of the John C. Hitt Library. Borrowed from the Floridiana section of Special Collections, the exhibit was curated from sketches, political cartoons, comics and other items created by Stein for three Orlando-based publications, the Orlando Business Journal, Apopka Chief and La Prensa, as well as early works and influences that helped the artist to develop his style.