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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2011

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Thomas Center features Asian Art from the Harn Museum's Collection

The art exhibition will be on view during the 2011 Heart of Florida Asian Festival

GAINESVILLE, Fla.— The Thomas Center is displaying works of art loaned by the Harn Museum of Art in an exhibition titled Temples and Festivals: A Celebration of Indian Art. The art focuses on 20th century India, providing 33 works, which include a large-scale installation and objects ranging from temple hangings and cloth, to scroll paintings and 20th century brass. The exhibition opened Sept. 10 and will be on view through Oct. 29, 2011. The exhibition will also be on view during the Heart of Florida Asian Festival.

Centuries of continuity are reflected in the works which range from 18th century pictorial bricks from a temple to 20th century folk art used in home shrines. The exhibition highlights Hindu mythology, a religious system that pervades everyday life in India. Temples and Festivals: A Celebration of Indian Art celebrates both the spiritual significance of these powerfully charged votive objects and the recognition of their importance as an art historical record.

The Heart of Florida Asian Festival held at the Thomas Center grounds on Oct. 22 and 23 coincides with Temples and Festivals: A Celebration of Indian Art. The festival will interest and entertain visitors with vendor booths, cultural information booths and acrobatic and musical performances all relating to Asia, which includes Indian art and culture.

Temples and Festivals: A Celebration of Indian Art also coincides with Navratri, an annual celebration held at the beginning of winter season. During Navratri, multi-tiered installations of figurines, idols and various scenes called a golu are displayed in homes. The scenes are a religious ritual, or puja, performed by Hindus as an offering to various deities, distinguished persons or special guests. Vasudha Narayanan, Director of CHiTra (Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions) will loan golu objects to the Thomas Center for display. An event to celebrate Navatri and the exhibition will be held at the Thomas Center on September 30 from 3 to 8 p.m.

“We are honored to loan Asian works of art from our collection to the Thomas Center for a month of viewing which includes the Heart of Florida Asian festival,” said Jason Steuber, Cofrin Curator of Asian Art at the Harn Museum. “Sharing our collection for the enjoyment and education of the community is what we do at the museum. This loan will extend our reach and add an art-centered experience to the festival weekend’s offerings.”

The exhibition is curated by Allysa Browne Peyton, Curatorial Associate for Asian Art at the Harn Museum of Art and co-curated by Vasudha Narayanan, Director of CHiTra (Center for the Study of Hindu Traditions at the University of Florida).

The Heart of Florida Asian Festival is presented by the City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs and is funded by an Alachua County Tourist Product Development grant.

About the 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 more than 8,300 works in five main collecting areas: Asian art, African art, photography, modern art of the Americas and Europe, and international 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. On March 31, 2012 the Harn will open the 26,000-square-foot David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing, which will feature three levels, including new galleries, storage and conservation spaces, as well as outdoor 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 www.harn.ufl.edu.

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Media contact :
Tami Wroath
Harn Museum of Art
twroath@harn.ufl.edu
(352) 392-9826 x2116




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