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Sunday, May 26, 2024

Passers-by may have noticed a non-native moose guarding Jenn Garrett's front yard near Westside Park and Littlewood Elementary School.

Environmentalists shouldn't be concerned, though.

The moose, which has resided at 1004 NW 34th St. since May, is made of steel.

Garrett, 33, a full-time artist, said she usually displays her own work in her yard, but since she loaned out or sold all of her finished pieces, she wanted to give students an opportunity to showcase their work.

Working through a professor in UF's fine arts department, Garrett found three steel sculptures she liked by three students.

She chose two abstract pieces by Stephen Rudolph Lefebvre and Jon Burns, and the moose by Michael Bauman.

All three sculptures are for sale.

"We've only gotten good feedback about it," Garrett said.

It's common for parents walking their children past the house to the elementary school to stop and comment on the sculptures, Garrett said.

The moose gets the most compliments because it's the most recognizable.

"I think it's so much fun," she said. "I've enjoyed having [the moose]. And the others, too."

Garrett and her husband, Tim, an assistant professor in UF's College of Medicine, moved into the house in 2006 after Garrett received her master's degree in interior design and historic preservation at UF.

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She said she started putting her own metal sculptures in the yard right away and has had a total of eight or nine sculptures on display over the last five years.

She moves the sculputures from UF to her yard because students don't typically have a way to move the sculptures from campus to their home or storage.

"You can't really take that moose back to your apartment," she said.

One of her pieces rests in the yard of its current owner - her neighbor.

When she finishes a new piece, she'll park it on the lawn until someone buys it or it goes to exhibition.

The neighbors miss the sculptures between displays.

They came by to inquire about the emptiness of the yard before Garrett acquired the moose and its abstract counterparts, she said.

"They said, ‘Are you all moving? Where's all the art?'"


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