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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

‘Bambooville’ art to be removed from UF campus

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Jon Anderson, 67, poses in part of his interactive bamboo art exhibit, which is scheduled to be torn down in the next three days after UF ordered him to remove it.</span></p>

Jon Anderson, 67, poses in part of his interactive bamboo art exhibit, which is scheduled to be torn down in the next three days after UF ordered him to remove it.

Once again, UF is removing Jon Anderson’s bamboo guerilla art from campus.

The 67-year-old retired schoolteacher and Florida Museum volunteer created the art installation in March 2013. It features an eclectic mix of bamboo art structures both towering and tiny that Anderson called “the middleground between Kanapaha Gardens and Satchel’s.”

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said Anderson was served a notice Monday stating he had 72 hours to remove Bambooville from UF property or to speak with the physical plant division if he needs to make other arrangements.

“While this art may be pleasing to many, if we allowed one person, we would have to allow many,” Sikes said.

However, this was not Anderson’s first tangle with UF over Bambooville.

In 2012, the artist first began adding bamboo structures to the Bartram Carr woods area. In December, a member of the UF grounds crew discovered the art and tore it down.

Early last year, he went before the University Lakes, Vegetation and Landscape Committee to ask permission to build his structure on UF conservation area.

After receiving what he said was a negative response to the idea, Anderson withdrew his request.

“I thought I was putting this up under the umbrella of the greenhouse,” he said.

He visited UF’s map room to check if the area he was eyeing for the newest iteration of Bambooville was allowed and said he was told there was “no delineation between greenhouse land and woodlands land.”

But after UF’s decision Monday, Anderson said he’s ready to move on. He plans to pack his art Tuesday and is inviting members of the community to help.

“If they will take some things and put them in the truck, then they can take some things and put them in their car,” he said.

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Elliot Larkin, a 23-year-old UF management master’s student, recently began helping Anderson, who has Parkinson’s disease, groom and decorate Bambooville.

He said he will be going through all of the appropriate channels to fight UF’s decision.

“I’m hoping they’re going to make an exception based on the extraordinary circumstances,” he said.

Zack Carter, a 19-year-old UF health science freshman, discovered Bambooville this semester while searching for his biology lab. Enchanted, he brought his girlfriend back to experience the “unique and eye-catching” art.

“It’s like a cool secret,” he said. “Something you stumble upon and want to share with others.”

Anderson said although he is sad he can no longer share his project with students and residents, he’ll mostly miss seeing the happiness Bambooville brings to visitors.

“People who visit have a wonderful positive energy that just glows around them, and I’m lucky enough to get to experience it,” he said.

[A version of this story ran on page 1 on 2/18/2014 under the headline "‘Bambooville’ to be cut from UF campus"]

Jon Anderson, 67, poses in part of his interactive bamboo art exhibit, which is scheduled to be torn down in the next three days after UF ordered him to remove it.

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