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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Harn Museum throws 25th birthday bash, music and cocktail party

<p>Marta Wayne (left), 49, and her daughter Norma Wayne, 9, draw on foam letters at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art’s 25th anniversary public celebration on Sept. 27, 2015. Visitors drew on the letters throughout the day. The concept was based on the sculpture “Zandvoort” by Frank Stella.</p>

Marta Wayne (left), 49, and her daughter Norma Wayne, 9, draw on foam letters at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art’s 25th anniversary public celebration on Sept. 27, 2015. Visitors drew on the letters throughout the day. The concept was based on the sculpture “Zandvoort” by Frank Stella.

When Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art partygoers walked through its doors, they were greeted by giant colorful candles and silver balloons with tinsel strings.

On Friday, about 500 UF students, alumni, faculty and members of the museum celebrated its 25th birthday with a dinner, cocktail hour and after-party. Ticket sales benefitted the Harn’s exhibitions, programs and free admission, said Tami Wroath, director of marketing and public relations at the Harn.

As a Florida Cicerone, Jasmine Haddaway, a UF international relations and women’s studies sophomore, greeted guests as they walked into the museum for the cocktail hour and after party.

The 19-year-old said she thought the event was fun even though she was working. She swayed to Chubby Checker’s "The Twist" as a group of elderly guests danced beside her.

"It’s great to see our university cares about the arts in general and wants to see them thrive on campus as well as in Gainesville," she said.

Guests of the Harn’s "25 Candles" celebration wandered through the 25th anniversary collection, "Conversations," admiring pieces gifted to the museum over the years.

Wroath said she was excited for people to see the exhibit and see how the Harn’s collection has changed and progressed.

"We are still a young museum," she said. "We’re as old as a college student would be."

UF a cappella group No Southern Accent sang Pharrell Williams’ "Happy" at the after party.

The amount of money raised through ticket sales won’t be known for a few days, Wroath said.

Maggie Insogna, 31, said she came to the event to support the Harn. She became a member when she moved to Gainesville two years ago.

"Not only is it a world-class art museum, but it’s a cultural gem you wouldn’t expect in Gainesville," she said.

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Contact Alexandra Fernandez at afernandez@alligator.org and follow her on Twitter @alexmfern

Marta Wayne (left), 49, and her daughter Norma Wayne, 9, draw on foam letters at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art’s 25th anniversary public celebration on Sept. 27, 2015. Visitors drew on the letters throughout the day. The concept was based on the sculpture “Zandvoort” by Frank Stella.

Benny White, 6, throws a die to determine which color he will use on a foam sculpture on Sept. 27, 2015, at the Harn. Attendees rolled three dice to dictate the shape they would paint, what color to use and what letter to put it on. Benny rolled the color blue, the letter “A” and a squiggle shape.

Ashley LeBlanc, 23-year-old Harn choreographer-in-residence, performs a dance based on the artwork exhibited at the Harn’s 25th anniversary on Sept. 25, 2015. LeBlanc danced throughout the day, both solo and with the UF Improv Dance Ensemble.

Guitarist Welson Tremura plays Latin-American music in the contemporary art section at the Harn. He and five other musicians played live music throughout the museum's halls and galleries during the celebration on Sept. 25, 2015.

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