Press Release for Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UNF Lufrano Intercultural Gallery Opens With Jacksonville Artist Exhibition


Joanna Norris, Assistant Director

Department of Media Relations and Events

(904) 620-2102


The Lufrano Intercultural Gallery at the University of North Florida will hold a grand opening reception on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 5 p.m. and will debut the exhibition “ Tribute and Remembrance Vanitasand the Holocaust in the Works of Helene Baker.”


The Lufrano Gallery, made possible by a generous gift from Drs. Anne and Robert Lufrano, is located on the second floor of the new UNF Student Union (Building 58E/Rm. 2400). The exhibit is curated by UNF’s Department of Art and Design Chair Dr. Debra Murphy and will run until Friday, Oct. 30.


Helene Baker, a Jacksonville artist, was born and educated in Boston. An accomplished painter of flowers and fruit, she is drawn to organic imagery because of its symbolism. The beauty of flowers and fruit also reminds the viewer of the brevity and ultimate fragility of our existence, according to the artist. She graduated from UNF in 1983 magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in painting and drawing.


During a year-long hospitalization as a child, Baker formed a vivid memory of the death of two children on her ward. Her early consciousness of death was heightened later by an increasing awareness of the Holocaust brought on as her parents realized that most of their family in France and Poland had perished.

Baker’s paintings and drawings, in tribute to the Holocaust victims, combine beautiful still life with subtle imagery of boxcars, confiscated cutlery, eyeglasses and prayer shawls. The artist says her intent is that viewers will make a spiritual connection with these lost items and be reminded to halt the genocide still sadly present in our world.


The Gallery’s mission is to addresses social issues meant to enlighten and tell a people’s story. Gallery hours are: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday. Campus parking is $3 and parking passes can be purchased at the St. Johns Bluff/9A and Kernan Boulevard campus entrances.

For more information about the exhibition, call the Intercultural Center for PEACE at (904) 620-2475.