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The University of North Florida will dedicate a donated large-scale piece of public artwork from one of the world’s most significant artists at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 18, at the roundabout near Parking Lot 18, across from Hodges Stadium on campus.
The artwork, by sculptor John Henry, was donated by UNF alum and Foundation Board member Dr. Shyam Paryani, Dr. Walter Scott and Cleve Scarbrough in honor of the University’s 40th anniversary. The gigantic sculpture is titled “Axiom,” which means authority, and is valued at $400,000. Henry, who will attend the dedication, is known worldwide for his large-scale public works of art, which grace numerous museum, corporate, public and private collections.
The work of art is a steel structure formed of five elements having extended dimensions of 20 feet wide, 12 feet high and 35 feet in height. The five elements—student body, the community, excellence, achievement and the future—include two large vertical slabs tapering from 14 inches at the base to six inches at their peak in thickness. The other three elements are square tubes, two in horizontal position, measuring 10 inches in diameter. The total weight of the sculpture is 18 tons and is painted in safety red enamel.
Henry’s works are prominently exhibited in many American cities as well as throughout Europe and Asia. Henry, Distinguished Professor of Art at Chattanooga State College, has shown his work extensively since the early 1960s and exhibits a definitive trademark style that is recognized internationally. His works range in scale from small tabletop pieces to some of the largest contemporary metal sculptures in the world.
“The University is grateful for this generous donation and is honored to have artwork from an internationally recognized sculptor prominently displayed on our campus in celebration of UNF turning 40,” said UNF President John Delaney.
Paryani, president and director of the Florida Radiation Oncology Group, graduated from UNF in 2002 with a Master of Health in Administration. He’s board certified in radiation oncology and was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Radiation Oncology in 2000. Paryani, who received the 2007 UNF Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award, is currently a UNF adjunct faculty member in the Brooks College of Health and an assistant professor of oncology at Mayo Clinic. He serves as a trustee for the Baptist Health Foundation.
Scott came to Jacksonville in 1957, when he became director of radiology at Duval Medical Center, now UF&Shands. Along with Paryani’s father, he was instrumental in creating the Edna and Charles Williams Cancer Center at Baptist Medical Center and was a pioneer in radiation therapy. As an honor to his cancer-pioneering work, the Medical Office at Baptist Medical Center was named the Scott & Paryani Building in 2006. With Paryani, he co-founded the Florida Radiation Oncology Group and is board certified in radiology, radiation oncology and nuclear medicine. Scott’s collections of pre-Columbian and other art forms are represented in museums, schools and churches throughout Northeast Florida.
Scarbrough is the former director of the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tenn., and former director of the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, N.C. He is a former member and past president of the North Carolina Museum Council and has served as a juror in numerous art shows. Scarbrough has served as a board member of the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau, as well as advisor to the Tennessee State Museum.
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