Love of art inspires gift
Barbara Sharp and Todd Sack are fans of
MOCA Jacksonville and the University of North Florida Foundation.
The couple recently spent several weeks
in Africa combining a number of passions: medicine, travel and
the arts. The first part of the trip was to Tanzania where the two
physicians volunteered six days a week for one month at a small hospital.
“Tanzania was a remarkable experience. We were very busy,” Sack said. “This is
not retirement; we are calling it ‘post private practice.’ ”
The final two weeks of the adventure
were spent traveling in nearby Zambia, including the Kafue National Park and
the Lusaka National Museum. Through the various artworks, the Jacksonville
couple could see how the local artists interpret life, history and politics.
Sack believes great art is not simply decorative but is something that changes
forever how one looks at the world.
That’s one of the reasons the couple
has had a strong affinity for MOCA for more than a decade. Sharp, who serves on
UNF’s Student Affairs Community Council, spent 10 years on MOCA’s Board of
Trustees, where she chaired the Exhibition and Collections Committee for many
years. Sack has been a board member since 2014.
Their support of the museum will
continue for years to come as the couple has pledged a planned gift from their
estate to fund future exhibitions and art conservation at MOCA. The museum’s
collection is fairly young, but will age over time, Sack said. Pieces will need
to be cleaned, sculptures will require repairs. He hopes the couple’s gift will
inspire the creation of a permanent preservation program at MOCA.
The museum has been a cultural
institute of UNF since 2009, a partnership that Sack said has been “such a
wonderful boost” for the downtown venue.“Now when you go to exhibition
openings, there are students there. Having the students excited about the art
and learning from it makes MOCA much more fun,” he said.
Sharp and Sack hope that MOCA will
continue to grow as a resource for Jacksonville, especially as a place where
children can appreciate art and have it enrich their lives. The couple’s sons
Jonathan, Peter and David learned a lot about art over the years with their
Although Sharp and Sack enjoy many
types of art, they realized long ago they couldn’t collect everything. So, they
focused on works by American Pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein
and Christo. One of their favorites is “Double French Money,” created in 1965
by the late Larry Rivers as a limited edition of 125. They found theirs at
auction in 2013, but first fell in love with the piece at MOCA, where others
can enjoy it as well.