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UNF Foundation, Inc.

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.’ 

couple sitting in their living roomThe 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 parents.


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.