For Immediate Release For more information contact:
Amy L. Chamberlin
The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens Announces Progress of the Riverside Avenue Landscape Project and Public Sculpture Garden
Jacksonville, Fla. – The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens announces progress of the Riverside Avenue Landscape Enhancement Project and the Delores Barr Weaver and J. Wayne Weaver Public Sculpture Garden. During this phase of the project, the entire campus will be unified by sustainable landscape design, the addition of outdoor café seating and the integration of a public sculpture garden into the Museum’s front lawn.
“By providing a unique landscape that integrates gardens, art objects and the energy of people, The Cummer campus will become an important bridge between Riverside and Downtown and more relevant for the entire community,” said Museum Director Hope McMath.
In April 2013, The Cummer completed the first two phases of the Landscape Enhancement Project by refurbishing the parking lots using “green designs” to be a careful steward of our natural resources and restoring the historic Olmsted Garden to the designs provided by the Olmsted Brothers firm for the Cummer family in 1930. The renovation of this historic garden, which had never been open to the public, nearly doubles The Cummer’s current Riverfront footage, and provides the Museum with yet another platform to discuss art, design, history, and environmental conservation, all through the use of our landscape. The Cummer Gardens, including the Olmsted Garden, were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2010.
Construction of the Riverside Avenue enhancements and the Sculpture Garden began in May 2013. As part of this work, The Cummer has improved the crosswalk and main Museum entrance and will widen the existing sidewalk into a 10-ft. wide “promenade,” expand the Museum café with an outdoor seating area, and enhance the campus landscape program.
The Sculpture Garden, located in the front lawn of the Art Connections building, opens to the public on Saturday, September 21, 2013, at 10 a.m. featuring an exhibition by St. Augustine-based sculptor Enzo Torcoletti. In addition to these works on loan, the Sculpture Garden will feature four permanent installations from The Cummer’s collection – William Zorach’s Spirit of the Dance, Sir Jacob Epstein’s Seventh Portrait of Kathleen, Archie Held’s Lovers and Takashi Soga’s Sea of the Ear Rings. The opening of the Sculpture Garden will mark the completion of the Landscape Enhancement Project, which began in September 2012. By unifying the entire campus through landscape, adding café seating under the oak trees, integrating more sculpture and opening up the front lawn, the eye-catching Riverside Avenue Landscape will serve as a beacon for the mission of The Cummer.
Community Involvement: Dedicate a Brick Campaign
The Cummer is providing an opportunity for the community to support the restoration and renovation project. The Dedicate a Brick Campaign offers hundreds of individuals a chance to have an engraved brick in the gathering plaza of the green lot across from the Museum’s entrance. Behind each name is a story of a milestone, a personal relationship, or the celebration of life. Cost for one brick is $500 and individuals are able to purchase an unlimited number of bricks. Funds from this project support our ongoing mission of engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens and education. For more information, please contact Director of Development Kenyon Merritt at (904) 899-6025, or visit www.cummer.org.
Project Team: Elkins Constructors Inc.; CMS Group LLC; Connelly & Wicker Inc.; Atlantic Engineering Services; Sunscapes Landscape Design Inc.; Francois Goffinet Limited; and Richard Skinner & Associates, Architects.
**This project has been financed in part with historic preservation grant assistance provided by the Bureau of Historic Preservation, Division of Historical Resources, Florida Department of State, assisted by the Florida Historical Commission.
For the past 50 years, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens has been committed to engaging and inspiring through the arts, gardens and education. A permanent collection of nearly 5,000 objects and historic gardens on a riverfront campus offers more than 130,000 annual visitors a truly unique experience on the First Coast. Nationally recognized education programs serve adults and children of all abilities. For more information, including hours, visit www.cummer.org.