Exploring USF’s Public Art Collection

Student-led Public Art Walking Tour

. . .
April 1 from 10:30 am-noon
starting at the
USF Contemporary Art Museum

. . .
This Saturday, University of South Florida students lead a free guided walking tour of the rich landscape of public art installations on the Tampa campus.

The Public Art program at USF focuses on site responsive works that create places, not just objects. The university is home to major work by artists including Alice Aycock, Dale Eldred, Richard Fleischner, Doug Hollis, Nancy Holt, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., James Rosenquist, Ned Smyth and Elyn Zimmerman.

Tour guides Josephine George, Cate Grizzard, Leah Hoopes and Mara Zucker are enrolled in the USF Judy Genshaft Honors College, exploring an interdisciplinary curriculum plus learning opportunities in community service, global studies and leadership.

We thank Leah and Mara for telling us about the works they’re most looking forward to sharing on Saturday’s tour.

Unspecific Gravity by Doug Hollis (1998) – the chromed copper fountain elements replicate the atomic structure of a water (H2O) molecule.

My favorite piece of public art on the USF Tampa campus is Unspecific Gravity by Doug Hollis.

Unspecific Gravity focuses heavily on how the force of nature – and the force of human nature – have had their impact on the installation. Each time I interact with this installation, I am constantly reminded of the relationship that we as humans have with our environment.

Learning about the public art on campus has given me an immense amount of pride in the not-so hidden gems of USF. I feel that I’ve discovered this secret pocket of knowledge at my home away from home.

I’m new to conceptualizing and understanding public art, but being involved in a USF Public Art Capstone has opened a door of opportunity to learn more about what art is and the motivating factors of change that contribute its interpretation and creation.

– Mara Zucker
Forest Spirits by Janaina Tschäpe (2011)

Nearly two stories tall and 50 feet long, Forest Spirits (2011), by Janaina Tschäpe is difficult to miss and even more difficult not to love.

As soon as I saw the mural, I knew it was easily going to be my favorite public artwork on campus. Tschäpe uses color and repetitive lines to intrigue the viewer and encourage them to question their perception of this reality she has painted.

One of the most interesting parts of the mural to me is her intentional placement of amoebic figures and organic shapes to create the lush landscape that is Forest Spirits. The significance of fluidity throughout the mural – as seen in the brushstrokes and the impression of being underwater – is an additional element that makes me love the mural even more.

Overall, I have truly loved learning about Forest Spirits and being able to share my knowledge with those around me. Art has always played an important role in my life and having the opportunity to aid in others experiencing a connection with work that is close to my heart will be a memory I always carry with me.

– Leah Hoopes


You can find a downloadable map
and an interactive online map
of USF’s Public Artworks here


Comfortable shoes are recommended for the tour.
For questions or more information you can email
caminfo@usf.edu or call 813-974-4133.

USF Contemporary Art Museum – image courtesy of CAM

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