You may know Gainesville as the hometown of the University of Florida, but there is more to this college town than academics and football. Once home to the Spanish and Seminole Indians, this northern central Florida town with its moss covered trees offers many cultural attractions for locals and visitors to experience. You’ll find art throughout Gainesville.
Art and Culture in Gainesville
There are many cultural attractions you could choose to visit in Gainesville. Here are a few that I don’t think you’ll want to miss.
The Hippodrome was founded in 1972 by six artists whose goal was to present the best in challenging, contemporary theatre. It’s had several homes, but in 1979 moved into Gainesville’s most prominent building and its current location, the historic Federal Building. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the Hippodrome has become a major cultural resource for the area. Today The Hipp presents musicals, comedies, dramas and holiday productions and is the region’s only professional theatre.
The Evergreen Cemetery
The Evergreen Cemetery, or “This Wondrous Place,” received its first burial in 1856 and is the final resting place for many of Gainesville’s prominent historical figures. The only municipal cemetery in Gainesville, this historic site serves as both a cemetery and outdoor museum. Visitors interested in genealogy, photography, native plant material and tombstone art frequent the grounds. A free audio tour is available with 38 stops to share the heritage of Gainesville with the listener.
The Thomas Center
The Thomas Center, also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is housed in a restored Mediterranean Revival-style hotel. The “cultural heart” of Gainesville, the nearly 100-year old property welcomes visitors and residents to explore its art galleries, 1920s period rooms, local history exhibits and hosted events.
Art in Public Places
Art in Public Places, or AAPPT, is a committee that oversees the purchase of various works of art to display publically. Various art installations are then displayed throughout the city of Gainesville. Some of the projects include sculptures, murals and portraits and are featured in the City Hall Building, Gainesville Regional Airport, and the M.L.K. Multipurpose Center.
The 352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative
The 352walls/The Gainesville Urban Art Initiative has transformed the city with drab, dull buildings to one of color and thought provoking murals thanks to a group of regional and world-class artists. Artists began painting the murals last fall using the walls in historic downtown Gainesville as a public art canvas.
The only place in North Central Florida to have a public mural or street art display of this kind, the city will celebrate its cultural transition with a hosted block party on February 26th. This project is a huge undertaking for this community and not normally seen in this scale outside large metropolitan areas. This initiative was planned to create more public art and design and to strengthen Gainesville’s cultural stature.
Have you visited Gainesville? Would you like to visit one of these cultural attractions? Visit their website and tell me which attraction you’d most like to see.
This post is sponsored by Visit Gainesville.
© 2016, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.