Eight statues sun themselves in a grassy courtyard next to the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville.
The Quinlan Garden will be open to the public today and an official open house will happen sometime in the near future.
It will serve as an extension of the gallery and will be used for outdoor event space. The Starlet Rhodes Jones Foundation funded the garden.
Two of the eight pieces were commissioned specifically for the garden.
One of the commissioned sculptures in the garden, a “friendship bench” by artist Eric Strauss, memorializes Jody Bacon Law, a longtime friend of Jones who had passed away. Strauss also created the famous horse sculpture that sits in front of the center.
An opening reception, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, was held Friday for donors, sculptors and other invitation-only guests.
Gregory Johnson created a commissioned piece in memory of the Jones’ son, J. Brent Jones, that had passed away. The bronze sculpture is titled “Loving You” and was unveiled during the opening reception. Johnson also created the tiger sculpture in front of Brenau University.
A stainless steel sculpture by Johnson is on loan and sits in the garden.
Jane Taylor contributed three assemblage-style pieces for the garden on loan: two large flowers and a warrior woman.
“Loving You” and the friendship bench are both pieces in Quinlan’s art collection.
There are two other pieces that belong to the collection.
An angel sculpture by folk-style artist Robert Lewis Jarrell was recently given by Shirley Bowden.
Virginia Burns created “Earth Maiden” in 1960, and the arts center has made a home for her in the garden.
“She weighs about 400 pounds,” said Amanda McClure, executive director of the Quinlan Visual Arts Center.
The statue had been moved from room to room at the center until it found a good spot for her.
“She’s organic. She’s perfect where she is now. It is her forever home there,” said Paula Lindner, assistant director of the center.
All pieces on loan can be bought.
The garden will only be open when the center is open, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
It also used to be the site of the Moon-Apperson house, which had fallen into disrepair, and was demolished in 2013.