JWJ Park Sculpture Garden

Friends of James Weldon Johnson Park has made great strides over the last five years to make the park clean, safe and hospitable for our entire community. In addition to the lunchtime programming and weekend festivals and concerts, we have improved the esthetics of the park through our Sculpture Project. Launching in 2019 via a generous gift from Preston Haskell, we partnered with Jenny Hager and her talented sculpture students at UNF Art & Design. Each year until 2024, UNF Sculpture students create three sculptures to be installed in James Weldon Johnson Park for a period of one year.

The original installation included three student-made sculptures centered around the theme of local flora and fauna: “Sunshine Mimosa” by Stephen Maygar, “Histor-Tree” by Jennifer Peek and “Deer” by Olivia Warro. The intention was to display these for one year and get replaced by new students’ work each year until 2024. However, the pandemic forced UNF classrooms to close, leaving the students without a studio to work in. The new works were finally installed this past Spring.

“We love the opportunity to work with community partners to create real-life art opportunities for our students. We are grateful for the support and partnership!” UNF Sculpture Professor, Jenny Hager said.

The upcoming sculptures were centered around the theme of bridges, both literal and figurative, and include the following works:

  • “The Green Goddess” by Kori Sares (2021), Steel tubing sculpture
  • “Bold City Skyline” by Caelen Proctor (Fall 2020), ¼ plate steel and powder coated sculpture
  • “Aireachtáil spire” by Will Cobb (2021), Steel sheet and tubing sculpture


“This project is an exceptional venture for the students to create a sculpture on this scale and with this type of stage. Opportunities such as this can propel a young artist’s career in providing an experience that cannot be learned in a typical classroom environment.” Lance Vickery, UNF Sculpture Assistant Professor said.

Instead of saying good-bye to our 2019 sculptures, we’d like to retain “Sunshine Mimosa” by Stephen Maygar and “Deer” by Olivia Warro.  to further enhance the beauty of the park. However, the purchase and maintenance of our sculptures come solely from the funds we raise through our Sculpture Project Fund. Our fundraising goal for this mission is $10,000, which will be utilized for paying the artists for their work as well as new artwork bases and plaques.

We invite you to make a donation to our Sculpture Project Fund. It will go a long way to ensure our goal of continuously adding new art to enrich our downtown park. Thank you in advance for your contribution and for always being a Friend of James Weldon Johnson Park.

From now until August 12, we have a dollar for dollar match, courtesy of our Board Chair, Bill Prescott!  Make a donation and double your impact in Downtown Jacksonville! 

To make a donation, click here.