In the Loop
Press Release : Mar 28, 2016

New permanent sculpture arriving at UF

Gainesville, Fla., March 28, 2016 -  The University of Florida (UF) School of Art and Art History is thrilled to announce the launch of a new permanent sculptural installation The Periplanómenos Whistles by Israeli artist Rotem Tamir, with the support of the Office of the Provost, Creative Campus Committee. Tamir is currently a Visiting Assistant professor of Sculpture at the UF College of the Arts School of Art + Art History.

The Periplanómenos Whistles is an outdoor permanent sculpture that will be installed on the east side of the University Auditorium in early April and will be introduced to the public at a reception on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 5 p.m. The sculpture consists of three colorful wooden column whistles. In the event, Dr. Kristen Stoner, associate professor of flute and the UF Flute studio will demonstrate and preform music written especially for The Periplanómenos Whistles.

The Periplanómenos Whistles is a sculptural installation that consists of three columns, each about 12 feet high. At the foot of each column is a concrete base that supports the column, and each base is of a different design that relates both to architectural staircases and platforms as well as to traditional display pedestals. A closer look reveals a red mouthpiece parallel to an opening, located on various heights in each column. This, along with the title of the piece, indicates that the columns are in fact functional instruments that can produce sound.

The columns are made of Virgin Bald Cypress, an ancient tree that is between. This wood is unique because of its longevity and rot resistance, for which it was given the nickname “the wood eternal.” This characteristic is quite necessary for creating a wooden outdoor sculpture that will withstand the unforgiving Florida climate. Each column is carved out of a single trunk and painted to represent one of the species of birds that has become extinct as a result of massive deforestation in the region. This ultimately influenced and shaped the final appearance of the columns.

“A lot of my work has some kind of possibility of ‘activity,’ you can twist it, pop it, blow into it,” Tamir said. “Usually it involves sound, but at the same time, my work is mostly meant to be seen when it is not being used. In The Periplanómenos Whistles, the sound helps me to direct the viewer’s attention to what he cannot see or touch- the inside of the columns, the inside of our body, what exists beneath our legs down in the ground or high up above our heads. Sound also travels, it doesn’t last, it moves, creating a space for a moment and then it disappears. In a way, I think it is enough to see the mouthpieces in order to hear the sound that this piece can produce. Our imagination can bring to life sounds, smells, even people, you only need the right trigger to help you do it.”

About the Artist:

Rotem Tamir is an Israeli artist who currently lives and works in Gainesville, Florida. She attended Bezalel academy for arts and Design in Jerusalem before coming to the U.S. in 2011 to complete her MFA in Sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2013 she received the Toby Devan Lewis Fellowship award for her exceptional thesis work. While living in Tel Aviv, Tamir exhibited her work in numerous venues including Kav 16 Gallery, Artists House, and Fresh Paint Contemporary Art Fair. Since moving to the U.S. she has participated in the 7 Below Artist Residency in Vermont and Sculpture Space in Utica and her work has been included in exhibitions in Burlington, Vermont; New York; Richmond, Virginia; Washington and Gainesville, Florida where she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at the University of Florida. To learn more, visit

About the School of Art + Art History

The School of Art + Art History is one of the University of Florida College of the Arts’ three fully-accredited schools. The School of Art + Art History supports the College of the Arts’ mission of serving as an educational, professional and cultural resource in the visual arts for the campus, community, state and region. Programs offered include art education, art history, art and technology, creative photography, ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, printmaking, sculpture and visual art studies. In addition, the school supports five galleries that are open to the public and feature contemporary artwork, student pieces and more. To learn more, visit

About the College of the Arts

The College of the Arts, previously known as the College of Fine Arts, is one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and approximately than 1,200 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit

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Media Contact:

Rotem Tamir, Visiting Assistant Professor

University of Florida College of the Arts School of Art + Art History

Phone: 804.833.1884


Artist’s website: