Infinite Energy unveils new statue


Travis Horton, a recent University of Florida School of Art and Art History graduate, talks about his new sculpture, 'Axiom #3,' which is on display in a courtyard at Infinite Energy, a Gainesville-based natural gas company. His sculpture design was chosen as part of a contest conceived by Infinite Energy with the help of Celeste Roberge, associate professor and area coordinator of UF's sculpture program.

BRANDON KRUSE/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Friday, January 4, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 4, 2008 at 12:00 a.m.

At first glance, the large, stainless steel structure poised on top of a rippling fountain in front of Infinite Energy's headquarters resembles a large figure eight.

But imagine the structure lying on its side and you'll get a better idea of why the Gainesville-based natural gas company chose the sculpture to adorn its courtyard - it's actually the mathematical symbol signifying infinity.

"I think it represents our company very well," said Infinite Energy's president Darin Cook during the unveiling of the sculpture Thursday at the company headquarters at 7001 SW 24th Ave. "We're an innovative, future-oriented company and this is a modern piece (of art)."

Infinite Energy chose the design for the sculpture from about a dozen that were submitted in a contest for University of Florida graduate students and alumni. Travis Horton, 31, who graduated from the UF School of Art and Art History's program in May, submitted the winning design. It was a three-year process to get the design from concept to reality.

"I really appreciate this opportunity," Horton said to the crowd who gathered for the unveiling Thursday. "As an artist, it's just amazing."

Horton said he came up with the idea for the sculpture - which changes from a figure eight to a circle as it's looked at from different angles - about five years ago while he was working for a construction company. He said he's not much of a mathematician, but that he enjoys thinking about the nature of infinity and how it could be portrayed through art.

The sculpture does a good job of that, as it looks like the infinity symbol both from eye level glance and from above. Because it is made of a single tube of stainless steel, the three-dimensional figure does not have an "end."

"In all three dimensions, it's infinite," Horton said.

Cook said his company ended up paying a total of about $60,000 for the sculpture, which included sending the design to a Pennsylvania company for construction, as well as having local resident James Greenewald construct the fountain that supports the piece.

Infinite Energy also donated $10,000 to UF's School of Art and Art History to fund an annual sculpture lecture series, he said.

"But we feel like we got a really good deal because when we were looking at similar pieces, they were in the $250,000 range, and they weren't as creative," Cook said.

Alice Wallace can be reached at 352-338-3109 or alice.wallace@gvillesun.com.

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