May 23, 2022 – Santa Fe College’s Blount Hall, the new building on the corner of W. University and N. Sixth Street in Gainesville, now includes a large art collection from local collector Hector Puig. The exhibit is part of a much larger collection Puig recently donated to Santa Fe College to help inspire new generations of artists. This collection includes approximately 2,800 Santos carvings and approximately 2,000 framed works. The collection has been estimated to be worth in excess of $5 million dollars.
Puig, a long-time resident of Gainesville and owner of Hector Picture Framing and Gallery, is a graduate of Santa Fe College. He will be working with college officials on the installation of artwork at Blount Hall. The Santa Fe College Foundation is still in the process of accurately completing the inventory for purposes of assessing the total value of the collection.
“We are fortunate to be able to share Hector’s collection with our community,” SF President Paul Broadie II said. “His art is a reflection of us, our history and our community. I thank him for helping us make art so accessible to our neighbors across North Central Florida.”
The college is currently making plans to have rotating art exhibitions across all of the college’s locations in Alachua and Bradford counties. There is also consideration of a dedicated art space to display more of Puig’s collection and host additional exhibitions and other cultural events.
“The Hector Puig collection represents the creative history of art and the artists who have lived in Gainesville over the last 50 years,” Michael Curry, who is assisting the college with the acquisition, said. “It demonstrates the strength and diversity of our artistic community. Many of the artists represented in this collection either taught or still teach at Santa Fe College, making the donation that much more meaningful to our students.”
“After 35 years of passionately curating and acquiring this collection, preserving it intact means everything to me and my family. It is my belief that this city owes a great deal of its “heart” to the constant presence of amazing artists in our community since the 1960s,” Hector Puig added. “The profound impact these artists have had on our lives, and our spirits, has often been under-appreciated, and their work has had less visibility than it deserves. With this public and educational exhibition space at Santa Fe College, residents in this great city will have an opportunity to view these spectacular works by these remarkable and invaluable members of our community and history. It is an honor to take part in the realization of a permanent representation of work by these amazing individuals.”
The installation of the gallery should be completed over the next week or two. The pieces can be seen at Blount Hall during standard operating hours of 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.