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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will host a “Living Exhibit” talk with Gainesville artist Mary Jane Volkmann at 2 p.m. June 7. Volkmann will elaborate on her exhibit of African-inspired artwork, “Namibia: The Smile of Africa,” on display at the Florida Museum through Aug. 3, as well as “Inside Africa,” which runs through Sept. 7.

The talk, entitled “The Here and Now: Another view of Africa from our Galleria Artist,” will begin at the entrance to “Inside Africa.” Regular admission prices apply for the “Living Exhibit” talk.

Volkmann will share her experiences living and working for 28 years in southern Africa, including comparing the culture and traditions of different regions to give visitors a glimpse into the society of this vast and varied continent. As part of the discussion, she will answer questions from attendees and share some of her own African tales.

Volkmann is co-founder of the Tsumeb Arts and Crafts Center in Namibia, through which talented citizens hone their skills and display and sell their works as a new source of income.

Volkmann’s portfolio includes portraits of a king, coin designs, seven issues of postage stamps, book illustrations, greeting card designs, murals, paintings for private collectors and a commissioned book of 30 paintings titled, “Glimpses of Namibian Life: A Moment in Time.” More information on Volkmann’s work is available online,

Based on a permanent exhibit at the Field Museum of Chicago, “Inside Africa” engages visitors through many hands-on activities, three-dimensional settings, multimedia presentations and an exceptional collection of artifacts. The exhibit, on display through Sept. 7, offers a deeper understanding of the vitality, richness and significance of Africa’s many cultures from historical and contemporary perspectives.

Admission to “Inside Africa” is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for Florida residents, seniors age 62 and above and students, and $4 for children ages 3-12. For more information, visit

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Writer: Morgan Lamborn
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054,