Sculptures displayed in botanical garden


The North Carolina Botanical Gardens hosts “Sculpture in the Garden,” an outdoor exhibition where visitors can view the artwork.

Between the trees and ferns of the North Carolina Botanical Garden, visitors throughout the next two months will be able to discover nearly 50 sculptures of all shapes and sizes.

The 25th annual “Sculpture in the Garden” exhibition, held at the botanical garden, features many 3-D artists, both old and new.

The free exhibition, which runs until Dec. 8, offers 44 unique sculptures from 28 different North Carolina artists .

Visit the Garden:

Time: Weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Location: 100 Old Mason Farm Road, Chapel Hill


“The show is our idea of bringing the community into the garden,” curator Cricket Taylor said. “Our idea is to bring people to see great artwork and to see the botanical gardens in a visual experience.”

Because the exhibit runs during autumnal months, the garden allows the art to change with the seasons.

“One of the best features of the exhibit is that the garden is changing,” Taylor said.

“The sculptures become revealed in really interesting, ever-changing backgrounds.”

Renee Leverty, a Durham artist and first-time exhibition participant, said she is pleased to be in the show.

“As an artist, there aren’t many places that take on the role of insurer for large-scale work — the botanical gardens does,” she said in an email. “I think they are very respectful of the art and the artist.”

She said that she was a big fan of the show and has been taking her kids — one of whom is a UNC freshman — to the event since they were children.

Leverty said she designed her sculpture “People Power” with the idea of community in mind.

“With that design, you can see through aspects of the sculpture, so you can see plants all around it, and it has a brass flower in the center,” she said.

“I took this concept of the power behind community and tried to create that visually.”

Taylor and Nancy Easterling, the director of education programs at the botanical garden, organized the event. A selection committee of four people who are either retired or are currently involved in the art community reviews artists who submit photos of their works. From there, the committee sends invitations to the artists whose pieces they found eye-catching.

In some cases, artists design sculptures specifically for the event. Such is true for Jim Gallucci, an artist who has been involved since the exhibit started, who said he designs specifically for the event 90 percent of the time.

“I really love the garden. It’s always been an inspiration for me,” he said.

After installation, which is done by the artists, the botanical garden prints artists’ statements, numbers them based on position in the garden and places them by the individual works in order to create an easy path for a self-guided walking tour.

Gallucci said the season changes inspire his work.

“A great garden is four seasons, ongoing like an evolution,” Gallucci said.

“And that’s how science is, too. Both have to use observation, imagination and deductive reasoning. Different tools and different disciples, but maybe more similar than we think.”

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