Q&A with NC Botanical Garden's Cricket Taylor

"Hare" by Tinka Jordy is one of 41 sculptures on display at the NC Botanical Garden from Sept. 17 through Dec. 10. Photo courtesy of Sandra Brooks-Mathers.

The North Carolina Botanical Garden will be hosting its 29th Sculpture in the Garden Preview Party this Saturday

Staff writer Emma Strickland spoke with Cricket Taylor, the coordinator of the event. 

The Daily Tar Heel: How many guests are expected to attend?

Cricket Taylor: Well I don’t have a final count as of yet. People are still registering online, and people will come and pay at the door as well. It’s $25 per ticket. This far, I think we have about 100 planning to attend. 

DTH: How long have you been involved with this event?

CT: I have been involved with it for five years, and this event is in its 29th year. 

DTH: How do sculptures and botanical life complement each other?

CT: We install the sculptures and look at everything that has been chosen to be here, and determine height, width and coloration, and take all of that into consideration and find what we think is appropriate for the garden where its shape, size and color might be enhanced by the background. Whether it’s a building, a stone wall, a flower bed, shrubbery or water, it all depends on the actual look of the piece of work, and we are going to try to give it its best light. 

DTH: How long will the sculptures be in the garden after the preview party?

CT: The preview party is the evening of Sept. 16, this Saturday from 4:30-6:30. The show opens to the general public on Sunday and runs through Dec.10. You are welcome to come as often as you’d like. There’s no charge for coming into the garden. 

DTH: How will this year's event differ from previous years, if there is any difference?

CT: This year we have one student from UNC-Chapel Hill showing with us. We hope that this will become a bigger contribution from students on campus. We’d like to get them more involved with future exhibits. And the other [exhibit] is an interactive exhibit that is going to be planted, and it will be words used as poetry; the seeds that have been planted will grow into the shape of letters. This is by a group called Boomerang, a young group here in Chapel Hill. So there’s a little bit of interpretative installation going on. 

DTH: How does the voting process work?

CT: When the guests come Saturday evening at 4:30 p.m., they will be handed a guide to all 41 installations and they can take a walk to see every single one of them, which brings them around in a great large circle, back to the beginning, at which time we hope they will use the ballot that’s been handed to them to vote for the sculpture that they thought was most intriguing or became their favorite somehow. And that’s called the People’s Choice. And when we count all those ballots a little bit later in the evening, that award will be presented to that particular artist as well. So we have Best in Show and People’s Choice Award. 

DTH: Are the sculptures for sale? If so, how much do sculptures typically sell for and what does the buying process look like?

CT: All of the sculptures are for sale. There’s only one — actually there’s two [that are not for sale]. One has no price tag on it - it’s not considered salable - and another one has a “Not For Sale” sign on it. But the rest are all available for purchase. And the proceeds, 30 percent of the sale price comes back to the garden to help us for our costs. 

DTH: Besides the local artists you mentioned from UNC-CH, do you feature other local artists?

CT: The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a native plant garden and conservation garden and our sculptors are all from North Carolina as well. They live and work here, so it’s sort of a native sculpture grouping as well. 



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