First published in Triangle Gardener.
For many, fall signals planting bulbs for spring flowers, picking the final summer harvest, and raking leaves. There’s a lot to be done in the fall garden. Fall is also a beautiful time of year to visit local gardens to get a new design perspective, planting ideas, and, at the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hil, seeing how garden art can enhance the landscape and give your garden life beyond nature’s every changing ways.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden’s 24th Annual Sculpture in the Garden will be held September 29 – December 16, 2012. During these days, when you visit the garden to see the splendor of the native wildflowers and shrubs, you will also find one-of-a-kind sculptures artfully placed in the gardens.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden is a teaching, researching, and public service facility of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The gardens are well known as a center for the study, display, interpretation, and conservation of native plants. Each fall, for the last 24 years, the garden’s display has been enhanced with art work from artists who have ties to North Carolina.
This year’s tour will include 54 pieces by 30 artists using a wide variety of media, including: clay, concrete, granite, marble, mirrors, steel, and wood. I’ve attended this show for the past several years and I’m always impressed with the talent displayed. The placement of the art in the garden setting enhances the visitor experience and presents ideas of how art can be incorporated in the garden at home.
Each step down the garden paths presents a new angle of the art that has caught your eye. Stepping further, as one piece has been fully appreciated, there is another piece to capture your attention. The setting is ideal for this type of garden art inspiration.
It’s also important to me that there are no works of art from a previous exhibit since that is one of the criteria for entry, each piece of art has to be original, not previously exhibited at the North Carolina Botanical Garden and must have been completed after January 1, 2009. This ensures new works of art each year, keeping the exhibit fresh.
This list of artists this year includes Michael Waller who won best in show last year. Tinka Jordy will also be returning with her works in clay. I was also tickled to see Andy Fleishman on the list; I’ve been following his career for more than a decade. This year’s list of artists also includes Cynthia Aldrich, Joe Bigley, Jeannette Brossart, Lucas House, Wayne Vaughn, plus many others.
The show has never let me down, for this garden art aficionado and curator, it’s a much anticipated event. I hope I see you there.
The self-guided, 24th Annual Sculpture in the Garden is free and open daily to the public. The North Carolina Botanical Garden is located at 100 Old Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill. 919-962-0522 or visit NCBG @ UNC Chapel Hill.
The Gardens also offer a free Sculpture in the Garden tour on Saturday, October 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm. Enjoy an insider’s look at several works of art on display during this 60-minute tour. Space is limited so call early to register: 919-962-0522.
Follow Helen on Facebook