LEGOs Building Connection to Nature at NC Arboretum
By Jason Tarr
New exhibit is on display through October 23
Vibrant flowers and stately trees dazzle at the manicured gardens of the 434-acre North Carolina Arborteum. But a new addition to the landscape is helping to connect visitors to nature in an exciting, larger-than-life way.
More than 370,000 LEGO bricks make up 14 nature-inspired sculptures that the Arboretum has installed throughout the gardens. From a giant praying mantis, to a perched bald eagle to a massive monarch butterfly, the sculptures by renowned artist Sean Kenney are designed to combine play with science.
The exhibit, Nature Connects, opened July 30th and will be on display through October 23rd.
"Due to its size, uniqueness and magnitude, Nature Connects is a one-of-a-kind exhibit that truly appeals to all ages, groups, and interests," North Carolina Arboretum Executive Director George Briggs. "Sean Kenney does a terrific job of bringing together art and nature using an iconic toy, the LEGO brick, to help connect visitors with the natural world. We look forward to hosting this exhibit and are excited about the many new pieces added to the collection."
Kenney, who is based in New York City, has been building with LEGO bricks since he was just 4-years-old. Now, he's made a career out of it and was the first artist to be named a LEGO Certified Professional.
The Arboretum will host a special Nature Connects build day September 17th in conjunction with its annual Monarch Butterfly Day. On that day, Arboretum leaders invite you to create your own LEGO brick sculptures and learn more about the monarch.
Admission to the exhibit is free but standard Arboretum parking fees still apply.
Photo of monarch butterfly sculpture courtesy of North Carolina Arboretum