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San Diego Botanic Garden Unveils "Sculpture in the Garden" Exhibit

(Encinitas)– For the second consecutive year, San Diego Botanic Garden, formerly Quail Botanical Gardens, and the San Diego Fine Art Society present a unique exhibition of talented artists displaying their sculptural creations throughout its lush and natural 36-acre setting in Encinitas, CA. From now through March 2010, 16 artists will display a range of sculptures set against the beautiful backdrop of dragon trees, fruit gardens, bamboo groves, and many more unique garden areas in “Sculpture in the Garden.”

“Art is certainly inspired by life, which is why the flourishing Garden provide the ideal setting for these organic creations,” says Julian Duval, President and CEO of San Diego Botanic Garden. “We are honored to collaborate with the San Diego Fine Art Society on this exhibit and look forward to hosting many more artists in years to come.”

"What is delightful about "Sculpture in the Garden" is the part serendipity plays in exhibition's success,” says April Game, Executive Director of San Diego Fine Art Society. “Plant shapes and colors echo the forms in the artwork and both are transformed."

Upon entering the Garden, visitors are welcomed with an awe-inspiring 12-foot sculpture entitled Lean on Me by artist Robert Verhees. Constructed with multicolored blown glass and stainless steel, this vibrant piece represents two partners who are confident in knowing they can rely on one another.

“Flowing curves, organic compositions, and combining materials are how I express my ideas,” says artist Robert Verhees. “My works tend toward abstract human and plant forms that are sprouting, growing, flourishing, interacting, and reacting to life, love, and the emotions around them. An essence, a feeling, and a mood can transfer people from the mundane to a world of cheerful and uplifting thoughts.”

What makes this exhibition even more unique is that it is part of the fundraising effort of SDFAS and the Garden. It is a Phantom Gallery - a "gallery" exhibition in which artwork is integrated temporarily into a non-gallery venue at the request of the host business, property owner or government entity – in this case a beautiful botanical garden. All of the artwork is for sale, making strolling in the Garden that much more fun. "A San Diego Botanic Garden supporter once told me: ‘It’s a misunderstanding that people grow gardens- gardens grow people, “ says Game. “That statement meant a lot to me and it is absolutely true. The integration of plants and art into our own lifescapes helps us feel more alive, enriched, and human. One can’t help but grow because of it.”

Other works in the exhibit include:
•Ascent by Fred Briscoe – bronze; located in Cork Oaks by the gift shop

•Monument for God’s Hill by Fred Briscoe – stone and bronze; located in Canary Islands Garden

•She Dreams Her World by Fred Briscoe – marble on steel; located in Palm Canyon

•A Tree for all Seasons by Pat Cranor – four-sided monolith with painted ceramic tiles mounted on wood panels; located in entrance by admissions booth

•WorldWind by Ken Smith – highly polished reflective stainless steel; located across from Seeds of Wonder Children’s Garden

•Courage by Ilona Passino – concrete and ceramic mosaic tiles; located in South African Garden

•Mastaba by John Dole – Corten steel; located in Australian Garden

•Spire by John Dole – Corten steel; located in the Old World Desert Garden

•Sheeps Head: Size Does Matter by James Stone – glass and steel; located by the lower pond

•Tree Goddess by Rae Barney – cement; located in Australian Garden

•Second Century by Benjamin Lavender – steel; located in New World Desert Garden

•Koi Pond by Mike Tauber and Anna Hammann – ceramic and steel tiles; located by pond by gift shop

•Triflow of Truth by Lia Strell – steel, cement and rose quartz; located across from Palm Canyon

•The Blessing Tree by Melissa Ralston – steel; located in the Bamboo Garden

•Ocean’s Breath by Charles Bronson - copper; located in Lawn Garden

•Untitled Native Peoples by Carolyn Guerra – cement and mixed media; located across from Seeds of Wonder Children’s Garden

•Sculptural Cliché’s by Carolyn Guerra – concrete with ceramic and glass inserts over a concrete foam form; 3 sculptures located in California Gardenscapes and 1 in Hamilton Children’s Garden

The sculptures will be on display at San Diego Botanic Garden until March 1, 2010. The Garden is open from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily, except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for seniors, students and active military, $6 for children ages 3-12 and free to children ages 2 and younger and Garden members. Parking is $2.

The San Diego Fine Art Society is offering “Sculpture in the Garden” group tours by appointment between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Pricing is $25 for adults and $20 for seniors, students and children, which includes admission to the Garden. Weekend tours are available at 11am on Saturday and Sunday. For further information log onto http://sdfas.org.