Flora and art work together at Botanical Gardens
EDITORS: Black-and-white photo available on request. ANN ARBOR---Noted for their formal gardens, wetlands and winding trails, the scenic grounds of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens at the University of Michigan are taking on yet another artistic aspect---sculpture. Beginning this month, the Gardens will be enhanced with sculpture crafted by contemporary artists from Michigan and the Great Lakes region. Each piece of work will be displayed for 12-18 months in one of the 20 locations identified as a site for present and future sculpture. "This is a collaborative project between the U-M Museum of Art, the U-M Planner's Office, the regional sculpture community and Matthaei," said David Michener, assistant curator and project manager at the Gardens. "This will give visitors an opportunity to understand the Gardens in a different way. The introduction of art to a natural setting highlights the interaction between man and nature." Among the pieces already in place at the Gardens is the "Arc," created by Tom Phardel. Located in the wetland area, Phardel's sculpture combines natural and man-made materials in its quarter-moon shape of bronze, limestone and reclaimed industrial steel. Further down the path, near the bank of Fleming Creek, Jim Melberg's "Forest Murmurs" and "Two Figures" provide a fascination play of light and reflection off the six-foot-tall, highly polished cast aluminum forms. Located near the main entrance to the Gardens at Willow Pond is Jon Rush's "Jane LaRue Sun Dial." Part of Matthaei's permanent collection, this piece is rooted in the earth, seeming almost totemic. The Rose Garden plays host to Lou Marinaroi's "Dawn" and "Dusk." The 350-acre oasis of winding nature trails, formal gardens, wetlands and conservatory housing more than 1,200 plants from around the world at Matthaei Botanical Gardens is open daily, 8 a.m.-sunset. The conservatory is open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily except Christmas, New Year's Day and Thanksgiving. To arrange a tour or learn about upcoming events and programs, call the Gardens at (734) 998-7061.
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Matthaei Botanical GardensMuseum of ArtU-M News and Information ServicesUniversity of Michigan