Family Picks

Family Picks: Sculpture in the Garden show features family workshop

CorrespondentOctober 31, 2013 

“The Awe of Innocence” by Deborah Renz-Motter is one of several sculptures included in North Carolina Botanical Garden's "Sculpture in The Garden" show.


At this time of year, the N.C. Botanical Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill is ablaze with asters, sunflowers, beauty berries and changing leaves – and tucked in the landscape is a scavenger hunt of sculpture.

Every fall, the garden holds its Sculpture in the Garden show. This year, the show includes 44 juried pieces sprinkled through the sprawling gardens. They range from abstract forms to glass Venus flytraps and metal roosters.

It’s a perfect place to spend a fall afternoon with children, tromping through nature and pondering art, much of which can be touched. Each sculpture has an artist’s statement that provides extra insight into the piece.

“They’re pretty wonderful for families to think about together,” said Nancy Easterling, the garden’s director of education.

The sculptures are on display until Dec. 8.

This weekend, there will be an extra event to engage children.

From 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Douglas Tilden, one of the sculptors featured in the show, will lead a workshop where families can work together to craft mobiles out of natural materials.

The program, called the Art of Balance, is intended for children 6 and older. It will focus on both the mechanics of mobile building and the deeper meaning of balance.

“He will really speak to the importance of balance,” Easterling said. “Balance in nature and balance in our lives.”

The workshop will be held in the Botanical Garden’s new Children’s Wonder Garden, a space that encourages creative play in nature with digging pits, logs for balancing, a fairy house-building area, natural instruments and a pollination garden.

The children’s garden is still in its infancy, so look for it to become a family destination over the next year or two.

You can explore the sculptures anytime the gardens are open, and admission is free. But if you want to attend The Art of Balance, register by calling 919-962-0522. The cost is $5 per family, and all materials are provided.

For more information on the show, go to

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