Big Bugs Everywhere

On January 15, the Big Bug Invasion took over Leu Gardens. An army of enormous ants meet visitors as they enter the gardens.

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Created from natural materials, the creatures lurk around every corner.

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Despite the fact the insects may stand over twenty feet tall, many remain hidden among the plants.

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While others, like the lady bug remain in the open, ready for photo ops.

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The 200 pound assassin bug was quite a specimen.

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But I have an affinity for spiders and this one camouflaged among the bamboo may have been my favorite sculpture.

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The Big Bug Invasion continues at Harry P. Leu Gardens in downtown Orlando until April 15 so there’s plenty of time to get acquainted with the garden’s newest inhabitants.

More Than Sandcastles

It’s hard to believe that on the same weekend the Sidewalk Chalk Festival was taking place in Venice, just 30 minutes north on Siesta Key sand art was being created at the Crystal Classic National Sand Sculpting Festival. On our way to Venice, we stopped for a couple of hours to see the temporary sculptures artists had been working on for three days.

There were sand castles with great detail. Did you notice the snowman perched on the steps leading to the castle door? But there was so much more than castles.

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Even all of the sponsors of the event were recognized in sand art.

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I could hardly turn away from this face rising from the sand…so creepy.

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This monster overlooking a young boy playing in the sand with a smaller version of creature was another crowd favorite.

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So much effort to create such temporary art.

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Impressive work could even be found in the Amateur Contest Area.

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The winning sculpture was my personal favorite, a piece called “Tender Loving Care”.

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A cathedral and a forest wrapped in love.

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What a great weekend of outdoor art!

 

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Yesterday we spent the morning at the Venice Airport, the site of the Sarasota Chalk Festival. Artists illustrated this year’s theme ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merry!’ in images that boggled your senses like this shark rising from the runway.

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Scores of temporary works of art attracted visitors for the week long event.

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My favorites were designed to let those in attendance become part of the art. I joined the children dancing around a shark’s tooth.

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While John was served on a silver platter.

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And we reached in a trap and posed with a pelican.

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Each piece of art was marked with a pair of feet labeled “stand here” to ensure perfect viewing.

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The event is recognized as the first international street art festival with more than 250 artists from around the globe…absolutely amazing.

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Thanks Venice for a great event.

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Predicting Snow in Stowe

Working on a large piece of sculpture at the West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Park, an artist stopped his work to talk to us about the process of carving over 6000 pounds of rock into a double fountain weighing more than a ton. He explained that this would be his last large piece of the year since all outside work would have to be completed within two weeks before the first snowfall.

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“Really? Snow in only two weeks?” we’d asked on September 29th. It was hard to believe that snow would be falling only three weeks after the beginning of autumn, but he was right. On Sunday morning, pictures of Stowe, Vermont’s brightly colored leaves covered in snow were broadcast on the morning news.

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I feel confident the artist met the deadline, adding another piece in the outdoor sculpture garden located behind the gallery.

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Over a dozen large pieces carved from local materials including walkways, seats and fountains were on display.

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Jigsaw like stone puzzles as well as metal sculptures were included in the garden as well as more practical pieces. Additional works will have to wait until the snow thaws next spring.

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If this art thing doesn’t work out for the man we spoke to, I’d be glad to provide a recommendation as a meteorologist.

More Outdoor Sculpture on the Way

Sculptures have brightened Tuscawilla Park in an effort to get citizens to Re-Discover Tuscawilla.

Ten pieces of art have encouraged walkers to investigate all corners of the park.

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An audio tour was available using cell phones as well as a scavenger hunt.

IMG_0015My favorite sculpture was also the one chosen as Best in Show. Sarah’s interaction with Lofted, by John Gamache, illustrates why this piece is so much fun.

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The pieces left the park on September 21st to prepare for round two of the event. If you missed the 2013-2014 Outdoor Sculpture Competition, make plans to visit the park and enjoy the 2014-2015 competition.
The newly installed sculptures will be unveiled on Friday, October 17th during a VIP Sculpture Reception (tickets available at the Discovery Center) or wait until later in the month to take an art walk in the park.
 

 

Wandering Through Wynwood Walls

“Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” ~Tony Goldman

IMG_5285The idea of Tony Goldman was to create an area for people to explore street art in what started as a complex of six separate buildings between 25th and 26th Streets in Miami.

Murals have covered the walls of the Wynwood Walls complex since 2009, and in 2010 the Wynwood Doors opened on the roll up gates to reveal a portrait gallery.

Today, the murals extend in all directions surrounding Wynwood Walls with many of the business in the area developing their own unique creations.

The art has transformed an historic part of the city that was once run-down, with many abandoned buildings into a must-see destination.