The North Carolina Arboretum, the 434-acre public garden located just south of downtown Asheville, is pleased to unveil the one-of-a-kind exhibit Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks, a whimsical, toy-filled outdoor adventure. Originally set to open in May but delayed due to the COVID-19 crisis, the exhibit – of which Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty is a community partner – opened July 1 with an extended schedule, and will remain on display through November 1, 2020.
Composed of nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, Nature Connects includes 16 nature-inspired sculptures constructed on a larger-than-life scale by renowned artist Sean Kenney. Among the fanciful sculptures on display are a 5-foot-tall colorful peacock, a giant dragonfly, a bonsai tree and a massive monarch butterfly. This family-friendly exhibit, appealing to a range of ages and interests, draws inspiration from the living world and combines play with science to create an innovative intersection of education, entertainment and environment.
Daytime admission to Nature Connects is free; however, a standard $16 parking fee applies to non-Arboretum members. When outdoors on the Arboretum grounds, guests are encouraged to wear face coverings whenever they are unable to socially distance themselves from others.
Extending into the evenings
As an added bonus, Nature Connects will take center stage during the Arboretum’s ArborEvenings summer after-hours series. This year, the Arboretum is extending the dates and times of ArborEvenings: The event will be held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, July through September, from 8 to 11 p.m. (some exclusion dates apply; please check the Arboretum’s website for details).
Visitors to ArborEvenings can sip and stroll through the Arboretum’s beautiful gardens and discover the illuminated LEGO Brick sculptures while listening to live music. Sweet and savory snacks, along with alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, are available for purchase from the Arboretum’s Bent Creek Bistro.
In addition to the parking fee admission, there is a special ArborEvenings admission price of $5 per person. Proceeds from ArborEvenings go to support The North Carolina Arboretum Society, the Arboretum’s 501(c)(3) non-profit that provides financial assistance to further support the Arboretum’s mission and educational programming. This year, in light of the COVID-19 crisis, 10% of all proceeds from the ArborEvenings event series will be donated directly to MANNA FoodBank, the Feeding America food bank serving over 100,000 people facing hunger across 16 counties of Western North Carolina.
For more information about the Arboretum or Nature Connects, please visit ncarboretum.org or call 828-665-2492.