The North Carolina Arboretum is featuring “Thanks FLO: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Frederick Law Olmsted,” coinciding with the 200th birthday of the “father of landscape architecture.” The indoor portion of the exhibit about the great mind behind both New York’s Central Park and the grounds at Asheville’s Biltmore House wrapped up in the Baker Visitors Center on May 8. It featured a retrospective of Olmsted’s life through landmarks and key moments and spotlights a selection of his most famous designs through postcards, maps and green screen technology. Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, a long-standing supporter of the N.C. Arboretum, is a proud sponsor of “Thanks FLO.”
Even if you already saw the indoor exhibit “Thanks FLO,” you still haven’t seen everything yet! Now through October, The North Carolina Arboretum’s celebration of Frederick Law Olmsted, his legacy, and his 200th birthday moves outside, where his influence can be seen throughout the gardens. In a series of eights stations, guests can learn about Olmsted’s design principles and how they fit into majestic and famous public gardens both around the country and right here in Asheville.
The signs, marked by depictions of Olmsted designed by artist John Singer Sargent, are displayed in English and Spanish, and pair design principles with historical and detailed images from the Arboretum. Then there is always the larger-than-life statue of Olmsted standing above the Blue Ridge Court and framed by the majestic Pisgah National Forest. The statue, the first of its kind, was created by internationally known artist Zenos Frudakis exclusively for the Arboretum and was introduced to the public in 2016.
Just in time for the move outside, the Arboretum’s Adult Education Program is introducing “The Power of Scenery” featuring two unique onsite presentations embracing the gardens and Olmsted’s philosophy.
On June 23, Biltmore’s Horticulture Director Parker Andes will give a talk
“Frederick Law Olmstead’s Original Design Intents for the Biltmore Estate” from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
And on July 14, Dr. Leah Graden Mathews, Professor and Chair of the Department of Economics at UNC Asheville, will present “The Values of a View” from 6:30 to 8 p.m. reflecting on the many impacts that the work of FLO continues to have on our built and natural spaces and in our lives.
Information about the gardens and “Thanks FLO” can be found at ncarboretum.org.
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