Art in the City

Massive new LEGO sculptures bloom at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Massive new LEGO sculptures bloom at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden

Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects Made with LEGO® Bricks
Hummingbird feeding from a Trumpet Flower is part of "Nature Connects" at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.    Photo courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions
Sean Kenney's Nature Connect Made with LEGO Bricks
Grandfather and granddaughter gardening by Sean Kenney.     Photo courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions
Sean Kenney's Nature Connect Made with LEGO Bricks
Fox chasing a rabbit made entirely of LEGO bricks. Photo courtesy of Imagine Exhibitions
Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects Made with LEGO® Bricks
Sean Kenney's Nature Connect Made with LEGO Bricks
Sean Kenney's Nature Connect Made with LEGO Bricks

Now in bloom at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden: hydrangeas, hollyhocks, and huge sculptures made entirely out of LEGOS. For the first time, the city's premier garden is hosting the exhibit "Sean Kenney’s Nature Connects Made with LEGO Bricks," debuting Thursday, May 6.

The award-winning traveling exhibit, produced by Imagine Exhibitions, consists of more than a dozen sculptures depicting animals, plants, and garden vignettes that tower among the garden's plants and trees. Hundreds of thousands of the beloved children's toy are used to make them.

Beyond being cool and oh-so-Instagrammable works of art, there's a deeper meaning to it all: "Nature Connects" explores issues like animal endangerment, the balance of ecosystems, and humanity’s relationship with nature.

"[The exhibit] depicts important topics that the New York artist holds dear, from protecting an animals’ habitat, to planting a garden, or showcasing a beautiful orchid — subject matter with particular appeal to gardens," FWBG says.

Without spoiling too much, photos of the sculptures on the artist's website show a giant bumblebee suspended in the air, a Monarch butterfly perched on a flower, an adult and child gardening together, and many more.

"The larger-than-life sculptures in 'Nature Connects' present a playful spin on traditional sculptural art — making it accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds," the Kenney's website says. "Using the beloved toy bricks as a medium, [the exhibit] begs the question: just as LEGO bricks interconnect, how is our natural world interconnected?"

Kenney's LEGO sculptures have been touring since 2012 and broken attendance records at arboretums, gardens, and zoos around the world. He also has an exhibit called "Nature POP" currently showing at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden in Nashville; and one called "Animal Superpowers" going on view this month at the Milwaukee Zoo.

In Fort Worth, the sculptures will be placed throughout the garden grounds, including in the Fuller Garden near the entrance. For those unable to walk the whole campus to see them all, trams are available by request.

The new exhibit comes after a few successful months of artist Patrick Dougherty's "Stickwork," a popular interactive sculpture made of sticks that will stay on display at FWBG until Mother Nature says otherwise.

"Nature Connects" will be on view at the FWBG May 6-August 1, open daily from 8 am-6 pm. Exhibit viewing is included with the price of garden admission, $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $6 for children 6-15; kids 5 and under are free.

For more information and tickets, visit fwbg.org.