Brookgreen Gardens announces impressive lineup for 90th anniversary year
Brookgreen Gardens, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2021, has announced an exciting lineup of events for the coming months. Special exhibitions, events, and new exhibits will highlight a visit to America’s first public sculpture garden this summer — and beyond.
Founders Archer and Anna Hyatt Huntington formed Brookgreen Gardens as a not-for-profit corporation in 1931. From its inception, Brookgreen had a mission to collect, exhibit, and preserve American figurative sculpture and the plants and animals of the Southeast. Today the National Historic Landmark is one of South Carolina’s Hammock Coast’s top attractions and is home to the largest and most significant collection of American figurative sculpture in the country. Brookgreen continues to be a leader in sculpture conservation, environmental conservation, and protection of the plants, animals, and history of the South Carolina Lowcountry.
“We are excited to announce this lineup of new exhibitions and events that continue to make Brookgreen ever-changing and simply amazing,” says Page Kiniry, president and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens. “In honor of our 90th anniversary, we hope guests who cherish Brookgreen will return to the gardens and experience something new and rediscover their love for this truly special place.”
Here’s a look at the special exhibitions and events coming up this special anniversary year:
Wild Bees, June 5 – Sept. 30
Wild Bees will feature a collection of stunning macro photographs depicting the world of America’s native bees, by Paula Sharp and Ross Eatman. Sharp and Eatman are co-authors of the highly regarded website Wild Bees of New York, the culmination of a three-year project tracking and photographing more than 120 northeastern bee species. Supported by the New York State Environmental Protection Fund, the project focused on bees of New York’s Rockefeller State Park Preserve and Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, an experimental farmland with orchards, vegetable gardens, and apiaries. The exhibit will be on display in the Noble Gallery of the Rainey Sculpture Pavilion daily.
National Sculpture Society 88th Annual Awards Exhibition, June 12 – Aug. 22
The premier annual exhibition of American figurative sculpture will return once again to Brookgreen Gardens. Featuring the work of American masters alongside rising stars, the National Sculpture Society’s annual awards exhibition presents the finest in contemporary figurative sculpture. Visitors to Brookgreen Gardens will vote for their favorite to win the People’s Choice Award, which is announced at the conclusion of the exhibit. The award winners will travel to New York City for an exhibit in the National Sculpture Society headquarters. Brookgreen is the only venue for the full exhibition, and it will be on display daily in the Rosen Galleries.
SANKOFA: The 14th Annual African American Fiber Art Exhibition, July 3 – Nov. 25
Curated by Cookie Washington, this annual juried exhibit showcases works in fiber created by African American artists from across the country. The 14th installment of this traveling exhibition features fiber art pieces from 23 artists who were challenged to create a pictorial fiber artwork interpreting the Adinkra symbol of Sankofa, and its associated proverb to “reach back and get it.” The Sankofa images are a reminder to use the wisdom of the past to aid one in the present moment. The artists were asked to include one Sankofa in each artwork. The exhibit will feature 27 pieces of art, including three dolls and 24 quilts/wall hangings. Exhibiting artists include Aisha Lumumba, Carolyn Brackat, Torreah “Cookie” Washington, Janette Holland, Edith Gross, Joyce Daniels, and Renee Fleuranges-Valdes. The exhibit will be on display in the Lowcountry Center Auditorium daily from noon – 4:30 p.m.
Thomas Schomberg: Memories of 9/11, Sept. 11 – Nov. 7
On the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Brookgreen Gardens will exhibit Thomas Schomberg’s series of sculptures portraying the feelings of horror, anguish, and loss following the events of the attacks on America involving the World Trade Center Towers, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93. Schomberg says, “This column series I have been focusing on over the last several years is a collection of metamorphic figures that can be best described as individual vignettes of emotion. Each sculpture, encompassing one to four figures, is the embodiment of separate and unique emotions…These works are giving me a unique opportunity in my career to thoroughly explore the human condition as influenced by historical events.” The exhibit will be on display in the Rosen Galleries daily.
Summer Light: Art by Night, Wednesdays-Saturdays, June 9 – Aug. 21
Summer Light: Art by Night, an after-hours event series, allows guests special access to the botanical gardens at night. Backdropped by newly created light art installations and live music, the event began June 9 and continues Wednesdays through Saturdays until Aug. 21. Nine illuminated installations will be exhibited throughout the sculpture gardens and arboretum. In the Rosen Galleries, a pianist will play nightly on Anna Hyatt Huntington’s baby grand piano. On the lawn near the Pegasus sculpture, live music will be performed each night by various bands throughout the summer. A variety of food and beverage options will be available throughout the gardens.
Nights of a Thousand Candles, Tickets on Sale July 1
Brookgreen Gardens will once again come to life amid the soft glow of millions of sparkling lights during the annual Nights of a Thousand Candles event series. Tickets for this beloved event will launch on July 1. For 20 select nights in November, December and January, visitors can get in the holiday spirit by walking the garden pathways with a warm cup of cider, listening to the sound of holiday music, and viewing the mesmerizing light displays throughout the gardens.
Here Comes the Sun – The Music of The Beatles, Sept. 23 – 26
This fall, Brookgreen Gardens will bring back its beloved tribute concert for four nights of music from The Beatles. Recognized as the most influential band of all time, The Beatles music will be performed by the Here Comes the Sun Band. Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. A special VIP ticket is $100.
New Spanish Goat Exhibit
Brookgreen Gardens has welcomed multiple litters of baby goats this spring. Beginning this summer, Brookgreen’s popular Spanish Goats will be on view in a new exhibit in the Floyd Domestic Animals of the Plantation exhibit, where other historic rare-breed animals are housed today.
Wildflower Fields in the Arboretum
Earlier this year, Brookgreen Gardens’ horticulture staff planted over three acres of wildflowers in the arboretum. This summer, those flowers will begin to bloom, creating a new experience for visitors to enjoy. The wildflowers will not only provide visual interest and variety to the existing turf but also attract beneficial pollinators.
For more information, visit www.brookgreen.org.
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