Areal art and glass plant sculptures bloom at Atlanta Botanical Garden

‘SUPERnatural: Aerial Art in Motion, Glass Art in Bloom’ features a custom-created “skynet” billowing in the air above Storza Woods at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, USA, like a flock of multi-colored birds, while over-scale glass floral sculptures blossom throughout the more formal gardens. The skynet, called “Dream Flora”, is an experiential aerial sculpture by Patrick Shearn of Los Angeles-based Poetic Kinetics, known for its large-scale works of public art; the contemporary glass art is the creation of Seattle artist Jason Gamrath. One features a gigantic, immersive aerial art installation floating through the treetops, while the other showcases larger-than-life glass sculptures of blooming plants towering among the flower beds.

“Our guests have come to expect spring exhibitions of extraordinary sculpture, and the combination of these two displays of contemporary art, which in both cases are over the top, is going to blow them away,” said Mary Pat Matheson, the Garden’s President & CEO. “On one hand, they will get to explore these gorgeous over-sized glass sculptures of colorful orchids, pitcher plants and lotuses in the Garden and on another level to lose themselves in the fantasy-like movement of a flowing ribbon of color overhead in the woodlands. Together, the two make for a super-sized showing of art that Atlanta has never experienced before.”

“Dream Flora,” on display through September 19, is composed of red, orange, purple and yellow nylon streamers attached to webs of nylon fishing net that are suspended by ropes in the trees of the Southern Seasons Garden. The installation then extends to the Canopy Walk, where it flows above, under and beside the suspension bridge, crossing the entry road at two points and gliding through the air like a flock of birds. The 12,500-square-foot skynet ranges in width from five to 25 feet and in height from 12 to 40 feet. The design creates a fanciful, almost lyrical, expression that, with its brilliant colors, explores the all-green tree canopy, leading guests to experience Storza Woods in a fresh, unexpected way.

Meanwhile, in the main, formal gardens, guests may explore artist Jason Gamrath’s dozens of large-scale contemporary glass sculptures reflecting the beauty of nature. Presented through October 31, the exhibition features 13 installations of about 150 pieces of brilliantly colorful sculptures – all representing blooming plants. Of those, the artist has created about 30 exclusively for the Garden’s exhibition. Displayed throughout both indoors and out, the larger-than-life sculptures with metal accents depict giant pitcher plants, orchids, aloes, lotuses and more.

“The purpose of creating this series on a macro scale is to bring to light the beauty that exists within the micro scale of nature,” said Gamrath, whose career has been inspired by famed glass artist Dale Chihuly, who presented exhibitions at the Garden in 2004 and 2016. “When I scale life forms up to be larger than a person, they can be observed with this perspective from across a room due to the overwhelming physical presence they command.” Guests may also experience the Gamrath exhibition dramatically lit at night while enjoying cocktails and live entertainment during extended hours of 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.


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