Asheville, N.C. (June 22, 2016) – Visitors to The North Carolina Arboretum, a 434-acre public garden located just south of Asheville, will enjoy a fun-filled outdoor adventure this summer and fall at the Arboretum’s newest exhibit, Nature Connects®, Art with LEGO® Bricks, on display throughout the Arboretum’s gardens July 30 – October 23, 2016.
Composed of more than 370,000 LEGO bricks, Nature Connects includes 14 nature-inspired sculptures constructed on a larger-than-life scale by renowned artist Sean Kenney. From a giant praying mantis, to a perched bald eagle, to a massive monarch butterfly made up of more than 60,000 LEGO bricks, Nature Connects draws inspiration from the living world and combines play with science to create an inspiring intersection of education, entertainment and the environment.
“Due to its size, uniqueness and magnitude, Nature Connects is a one-of-a-kind exhibit that truly appeals to all ages, groups and interests,” said George Briggs, executive director of The North Carolina Arboretum. “Sean Kenney does a terrific job of bringing together art and nature using an iconic toy, the LEGO brick, to help connect visitors with the natural world. We look forward to hosting this exhibit and are excited about the many new pieces added to the collection.”
Based in New York City, Sean Kenney has been building with LEGO bricks since he was 4 years old. Having spent so much of his time playing with LEGO toys, he decided to make a career out of it. A self-described “professional kid,” Sean hopes his sculptures will inspire creativity and confidence in the children who see them.
In conjunction with the Arboretum’s annual Monarch Butterfly Day, September 17, 2016, the Arboretum will host a special Nature Connects Build Day. Participants are invited to create their own LEGO brick sculptures and learn more about the monarch butterfly and ways to contribute to the species’ conservation and preservation. Exhibit admission to Nature Connects and Monarch Butterfly Day is free; standard Arboretum parking fees still apply. For more information, please visit ncarboretum.org.
Exhibit support provided in part by B.B. Barns Garden, Gift and Landscape Company, Fairway Outdoor Advertising, iHeartMedia Asheville, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park, Mosaic Community Lifestyle Realty, RomanticAsheville.com Travel Guide, and Smoky Mountain Living Magazine.
About The North Carolina Arboretum
Each year more than 500,000 visitors experience the Arboretum’s gardens, trails, exhibits and plant shows, educational programs, demonstrations and lectures. The Arboretum’s ability to meet its mission and enrich the visitor experience is made possible by a community of supporting resources – from members, volunteers and staff to state and local funds, tribute gifts, grants and community partners.
The central mission of The North Carolina Arboretum, an affiliate institution of the 17-campus University of North Carolina system, is to cultivate connections between people and plants. A standard $12 per vehicle parking fee is required for non-members. Special events and after-hours activities may require additional fees. For more information, please call (828) 665-2492 or visit