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  • Lily flower and lily pads made of LEGO bricks — part of Nature Connects, art with LEGO bricks.

Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks

Award Winning Exhibit of LEGO brick sculptures, a butterfly, a hummingbird, insects, lily pads, and more!

9 a.m. – 5 p.m. with extended summer hours on Thursday nights till 9 p.m. at Flowers After 5

A big bumblebee weighing 60 pounds; a dramatic dragonfly with a three-and-a-half-foot wingspan; and a soaring seven-foot-tall red rose: these are just a few of the sculptures on display at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden May 27 – September 18, 2016, as part of Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks. Created with half-a-million LEGO bricks, the award-winning exhibit by New York artist Sean Kenney will feature 27 sculptures in 14 displays throughout the Garden (view a map PDF). Cost is included in regular Garden admission.

Exhibit and related activities, exhibits and demos included with Garden admission

$13 adults
$11 seniors 55+
$8 Children (age 3-12)
Free for Children under 3
Free for Garden Members

Tickets are available at the Garden 9 a.m to 5 p.m daily, and can be bought at the door. You can also purchase tickets online (or by phone 1-800-594-TIXX). Please note: online & phone sales require 24 hours for processing and convenience fees apply.

Start:
Friday, September 16, 2016
End:
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Event Details

Many of the sculptures are larger than life and highlight the interconnectivity of all living things. For example, an oversized hummingbird and flower demonstrate concepts of co-evolution. A centerpiece sculpture of an Eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly, built from 37,000 LEGO pieces, draws attention to protecting the habitat of Virginia’s State Insect. There’s even a chance for guests to be part of the exhibit with a photo opportunity built into a mosaic of a garden scene. Fittingly, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden’s passion is connecting people and plants to improve our community.

The 14 displays include (number of LEGO bricks used appear in parentheses):
Bison in Nature Connects exhibitBison and Calf
Mother Bison (45,143)
Calf (16,229)
The bison on the prairies of this nation’s heartland were almost eliminated when this unique prairie ecosystem was altered. It takes hundreds of years to create the rare ecosystem found in natural prairies.

 

Calf from Nature Connects exhibit


 

 

 

 


Bumblebee
Bumblebee from Nature Connects
(16,383)
Plants and pollinators have a unique connection. Insects collect nectar, while at the same time, provide pollination for the plant. This relationship is essential for both insect and plant to survive.

 

 

Germinating Acorn
Acorn Seedling (15,581)
Plants serve as one of the essential links in nearly all ecosystems. Plants provide food, shelter and breathable air that link all living things by being the “root” of nearly all food chains.

 

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly from Nature ConnectsTiger Swallowtail Butterfly
Butterfly (37,481)
Butterfly Survey Networks have been established in many U.S. states to watch and count butterfly populations. Harmful changes in an ecosystem can be first detected by counting these easy to identify and fragile insect species.

 

 

Common Green Darner Dragonfly
Dragonfly (6,535)
Water is a finite resource. It has been around forever and changes form, but we cannot create more of it. The water that showered dinosaurs is the same water that dragonflies use today to breed in and drink. Water is one of the most important resources for us to safeguard as it continuously recycles itself on our planet.

Rabbit from Nature Connects exhibit Fox and Rabbit
Fox (17,547)
Rabbit (1,361)
These two animals represent a perfect example of how a balanced ecosystem works. Rabbits provide food for the fox, and the fox keeps rabbit populations at optimum levels to preserve their shared habitat.

Rose from Nature Connects exhibitRose
(41,242)
For centuries, people have been breeding plants to meet specific environmental or cosmetic needs, such as creating roses that are resistant to disease.

Moth Orchid
(2,300)
One of the most diverse plant families on Earth is the orchid family. Each orchid has specific attributes of shape, color, size, patterns and more, which allow it to thrive in its unique ecosystem.

Lawn Mower
(13,704)
Many unique, fragile and important ecosystems survive in our national, state and local parks and reserves. Maintaining these habitats protects the important connections of all organisms within an ecosystem. The next time you’re tending or mowing your lawn, imagine what used to be growing and living there 200 years earlier.

Hummingbird from Nature Connects exhibitHummingbird and Flower
(31,565)
Beyond close and long-term interaction between different species, numerous connections are often stronger. Many species co-evolved, seen here by the shape of the tube-shaped trumpet flower which matches the long, narrow beak of a hummingbird.

 

Goldfinches
(5 goldfinches; 575 each)
Communication is one way animals stay connected. Communication through bird calls can be between individuals of the same species or even across species. The goldfinch continues to learn songs into adulthood and can recognize its mate by its particular tune.

Garden Worker with Sean Kenney from Nature Connects Exhibit Garden Worker
(37,497)
Because humans are on the top of the food chain, our activities have deep rooted and often permanent impacts on our planet. Individual effort, whether through the preservation of wild lands or the simple act of responsibly tending a garden, makes a significant impact on nature.

 


Water Platter and Koi

Lily Pad (5 lily pads: 10,598 each)Water Lily from Nature Connects exhibit
Lily Bloom (1,675)
Jumping Koi (1,937)
Frog (530)
An ecosystem is defined by all living and non-living objects in an area. Each ecosystem is as diverse as all the items found within it, from forest to ocean to mountain to desert, and particularly fresh water lakes and ponds.

 

 

Photo op cut out from Nature Connects exhibit

Photo-Op Cut Out
(29,578)
Guests can be part of the exhibit. This mosaic cut out allows people to photograph themselves as part of the display.

 

Photos courtesy of artist Sean Kenney.

 

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden thanks all of our generous Nature Connects sponsors: Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, Patient First and James River Equipment.

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