Nestled in the expansive seven-acre gardens of the Glen Burnie property, this 13- sculpture exhibit is the first large outdoor changing exhibit at The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley. Created by Brooklyn artist Sean Kenney, this exhibit has been shown all around the world and this set comprises more than 400,000 LEGO bricks! I thoroughly enjoyed this exhibit and I will list some of the most memorable displays and moments from my exploration of this unique exhibit.
As I entered the grounds I was unsure of what to expect from this exhibit, but I overheard a museum employee ask a group of smaller children what their favorite sculpture was, and one little girl enthusiastically replied, “THE BUTTERFLY.” He said that the butterfly was one of his favorites too, but he posed the small girl a question. “Why do they call them butterflies, and not “flutterbies? That seems like a better name to me.” The young girl and the other children thought this was a great thought and I’m sure that will probably be the name for “Flutterbies” now with that small girl for a long time!
One of my favorite sculptures was the family of deer where a male deer is keeping watch and the mother is nursing and protecting the fawn. Deer are a treat here in the Valley as they are typically synonymous with this region and this sculpture shows some of the natural beauty that these creatures offer. Also being an outdoor enthusiast myself, and coming from a family where hunting and conservation is important. These deer represent more than just the animal, they represent a way of life and a way that man and nature must live in harmony as to not destroy the other.
I then picked up on the heels of a tour through the gardens, as a local Garden Club was touring the grounds and learning a bit of the history behind the property and the exhibit. This was very informative and the speaker did a great job quizzing and giving the tour insight into what the Mr. Kenney intended in this exhibit. This exhibit was meant to show the balance of ecosystems and how the living and non-living co-exist. This led me to my next favorite sculpture that was titled, “Grandfather Gardening with Child.” From a distance you would not be able to tell that this sculpture was made of LEGOs at all! It truly looks life-like and it brought me back to times when I have helped my father in the garden or yard work and shows the special bond that can be shared between people and nature.
Probably my most favorite sculpture was a simple design with a lot of meaning titled, “Birdbath with Birds, Bees, and Squirrel.” It was a simple birdbath with a few Cardinals bathing and drinking in the water. A couple of bees begin to hover by, and then a squirrel was perched on the side of the bath, curious as to what was going on. The guide explained that this was the purist of the meanings behind the ecosystem theme as nature and the living things used the non-living bath and water as ways to live. Cardinals are my favorite bird (I played Frederick County Little League for the Cardinals) and the guide was very knowledgeable about them and the other creatures that are shown in this sculpture.
As I was finishing up with the final sculpture, there were a few ladies from the Garden Club who remarked how the peacefulness of the Water Garden is the best spot on the property, and it was the highlight of their experience at the Glen Burnie Gardens. This just shows how everyone is different and this exhibit as well as the property can affect people in different ways!
This attraction and the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley are not only a regional hit, but also an international sensation as a couple from Brazil was heading in as I was leaving. Overall, this exhibit is must see and a great trip for all ages! This exhibit is something that must be seen while you can, but make sure not to wait too long, because the exhibit only runs until September 3rd.
For more information and for ticket prices, click here.
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