Arts and Culture

Shani Gilchrist



Something To Look At: Nature-Based Sculpture at the South Carolina Botanical Garden

Posted 3/18/2013 1:39:00 PM

While the unusually warm winter that we’ve had gives me a bit of the heebie geebies, I think this could be the best time possible to go outside and explore (at least that’s what I just told my six-year-old son as he walked into my office to tell me he was bored). It isn’t so hot that you have to carefully plan what time of day to head out, and it isn’t so cold that you are burdened with coats, scarves, and other accoutrements of the season.

The South Carolina Botanical Gardens at Clemson University provide ample grounds for exploration. Known as a place “where nature and culture meet,” the garden has become a treasure trove of arts activity.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the upstate facility is its nature-based sculpture program, which features one of the largest collections of nature-based sculptures in the United States. Each piece was designed on-site by international artists and built by local volunteers and university students. As each piece was completed, it was returned to nature so that the elements could have their way with the piece. The result is that many pieces have had incredible dimensions added on, and others have become hidden in the garden. What an opportunity for a unique treasure hunt!

Guided tours are available, and there are also downloadable, GPS-enabled apps that will guide you through the garden on your own. For more information please visit the program website or call the Sculpture Conservator at (864) 656-2458.