Feb. 23, 2016

If you’re looking for a spring photo op, the Dallas Arboteum is ready for its closeup. This Saturday the venue’s popular annual floral festival, Dallas Blooms, kicks off. This year’s theme is The Artistry in Nature, featuring National Sculpture Society fellow Gary Lee Price's Great Contributors bronze statues. 

Price’s life-size sculptures will be set among 500,000 spring-blooming bulbs in the garden including tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, pansies, violas, poppies along with other spring-blooming annuals and perennials.

Visitors will be able to take selfies with Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Claude Monet, Albert Einstein, William Shakespeare, Mark Twain and the Wright Brothers.

Most of the statues are on wooden benches throughout the 66-acre garden.

“Many were gardeners or inspired by nature in some way,” said Terry Lendecker, VP of Advertising & Promotions at the Dallas Arboretum.  

Price said he hopes that when visitors sit next to these leaders and they will leave with the sense that these men were real human beings and yet extraordinary.

For example, of the Albert Einstein statue, Price says: “I have always been excited by the sheer visual richness of Einstein; his hair, facial features and casual attire. I wanted to portray this in a very approachable, inviting, come have a chat with a genius kind of gesture.”

Or Claude Monet “I’ve always admired painters and been moved by Monet’s work. Being a pretty serious gardener myself, I traveled to Giverny, France – home of Monet’s water lily pond, home, garden and studio. After the visit and doing plein-air painting myself, I knew I had to capture the Father of Impressionism.” 

Lendecker says it will be a great learning opportunity with signage featuring facts and history of each of the subjects. 

”The photo opportunities are endless,” she said. “ It’s not every day that you get to sit and chat next to Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein or William Shakespeare.”


Dallas Blooms: The Artistry in Nature

When: Feb. 27 to April 10. The Great Contributors exhibit will be on display until Nov. 30. 

Where: 8525 Garland Road, Dallas

Hours: Daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Beginning March 1, on Wednesday Nature Nights the garden will stay open later. 

Cost: $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12 and free for children two and under.  

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