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LEGOs in the garden

The arrival of the N.C. Arboretum’s newest exhibit was delayed due to COVID-19, but Nature Connects: Art with LEGO Bricks has now opened at the public garden in Asheville and will remain on display through Nov. 1. 

Composed of nearly 500,000 LEGO bricks, Nature Connects includes 16 nature-inspired sculptures constructed on a larger-than-life scale by artist Sean Kenney. Featuring a 5-foot-tall peacock, giant dragonfly, bonsai tree and massive monarch butterfly, this family-friendly exhibit draws inspiration from the living world and combines play with science to create an innovative 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. “Artist Sean Kenney does a terrific job of bringing together art and nature using an iconic toy, the LEGO brick, to help connect guests with the natural world.”

Arboretum guests will receive a map to help guide them through the gardens and discover the sculptures. Daytime admission is free with the standard $16 parking fee. Through September, guests will also be able to enjoy the gardens after dark from 8 to 11 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, when live music will be offered and the LEGO sculptures lit up. A $5 fee applies for these events, with 10 percent of proceeds going to MANNA FoodBank.

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