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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cape Cod's Whimsical Side


Photo of Whimsy at its best.
Alfred Glover’s Garden Gate
For those prone to flights of fantasy, Whimsical Garden Gates at Heritage Museums & Gardens will thrill and delight. Heritage invited artists from the region to create a whimsical, but functioning, garden gate to be part of this 2012 Season exhibit. The gates were created by 16 such artists and are displayed along the pathways throughout the grounds of the botanical gardens.

Charlie and I just spent a much needed, relaxing afternoon at Heritage enjoying strolling through the gardens in search of these gate installations. We always enjoy our time at Heritage but, as an artist and someone who likes to garden, this visit was really special. We went there for the express purpose of searching out the locations of the gates in this new exhibit. At the ticket booth, we received a map denoting where they are located and then off we went as excited as children on an Easter egg hunt.
{Photo of Ford Model-T garden gate.
Homage to Ford's Model-T

One of the first garden gates you encounter could not be in a more appropriate place than on the lawn at the Automobile Museum. It is entitled Gateway to the American Roadway and was a collaboration between Janet Davis and Mark Zanghi. They were inspired by the Ford Model-T and the man who changed the way America traveled.

A little farther down the pathway and located near the windmill, you will find artist Will Clarke’s gate entitled And the Seasons They Go Round and Round. This piece is meant to remind us of the seasons of gardening in New England and of our rural past and “revolving” present. When you visit this installation, you will see what I mean.

Photo of a most beautiful garden gate.
Tessa D'Agostino's Gate
Other garden gate installations are nestled amongst the trees and flowers along trails and in gardens, both enhancing and enhanced by their setting. Fitting perfectly into the landscape is the garden gate entitled Transformative Passage of Earthly Balance. The product of artist, teacher, and Reiki Practitioner Tessa D’Agostino, this lovely piece reminds us how dependant we are on the earth and nature, and of all that we derive from their constancy. She encourages you to take time from your busy world to find you reflective self. Be sure to read the inscription that is carved into the left side of the gate.

Elisa Sullivan and Grace Archambeault created the very beautiful And the Tree Was Happy, representing their love and appreciation of nature. For her gate, Susan Beardsley re-purposed objects that are no longer useful for their original purpose into something both useful and beautiful and titled What’s a Garden without Bugs? The addition of the bug is to prompt a smile from gardeners as they pull weeds from their garden.
Photo of ship inspired garden gate.
Forces in Play

A really interesting and quite different piece is the garden gate designed by Christopher Lenaerts and Rosalyn Driscoll called Forces in Play. It is beautifully constructed of traditional boat-building materials and draws on the elements of sailboat rigging to create a complex but playful gate. This is one that we just had to swing open. I hope the folks at Heritage don’t mind, but we just couldn’t resist.
Photo of my favorite garden gate.
Welcome to Our World
One of my personal favorites is a collaborative work by Angela Rose and Lauren Miklavic entitled Welcome to Our World. This really fabulous piece is a collaboration between an artist and a gardener that beautifully represents the co-existence of art and nature in the garden. It is on display just outside the museum housing the Norman Rockwell exhibit.  I could see this wonderful piece in our gardens here at our bed and breakfast inn.

Part of the fun of this exhibit is reading about the artist’s inspiration for their piece that is written on plaques at each installation. It gives you insight into their process as each developed their piece.

These are just a few of the gates which we saw. Others on exhibit are Kenneth Speiser Bubble, Alfred Glover’s Garden Gate ( at the entrance of the gardens), Donna Mahan and Kathy Williams gate entitled Whimsical Interplay, Bonnie Maresh’s Forever Flowers, Lee Sullivan’s  Findings, Leslie Wilcox’s Winsome Gate, JC Stahl,s Ribbon, Sally Fine’s Pond Gate, and Joel Reider’s Centrifugal Forest.

Why not come stay with us and visit Heritage Museums & Gardens and have an adventure discovering these Whimsical Wonders.

 Jan Preus, the Innkeeper, chef, and artist in residence at the 1750 Inn at Sandwich Center, Sandwich, Cape Cod, Massachusetts

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