Art in the Gardens at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden


Pumpkins by Yayoi Kusama © Britt Conley

Right by the main entrance of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden near the hibiscus collection can be found these bright, wonderfully large cast gourd creations of Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama. According to Fairchild, Kusama is known as, “one of the world’s leading artists and a living legend of the international art avant-garde. Flamboyant yet profound, her oeuvre encompasses unique masterpieces in painting, sculpture, and installation, as well as mass production and popular culture.”  The spots on the pumpkins are a signature element of the artist’s style that can be seen in her other works as well.

Guidepost Pandanus Lake © Britt Conley
Guideposts to the New Space, Pandanus Lake © Britt Conley

In the center of Pandanus Lake, Kusama has installed these great, gently, gliding works that are frankly delightful. The look like enormous lady bugs. They draw visitors straight to the water where the view of the palms are incredible.  The impact of the reds, greens and blues just knocked my socks off.

Kusama's Guidposts to the New Space © Britt Conley

The work, titled Guideposts to the New Space, consists of Ten fiberglass-reinforced plastic, metal and all-weather urethane paint also features Kusams’s Polkadot signature stylings.  The works bobble with the breeze and travel across the water with the wind.  Apparently the wildlife enjoys then as well.  This bird decided to hitch a ride on this one.

A bird relaxes on one of Kusam's art works © Britt Conley
A bird relaxes on one of Kusam’s art works © Britt Conley

Another installation by Kusama is Flowers that Bloom at Midnight, which includes bright, colorful, cast flowers.  These  sculptures are fun and tantalizing.  During the short time I was at the Fairchild, there were kids wanting to climb all over them, adults gathering together to get their pictures taken with the giant 16-foot-tall flower while others were just taking in the view.  A hit by any standard!  The juxtaposition of the bright colors and the lush greens really are spectacular.  “Yayoi Kusama at Fairchild” runs from December 5 through May 30, 2010.

Kusams's Flowers that Bloom at Midnight © Britt Conley

Kusams's Flowers that Bloom at Midnight © Britt Conley

Kusama is not the only artist on display here.  There are numerous others.  Sculptor Mark di Suvero created the work, Rust Angel, (below), in 1995.  The huge work measures 8’11″ x 14′ x 7’8″ and is made from a single sheet of cold bent steel which was cut, reassembled and painted red.

Rust Angel by Mark di Suvero © Britt Conley

Rust Angel by Mark di Suvero © Britt Conley

There are also works from famed glass artist Dale Chihuly.  Chihuly’s innovative blown glass creations can be seen in museums and gardens across the country.  His works require a team of helpers to assemble the multitude of parts for a single complex work.  He has numerous works here at Fairchild.  This particular fanciful piece, End of the Day Tower was created in 2005 and currently resides in the conservatory.  Chihuly has many other works though out the Garden and finding them as you explore is a delight.

Dale Chihuly's End of Days Tower © Britt Conley

Dale Chihuly's End of Days Tower © Britt Conley

The Fairchild proudly proclaims it began to incorporate art within its garden in 2003, “with Patricia Van Dalen’s Luminous Gardens, followed by Dale Chihuly in 2005. Since then, Fairchild’s art program has gone on to exhibit such influential artists as Fernando Botero, Roy Lichtenstein, Franz West, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Michele Oka Doner, Mark Dion, Joshua Levin and Francois-Xavier Lalanne.”  From what I’ve seen, art and Fairchild are a great mix.  The tropical setting makes a lush backdrop for the zany and the spectacular.  It’s an ideal setting to see these sculptures.

I hope you get a chance to visit Coral Gables in Miami and the Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.  It was one of the highlights of December’s first ever Photo Garden Bee Tour and there’s more to come!

For more information visit

‘Til Tomorrow…

Britt : )

Related posts:

  1. Escape to Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden!
  2. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden hosts a large, arid garden with plants from around the World!
  3. At Denver Botanic Gardens it’s all about ambiance
  4. The Tropical Greenhouse here at Epcot’s The Land Pavillion is a great learning garden!: Part IV: The Land
  5. Orchids: A Cultural Odyssey on view now at The U.S. Botanic Gardens




  1. Lorraine

    I had a chance to visit the Fairchild Tropical Botanical gardens when I lived in Florida, what a magical place. I like the one of "Guideposts" with palm trees in the background best!

  2. Britt

    Thanks Lorraine! I so enjoyed it there! Fairchild really is a fantabulous garden. I didn't even get to see all the other palm glades that took up the left half of the gardens. Next time! I can't wait to go back.


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