All of this to say that their newest exhibit, Wild Rising by Cracking Art, does work--it is both fun and thoughtful, both during the day and at night (I'll save the nighttime pictures for later, though, as I find that I have too many).
As you walk toward the entrance from the parking lot, you look up to see frogs of various colors. I don't know if it was because I was with a two-year-old when I first saw them, but even as a person not inclined towards bright colors or primary colors, these frogs made me happy.
Keep walking and solemn meerkats meet you.
Can you tell yet the material? These animals are all made of recycled plastic, their message being sustainability. So beside each installation, you'll find a sign telling the story of each particular set-up.
The type of animal and its behavior ties in with a particular message or concept related to environmental awareness.
The snails I wasn't sure about. Maybe because of the big, blue snail that takes up center stage looking so very bright (remember, I'm not a bright color person). Maybe because of all the words (I tend to like my words in books and just images for visual art). But the more time I spent with them, the more I tended to like seeing the yellow and red snails up above me.
The big yellow snails were more favorable to me than the big blue snail--they blend in better with their environment.
The big, blue crocodile, though, I was all over. He's crying "crocodile tears" as a commentary on our awareness of the existence of sustainability issues and our continued lack of focus on taking action. I love the lizard types of animals and he was by a bridge and bridges tend to go over water and water is blue--so I didn't mind blue in this context.
I caught a special moment between these two; let's say no more.
My photo doesn't do justice to the plastic fish up in the sky. They're so silly because you have the regular plant exhibits down at the bottom, then you look up to see "toy" fish. And the blues and whites blend in well with the blue sky, so the colors aren't jarring. They, of course, are a commentary on plastic in the ocean. When whimsy meets tragedy, eh?
These green birds are just so big that they're terrific. I'm more of a green person, it's true, and yet it's also true that the cactus behind the birds are green, right?
The snails over in another corner of the garden were some of the most natural of all.
They were almost black, some shiny with blue and others with green.
These snails are the type for quiet reflection.
In general, though, even with the bright colors, these installations blended with the garden and felt natural to it. Obviously, of course, they're not natural there, but they made sense in each space. Some I liked more than others, but mostly they at least didn't detract from the garden. For the most part, they did enhance it. They're conversation starters and photo opportunities. They're fun things to look at and smile at. And yet they're also offering up some serious commentary, reminding us to be aware of our place in the world and the effects of the choices that we make.