Hundreds of art and nature supporters flocked to the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens recently to celebrate the opening of dual exhibitions taking place at the downtown West Palm Beach garden sanctuary for the next few months. The enchanted creatures of RISING: The Mystical World of Sophie Ryder will play among the rare palms and cycads through April 30, 2017. The human-sized memorial bird sculptures of Todd McGrain’s The Lost Bird Project will perch at the Gardens through June 28, 2017.
As guests strolled the two-acre retreat, they were mesmerized by the beauty and size of both Ryder’s monumental wire and bronze sculptures of hares, Minotaurs and amorphous figures as well as McGrain’s bronze bird sculptures. Prices for the artwork range and several pieces sold during opening week of the two exhibitions. Sales will continue the duration of each exhibition and a portion of those proceeds will benefit Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens.
“We are honored to host these two talented artists that have graciously agreed to let Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens serve as the home for their beloved pieces for the next few months,” stated Frances Fisher, ANSG board chairman. “These two exhibitions perfectly complement the Gardens and we look forward to welcoming the community, serious collectors and everyday fans of important art beyond our gates. This is a very special opportunity to see both of these impressive artists in one venue.”
Sculptor Sophie Ryder’s work has long been a feature of the British cultural landscape. She has also established an enviable reputation in America, with local collectors eagerly anticipating the opportunity to view her monumental pieces. Represented in the U.S. by New York-based gallery Waterhouse & Dodd, her work is instantly recognizable — with her love of animals emphasized in her depictions of rabbits, horses and dogs, constant companions in her life as well as her sculpture. RISING: The Mystical World of Sophie Ryder was brought to the ANSG as an extension of the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair. Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens served as the satellite venue during the recent show and is now the exclusive cultural partner for the Fair’s next two years.
Artist Todd McGrain heads “The Lost Bird Project,” a sculpture project which artfully recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds that have been driven out of existence. His striking bronze sculptures include the Passenger Pigeon, the Carolina Parakeet, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk and the Heath Hen.
The Lost Bird Project is presented by Wilmington Trust and represented by Conner Rosenkranz. In addition to the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary Art Fair, RISING: The Mystical World of Sophie Ryder is also presented by Palm Beach Illustrated and Waterhouse + Dodd.
The Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens are open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery and garden exhibition talks are available on Wednesdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Entrance fees are free for members, $15 for non-member adults, $10 for seniors (age 65 and older), $7 for students, and children under five are free. For more information, please visit www.ansg.org or call 561-832-5328.