Fairchild Botanic Garden welcomes world-renowned resident sculptor

Fairchild Botanic Garden welcomes world-renowned resident sculptor

Protecting the Eggs by artist Agnes Nyanhongo

Chapungu Sculpture Park, the world’s largest traveling exhibit of African stone sculpture, has announced the arrival of artist Agnes Nyanhongo to its current “Custom and Legend, a Culture in Stone” exhibit at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

Ms. Nyanhongo is considered among the most important artists from Zimbabwe and has been named as one of the top five women sculptors in the world.

“We are very excited to have Agnes joining us here in Miami, especially as this is the first time we’ve exhibited on the east coast,” said Roy Guthrie, Chapungu exhibit director. “We’re so glad that she will be able to share her warm, caring personality and incredible skill with visitors to the exhibit, as well as in a more intimate setting during workshops.”

Nyanhongo is from a family of sculptors and works in the hardest stone, preferring springstone, leopard stone and nyanga stone. Her inspirations come from the role of women in traditional society and from the interaction between family members. Much of her work is characterized by a sense of peace, calm and inner dignity. Demonstrating considerable courage in a predominantly male field, she is respected and admired in her community and around the world.

On exhibit through May 31, the sculptures range in height from three to 10 feet and weigh between 600 and 6,000 pounds. They depict animals, families, customs, social issues and creatures of legend. Carved primarily from opal stone, cobalt and springstone, the sculptures are grouped by theme in Fairchild’s lowlands: Custom and Legend, Family, Nature and Environment, Role of Elders, Role of Women, Social Comment, The Spirit World and Village Life.

The exhibit has garnered much praise and admiration around the world, including a writer at London’s Evening Standard saying, “These giant stone sculptures from Zimbabwe are the most hauntingly evocative images to come out of Africa in the past 100 years. Undoubtedly the most important exhibition of contemporary African art ever seen in this country.”

For those interested in acquiring their own piece of art, the exhibit includes a tent featuring unique works that are available for purchase.

Aspiring artists have a chance to create their own masterpiece, as Nyanhongo will be leading several five day workshops held Tuesday through Saturday in pavilion located in the heart of the exhibit. No prior experience is required and the $500 ($625 for non members) fee includes a sculpting stone from Zimbabwe, as well as a set of tools to keep.

For reservations and details, call 305-667-1651, ext. 3322.

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