Pinecrest Gardens…A living museum filled with art and beauty

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At the root of any botanical garden exists the beauty of its plants and the natural and manmade settings in which they grow. But when a botanical garden takes on the identity of a Cultural Arts Park…now there is where the real magic happens!

Botanical gardens are designed not only to be aesthetically pleasing but also to serve research, conservation, and educational needs. While one might imagine that research and conservation collections are uninteresting, this is far from the case. Each plant lends its individual beauty to the landscape, culminating in a spectacular display of color, shape and texture. Our jungle-like setting has for decades defined the look and feel of the visitor experience as they walk the paths of our 14 extraordinary acres.

At Pinecrest Gardens we are much more that a botanical garden. We are a historical landmark, a family destination and a Cultural Arts Park, a park featuring art exhibits and a permanent art collection. Along with educational and recreational activities reflecting the history and culture of Old South Florida while honoring our roots as the iconic tourist attraction Parrot Jungle, we are also a public park containing art galleries, a performing arts amphitheater and numerous outdoor displays of art. At Pinecrest Gardens, we pay homage to our past while moving steadfastly into the future with a focus on our deep-seeded roots of Family Entertainment. This is the very core of our identity.

That is why we are encouraging everyone, adults, seniors and children to come through our gates to enjoy the bounty of beauty and all that exists in this remarkable venue. Escape to Pinecrest Gardens in these challenging times…you will not be disappointed. You will find peace, tranquility, you will be enlightened and entertained and you might even discover an oasis of pure joy as you walk our paths and happen upon our unique jungle-like landscape dressed up with incredible art installations.

PERMANENT ART INSTALLATIONS:

Trolls: Berta and Terje by Thomas Dambo
Internationally acclaimed, Thomas Dambo is an artist based in Copenhagen, Denmark. Together with his crew and community volunteers, Thomas creates giant sculptures that become characters in whimsical stories created about them. Each installation is created from recycled items to highlight sustainability, and to encourage others to re-imagine their notions about “trash.”

Longitudinal by Xavier Cortada
Cortada painted and placed 24 shoes in a circle around the North and South Poles and now, Pinecrest Gardens, each representing a person living in a different part of the world affected by climate change. The shoes are placed next to each other in their respective longitudes as a proxy for people in the world below. After positioning the shoes, Cortada identified each shoe as a proxy for a person affected by global climate change. The shoes are placed inches apart along the lines of longitude crossing the place where these individuals live, conceptually diminishing the distance between them. At your request, we have a statement from a person living in that longitude about how climate change affected or will affect them for you to read and ponder.

Diatom Court by Xavier Cortada
Diatom Court: Located near Splash ‘N Play you will find Cortada’s latest monumental sculpture, Diatom Court. In Diatoms, Cortada sees moments captured in time. Scientists can determine the past salinity of water by examining the glass shells of diatoms preserved in sedimentary core samples. Each diatom species has a different salinity preference, so changes in the mixture of fresh and sea water (driven by sea level rise and water management) can be inferred from past diatom remains. Their presence in the layered sediment connects us to the ecosystem in which they thrived while they were alive. Indeed, they are a portal to what once was so that we can better learn how to protect what now is.

La Danse: by Brazilian artist Alice Pittaluga
La Danse is an homage to Henri Matisse’s painting from 1910.
Ms. Pittaluga was inspired by the dancers from the painting and created these wonderful free flowing sculptures which are located in Pinecrest Gardens’ Hammock Pavilion area. This sculpture has been generously donated to Pinecrest Gardens by her husband, Brazilian Diplomat, Carlos Bueno. Pinecrest is home to Alice Pittaluga’s son, Roberto Bueno and his family.

Friendship: Donated by Santiago Medina
Eternity: Donated by Santiago Medina
Friendship is on permanent display in the Sotloff Memorial Garden, and Eternity has it’s permanent home in our beautiful Lily Pond on Lakeview Terrace. Medina summarizes his artistic passion as “I bring inert stainless steel to life by creating timeless masterpieces full of light and movement for art lovers”. Since studying at Harvard, Medina has been a pioneer in the innovative use of advanced 3D imaging CT and MRI in the creation of unique sculptures. Therefore, Medina brings powerful artistic expression, technological sophistication and physician sensitivity to his beautiful artwork. Santiago Medina has generously donated Friendship at the site of the Sotloff Memorial Garden. Master sculptor Santiago Medina has Italian stainless steel masterpiece sculptures are at marquee public art venues worldwide.

Peace Bird and Reclining Woman Donald Lee Seiler
Donated by Ray and Sue Fisher
Donald Seiler was born in Miami Beach and resided in Hardee County for more than 20 years, giving the community monumental sculptures and site specific forms. Many of his pieces can be viewed as public art throughout Miami include Dante Fascell Park and the University of Miami. Each sculpture Mr. Seiler has created honors life and spirit.

Tropical Punch and ceramic art benches by Patsy Rodriguez
Donated by the Garden Club and the Garden Fund
Patsy’s colorful works, both mosaics and murals, can be found in many institutions. She also won an Artist of Merit award in 2015 for her mosaics from the prestigious Arrowmont Tennessee School of Arts and Crafts. Patsy has two studios, one at her home in Palmetto Bay and the other in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Patsy’s mural and benches have been generously donated to Pinecrest Gardens by herself along with The Pinecrest Garden Club and the Garden Fund.

Daisy the Dog and Mosaic Benches by Trish Jeselli
Trish is a local artist who has been working in oils, acrylics and most recently mosaics. She does two major art shows a year, both in Coconut Grove including The Historic Barnacle Start Park show and the Gifford Lane Art Show. Her artistic philosophy, “I love doing art projects that make people smile.” She has fondly named the dog she has painted and donated by Lynn Willy Fichman, “Daisy.” Her magnificent mosaic benches are works of art donated by families in the South Florida area in memorium.

Other works to be found sprinkled amongst our winding paths are beautiful picnic areas on colorful botanical concrete slabs tucked into our lower garden and adjacent to our splash pad along with our ADA Lift, all designed and painted by renowned mural artist Reynaldo Gonzalez. Also in our lower garden sitting pretty on Turtle Island is a whimsical mosaic piece named Senior Frog by artist Utti Serrales and donated by her husband Roderick Perry.


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