LEGO sculptor Sean Kenney’s roseate skimmer dragonfly is much larger than life, and you can see it at Green Animals this summer.Photo Credit : Dave Hansen / The Preservation Society of Newport County
Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island, stands out among the Newport Mansions as a destination for families. And this summer, kids will go wild for a new flock of animal friends that has joined the property’s beloved green giants. Unlike the elephant, giraffe, lion, unicorn, and other animals carved out of California privet, English boxwood, and yew bushes, these creatures are made of LEGO bricks. And they’re more than just cool photo ops.
Artist Sean Kenney isn’t just out to wow and inspire young LEGO enthusiasts with his creations. He’s on a quest to make us think about the relationship between humans and the natural world.
Recognized as one of the world’s leading LEGO designers, Kenney’s chosen art medium is one that feels accessible to even the youngest aspiring creators. His “Nature Connects” installations, which have traveled to gardens, zoos, and science centers around the world for more than a decade, are meant to encourage viewers to contemplate their place in the natural ecosystem and to consider everyday habits they might change to protect animal habitats. The interconnection of little toy bricks serves as a metaphor for the way everything in nature is delicately intertwined.
Green Animals, the oldest and most northern topiary garden in the United States, is the only place in the Northeast to see Kenney’s elaborate LEGO animals this summer. They’ll be on view daily through September 10, 2023, and tickets can be purchased online. In addition to the 14 sculptures on display at Green Animals, Kenney’s Bonsai Tree is on exhibit inside the Welcome Center at The Breakers in Newport.
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