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Art + Nature = Inviting Outdoor Spaces

What’s the most noteworthy mashup of artwork and the outdoors that stands out in your mind?

I can think of a few:

Burning Man, an annual, city-sized, almost other-worldly festival of art and free thinking on Nevada’s Black Rock Desert.

Ice sculpture festivals such as the Harbin International Ice and Snow Festival in China, where the 2013 edition runs through Feb. 25.

Snow art, when snowfields become canvases for artists such as Sonia Hinrichsen and Simon Beck.

Sand art, such as the mind-stretching imaginations of Jim Denevan (see below).


Spiral sand art image courtesy of Jim Denevan.

A common thread—their temporary state—connects these examples. Lots of cities and museum, meanwhile, have made an effort to give the public access to permanent, memorable cross-pollinations of art and nature.

Sunset magazine has published a list of 17 "art and nature playgrounds" in the West that might interest urban dwellers who are fond of arty spaces and lovely landscapes.


Bridge to beauty, Bellevue (Wash.) Botanical Garden. (Photo: T.D. Wood)

A couple of my favorites include Bellevue Botanical Garden east of Seattle (terrific dahlias in the fall; a great light show in winter) and a little-known patch of well-manicured tranquility outside of Los Angeles (and by not mentioning it by name I’m doing my part to keep it little-known and tranquil; forgive me, readers).

What great blends of art and nature does your city have to offer?


Dahlia display, Bellevue Botanical Garden. (Photo: T.D. Wood)


Cairns to the extreme, Bellevue Botanical Garden. (Photo: T.D. Wood)


Pathway to serenity, Southern California. (Photo: T.D. Wood)

Posted on at 4:15 PM

Tagged: art, nature and parks

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