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Noteworthy

Nature Connects Exhibition Bringing 'Larger-Than-Life' Lego Structures To Mounts Botanical Garden

The possibilities are endless when you’re working with Legos, and no one knows that better than Sean Kenney.

The Brooklyn-based artist, who bills himself as a “professional kid,” has been building colossal structures from the building blocks since he left his job designing website interfaces about 10 years ago. Now, one of his most popular projects is coming to West Palm Beach.

The Nature Connects exhibition, which features whimsical animal creations made from nearly 500,000 Legos, will be at Mounts Botanical Garden from Nov. 14 through mid-February. The garden will be the first in Florida—and the entire Southeast—to feature this specific collection of 13 “larger-than-life” displays, which include a peacock, a herd of deer and a butterfly, said garden director Allen Sistrunk.  

There will also be a suspended giant black and yellow spider that will measure about 6 feet by 4 feet. But don't worry; it's more impressive than creepy, Sistrunk said assuredly.

If you were curious to see how the structures come to life, however, you’re out of luck.

The pre-assembled creations, many of which take thousands (yes, thousands) of hours to build, will be transferred to the gardens by a semi-truck carrying specially created wooden crates designed to safely transport the structures.  

The collection will be the largest exhibition in the garden’s 30-year history, and Sistrunk said he hopes it will draw in new crowds. He noted the event is taking place during Florida's cooler months, making it the perfect time to take advantage of a visit with the children or grandchildren. 

To be honest, Sistrunk said, he was a bit shocked Legos had such a following. But recent visits to the Lego stores in Rockefeller Center and Aventura opened his eyes to how popular the building blocks really are. 

“They were busier than the Apple store,” he said. 

For now, he’s looking forward to the structures arriving—hopefully in one piece—to the gardens. Asked to choose which structure he’s most excited to see in person, Sistrunk said it was a toss up between the spider and the peacock. 

“The peacock is huge, and it perhaps has the most colors. The spider because it’s so anatomically correct; it looks exactly like a spider, with eight legs, big eyes,” he said. “At first glance you might go, ‘Oh my god.’” 

Nature Connects was first developed in 2011 for the Iowa State University’s Reiman Gardens. It has been been on tour since early 2012. 

Admission to the exhibit at Mounts will cost $10 for adults, $5 for kids and $7 for seniors, students and veterans with valid IDs.

Mounts Botanical Garden; 531 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach

Mounts Botanical Garden

Artist Sean Kenney in the studio working on the butterfly. (Courtesy Sean Kenney Designs)