We spent Sunday afternoon at Garfield Park Conservatory, where we all enjoyed the new sculpture exhibit Niki in the Garden. These gigantic (some are 18 feet high), beautiful, colorful sculptures by Niki de Saint Phalle included animals, mythical figures, totems, and Nanas (big, round, overflowing women who just seem bursting with joy and life).
All the sculptures are covered with ceramic mosaics, stones, glass, and even mirrors, and they feel so good to touch, or to sit on, or to climb, as many invite you to do. There were these lovely signs which indicated what each sculpture allowed (a hand icon for touching, a chair icon for sitting, a ladder icon for climbing, a smilie face for enjoying). Max loved the signs and would run up to each one and scream, "This one is for touching!" and run to the sculpture with arms outstretched.
The effect of the mosaic mirrors was really wonderful, and it was fun to see what was reflected, whether it was the other sculptures, the people wandering around, or a cubist version of yourself.
There were about 30 sculptures in all, some inside the conservatory, and some in the outdoor area. It was a beautiful evening, cool and a bit cloudy, but perfect viewing weather. There was a jazz ensemble playing on the terrace, and we stopped to listen for a bit before we wandered around to the sculptures (the music continued to float to us, and it was a great backdrop to the art).
Max particularly liked the giant skull. Otto had fallen asleep in the car on the way, so he missed much of it, but he woke up in time to climb into a few pieces and run around the labyrinth leading up to one of them.
We will absolutely return to this wonderful exhibit, hopefully on a nice day, when the kids can play as long as they want, climbing on and exploring the little cubby holes in the animals. As it was, we were some of the last people to leave, kicked out for closing time.
We went to Edna's for some soul food and stopped at the newly opened Haas Park for some more play before heading home. It was a great end to our weekend.