Sherman Library & Gardens is a hidden oasis that offers a lush respite from all things COVID. Yes, the gardens have reopened, and a new summer art installation is on view through mid-September. It’s called Sculptura Botanica by Dustin Gimbel, and it’s free with garden admission.
The gardens are living artwork, and Gimbel – an landscape designer and sculptor based in Long Beach – has enhanced the natural beauty of Sherman Gardens with a sculptural exploration of plants and plant structures created exclusively for Sherman Library & Gardens.
Some of the sculptures highlight aspects of plants that may not normally grab one’s attention, while others are sheer flights of fancy. Many of the sculptures are site specific, designed to fit in, and inspired by, the surroundings at Sherman Gardens.
The concept is a fascinating one. Sherman Gardens has presented various artistic exhibits, usually around the holidays, and they often incorporate lights. This is the most extensive art exhibit I can recall Sherman Gardens presenting, so of course I was intrigued.
I spent an hour at Sherman Gardens on Memorial Day wandering the walkways and enjoying the whimsical art pieces, and the always beautiful and tranquil gardens themselves. Oh—and I took plenty of photos (see below).
I also stopped by the Creperie for a salmon and dill crepe—delicious! It’s run by Chef Pascal Olhats, whose popular onsite Café Jardin opens this Thursday for lunch service.
By the way, many Sculptura Botanica pieces are for sale, so you can bring home a piece of the exhibit and help support Sherman Library & Gardens.
Sherman Gardens is open daily. Reservations are required. Tickets are free for members and $5 for non-members. Tickets are available every half hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Certain protocols (social distancing, masks, etc.) are in place.
Visit TheSherman.org for more information.
Photos by Chris Trela