Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, NC


"Minnie Evans was the gatekeeper of Wilmington’s historic Airlie Gardens from 1949 to 1974, and is considered one of America’s most important visionary artists. Evans’s take on color, mysticism, and symmetry made her garden-infused art unique. 'It was therefore an inspired decision,' Airlie Gardens Guild member Fred Wharton writes, 'to create the Minnie Evans Memorial Sculpture Garden—a garden within the garden, in the very place where she worked as a gatekeeper, where she experienced her visions, and where she created her art.'
 "Local Wilmington artists got together after Minnie’s death to create this - a seventeen-foot-high, seven-sided chapel sculpted from thousands of glass bottles, cement, and metal armature designed by artist Virginia Wright-Frierson. To create a fitting memorial inspired the symbolism and elaborate designs found in Evans’s work, Wright-Frierson assembled a team of North Carolinians to interpret the artist’s themes in various media. The Bottle Chapel Artists were Virginia Wright-Frierson, Designer & Lead Artist; Karen Crouch, Dumay Gorham, Brooks Koff, Hiroshi Sueyoshi, Barbara Sullivan, Tejuola Turner, Michael van Hout."
-Fred Wharton, author of The Bottle Chapel at Airlie Gardens
 I had not heard of Minnie Evans prior to our trip to Airlie Gardens, but this bottle chapel was breath-taking and the highlight of my visit to the garden.


Carolina said...

I can imagine that it's a breathtaking structure when you see it in front of you. It must be gorgeous with the sunlight coming through. Did you make close-up/detail shots too?

Anyes said...

What a treasure you found here Karen :-)

Dan said...

That's incredible. I love the butterfly!

Val said...

Hi Karen, thanks for your comment a couple of days ago. I hope that you came through the storm without any damage.
I loved this post and I thought you might like google Helen Martins or The Owl House, South Africa, to see the work of an interesting, truly eccentric woman who created art with glass bottles, ground up glass, and cement. She decorated her entire house, walls and ceilings with the ground up glass in various colors and to see her dwelling at night with candlelight reflecting off all the glass is truly amazing.
I'm enjoying catching up with all your interesting stories and beautiful pix now that the move is over.