Sculpture in the Garden Exhibition

The Montgomery Botanical Gardens seeks entries for our first ever Sculpture in the Garden exhibit. This will include the work of Alabama artists, students and teachers, uniting these works with the curated landscapes of the Montgomery Botanical Gardens. Combining art and nature invites visitors to experience both in new ways, discovering new and unexpected relationships.

This year our Artist in Residence is Charlie “Tinman” Lucas, who has held free workshops with Alabama teachers in advance of the Exhibition, so they can go back to the classroom and help their students create sculptures for the Exhibition.

2022 Dates
The exhibition will open in early October, with a Grand Opening Ceremony on Sunday, October 23. It will close at the end of November.

September 1:  Entries due 

First week in October:  Installation

Sunday, October 23: Awards Ceremony

Sunday, November 27: Exhibit ends, 5pm

November 28-December 3: Pickup

Located immediately to the right as you enter Oak Park in downtown Montgomery, the Montgomery Botanical Gardens (MBG) is not yet ten years old. Our mission is “To establish and nurture the gardens for the education, enjoyment and enrichment of all and to preserve Alabama’s unique plant heritage.” We were designated as the 20th Peace Garden in the world in 2017 by Gardens for Peace.

Each sculpture in the exhibition will be assigned a number, and artists are encouraged to create a description which can include a video. Each identification sign will contain a QR code to link to this information which will take visitors deeper into the artwork.

This exhibition is open to anyone currently living in Alabama – students, teachers, artists, military and their families.  Collaborative pieces are welcomed. Each artist or collaborative group is responsible for setting up, and then removing, their sculpture during the designated times.

Work submitted must be:

  • Original and created by you or your group
  • Able to stand freely or be anchored in our prairie mud soil: we do not have dedicated bases or pads. Trees may not be used to hang sculptures – you may provide your own poles or other stable, safe structures to hang sculptures.
  • Must be able to survive outside for two months – wind, rain, temperature changes, visitor activity.
  • Must be SAFE for a public environment – while visitors are requested to not touch or climb on sculptures, please do NOT submit work that is potentially dangerous!
  • Must be SUITABLE for a public environment – we are a family oriented facility, and all works must be suitable for young children and the general public.
  • Completed prior to arriving, with minimal assembly required at the MBG.

Siting and Installation
Sculptures must be able to be maneuvered on our unpaved pathways to their final location.  Each artist must bring whatever they need to achieve this safely without damage to those pathways or the gardens themselves.  You are welcome to provide a stand or pedestal for smaller sculptures.  Some areas become boggy when we get heavy rains – please note on your application whether your piece is suitable for such a location or not.

Garden staff and volunteers will determine sculpture siting and installation and supervise the process.  We encourage you to visit the MBG in advance, to familiarize yourself with the Gardens and the ways to bring your sculpture in.

This initial exhibition is open to all residents of Alabama, with minimal curating – we reserve the right to refuse works that are deemed unsafe or unsuitable, or that we feel will not survive two months outside.  We reserve the right to not accept sculptures that might pose a danger to visitors or plants.

All students participating will receive a Certificate. 

First, second and third place awards will be given in the following categories:

College/University/Trade School

Adult Amateur (can include teachers)
Adult Professional (can include teachers)

In addition there will be a Best Student Award, a Best Adult Award, a Best in Show Award and a People’s Choice Award.  We also hope to have additional purchase and other awards.

Liability and Insurance
We do NOT cover sculptures – we recommend that each artist add a rider to your current policy to cover your work while on exhibit.  We assume no liability for damages to sculptures while on display.

Sales are encouraged and are handled directly with the artists.  The MBG would be delighted if artists considered making at least a 10% tax deductible donation to the Gardens from any sale.  All sculptures MUST remain installed until the show ends – no early removals are allowed.  Prices cannot be changed after the entry is submitted.

Entry Procedure:

  • Each artist or collaborative may enter one piece.
  • Entries are due by September 1, 2022.
  • PLEASE ENTER HERE or send a paper entry form to Beth Wicker, 8628 Maple Ridge Lane, Montgomery, AL 36116.
  • The entry form includes basic contact information, an artist or collaborative bio, detailed information on the sculpture (including installed dimensions and photos, videos welcome).

Contact Show Coordinator, Beth Wicker, at ruralart@earthlink.n