The forest where it all comes together

In the second-to-last installment of this summer’s scavenger hunt, we ventured outside the city of Louisville to find this week’s unique public art destination. Located about 20 minutes south of Louisville, the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest is a regional attraction that encompasses a café, arboretum, educational center, trails and more and is situated on more than 14,000 acres.

Established in 1929, Bernheim is a place where nature, science and art meet, and was dedicated “for the people of Kentucky, and their friends, as a place to further their love of the beautiful in nature and in art…” Among other things, the research forest is home to four different arts initiatives that help bring local and international artists into the park to create work. The forest’s Arts in Nature programs include the Artist in Residence Program, Sited @ Bernheim, Local Use by Local Artists and CONNECT, an annual night celebrating art, music, science and nature around Lake Nevin. This year’s event will be Aug. 23rd, from 6:24 p.m. to 10:24 p.m., the two hours before and after sunset, and will feature food and drink vendors along with the night’s festivities. New last year was CONNECTglow, an art competition challenging artists to make light sculptures without the use of electricity. The competition is back this year and the winning artist will receive a monetary prize for their project!  

Earth Measure, one of Bernheim's latest sculptures, was created by Kentucky artist Matt Weir.

Earth Measure, one of Bernheim’s latest sculptures, was created by Kentucky artist Matt Weir.

Whether you’re coming for CONNECT, or just visiting for the day, guests can see more than 30 years of art on display created through the residencies and local art programs at Bernheim.

For a list of the sculptures found in the arboretum, you can visit http://bernheim.org/programs/arts-in-nature-program/sculpture-in-the-arboretum/. For more information on CONNECT and the CONNECTglow art competition, visit http://bernheim.org/event/connect-at-bernheim/. 

Already visited Bernheim? As an added bonus, near Louisville, the Yew Dell Botanical Gardens also offer creative garden sculptures and statues within an hour of the city. For information on group tours or the gardens, you can visit https://www.yewdellgardens.org/.

Happy exploring!

Alex Newby, communications assistant

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