An inspirational place to experience the creative expression of global diversity and art interacting with nature.
Internationally renowned sculptor and Olathe resident Kwan Wu approached the City of Overland Park in 2010 about establishing a location for a US-Chinese cultural exchange sculpture collection. The Governing Body agreed to host the collection in temporary space at the Arboretum until a permanent home could be developed.
Over the past 3 years, the Foundation, with the assistance of renowned Kansas sculptor Kwan Wu, has been the recipient of a collection of 26 sculptures valued at $3,770,000. The majority of these sculptures are by Chinese artists who donated their work as part of a US-Chinese Cultural Exchange with the Foundation, and 25 of the sculptures are currently exhibited in temporary space at the Overland Park Arboretum. The International Sculpture Foundation funded the shipment of the sculptures from China and the cultural exchange activities held when they were installed at the Arboretum from 2011 to 2013.
The landscape architectural firm of BBN Architects in consultation with Julie Moir Messervy recently completed the master plan for the 250-acre permanent home for this collection plus additional permanent and on-loan sculptures to be acquired from around the world.
The design for the garden draws on the beauty of the Kansas landscape and allows for the melding of art and nature in a tranquil and contemplative setting along 2.4 miles of paved trails and 1.6 miles of mown trails. The unifying theme for the garden is the “elements” (earth, water, air, fire, metal, wood and plant) and how art embodies and represents those elements. Art will be placed accordingly in the respective areas of the garden that are ecologically diverse including the prairie, the walnut grove, the cactus glade, Wolf Creek and the meadow.
This unique and world-class garden will attract international, national, regional and local artists and visitors to Overland Park, Kansas. Also included in the plan are an entry pavilion, an arts center, an amphitheatre for performance, 7 open-air pavilions, and 7 seating niches – all to showcase permanent and temporary sculpture collections. Projected total cost to build the sculpture garden is nearly $7,000,000. Additional funding will be needed for art acquisition.
The City of Overland Park will assume responsibility for costs to maintain and operate the sculpture garden once each phase of the garden is completed. The Arts and Recreation Foundation will continue its support by promoting the venue, providing a volunteer corps, and hosting special events, educational programming and exhibits.
The Sculpture Garden will:
- Enhance the artistic and cultural opportunities available in the metropolitan area
- Become a regional, national and international destination
- develop a sense of connected to the world for all who visit
- Showcase and exhibit art created by artists from the United States and around the world
- Be the permanent home of the US-Chinese Cultural Exchange Sculpture Collection
- Become a springboard for further cultural exchange
- Be an educational and performance venue.
The elements of nature will unify the garden and relate the art to the landscape – interpretively and literally as the 250-acre site will include several beautiful areas including meadow land, Wolf Creek, the upper prairie, a walnut grove and a cactus glade.
The garden will feature:
- Entry Portal and Pavilion
- 2.4 miles of Paved Trails
- Art Center
- Outdoor Amphitheatre
- 7 Open Air Pavilions
- 6 Seating Niches
- 2 Bridges
- 0.9 miles of Mown Trails
- International Art Collection – permanent, temporary and on-loan
- Shuttle Transportation
Overland Park, KS 66213