Airlie Gardens 2017 Summer Art Exhibit “Imagine” Opens June 27

Posted June 22, 2017 at 2:16 pm     Category: News ReleaseParks and Gardens

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – Airlie Gardens’ 2017 Summer Art Exhibit “Imagine” will open Tuesday, June 27 and run through the end of September. The exhibit features an eclectic assortment of large, colorful, whimsical pieces often constructed of recycled and repurposed materials by artist Matthew Leavell.

Leavell, a sculptor currently based out of Mobjack, Virginia, with roots in the Port City, specializes in steel, cast iron, wood and glass mediums. The large-scale installments consist of colorful florals and a variety of artistic creations that will spark curiosity and inspire. “Imagine” will be on display throughout the gardens, and will be included in the price of admission. Kids can also participate in a scavenger hunt during the exhibit.

Media are invited to come to the gardens on Monday, June 26 to meet and interview the artist at 9 a.m.


About the Artist
Matthew J. Leavell is a self-taught, Mobjack, Virginia (Mathews County) based artist currently focusing on the creation of small and medium scale sculpture in steel, cast iron, wood and glass. He primarily utilizes salvaged and recycled materials, preferring raw materials that bring their own history, character, and soul to a new work of art. Matthew’s pieces are often created using recycled, salvaged, and upcycled metal components from various sources. He sees a neglected, rusting pile of steel as a literal representation of someone’s broken or abandoned dreams. Purchasing these materials and through hard work, inspiration, creativity, and persistence creating an entirely new and beautiful work of art, is not only a personally fulfilling process, but one that stands as an analogy of the nature of life in general.

About Airlie Gardens
Airlie Gardens is a 67-acre public garden located in Wilmington, North Carolina. Established in 1901, the garden is a cultural and ecological component of New Hanover County and North Carolina history that features formal gardens, wildlife, historic structures, walking trails, sculptures, views of Bradley Creek, 10-acres of freshwater lakes, the celebrated 472-year-old Airlie Oak, more than 75,000 azaleas and countless camellia cultivars. The garden is made possible with the generosity of the commitment of the New Hanover County Commissioners, members, local and state grants, and the support of local residents. For information about Airlie Gardens, visit


Release Contact:
Janine Powell
Airlie Gardens

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