Airlie Gardens to feature ‘Guardians of the Garden,’ copper sculpture exhibit by local artist

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Creatures both real and imagined come alive as Airlie Gardens welcomes “Guardians of the Garden,” an exhibit of copper sculptures by local artist Dumay Gorham, III.

This “mystical and magical exhibit” will run June 15 through Oct. 25, according to a news release from New Hanover County.

“Feast your eyes on an array of copper creatures brought to life by the artist. From gargoyles protecting the land to giant hummingbirds in the trees, this magical exhibit will impress guests of all ages,” the news release states.

Guests can expect to find the sculptures placed throughout the gardens and will have an interactive scavenger hunt to add to the fun. The exhibit will be free with garden admission and available for viewing during regular hours of operation.

“We are excited to share with the community the fabulous work of this local artist,” Tara Duckworth, director of New Hanover County Parks & Gardens said. “We hope that visitors will be enchanted by the mystical creatures brought to life through Dumay’s imagination.”

Gorham is a Wilmington native, a graduate of NCSU and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He has been welding and working in metal for 15 years. As one of the many talented artists at ACME Art Studios in downtown Wilmington, he specializes in custom metal sculpture and design projects by commission. His work ranges from delicate table top pieces to large public art installations which utilize a variety of metals and finishing techniques.

In addition to private homes and gardens, Dumay has completed projects for The City of Wilmington, the Bald Head Island Conservancy, Oak Island Recreation Center, Marriott Inc., UNCW, The North Carolina Aquariums, New Hanover County Arboretum, Live Oak Bank and Airlie Gardens. This is his first solo show in 7 years.

Airlie Gardens is a 67-acre public garden located in Wilmington. 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 470-year-old Airlie Oak, more than 100,000 azaleas and countless camellia cultivars. For information about Airlie Gardens, visit www.airliegardens.org.